I am trying to help someone with disabilities to turn pages in e.g. iBooks on the iPad. All I need for this is a single button, possibly one that iOS can interpret as an accessibility switch.

I have looked at bluetooth switches that are made for this purpose, but it always seems like I have to purchase at least two devices (that amount to the equivalent of about USD 200) even in this simple use case. We're not aiming to control the whole OS, just to turn pages.

Is there no way to just use $10 earphone controls as a switch instead? Jailbreak or not.

Or can pages be turned in iBooks with a paired Bluetooth keyboard? That would be great.

  • 1
    Try holding down the command button while in iBooks; if a dialog pops up there are shortcuts, otherwise nope.
    – owlswipe
    Aug 7, 2016 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


I found out the hard way (went to a store) that you can use arrow keys on a Bluetooth keyboard to change pages in ePubs, but not in PDFs. At least in iBooks.

The problem now is that it doesn't work in apps that can read Adobe copy protected ePubs.

  • Could you please explain how you can use the arrow keys? I've tried everything with my bluetooth keyboard, and can't get this to work. iBooks with iOS 7.1. Thanks!
    – user199000
    Aug 27, 2016 at 22:32
  • I have tried it on iOS 9 — iBooks is bundled with iOS. IOS 7.1 is over two years old which is a very long time in software. I can only recommend an update.
    – Andreas
    Aug 27, 2016 at 22:59

The e-reader app Marvin has a feature that let you turn pages using the arrow keys on a Bluetooth keyboard :)

  • 3
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