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.
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.