Apple Releases macOS 10.14.4, tvOS 12.2, and New 12.2 Software for the HomePod

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to iOS 12.2, Apple has released macOS Mojave 10.14.4, tvOS 12.2, and version 12.2 of the HomePod software.

At the time of posting, we are unaware of any changes for blind and low vision users in these releases.

It is particularly disappointing that we are once again unable to report fixes for any of the longstanding and wide-ranging accessibility-related bugs in macOS.

When you consider that many of the bugs appear on the surface to be ‘low hanging’, it's hard not to view Apple's apparent zero priority towards these as evidence that it has effectively abandoned the Mac in regard to addressing issues faced by its blind and low vision customers. Given that we are nearing what has historically been the end of the current software release life-cycle, this is all the more discouraging; it is our sincere hope that blind and low vision users will not have to wait until this fall's software releases to see fixes for the outstanding issues in macOS.

Some General Changes in macOS Mojave 10.14.4, tvOS 12.2 and the New HomePod Software

macOS Mojave 10.14.4 expands Apple News to Canada, where news stories will be available to read in English, French, or both.

The macOS 10.14.4 update includes support for Safari AutoFill using Touch ID and automatic dark mode themes in Safari when visiting websites that offer a dark theme option. It also adds support for Apple's News and Magazines subscription service, which was launched today at the “the company's show time” event.

According to MacRumors, tvOS 12.2 expands Siri capabilities on the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV 4th generation:

tvOS 12.2, paired with iOS 12.2, lets users ask Siri to play specific media on an Apple TV from an iOS device. You can, for example, ask Siri to play Modern Family on the TV in the living room, or Pitch Perfect on the TV in the bedroom. This works for music and TV shows, and movies.

According to the release notes via MacRumors, the updated HomePod software is minor in scale and designed specifically for university or enterprise users.

If you do spot any fixes, regressions or enhancements in your own use of these releases, please do let us know by posting a comment below.

How to Update

To install macOS 10.14.4, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu, then click the Software Update preference pane to check for updates. If any updates are available, click the Update Now button to install them. Or click ”More info” to see details about each update and select specific updates to install.

To install tvOS 12.2 on Apple TV 4K or Apple TV 4th generation, go to Settings > System > Software Updates and Select Update Software. If there's an update, select Download and Install. Wait for your Apple TV to download the update. Don't disconnect or unplug your Apple TV until the update completes.

The new HomePod software will be installed automatically on the HomePod after you update to iOS 12.2 on your iPhone.

Conclusion

In light of our own comments in this post, we are particularly interested in hearing your thoughts on Apple's treatment of accessibility-related bugs. Do you share our frustrations? Are there bugs which you have essentially given up on ever seeing fixed? Do you have suggestions on how we can urge Apple to give a greater priority to addressing the outstanding bugs? Let us know your thoughts and experiences by posting a comment below.

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23 Comments

#1 mac os and IOS

for those who keep saying no bug fixes, this is exactly why I keep stressing report to apple on mass. how can we get problems fixed if I seem to be the only one who reports bugs.

#2 update

I installed iOS 12.2 without no problem. However still waiting for update for watch. Went to general, update but nothing shows yet. Still have current OS and states I am to update. Maybe the new TV show where blind people take over the world after virus affects will have a %100 accessible iPhone and no issues with accessibility. Ironic that apple will release TV show about blind world yet can not make the event accessible, and fix bugs.

#3 Mac Bugs

Hi,
I also reported Mac bugs to Apple's accessibility mail service several times, they said they would research the bugs. But you know, no solutions, no improvements. Nothing change when Mojove came, I bought that Mac OS 10.15 will fix accessibility issues.
Maybe we should begin a change.org petition. I don't know. But Apple should really do something about these problems.

#4 watch

My watch still shows as current oS 5.1.3. It tells me that I am to update. I thought that OS 5.2 was the new system??????????

#5 switching platforms

I feel that apple has abandoned voiceover users on the Mac side of things, and potentially on the IOS side of things which is why I have switched to windows. It is obvious to see how Microsoft is invested tremendously in accessibility and apple couldn't care less.

#6 I've had enough!

This is absolutely unacceptable! What happened to Apple's commitment to accessibility? I have reported macOS issues time and time again for several years, but nothing has been resolved. No one from Apple will talk to us or acknowledge these issues. Apple is so tight-lipped that they will probably never do this, which doesn't bode well for accessibility in the future.

