The Accessibility Bugs in iOS 10 for Blind and Low Vision Users, From Serious To Minor

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Detailed in this post are possible accessibility-related bugs that members of the AppleVis Editorial Team have identified during their testing of iOS 10.

As is now our routine practice, the bugs have been grouped based upon what we believe to be there likely level of impact to the user experience to those affected by each bug. At the time of writing, we have only identified one bug which we believe to be serious—an issue which relates to using iOS 10’s Mail app with a braille display.

If you haven’t already updated your device to iOS 10, we strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before doing so—as this will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to install iOS 10 at this time.

As we always stress in these posts, we can make no claims on the completeness and accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. Also, some of the bugs listed below have not been encountered by all members of the Team. So, please bear in mind that it is entirely possible that problems listed here will not be present on all devices or in all use cases. It is also possible that, in some instances, we are simply mistaken—or that there are additional new bugs or regressions which we did not identify in our testing. Accordingly, we would really appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 10 —to confirm whether they are encountering the same problems (or have found workarounds), as well as to let us know of any additional issues that are not on this list. Of course, it’s even more important that you let Apple know of any additional bugs that you find (they already know about the ones currently listed in this post). This post explains why you should report bugs directly to Apple, as well as the best ways to do so.

With all of the disclaimers out of the way, here are the accessibility-related problems that we believe to be present in iOS 10:

Serious Bugs

  1. When using a braille display with the Mail app, after opening a message, at the beginning of each line of the email, the user will see who the message is from. This occurs in the header information as well as in the body of the message. When sorting by thread, each line also begins with the message number in the thread.

Moderate Bugs

  1. The behavior of VoiceOver focus can be inconsistent and unreliable when interacting with Lock Screen notifications. This has been most common when using the ’More’ option from the VoiceOver rotor. On occasions VoiceOver focus will not correctly switch to reflect the change in what is active on screen after using this Rotor option, and swiping produces inconsistent and confusing results. In some cases you may need to use a combination of direct touch; three-finger swiping up/down; and swiping left/right to correctly place VoiceOver focus on the expanded view of the notification and for swiping to behave as expected.
  2. When using the Messages app with VoiceOver and a Bluetooth keyboard, VoiceOver focus occasionally behaves inconsistently. This issue usually presents itself after one presses enter to send a message; when this bug does occur (which is not all of the time), VoiceOver focus usually lands several messages previous in the thread.
  3. If one has multiple Enhanced Quality voices installed, on occasion one or more of the voices may revert to the default variant and require a re-download. The team member who has experienced this issue reports that it has only occurred for them with the U.S. English Samantha voice, which was positioned as a secondary language in the Rotor.
  4. VoiceOver speech may stop or fade out while reading text inserted into a text field using Dictation. This issue appears to be limited to that particular use case, and swiping or touching the screen will bring back speech as normal.
  5. Using the VoiceOver rotor to navigate by Headings on the ‘For You’ tab of the native News App is inconsistent and unreliable.
  6. On occasions, you may not be able to locate by touch the Space key on the onscreen keyboard. When this happens, VoiceOver may report that you have ‘touched’ the Dictate key, but will still insert a space when you double-tap. However, this behavior does not appear to be consistent and is infrequent.
  7. VoiceOver does not announce the current selection status of the Love and Dislike buttons on the More menu located on the Mini Player of the native Music app.
  8. In some situations, the Enhanced quality Siri voices may not be available for use with VoiceOver. This bug has been very difficult to reproduce, and only one member of our team is currently experiencing it.
  9. In the native Home app that’s new in iOS 10, the list of people who have shared access to control accessories is read by VoiceOver as one item. As a result, you cannot access a specific user to view or edit their permissions.

