How to set up speech and emoji on your iPhone

Your iPhone and iPad can speak aloud any text you can select. In this video, I’ll show you how to enable that feature, and how to type emoji symbols in your text, too.

Transcript

I’m going to show you a few quick fun things your iPhone or iPad can do to make text more interesting.

First, I’ll show you how you can make your iOS device read aloud any text you select. Fire up the Settings app, tap on General, scroll down to Accessibility, and then tap on Speak Selection. Turn it on, and then, if you’d like, you can play with different accents and speech speed. A good Australian accent always makes me say “crikey,” so I can’t resist.

Now, go into any app where you can type or select text. I’ll use the Notes app here. Select the text you’re interested in hearing by tapping and holding, and then tap the new Speak button that appears. Instantly, your iPhone begins reading the text you selected—in your chosen accent, if applicable.

Next, I want to talk to you about Emoji. You may already be familiar with Emoji without knowing its name. It’s a Japanese word that refers to a huge selection of tiny icons you can use anywhere you can type on your iPhone. And you don’t need a third-party app to use the fun little icons and symbols.

Go back into Settings, General, and this time tap on Keyboard. You’ll then tap to add a new keyboard, and select the Emoji option. That’s it.

Now, load up an app where you can type. If you look at the bottom left, there’s a new globe icon. You can tap and hold on that button to reveal a list of all your chosen keyboards, or just tap on it to cycle to the next keyboard in your list. Since I have just two keyboards—English and Emoji—I can just tap the button to flip between the two.

I can scroll through all these different goofy symbols, and tap the ones I want to type. There are plenty. The leftmost tab, with the clock icon, shows the characters you’ve typed most recently. You can use these symbols in tweets, iMessages, and emails—anywhere you can type. Some of your friends on Android or Windows devices might not see them successfully, though.

Here’s the most fun part of all: You can combine the two tips I just shared—you can get your iOS device to read aloud the often-comical names it uses for these symbols behind the scenes. Select your symbols, and then tap to get to the Speak button, tap that, and enjoy.

I’m Macworld senior writer Lex Friedman. Thanks for watching.

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