I even tried emailing Tim Cook about this, but it doesn't seem to help. I wouldn't count on meaningful accessibility improvements coming in macOS 10.15 or iOS 13. Apple's business practices honestly sicken me these days. Their devices are more expensive than ever before without providing meaningful upgrades, and their unwavering commitment to accessibility appears to be no more. I will not be purchasing new Macs or iOS devices. I'm glad we have alternatives.

I'm sorry to say these things, but they're all true. I am very sad to see what I once considered the pioneer of mainstream accessibility giving up and turning a blind eye to many of these issues that are easy to fix in minor software updates. VoiceOver hasn't received meaningful innovations or critical bug fixes in a couple of years at least, and I've had enough of Apple's toxic culture and disregard for blind users.

#7 I feel like there are no

App Developer

I feel like there are no fixes for the bugs in MacOS. These are bugs I reported in 2016, no fix means less commitment to accessibility. For me, my Mac will turn to a browsing machine, writing basic stuff and storing old files, I no longer can trust my Mac to do editing for documents and other advanced tasks. Switching to Windows, and even with iOS< I don't see changes that urge me to by more iPads or iPhones, There's Android!

#8 Window 10

This is why I have a regular PC with window 10 and jaws or NVDA. At lease with jaws they do update every year and fixes bugs better than apple. Long Live W10.

#9 Audio message quality

I love the enhanced audio message quality. I played around with it and it works wonderfully. unfortunately, when you record an audio message on the Mac, it goes back to the original .AMR format at 80,000 Hz. not sure why, but you can record/listen to messages sent from iOs to iOS, and play them back on your Mac and it works just fine. Has anyone else experienced this? just curious.

#10 watch os 5.2

Has anybody been able to receive watch os 5.2?

#11 Updated the mac today.

As of said update, there are some VO sounds, when using Safari that don't play anymore. The Web area loaded, seems to be one of them.
I don't think I changed anything in VO, but can't be sure.
Anyone else see this?

#12 sounds

Now that you mention it, I notice that the Safari page loaded sound is gone. Who knows what Apple is doing anymore. I've honestly had enough of this blatant disregard. I'm seriously thinking about scrapping macOS in favor of Windows if the next major version doesn't include VoiceOver enhancements or bug fixes. My Mac will make an excellent Windows 10 laptop.

It's actually rather sad. This 2013 MacBook Air probably has one or two more macOS upgrades left if Apple continues their trend of dropping old models every 7 or so years. Microsoft will support this machine for a longer period of time. Considering that this MacBook Air is the last of Apple's "great" computers, I plan on hanging onto it for as long as I can. The idiot who thought getting rid of Magsafe would be a great idea should be fired!

#13 Same here

Same here. I invested my life into the Apple Ecosystem. I was a Mac user for 4 years. But it got to a point where I was less and less productive, finally I got a Windows 10 machine. We reported everything with my colleagues, not a change. The day I figure out how to transfer my hundreds of GPS locations, I will get an Android phone. I am no longer willing to finance a company that doesn't care about their clients.

#14 Is windows actually better?

Hi,

Lot of shade being thrown here but, to be honest, I think it is deserved. I'm feeling rather locked in to a failing walled garden here with a HomePod, apple watch, MBP with the dumb Touch Bar and an Apple TV. The first two also require an iPhone to work.

Is windows any better? As I recall JFW is painfully expensive. What sort of user scenarios are better on a windows machine? I really just use my Mac for writing, internet browsing and coms, nothing really that taxing.

#15 Hi,

Hi,
I'll say it... They both have issues. Some more prevelant than others. At the end of the day, it's up to you what you decide on doing. If ya want to go back to windows, fine. I'm sticking it out with Apple for a while yet. Is it brand loyalty? Maybe. But... I've had good luck so far with my apple devices and don't want to jinx it by saying they suck, lol! I can't tell you if windows is better than MacOs, that's your decision to make. Sure we have Vo bugs, but doesn't everything even NVDA or JFW for that matter have issues? Think of this, apple probably doesn't have the big accessibility team. My thought is if ya don't like, join the access team at apple. I don't know what you'd have to do, but if you don't like it, then why don't you join the accessibility team at apple, and work out the bugs with some of them. Just my thoughts.

