One of the things I’ve always wanted to do in my car (as I drive to and fro taking my kids to and from school, music lessons, and soccer practice) is to read my emails and text messages. But taking your eyes off the road is bad, mmmkay?
You can always turn on VoiceOver before you get in the car to read your screen to you, but it involves a whole lot of tapping and different gestures, so it’s kind of impractical to use on a non-regular basis.
Luckily, in iOS 7, you can now get Siri to read your email and your iMessages to you with a simple spoken command.
To read email, click and hold the Home key to enable Apple’s personal assistant, and then say, “read my email.” Siri will then ask you to unlock your iPhone if it’s protected with a passcode, and will then pull up the email in your Mail app and read it to you. Siri will tell you who the email is from, who it is to, and tell you the date it was received. Siri will then read the whole email, including any numbers or web addresses, which can get annoying, but hey–this is the future people.
Siri will then ask if you want to reply, and you can say “yes” or “no.” If you say yes, Siri will take your dictation and allow you to send an email reply.
The same thing goes for iMessages. Say, “read iMessages,” and Siri will read the latest one to you, and ask if you’d like to reply. You can do so, and then verbally get her to send it.
This is great technology, but I sure would love to see this functionality built into all the apps I use on my iPhone, like Twitter or Facebook. Being able to use the iPhone hands-free on demand is a much better interface for me than VoiceOver.