Minor Bugs

  1. The 2 personalised music playlists new to Apple Music in iOS 10 are appearing on the For You tab as unlabelled buttons with no feedback for VoiceOver users on what they are (which is “My New Music Mix” and “My Favorites Mix”).
  2. If you paste text into the Search field of the App Store, the Search button itself will not become active until you have used the onscreen keyboard to make some further change to the text in the search field (such as simply adding a space).
  3. When swiping through a list of articles from one of your favourites in the native News app, VoiceOver will in some instances provide feedback which suggests that you are actually on the Main screen of the Favourites tab. When VoiceOver does announce these elements, they will not behave as expected when double-tapped.
  4. When editing the list of mailboxes/folders to be displayed in the native Mail App, VoiceOver does not announce their current selection status.
  5. The Delete option in the VoiceOver Rotor Actions menu does not work with tracks listed in the ‘Up Next’ section of the Mini Player in the native Music app. This should work, as sighted users can simply swipe on a track to delete it from this list.
  6. In the Mail app, VoiceOver will occasionally speak the "Inbox" heading at the top of the screen as a long string of numbers and letters. Exiting out of the Inbox using the "Back" button and then reentering the Inbox appears to resolve this problem.
  7. If you have multiple locations added to the native Weather app, VoiceOver focus may wrongly switch away from the currently selected one when swiping through the last elements on the weather details screen.
  8. When moving an app out of a folder using the drag method, VoiceOver does not play the sound to indicate that the folder has been closed.
  9. The Heading at the top of the 'For You' tab of the native News App reads as 2 separate but identical elements when swiping to move focus.
  10. When using 3D Touch in the native Music App to open a ‘peek’ menu, it is possible in some situations that swiping left will move VoiceOver focus to the Status Bar rather than ending with the first item in the ‘peek’ menu.
  11. When one activates the “Call” button when placing a phone call, VoiceOver will often say, “Incoming Call…” before speech stops as the call is connected.

If you encounter any additional accessibility bugs in iOS 10, please let others know by posting a comment below. When doing so, please provide as much information as possible so that others know exactly what to expect; when and where the problem occurs; and any possible workarounds you have found.


This post was updated on 9/13/2016 to remove a moderate bug, regarding the moving of apps out of folders using the new rotor actions method, which we now believe to be working as intended.

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190 Comments

#151 I submitted some of the most

I submitted some of the most common bug reports to apple accessibility that everyone including myself seemed to be experiencing, they told me they are investigating but couldn't further comment on a fix.

#152 Some additional bugs possibly.

I noticed a strange bug this morning, whilst downloading about 24 updates and leaving the app store open but returning to the home screen, IOS would randomly at intervals decide to change pages, so I'm on page 2 waiting for the updates to download, and my phone would suddenly advance to page 6 and page 12 unexpectedly without any input at all. Thought that was a weird one. Only happened once however, so can't extrapolate from that.
Somewhat connected to the problems with the app store, I'm finding it very difficult to reliably find the clear text button when searching. Together with the silent keyboard about 50 percent of the time, coupled with silent deletion about every second search, this does make the app store a frustrating place currently.

#153 Voice Switching from Australian Karen to Fred

I have an iPhone 5s running iOS 10. I prefer to use the Karen Enhanced Australian voice. I do not have voice selection in the rotor.

I upgraded to iOS 10 last week and since then I have had the following problem occur twice.

After powering on my phone, Karen speaks for roughly thirty seconds. Then the voice switches to Fred. To the best of my knowledge, I never downloaded Fred. I did not accidentally switch the rotor to fred because as mentioned above, I don’t have voice selection in my rotor.

When I look at Speech settings in the VoiceOver settings, the voice selected says Karen. However, when I go into the settings to look at Karen, it is as if I never downloaded the enhanced voice. Once I download the voice again, it comes right back to Karen.

I checked my storage and I have at least 4 gigabytes of storage available.

Anybody have this experience or can suggest a fix? I already sent a note to Apple Accessibility.

Also, is it possible to uninstall the Fred voice. I tried flicking up but nothing happened. I double tapped on the Fred button but nothing there seems to uninstall the voice.

