Introduction to VoiceOver for iOS – Lesson 2 Unlocking your phone with VoiceOver


In this video I will cover the following:-

  • How to unlock your phone
    • Using Face ID
    • Passcode
    • Using Touch ID

How to Unlock your Phone

Face ID

FaceID recognizes your face enabling you to unlock your phone simply by lifting it and holding it in front of your face. In its default mode, Face ID will only unlock your phone if your eyes are open and you are looking at it. This prevents someone from unlocking your phone by simply holding it up in front of your face. If you can’t look at the camera, you will need to turn this feature off. You can do this by switching Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Require Attention for Face ID off. You can also turn off other attention aware feature by choosing Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Attention Aware Features

To unlock your phone:-

  1. Picking your phone up will cause it to wake, VoiceOver announces the current time. Or press the sleep/wake button.
  2. If your phone successfully unlocks, you will hear a clinking noise, and your phone will vibrate. Face ID may not work the first time; if so, your phone will vibrate, and VoiceOver will say “try again”. Try repositioning your phone. Face ID will try several times to recognise you. If Face ID can’t recognise you, you will be asked to enter your passcode.
  3. To go to the home screen, Place one finger on the bottom edge of the screen and then slide it upwards until you hear a tone or feel the phone vibrate, then lift your finger off the screen. VoiceOver will announce the first item on your home screen.

Troubleshooting Face ID

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed
  2. Check your phone settings by going to Settings > Face ID and Passcode to check that Face ID is set up and that iPhone Unlock is switched on.
  3. The cameras for Face ID (known as the true depth cameras) are located at either side of the speaker on the front of the screen. Make sure that these are clean and not obstructed.
  4. Face ID only works when the phone is in portrait orientation.
  5. Make sure that your face is uncovered. Face ID can work with most sunglasses; some may block the infrared light that the camera uses to recognise your face.
  6. Restart your device, enter your passcode and then try using Face ID again.
  7. Try setting up an alternative appearance in Face ID.

Using the Passcode

When you need to use the passcode

Even if you have either Touch ID or Face ID enabled on your phone, there will still be instances where you need to enter the passcode. These include:-

  • You have restarted your device, or it has been updated.
  • Face ID or Touch ID has been unable to recognise you three times in a row.
  • You have not unlocked your device in 48 hours.
  • You have not unlocked your phone using the passcode in the past 6.5 days.
  • Your phone has received a remote lock command.
  • You’re trying to use Face/Touch ID & Passcode in the settings menu.
  • You have used the emergency SOS feature.

Using the Keyboard to enter the passcode

Passcodes can consist of entire numbers or be a mixture of letters and numbers. Depending on your passcode, Your device will display a numeric or QWERTY keyboard.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen with one finger to unlock your phone; VoiceOver will ask you to ”Enter Passcode.”
  2. Use your finger to move around the keyboard. VoiceOver will announce the character under your finger.
  3. Once you find the character, double-tap anywhere on the screen with one finger to type the character., if you make a mistake while entering the passcode, you can press the delete key on the QWERTY layout next to the letter M or beneath the number 9 on the numeric layout.
  4. If your passcode is a combination of letters and numbers, you will need to press the DONE button once you have finished entering your passcode. If you have a numeric passcode, the device will unlock once you have entered the number.
  5. If you enter the passcode incorrectly, your device will vibrate, and VoiceOver will say ”Wrong Passcode.

Note: If you repeatedly enter the wrong passcode more than 5 times your phone will be locked and you won’t be able to retry entering your passcode until a certain amount of time has elapsed. If you enter the wrong passcode 10 times your phone will either be permanently locked, requiring you to connect it to your computer to reset it or all the data will be wiped off it.

Using Handwriting to enter the passcode

When you enter your passcode using the keyboard, VoiceOver announces the characters as you select them. To enter the passcode silently, you can use the handwriting mode:-

  1. When VoiceOver says ”Enter Passcode”, use the rotor gesture until VoiceOver says ”Handwriting Lowercase”.
  2. Draw the letters/numbers on the screen; VoiceOver will not announce the letter you have drawn but will announce if it does not recognise the letter. Swipe up or down with three fingers to switch between lowercase, uppercase and numbers. Note: to perform the Rotor gesture – place your thumb and index finger on the screen, about an inch apart. Then rotate them as if you are turning a dial. As you rotate your fingers, VoiceOver will read out each option. To select an option, lift your fingers.
  3. When you have finished using handwriting, use the scrub gesture to exit (draw a letter Z with two fingers). You can then press DONE on the keyboard.

Using Touch ID

Touch ID is available on models on the iPhone that have a home button. It uses your fingerprint as a method of verifying your identity and unlocking your phone.

To unlock your phone:-

  1. Place your finger on the home button. You will hear a clinking noise that tells you your phone is now unlocked.
  2. Press the home button to go to the home screen.

Troubleshooting Touch ID

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of iOS installed.
  2. Make sure that your finger is clean and dry.
  3. Make sure that there is no debris on the Touch ID sensor.
  4. Your finger should cover the Touch ID sensor completely.
  5. Keep your finger still while Touch ID is scanning.
  6. If your phone has a screen protector, ensure that the screen protector is not covering the Touch ID sensor.
  7. Goto Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and ensure that and check that iPhone Unlock is switched on.
  8. Ensure that you have enrolled at least one fingerprint. You can enrol more than one.
  9. Try using a different finger.