#16 Windows is better

Nice thin with windows is that Microsoft does help people with disability by phone regarding issues with software, Does apple? Window 10 is fast and very, very easy to use that my cat Bella can use my PC if she wants, There are a free speech program NVDA and JAWS which is good but you have to pay. With JAWS you do get updates to the software and access to support about JAWS. I like windo 10 and JAWS. I do love my iPhone for security and accessibility but apple needs to pay attention to us because we do purchase apple products because the alternative is not that great regarding accessibility.

#17 tried windows10 too slow for me

hi just to weigh in here i tried windows10 on my laptop wasn't impressed too slow for me takes forever too load there's no way to disable automatic updates thats why i like my mac windows just takes forever to boot on my laptop i even tried disabling some start up items i prefer win7 over win10 i don't have cash to get a new laptop

#18 PC

Perhaps your laptop was slow and has nothing to do with window 10.

#19 Mac & PC

As always, another post on AppleVis turns into a flame war about which is better. Let's be honest here. There is no end all, be all for accessible technology or Operating Systems in general. It is ultimately up to the user. Always has been the case, always will be the case. Will never change. Ever. Accept this. Rather than whining about "you" believing "your tech" is better, just accept that not everyone is a damned Lemming and will like, what they like. Having said that, I own a MacBook Pro running MacOS Mojave. I also have a dual boot system, which means, that I have a partitioned hard drive which is running a separate Operating System. Interestingly enough, that partition is running Windows 10 Student Edition, as I am a university student. Being a Comp Sci major, I have to use both operating systems regularly. Now, I have heard some people claim they absolutely love JAWS. It is the bff of screen-reading technology. If you believe that, and it works "for you", then great, grats, awesome! Good on you. Some of us do not enjoy the JAWS user experience. Should you start a flame war because of this? Sure! Why not, that is what the internet is for, right? Well that and porn. Obviously.. Rant and BS aside, when I am using Windows 10, I prefer NVDA. While it may not have all the bells and whistles as JAWS, it loads fast, runs fast, and does not hangup no where near as bad or as often as JAWS. This is, of course, my own user experience. Your mileage may vary. As for Operating Speed over all? I prefer MacOS. I can fly all over my OS interface with just a few hotkeys, and not even speaking of custom hotkeys, but rather Apple standard hotkeys. While I am aware you can program hotkeys for Windows for virtually everything shortcut-wise, I find that my user experience with Windows is about 30% to 40% less productive than on the Mac-side. Again, your mileage may vary. In the end, it all comes down to user preference and flaming people for the type of screen-reader they like, or the operating system they prefer, is about as bad (see: Ridiculous), if not worse, than the bible thumping idiots of the world trying to "force" their religious beliefs on everyone else (see: Ludicrous). True story.

#20 I am agree.

Hello. It is right that both softwears has their ups and dounes. I like both. Right now I am writing that coment on a vindoes machine.

#21 Anecdotal comparisons

I'd disagree that this is a war thing... It was supposed to be a conversation regarding the benefits and drawbacks of each systems in light of perceived flaws inn Apple's latest updates... So thank you for describing your own experiences.

Maybe we just live in an age where we spend all this time trying to optimise productivity which, ironically, means we are less productive. OS and IOS are, for the most part, good and serve for everyday tasks. Unfortunately we've experienced miracles in the past with accessibility coming to touch screen devices, something I'd have said was impossible at the time, but I think this feeling of stagnation isn't localised to accessibility but rather the whole ecosystem. People are upgrading less frequently because, well, there's really nothing new coming out, unless you want professional grade cameras. Even then, a professional would probably have separate equipment.

It is frustrating for bugs not to be squashed. Maybe we should express our concerns as a group to apple accessibility urging them to take a look.

Could we perhaps make a list of the issues that have remain for a long while and we can then copy and paste into an email to:

accessibility@apple.com

Threatening to leave probably won't make much difference to a company that is so huge. Try and change it by petition.

#22 apple

I did made a suggestion to applevis to consider this after listening to their new podcast about the March Event because Thomas made a comment about the bugs. Had not seen any comment from applevis.

#23 A Petition

I also think that a petition can be a beginning to resolve these bugs. I don't have an idea how apple's accessibility team is big. Personally, I have reported some bugs I have encountered especially about preview and Apple Books, but nothing changed. Maybe a petition will show that there are still Mac users who wants to use their devices on the most productive way. And apple Vis is a good platform to do that.