VoiceoverEasy.net courses are tutorials geared toward blind and visually impaired users of iPhones and iPads with Siri capability, and who use Apple Corporation's accessibility technology called Voiceover to read the screen of their device.

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Unit 4: Lesson 1, Email Setup.

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DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

For iOS7,8, and 9.

SECTION 1: Introduction.

One of the most common uses for your iOS Device is sending and receiving Email. Email is used by friends, businesses, and advertisers to keep you up to date with important information. At least THEY think it's important. Before Email just about everybody had a single street address or post office box. Now, it is not only possible, but likely that many people have multiple addresses where they receive email. Your iOS Device can manage multiple Email addresses, such as; one for personal use, one for work, and others for just about any purpose. In this lesson you will learn:

SECTION 2: Terms you Should Know.

2.1: SPAM.

The derivation of this term is hard to trace. It’s been around since the eighties . It may be an acronym for Stupid, Pointless, annoying Messages, but the term has become a ubiquitous term for any unsolicited or bulk email.

2.2: Email or Conversation Thread.

When one email generates replies, and the replies generate more replies, the whole thing is called a Thread. For example Sue emails Bob to ask if he would like to meet for lunch. Bob replies with Yes. Sue says, "OK. Where?" Bob says, "Rome!" This is a four message thread.

2.3: Signature Block.

This is customizable standard text that an Email program inserts at the end of every message you send. A signature block may contain the same type of signature you would put at the bottom of a handwritten letter ,a funny or meaningful quote, advertisement, legal notice, or anything else that seems appropriate to the sender.

NOTE: If the Insertion Point is at the End of Field position and you add text, you will be adding text AFTER the signature block. This is probably not what you intended. So be careful to check the position of the insertion point before beginning to add text to a message.

2.4: Service Provider.

A service provider is a company that runs the servers where you receive and send mail. Some of the most common of these are Google's Gmail.com addresses, Apple's iCloud.com addresses, and Microsoft's MSN.com addresses. Others include Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, and so on.

2.5: Attachments.

An attachment is a file that can be included when an email message is sent. Attachments can be audio files, pictures, video clips, word processor documents, spreadsheets, and just about anything else. Attachments from untrusted sources can be unsafe, and it is very easy to spoof from addresses on the internet. So even if the message appears to be from someone you know, it's a good idea to verify with them that they sent you an attachment. This is especially true if the attachment or message seems out of character for that individual.

Antivirus software is essential to run on computers to protect yourself from malicious attachments or email messages. Also, you should note that some service providers block certain file types from being included as attachments to protect their clients.

SECTION 3: Setting Email and Other Sounds.

Your iOS Device uses ringtones and alert sounds to let you know when certain events take place. Two of these events are when a new email message is received, and when an email you compose is actually sent. In most cases the latter happens almost immediately after you hit Send, but it's nice to hear the confirmation sound. If you don’t like the default sounds, you can change them from within the Settings Menu.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

3.1: TheSound Selection Screen.

The screen for selecting sounds has an Action Row at the top. When the screen is activated, There is a heading which Voiceover reads as New Mail, or Send Mail, to indicate the type of sound you are selecting, and to indicate the Current Item. Use the Next Item gesture to move to the Sound Volume Picker Item.

The Sound Volume Picker Item.

This Picker Item allows you to adjust the overall volume of your iOS Device in 10% increments. You make the adjustments useing the Increment and Decrement gestures. Be careful not to turn your volume down to zero. If you do, you won't be abale to hear Voiceover.

Change With Buttons.

This button toggles the ability of the volume Up and Down buttons on the side of the iOS Device to affect the volume of the Ringers and Alerts.

The Sound Selection Screen.

Explore a little further down and you will find a heading which reads as, Default. Below this is a button which Voiceover reads as, "Selected," followed by the name of the sound that is played by default for an incoming or outgoing message. If you Activate this button, you will hear the default sound. However, if you want to change the devault sound, it must be done from the Settings App.

The Sounds List.

The list of available sounds begins immediately below the Action Row. The list is divided into two sections, ring tones and Alerts. If you dial the rotor to the Headings function, you can move quickly between the two sections with a Set Mode gesture. You can set any sound from either section as a New Mail, or Send Mail, sound as follows:.

  1. Make one of the sound buttons the Current Item.
  2. Use the Select gesture to select the sound and play it.

At the end of the ring tones and the Alerts sections there are "Classic" buttons. They open other screens with even more sounds. There's some good stuff here, so don't forget to check it out.

Use the "Sounds, Back" button at the upper left to return to the previous Screen.

NOTE: When you press the "Sounds, Back" button, the last sound you played will be the sound set for the New Mail, or Send Mail, sound. If you decide you liked the previous setting best, be sure and select the sound again before exiting the Sound Selection Screen.

