A virtually unknown iOS VoiceOver feature, automatically announcing the time every minute

As an iOS VoiceOver user, several years ago I discovered that if I touched the clock status bar item VoiceOver would continue to automatically announce the time until interrupted by touch or certain incoming notifications. I can’t remember exactly when this became a feature, but it was more than 3 years ago, and I’ve never heard anyone else mention it nor have I seen it documented anywhere; so I thought I’d share it, as I can imagine it being helpful to many others.

This time announcement feature is very useful to me, especially when I’m in a hurry, and need to get ready for something quickly. I even use it occasionally with my Anker Soundcore Bluetooth speaker in the shower; time can really accelerate there. Time announcements are also available on macOS in the Date & Time Preference Pane, near the bottom of the clock tab. Though not customizable to the exact minute; 15, 30, and 60 minutes are optional. I could also see this useful on the Apple watch, though it’s not there yet.

3 thoughts on “A virtually unknown iOS VoiceOver feature, automatically announcing the time every minute

  1. Hi, I’ve notice this before on my iPhone, but thought it was an accidental thing. (Handy for when your watch isn’t working for some reason, as happened my Braille watch recently!) The Weather app also does it when opened and in focus, although not every minute.) – Flor Lynch, County Cork, Ireland.


  2. Kevin, I’m enjoying reading your blog. Regarding this feature, I actually wish that this capability extended to other items on the status line which can frequently change. As an example, once I place focus on the icon which identifies the network to which I’m connected, there are times when I’d like to hear the changes in the signal strength as I move toward or away from it. It might also be nice to have the option of receiving instant feedback when focus is placed on the battery indicator, to get a sense of how much a specific app might be draining your battery.

    Liked by 1 person

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