How To Use Google Docs On Iphone And Ipad With Screen Readers And Braille Devices

Published August 1, 2023

Accessibility has always been one of the unique selling points of Apple devices. In addition to having a wide range of built-in accessibility features, iPhones and iPads are also compatible with assistive devices like screen readers and Braille devices. This short guide will explain how to use Google Docs on iPhones and iPads with screen readers and Braille devices. 

Using Google Docs on iPhone or iPad with VoiceOver

VoiceOver is a gesture-based tool that tells you what is on your iPhone or iPad screen. When you touch or drag your finger over the screen, it describes the app or item that your finger is on. It also provides you with other information like battery level, calls, text messages, notifications, and so on. 

To turn on the VoiceOver feature, activate Siri and say, “Turn on VoiceOver.” Alternatively, go to “Settings,” select “Accessibility,” select “VoiceOver,” and turn it on. 

If you have set up Accessibility Shortcut on your device, you can turn on the VoiceOver feature by triple-clicking the side button or home button on your device, depending on the model you use.

Once the VoiceOver feature is enabled, you can access and navigate through the documents using the following gestures. 

  • Tap or touch to select an item.
  • Double-tap to activate a selected item. Alternatively, touch and hold an item with one finger to select it and tap the screen with another finger to activate it.
  • Swipe left to select the previous item.
  • Swipe right to select the next item.
  • Swipe up using two fingers to speak the contents on the screen from the top.
  • Swipe down using two fingers to speak the contents on the screen from the selected item.
  • Swipe right using two fingers to move into a group of items.
  • Swipe left using two fingers to move out of a group of items.
  • Two-finger tap to pause speaking as well as to continue speaking.
  • Two-finger double-tap to start as well as stop an action.
  • Two-finger double-tap and hold to edit an item”s label.
  • Four-finger tap at the top of the screen to select the first item on the screen.
  • Four-finger tap at the bottom of the screen to select the last item on the screen. 
  • Swipe up using three fingers to scroll down one page.
  • Swipe down using three fingers to scroll up one page.
  • Swipe right using three fingers to scroll one page to the left.
  • Swipe left using three fingers to scroll one page to the right.
  • Double-tap using three fingers to mute or unmute the VoiceOver feature.
  • Triple-tap using three fingers to turn on or turn off the screen curtain. 
  • Quadruple-tap using two fingers to open the VoiceOver quick settings. 

Using the rotor to navigate and edit documents

To hear the options for navigating through documents and editing documents, rotate two fingers. You can then swipe up and down or double-tap – depending on the option you choose. 

Selecting and acting on text 

Go to “More options” and choose “Selection control.” Then choose what you want to do from the available options, which include “Select,” “Select All,” “Copy,” “Cut,” “Paste,” “Comment,” and more.

If you have a keyboard attached to your iPhone or iPad, you can navigate through the Google Docs app using keyboard shortcuts.

Using Google Docs on iPhone or iPad with a braille device

The Google Docs mobile app for iPhones and iPads is fully compatible with Braille devices. You do not have to change any of the default settings to access your documents using a Braille device. 

The bottom line

Apple devices – iPhones and iPads in particular – have a wide range of accessibility features designed to enhance the user experience for people with disabilities. Once you learn how to set up, adjust, and use the features, you can efficiently navigate the Google Docs app and create, edit, and share word documents, spreadsheets, slides, and drawings.


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