VoiceOver Gestures for mobile web

World has almost transformed from desktop to mobile. It includes the use of web on mobile for applications such as games, chat apps, social networking, browse websites etc.

In parallel to increase in usage of web on mobile, tremendous increase in assistive technologies on mobiles also increased. While screen readers such as JAWS from Freedom scientific and NVDA from NV Access play a vital role in desktop, VoiceOver is a great invention for IOS devices. People used to think use of a touch screen is next to impossible for people with visual challenges. For those VoiceOver on IOS devices is a solid answer.

Below are some tips to use a web page on Safari for IOS.

Swipe or Flick from left to write

When you swipe or flick from left to right using a single finger voiceover reads the next element on the page. This gesture is equivalent to down-arrow key with JAWS or NVDA.

Swipe or Flick from right to left

Swiping from right to left is inverse to swipe left to right. This is also a single finger gesture. The gesture reads the previous element on the page. Hitting uparrow key does the equivalent task with JAWS or NVDA on desktop.

Double tap with Single finger

While navigating from one element to another on a web page and if you want to activate any element such as link, button, checkbox etc double tap it. An alternate for this would be swipe or flick with one finger and when you hear the required element tap with any another finger anywhere on the screen. The equivalent task on desktop can be performed using hitting enter key while JAWS or NVDA are active.

Two finger flick up:

Reads the entire page from top to bottom. Voiceover reads content of the page from top to bottom unless interrupted. To interrupt the flow in between (stop) double tap with two fingers. The same task using JAWS and NVDA can be achieved by the following commands.
Press control+ Home to navigate to the top of the page.
Hit insert + down-arrow to read the content from top to bottom.

Two finger flick down

Reads the content from the current position to the bottom of the page. Equivalent of the task on desktop can be accomplished by insert + down-arrow using JAWS or NVDA.

Single finger flick down

This gesture is not a direct option. First voiceover rotor should be set to any of the web elements. Read VoiceOver and Rotor to understand the usage of rotor in detail. For example if the rotor is set to headings, single finger flick down reads the next heading in the page. This functionality is similar to using “H” to jump from one heading to another with JAWS or NVDA.

Single finger flick up

This gesture is also a combination with rotor functionality. Single finger flick up navigates to the previous web element to which the rotor is set. Considering the same above headings example single finger flick up navigates to previous heading.

Z gesture

Using two finger Z gesture i.e. scrub with two fingers in a z symbol takes to previous screen. This gesture is equivalent to alt + left arrow key on desktop.

Three finger flick up

Scrolls down one page. The visual focus will be navigated to the next page.

Three finger flick down

Reverse action to three finger flick up. Takes the focus to previous page.

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