3.2: The Select Gestures.

The Select gestures are the same as the activate gestures, a Single Finger Double Tap, or the Split Tap. The difference is that it simply selects an item as the Current Item, but doesn’t actually activate it. For example, when you select an item in the Item Chooser, you will be returned to the previous screen with the item you selected as the Current Item. VoiceOver announces the new Current Item.

The Select gestures are also used in lists where you can select multiple items. For example, you might select multiple email messages in a list and then move them all at once to another mailbox.

SECTION 4: Finding the Mail Setup Screen.

In order to set up mail on your iOS Device, you must activate the Settings app from the Home Screen and find the "Mail, Contacts and Calendars" option. When the list of Settings options appears, you can scroll down the list with the Read Top Down gesture or move through the list of items one at a time with the Next Item gesture. Since the items in the Settings screen are in a somewhat random order, let’s alphabetize them with the Item Chooser to make it easy to find what we’re looking for.

  1. With the Settings app activated, use the Item Chooser gesture.
  2. VoiceOver says, "Item Chooser," followed by the number of items in the list. It then says, "Search Field."
  3. You could use the Explore or Next Item gestures to find the "Mail, Contacts and Calendars" option, or we could activate the search field.

4.1: Filtering Lists with Search Fields.

Even though the list of settings options is now alphabetized, it's still a long list. However, you can use the Search Field at the top of the Item Chooser to filter the list. Filtering is a technique to shorten long lists of things to make an item easier to find. Let's see if we can shrink the list presented by the Item Chooser, and make the "Send Mail" and "New Mail" buttons easier to find.

  1. Activate the search field. VoiceOver says, "Search Field," followed by "Is Editing," which means that the characters you type will e entered into that field.
  2. Type the letters "M", and "a", and press Search at the bottom right of the keyboard. VoiceOver will say, "Item Chooser, 2 items, Is Editing," but if you get a different number of items, don’t worry. The item Chooser is now only displaying items with the letters M and A together.
  3. Note: the "M" and "A" don’t have to be at the beginning of the item name. If you had a Setting option for a game called “Mission to Mars, that would appear as well.

  4. Now explore or use the Next Item gesture to find the "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars" option in the Item Chooser.
  5. Use a Select gesture. You will be returned to the Settings main screen and "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars" will be the Current Item.
  6. Activate this item.

SECTION 5: The Mail, Contacts and Calendars Setup Screen.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

5.1: Email Accounts

Some people have more than one email address. For example you could be jSmith1@Gmail.com, JoeSmith@icloud.com, TallBoy12@hotmail.com, and GrizzlyBear3@nature.org. Your iOS Device can manage more than one address at a time. Each address is considered to be an account. You must set up each account separately using the Mail, Contacts and Calendars section of the Settings Screen using these steps.

  1. Find the "Add Account" button and activate it.
  2. Explore the screen. Apple has provided quick setup buttons for six of the most common email providers. If you don’t have one of these providers, you need to use the "Other" button.

5.2: Setting up a New Account.

Let’s try setting up a new Yahoo account just to get the feel for how this is done.

  1. Find and Activate the "Yahoo Account" button.
  2. Explore the screen. There is a Cancel button, a Next Button, and four text fields.
  3. The first text field is labeled Name. ignore the sample text, John Appleseed," which VoiceOver reads. Just enter your full name here For example, “Robin Smith."
  4. your Email address is the full email address, for example, Robin.Smith100@Yahoo.com.
  5. The Password Field is next. Here you would enter the password you created when you set up this email address.
  6. The Description field is an optional field that contains text describing your account. The sample text is fine.
  7. If you are setting up a real account, you would press the Next button. Otherwise just press Cancel. These buttons are located above the options just below the Status Bar.

5.3: Setting Up Accounts from Other Providers.

If your email account provider is not listed, you must use the "Other" button and then the "Add Email Account" button. You will need additional information from your service provider such as the name of the "Incoming (POP3)" server, and the "outgoing, (SMTP)" server. You will also need to know how their servers authenticate. You can usually find this information on the support documentation part of their web site, or by calling their technical support number. If you haven’t done so yet, please back up to the main setup screen for "Mail, Contacts, and Calendars."

5.4: Fetch New Data.

Sets the manner and time interval that your iOS Device uses to Check your accounts for new email. Activate this button and have a look.

The "Push" button allows email providers that support this feature to push Email to your device as soon as it arrives. Use an Activate gesture to toggle this setting. If this setting is ON, it uses your battery faster. So leave this setting OFF, unless you really need to get email right away!

Next you will see one button for each of your mail accounts. VoiceOver will say the name of the account provider such as Gmail or iCloud, and then say either "Fetch" or "manual." Use an Activate gesture to toggle between Fetch and Manual mode.

