There’s a really cool post over at Macworld UK today that is being passed around, tweeted, and shared. It shows you what looks to be a hidden feature in iBooks, but unfortunately it is not nearly as cool as that post makes it sound.
Mark Hattersley is telling everyone that you can use Siri to turn your iBooks into audiobooks:
Even though the ability to use Siri to turn eBooks into audiobooks is a fantastic feature, it’s not a stock part of iOS and requires a little bit of fiddling with the Settings and this nifty scrolling trick that we’ll show you here.
Cool, yes, but his trick doesn’t do what he claims.
Specifically, his trick doesn’t actually turn an ebook into an audiobook. All that Mark has figured out is how to select a large piece of text and then have Siri read that piece of text to you.
Wow. Gosh gollee gee.
The catch is that it only works with the text you selected (a detail that is not at all clear in Mark’s post).
When I tried this trick and Siri didn’t continue to read the rest of the ebook, I was confused. Eventually I figured out that Siri would only read the selected text and no more. That means that if you want Siri to read the entire ebook then you will first have to select the entire text of the ebook.
Don’t you hate it when bloggers incorrectly describe tricks like this? I do; the let down is so disappointing.
Update: Baldur Bjarnson has pointed out in the comments that there is another way to get Siri to read your ebooks to you, and it can be done from inside the ebook:
Just set your iPad/iPhone to turn VoiceOver on when you triple click the home button. That way when you want your iPad to read a book to you, just go to iBooks, open the book, triple click your home button, tap a line in the book, swipe down with two fingers and VoiceOver will take care of the rest. It’ll read the entire thing to the end if you let it.