Join me in this QuickTips guide where I delve into the world of accessibility on iPhones. In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the seamless process of setting up and harnessing the power of “Personal Voice” on your iPhone, running the latest iOS 17. From using live speech to dynamic text-to-speech capabilities, I’ve got you covered. This feature isn’t just handy for those with voice loss; it’s a game-changer for anyone seeking a personalised interaction with their device.
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One of the new Accessibility updates on iPhone is called Personal Voice and whilst it’s not for everyone, it’s incredibly powerful for people that perhaps have a condition where their voice is going to degenerate over time.
Personal Voice can be found under Settings and then Accessibility, and then when you scroll down to Speech the new Personal Voice option is there.
The way it works is that you’re teaching your iPhone how you sound by reading out a variety of different phrases and sentences.
Your iPhone will then go away and it will take all of that speech data and it will synthesise a new voice, a little bit like a Siri voice, but using the data you’ve given it rather than Siri’s data.
The actual process of recording your voice does take a little bit of time (around about 15 minutes) and you need to be in a quiet, relaxed environment – so you can’t be a bit too noisy or out and about.
When you’re ready the process will guide you through these steps and it will do a quick check of the background sound as well by asking you to record a phrase like this:
[Jacob] “I’m creating a Personal Voice with my iPhone”
You can see at the bottom that sound is being recorded and as long as your background is quiet enough it will progress automatically onto the next step for you.
At this point the process will begin properly, and it’s worth noting that you can stop this at any time and come back to it and it will save your progress.
But essentially you’re going to read these 150 different sentences and phrases in your natural speaking voice.
[Jacob] “About half of the people live in the state’s metro area”
I’m not going to make you listen to all 150 of these, so we’ll whiz along a little bit like this.
But what’s going to happen is the iPhone will learn your voice and it will learn the mannerisms you use when you speak and at the end of that process your phone has to go away and do a bit of thinking.
In fact for me it took about 24 hours, so quite a long time!
Now that thinking will only happen when your phone is locked AND on charge, so if you want to speed the process along you can leave it in the dock, perhaps on charge all day.
But I found for me overnight worked best and in the morning I had a little notification that said your Personal Voice is ready.
So if I jump back into Settings now and go back to Accessibility and then Personal Voice you can see there now it’s got my Personal Voice set up.
If we go back a screen and then choose Live Speech we can then start using that voice.
All I’m going to do when I turn that toggle on is press the Lock Button three times and I can then type in the message that I want my new Personal Voice to read for me just like this:
[Siri Personal Voice] “Hello this is my new personal voice”
Now it’s not perfect by any means, but for someone who perhaps might be in danger of losing their voice this could be a real lifeline for them.
[Siri Personal Voice] “It sounds quite good although not quite like the real thing”
Let’s try one more…
[Siri Personal Voice] “Still, a great new feature to have in iOS 17”
Yeah, it does definitely sound like me there’s no denying that!