#154 Sounds like Karen's crashing

It sounds as if the Karen voice is crashing for some reason, perhaps a corrupted voice file. iOS is falling back on Fred as a backup, as he's a tiny built-in voice. That's quite an improvement over what happened previously when voices crashed I'd say. Better that it fall back on at least some voice instead of going silent. Anyway, I'd try deleting and then re-downloading the Karen voice to make sure you have an in-tact file. Go to the speech button in VoiceOver's settings. Set your default voice to Fred. Then find Karen and flick up or down to the delete action and double tap. Now, go download Karen again and see if it still crashes when you set your voice back to her.

#155 I've seen this

I've seen this, long before iOS 10. It's moving you to the page of the app that is currently being updated. I think they do this deliberately, so not really a bug though it is annoying. Nothing to do with accessibility, as it does this for everyone.

#156 Karen Crashing

I have uninstalled Karen and will download a fresh copy. Any idea of why I cannot uninstall Fred if I already have Samantha as a back up? Thanks

#157 four digit number bug fixed

In the latest iOS, four digit numbers now reads correctly.

#158 I only experienced this today

I only experienced this today since installing iOS10 so not really sure if it was a fluke or a bug. I'll have to keep an eye on it. I had a mist call/voicemail, I double tapped on the notification on my locked screen and it took me to the keypad instead of playing the voicemail.

#159 Fred is built in

As someone else pointed out earlier, Fred is built in. Ya can't remove him, he's on your phone wether you like it or not lol. Elloquence fans, this is as close as your gonna get. Also, VoiceOver announces where the newest app you're downloading goes on purpose, that's not a bug it's a feature. So if you have 4 pages of apps, and you're currently on page one, VoiceOver announces that your newest app is on page 4 so you know where it is right away. I actually like this a lot. I have all my apps in folders now, so I only have 2 pages. page 2 is where all my folders with apps are, and page 3 is all the apple-related apps that can't be deleted.

#160 Thanks for clarification.

Thanks for the clarification with VO behavior when downloading apps. The strange thing is It doesn't happen all of the time, hasn't happened at all today, but perhaps this is because I didn't have a huge number of updates.
Cheers regardless.

#161 Reading line by line, and deleting threads

Hi all.

So the two most annoying bugs for me are that I can't read line-by-line anymore in VoiceDream, and that when I archive a thread in the mail app, I get a prompt to confirm this action, and it starts to read the message again. If I then confirm the archiving, it brings up the next message, but doesn't start reading it again. What it should do, of course, is to wait until I confirm the archival of the thread, and then start reading, so it's reading the next message.

Anyway, given the choice to upgrade again, I'd probably do it, if for no other reason than to get the character reading when typing contracted UEB on screen, but the missing line-by-line feature is pretty painful.

Aaron

#162 Reading one word at a time in

While you can't seem to scroll through each line in Voice Dream, reading one word at a time is still possible. However, you have to double-tap and hold with one finger and tap with another. Afterward, you can use your rotor to navigate through the text.

#163 the beep bugg

Hi,
I have also experienced the lock screen beep bugg. it does it sometimes, but at other times, it doesn't always work. The only way I got the lock beep sound to work is to mute the ringing sounds using the ringing switch, press the sleep/wake button, then the beep works as normal. I only see this as freequent. Turning off and on VoiceOver should resolve the issue. I will contact apple accessibility if this continues.

#164 Contacted apple accessibility support and...

Hi again
I've just called apples accessibility support, and after I spoked with skot regarding the lock screen beep bugg, it appears that it might be a technical issue on their end. I should be receiving an email from him either Thursday or Friday regarding apples responce for this issue.

#165 Has anyone elce experienced this bugg?

Hi, I've discovered that when flicking left in the emoji keyboard to pick your emoji, voiceover says "freequently used," then the emoji simble, then repeats, "freequently used." I can't move anymore, it gets stuck. The only way around this bugg is to tuch the emoji, then let go to insert the emoji. (I currently use tuch typing for this). Has anyone elce experienced this bugg? if this bugg continues, I have no choice but to email apple accessibility regarding this (hopefully they already know about this bugg) but hopefully the bugg will be gone in next update.
Update: The Emoji bugg that I mentioned previously has been fixed.