If Fetch is selected, then your iOS Device will fetch mail from your provider's server every 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or every hour depending on the selection under the Fetch heading. This will happen whether you have the mail app running or not.

If Manual is selected, then mail for that account will only be checked for while the mail app is actually running.

A heading labeled "Fetch" is below these buttons. Whatever setting you select from the menu below this heading will apply to all accounts set to Fetch.

The next button on the Fetch New Data Screen is labeled "Holiday Calendar," which we will disregard for now. When you are finished setting the retrieve type and interval for all your accounts, use the Back button at the upper left of the screen to return to the "Mail, contacts and Calendars" main setup screen.

5.5: Preview.

This function sets the number of lines of an email message displayed in the inbox. You can set the number from None to 5. For security reasons which we’ll discuss in a later lesson, it’s best to leave this off. It also can be easy to become confused as to whether you are in the Inbox or the Message screen with preview on.

5.6: Show To/Cc Label, Swipe Options, and Flag Style.

The "Show To/Cc label" button and the "Flag Style" button both change the look of the display. So we will skip these for now.

The settings of the Swipe Options button control what your iOS Device does when you flick left or right in the Inbox. These settings will have no effect while VoiceOver is on, because VoiceOver uses the single finger flick left and single finger flick right motions for the Next and Previous Item gestures. So we will skip this button as well.

5.7: Ask Before Deleting.

If this is set to ON, you will receive an alert to confirm before a message is deleted.

5.8: Load Remote Images.

Mail messages can contain pictures. If you don’t need to see the images, turn this off to make your mail download faster.

5.9: Organize by Thread.

When this is OFF, messages are listed in the inbox in the order they arrived. Otherwise, messages from the same thread are grouped together.

5.10: Always BCc Myself.

This sends you a copy of everything you send out, but none of the other recipients will know you sent yourself a copy. However, You already have a copy of everything you sent in your "Sent items" folder. There’s not much advantage in doing this unless you want to double check that the message did actually get delivered to at least one recipient.

5.11: Increase Quote Level.

When this is ON, and you respond to or forward an email message, the original message is placed at the bottom of your message and indented slightly. This makes it easy to visually identify the forwarded part of the text. If you keep this off, then the left margin of the text of the forwarded message will not be indented and will line up with whatever you type.

5.12: Signature

This opens a screen where you can create a signature block to appear at the bottom of every email. First you are given the choice to make the signature active for all your mail accounts, or to set individual signatures for each account. VoiceOver mispronounces per account as pare account. Once you’ve selected the option you want, go to the Text Field below and Activate it. Remove the “Sent from my iOS Device text that’s already there and add your own text.

Note: You can leave this field blank for no signature at all.

5.13: Default Account.

If you have multiple email accounts being managed on your device, The email address of the account you select here will appear in the From address of any mail you send, unless you override it.

5.14: Mark Addresses.

This setting was introduced in iOS 8. It opens a screen with a Text Field where you can enter the domains where you think it's "safe" to send Email. The domain is the part of the email address after the At Sign. For example; VoiceOver-Easy.net, Gmail.com, MySchool.edu, and so on. If you attempt to send email to an address outside these domains, then the address will appear in Red in the Address Field. However, VoiceOver gives no audible indication that the address is in red.

SECTION 6: Archiving or Deleting Messages.

By default your iOS Device is set up to move messages to an archive folder instead of the Trash folder. If you want messages to be deleted instead of archived, there is a setting to do this. It's a little tricky to get to, and if you manage multiple accounts with your iOS Device, then you will have to set this for each account.

  1. Open the Settings App and go to the Mail, Contacts and Calendars Screen as you did in Section 4 above. Under the "Accounts" heading you will find a button for each account your iOS Device manages.
  2. Activate the button for the account, or account type you want to modify. Account types include Microsoft Exchange, Google, Yahoo, AOL, or Microsoft Outlook.
  3. If you chose one of the account types from the previous step, you could have multiple accounts under that type. Even if you have only one, you must use the Explore gesture or the Next Item gesture to find the button labeled "accounts," followed by the email address whose setting you want to change. Go slowly and let VoiceOver say its entire announcements. If you don't, the button is easy to miss.
  4. NOTE: If you are setting this up on your email address at iCloud.com, the button will have the name of the email account you used when you set up your Apple ID instead of your iCloud email address. Activate this button and Explore down the screen until you find the "Advanced" heading. The button immediately below this heading says, "Mail," followed by your iCloud email address. Activate this button and continue with the steps below.

  5. Activate the "Advanced" button at the bottom of the new screen.
  6. Use the Next Item gesture to find the heading called "Move discarded messages into."
  7. Use the Next Item gesture one more time. VoiceOver will announce "Deleted Mailbox."
  8. Use the Select gesture to set this option.
  9. Use the "Back" buttons to work your way out of this screen.

