Apple Releases Software Updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and Apple TV

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Along with the release of iOS 11.1, today has also seen the releases of macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, watchOS 4.1 and tvOS 11.1.

According to the macOS 10.13.1 release notes via 9to5mac, this update brings new emoji characters and the following changes:

  • Fixes a bug where Bluetooth may be unavailable during Apple Pay transactions
  • Improves the reliability of Microsoft Exchange message sync in Mail
  • Fixes an issue where Spotlight may not accept keyboard input

Our testing of macOS 10.13.1 suggests that there are no accessibility-related changes, regressions or improvements.

According to MacRumors, the watchOS 4.1 update introduces:

support for streaming Apple Music content directly to LTE-equipped Apple Watch Series 3 models, allowing Apple Watch owners to listen to Apple Music even when an iPhone isn't nearby. A new Radio app that offers access to Beats 1 and other Apple Music radio stations is also included.

Apple has also released iTunes 12.7.1 which includes ‘minor app and performance improvements.

As we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. Therefore, it is entirely possible that we have overlooked some changes, regressions or improvements. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility-related changes, regressions or improvements in any of these releases, please do let us know by adding a comment.

How to Update

macOS 10.13.1 is available via the updates tab in the Mac App Store.

watchOS 4.1 is available by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General> Software Update. To install the update, your Watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% battery power.

To install tvOS 11.1, go to the Settings channel then look for the System section near the bottom. From here, look for Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install.



Submitted by Chris on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

In the new macOS update, VoiceOver correctly identifies when a PDF document contains tables. These appear as a single item that you must interact with. I'm glad Apple is finally taking VoiceOver in macOS seriously.

Submitted by mario_hardrock on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

don't say stupid things.

nothing has changed ...
does not work.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

So far so good. If you don't like it, then downgrade from a back up. Otherwise, I don't need/want to hear any complaining!!!

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Seriously, I haven't noticed any differences in the new macOs release, so we'll have to wait and see what happens. So far, High sierra works very well on my end.

Submitted by Mary on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

In reply to by Chris

I'm glad VO can deal with tables, but I still can't get documents to read continuously. Often, not even one entire page will do so. That is just not usable, unless carpal tunnel syndrome is something you want to get. I was really hoping they would really get pdf reading up to where it has been in Windows with a decent screen reader now for several years. This isn't good enough, sorry.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The bug where continuous reading wouldn't work is still around. I reported this to Apple along with the tables issue a few weeks ago. Report it to if you haven't already.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

After updating, VoiceOver was not operational. There was a white highlight cursor on the screen that didn't correspond to any text, and there was no speech, and just a "thunk" when I tried to arrow around. A sighted friend helped me get past the Analytics dialog, and since VoiceOver still refused to operate normally - no speech - helped me reboot as well.

After the reboot, VoiceOver worked normally. However, I use Karabiner to let me use a Microsoft Iltellitype keyboard through a switchbox, and the Karabiner key mapping was entirely broken, and is still broken even though I have completely deleted all key mappings and re-entered them.

This is one of the most problematic OS X updates I've ever experienced.

Submitted by Socheat on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Hello everyone, I should have ask this in the first release of macOS in another blog post. But since we're here anyway, thought I would ask this. So guys, I just got macOS High Sierra installed yesterday, and I tried to play around with image description. All I get is, VoiceOver just says "Sharp" or "Blurry". What can I do to make the image description more accurate?


Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Thursday, November 2, 2017

Hi!itsn’T informative not in ios and MacOS also. It’s very limit

Submitted by Darren12 on Saturday, November 4, 2017

not a mac user, but like to keep aware of what's going on in relation to accessibility on the platform, with a view to one day making the permanent shift. I read with pleasure the pdf improvements, but not being able to read continually if this is something that happens fairly consistently, is a huge flaw, and quite outrageous in a screen reader. I hope they fix it for you, those who rely on the mac.

Submitted by Socheat on Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hi guys,

I had a fresh install of macOs High Sierra. However, I'm experiencing the battery draining issue. Is anyone else experiencing the same issue? When I was using Sierra, my battery can last up to 9 hours for web browsing. Now, when I install High Sierra, my battery life decreases. Instead of being 9 hours, it turned out to something like 6 or 7 hours. Is there something I have missed?

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, November 5, 2017

There's an option in the system prefs that'll make a drastic difference in battery life. It's called automatic graphics switching. So when this is on battery power, the graphics card will be in reduced power mode until there's a demand for it to pick back up again. I've noticed that the battery went from like 12 wats used clear down to 4 or more used depending on what you were doing.

Submitted by Survivor Wolf on Sunday, November 5, 2017


To make image descriptions work, you need to turn off screen curtain and turn up the brightness of your screen. This is true for both Mac OS and iOS.

Best of luck.

Submitted by Ekaj on Sunday, November 5, 2017

I haven't been able to update either via the auto-updates feature but will try a manual update via System Preferences, if my system doesn't do it automatically soon. However, on my end the image description feature seems to work well even with the Screen Curtain turned on. I, too, am sick and tired of all the complaining. But to each their own I guess. Looking forward to the update whenever I get around to it.

Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, November 6, 2017

How did I miss this, and how do you envoke it with the Mac? thanks.

Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, November 6, 2017

Hi thanks so much I don't know how I missed that one. ;)

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, November 6, 2017

I just manually updated and don't see an option called Automatic Graphics Switching. Where in System Preferences is it? Other than that this update seems pretty good.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, November 10, 2017

Has anyone else noticed better image descriptions? I've been doing some social media today, and noticed this. It seems that objects are now detected by VoiceOver on the Mac. I tweeted an article about disaster preparedness just a bit ago, and I hit VO-Shift-L on an image at the beginning of the article. It announced that a whiteboard was visible. So it looks like this feature is already getting better.