#166 RE: To the previous poster

Club AppleVis Member

I have noticed this happening. Unfortunately, this bug has been around for a while now, at least since iOS9. Only way around it that I can think of is to temporarily set your typing to standard typing, insert your graphic, and then switch back to touch typing.

#167 doesn't work, but thanks for the tip

@sockhopsinger tryed it but it doesn't work. It might, guess I will try later, but I prefer tuch typing since it's faster. thanks for the tip.

#168 I'm also noticing and want to

I'm also noticing and want to find out if it's just me where I have to sometimes use the double tap gesture twice for it to work.

#169 Handwriting.

Hi, I believe that this has been a bug since at least IOS 9 but can anyone input punctuations or capital letters when using the handwriting feature? the 3 finger swipe no longer works for me. with IOS 10 and the new iPhone 7 the handwriting feature is quicker and more responsive. I would like to use this feature more as a result but I cannot do so because I cannot input punctuations etc. any help or advice would be appreciated. I mostly want to use this feature in iMessages. FYI I have not alerted Apple accessibility to this issue but will do so promptly if others are experiencing the same issue.

#170 voiceover speed bug in settings

You still can change the speed of the voice in the rotor, no problem about that, but changing it in the voiceover settings is nolonger possible since ios10.

#171 News app refreshing while reading story

I have noticed that when reading long articles or just keeping the News app open for some time it will automatically refresh while one is reading. These automatic refreshes interrupt speech and lose your place. This shouldn't be happening.

--Pete

#172 news app

Since I got iOS 10.0.2 is not an issues. This afternoon, I spend one hour reading several news articles from my favor newspaper and nothing happen. I do get refresh when I am in for you but it does not voiceover loses focuses. Hope I do not lose it because I am putting this.

#173 Playing embedded video in Safari.

Another issue I've noticed recently is a serious deterioration in Safari's ability to play embedded videos, particularly on news sites, the telegraph, mirror and the guardian, for example. Curiously, Firefox can play these without any trouble still in ios10, so I find this strange and inconvenient. This will be site dependent of course, but if Firefox can play them, and Safari used too, I see no reason why I'm encountering problems currently. I'll need to try many more sites I suppose before flagging it up.

#174 Deleting all mail

Hi all, wasn't sure if I've heard this on the Maccessibility podcast or not but when using ios 10. Has the edit button gone now up in the top right hand corner of the screen for batch deleting of all e mails in an inbox with the mail app?

Confirming or or not will be most appreciated.

#175 associated words in Chinese input

What all of the Chinese-language users come across is that we can't stop associated word while typing. It's very disturbing! Imagine that you wanna type a single word "Latin" but the menu always suggest you to choose "America" behind. You get no way to stop it even though you wanna correct the words you typed before. I need to switch to another keyboard or get the roller before moving to the previous words.

#176 about a bug you talk about and how I handle it

I really did took my time and read the post twice, I am talking about the one that for no reasons the voice over don't talk anymore, what I do with power or without power I ask siri to turn voice over on, siri tells me it is on. and as soon as I push home it don't talk, I ask siri again turn voice over on, siri tells me it is turn on, so one day I ask siri as I lost the voice again I said to siri, turn voice over off, it said something like it is done voice over is off, and than I say to siri turn it on and some how it works for me , before I did that I was going to my pc and you know doing the tap tap until I get to turn it on, but that was a lot of time and all that but it does not happen often but if I lost my voice, first I say to siri turn voice over on, it will say it is allready turn on, than I say siri turn voice over off, and I tell it turn it on and I have no idea why it work for me but it work every time.

#177 Siri Female UK Enhanced Voice Disappears

Beware if you have to restore your iphone to factory settings. I did this the other day and now have no siri UK Female enhanced voice. Posting on the forum would seem to indicate I'm not the only one who's had troubles with this. I've written to accessibility@apple.com. Apologies if this has already been covered but frankly, there are too many comments on this post to look through them all.

#178 Losing focus.

Losing your position when focus is switched to another app is a pain. Focus usually goes back to the top of the document. But, I just noticed that locking the screen moves focus back to the top of the document to. I was trying out the beep bug and so I locked my screen and when I unlocked it reading cursor VoiceOver was back at the top of this page.