SECTION 7:Downloading Email through WiFi.

A WiFi or Wireless network is most commonly found in homes, public areas like college campuses and airports, and businesses like hotels and coffee shops. They are generally localized to a small area such as a building, home, or public common area. WiFi networks can be public access or secured. Secured networks require a password before they can be joined.

Data downloaded or transferred between an iOS device using a WiFi connection does not incur charges from cellular carriers, nor does it count toward your plan limits. Data transfers are usually faster over WiFi than over cellular networks as well. Wherever possible it is best to connect to the internet over a secured WiFi network rather than through the cellular network. Secured WiFi networks require a password before you can join them, and all data transmissions to and from your iOS Device are encrypted. This makes them more difficult to read when intercepted. Connecting to an unsecured or public WiFi network is more risky. Your transmissions are not encrypted, and you never really know who else is on that network or what they are doing.

If you are already connected to a WiFi network, it will be indicated in the Status Bar.

Your iOS Device can download email through your cellular service or through WiFi. If you have a WiFi network available, it's best to set it up now. Email messages can be quite large, and can chew up your data plan quickly. Your iOS Device will still use cellular if WiFi isn't available, but the WIFi networks you've allowed it to join will always be used first when they are within range. To access the WiFi setup options, follow these steps.

  1. Use one of the techniques discussed at the beginning of Section 3 to launch the Settings App.
  2. Use the Explore or Next Item gestures to find the WiFi options button. It's the second one in the setup options, right below Airplane Mode. VoiceOver will read the button as "WiFi" followed by: "off," if WiFi services are turned off, "not connected," if the service is on, but not connected to any network, or by the name of the WiFi network you are already connected to.
  3. NOTE: You may notice that while reading this lesson, your screen reader says, "WiFi," but VoiceOver says, "wee Fee," when it reads the button title. This is because WiFi can be written two ways. Some people separate the two syllables with a hyphen. This is how the button in the settings app appears. When the dash is inserted in the word, screen readers mispronounce it as "wee fee.".

  4. Press the WiFi button. The WiFi options screen appears.

7.1: The WiFi Options Screen.

At the top of this screen is an Action Row with a Back button, and a heading which VoiceOver pronounces as "WiFi."

If you are already connected to a WIFi network, then below the action row is a label that contains the network name and signal strengtht. To the right of that is a more info button. Ignore them for now.

If you Explore down the screen, you will find a heading that says, "Choose a Network," followed by a list of networks within range. Connecting to a WiFi network is called Joining. To join a WiFi network, follow these steps.

  1. Slowly explore down the list. VoiceOver will read the Network name, tell you if it is secured with a password, and tell you the network's signal strength.
  2. When you find the network you want, use an Activate gesture.
  3. If you are prompted to enter a password, enter it using the keyboard. Remember that passwords are case sensitive, which means upper and lower case letters matter.
  4. When you are done entering the password, press the "Join" button. It may take a few seconds, but your iOS Device should join the network. The Status bar will indicate that you are now on the WIFi network you selected.
  5. Press the "Back" button to exit the WiFi options screen.

Your iOS Device is pretty good at automatically configuring itself to work correctly with most networks. However, sometimes it may need some help. If your device is unable to join the network you want, you may need to track down that network's administrator for assistance with the advanced configuration settings.

7.2: The "Other" Option.

At the bottom of the list of wireless networks there is a button called "Other," but VoiceOver doesn't tell you this is a button. As an added security measure some WiFi networks do not broadcast their network names. They are still out there, but they don't appear in the list of available networks. If you know that network's secret name, you can press the "Other" button and enter it. You will probably require a password as well. Once you've correctly entered these two pieces of information, your iOS Device can join the hidden network.

SECTION 8: New Gesture Review.

Table of New Gestures.
Gesture. Action. Function.
Select. Single Finger Double Tap, or Split Tap. This is a context sensitive version of an Activate gestures. From the Item Chooser, selects an item and returns you to the previous screen with that item as the current Item. From a multiple Selection List, toggles an item between selected and unselected.

SECTION 9: Exercises.

  1. When working with the Mail app, how many Email addresses Are associated with one account?
  2. Go to the Settings Main Screen. Use the search function of the Item chooser to find all items with the letter s followed by the letter o in their names. Activate the appropriate item and change the sound your device plays when new email is received.
  3. What are the steps to get from the Home Screen to the screen to set up a new Mail account?
  4. Try setting message preview to “none." .
  5. What is a signature, and how can you replace Apples default signature for all accounts?

Click here for answers to Email Lesson 1, Mail Setup.

Congratulations. In this lesson you learned how to set up email and use your iOS Device to access your email accounts. In the next lessons we'll take the mail app for a spin.

Before you go on to the next lesson, would you like to take the optional survey for this lesson?

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