#179 Delay invoking voice dictation

Since updating to iOS 10, I've noticed frequent delays invoking or starting voice dictation tapping the button on the keyboard. It doesn't happen all the time but happens often enough that I start talking before the beep.

#180 Losing focus.

Losing your position when focus is switched to another app is a pain. Focus usually goes back to the top of the document. But, I just noticed that locking the screen moves focus back to the top of the document to. I was trying out the beep bug and so I locked my screen and when I unlocked it reading cursor VoiceOver was back at the top of this page.

#181 Handwriting not working on this web foMe.

Thought I'd try handwriting. it seems to want to look for web elements such as links doesn't recognize most of what I'm writing.

#182 Is this a joke?

Finding more places where VoiceOver skips right over important elements when I flick left or right. It just happened on this page. I submitted a comment. When I was finished I touched Safari back button the bottom of the screen. When I flicked left it went right back to the address and reload section of Safari. Skipped over everything on the page.

#183 Might be a good time

Sounds like these bugs need to be fixed according to what you have posted. I think this might be a good time to send a bug report to Apple Accessibility. Or at least contact them.

#184 Voiceover choppy after phone calls

This bug still continues from earlier version of iOS. I have a brand-new device which was set up without a back up so I'm very disappointed that Apple has not fixed this annoying little bug. At least we can turn voiceover off and on again to fix it. till next time it happens.

#185 Bug in password fields on iPad

App Developer

Hi,

I've noticed this and spent some time verifying it's not human error, but when attempting to input passwords on a 128GB iPad, I'm unable to change from letters to numbers. I've tried this in the 1password app, Amazon, appstore, and one or two other places. What's also problematic is that once the requisite alert box comes up, there's no way to exit out of it (home doesn't work, nor do any of the cancel, ok buttons) and it requires a complete device restart.

To reproduce:

1. open a password field on an iPad;
2. try entering a letter;
3. then try switching to the numeric keypad.
4. then be prepared to possibly reboot the device. :)

I've contacted Apple needless to say.

#186 A weird bug with Music app

Hi! I'm new at the Apple Vis community! Anyone uses iPhone 5S, with iOS 10.1.1, and are you able to delete your playlists and songs in the Music app? This does not work on my device. When I select a playlist, I hear Voice over speaking Actions available. Then, if I swipe down, it says delete. If I double tap on it to delete a playlist, nothing happens and it's not deleted. The same happens for songs, and for other options in the Music app as well. For example, when I focus Voice Over on the New playlist button, for this it also says Actions available, and the delete action is visible when I swipe down, even it's a button. Anyone came across it? It gets a bit anoying and actually is not working. :)

#187 I have the same problem

I have the same problem in the music app. I have an iPhone 5S and I can only delete the songs in the storage and iCloud usage settings. We should send a report to Accessibility@apple.com. Until this bug gets fix, you can delete the songs in iTunes. The songs will be deleted from all your devices if you have iCloud Music Library turned on.

#188 Issue reported

Hello. I contacted Apple accessibility about that. We'll see what will they do.

#189 Screen Locks During Phone Calls

Hi,

I've not seen anyone else report this, so suspect it may be something idiosyncratic. At least, I've not noticed such reports, but as there have been so many, it's possible I've missed them.

Anyway, since updating to IOS 10 on my IPhone 5S, and also since updating to Watch OS 3.0 on my Apple Watch, both devices screens lock shortly after starting a phone call. This is not only annoying, but potentially expensive, as it means one can't use the magic tap to hang up. This used to work fine on both devices prior to the updates. Of course, if you're calling your voice mail, having the screen lock prevents you from keying in selecgtions from the menus too.

I've restarted both devices several times.

Am I truly alone with this bug? Or can anyone suggest ways to deal with it if it isn't a bug after all?

Many thanks.

#190 Screen Locking during calls?

I haven't seen this problem, but I'm on an iPhone 7, so I don't know if that's why I haven't seen it.

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