10 more tips for users of Braille displays on iDevices
Over the last couple years, I’ve come to a conclusion about life as a blind person: it isn’t the physical lack of sight that’s the biggest difficulty I face; but rather, it is attempting to overcome peoples’ negative stereotypes and misconceptions about what I can—and cannot—do that is the real problem.
At its annual Worldwide Developer's Conference this week, Apple previewed some of the new features coming to its iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS platforms later this year. At this point, it's worth noting that this software is still in beta form, and not all features--particularly, the specifics of how they will be implemented--are finalized. With that said, below is what Apple has told us will be coming for users of accessibility features:
At the end of each month, we at the AppleVis Editorial Team take a look at all the apps that have been posted to the site during that month—either for the first time, or where there has been a significant update—and decide which of these we think is the most noteworthy.
Update: since posting this article we have recorded an interview with Sarah Herrlinger, Director of Global Accessibility Policy and Initiatives at Apple; and Dean Hudson, Accessibility Evangelist at Apple, who discussed the enhancements mentioned below and shared a few others which we didn't already know about.
Apple has today released iOS 10.2 to the public.
Apple has today released iOS 11.2, which brings a number of fixes; enhancements; and changes for blind and low vision users.
This release appears to have been rushed out by Apple to address a rather nasty bug related to some notifications generated after 12:15 a.m. local time on December 2 causing devices to enter a soft reset loop. AppleInsider has more on this bug.
Apple has today released iOS 12.2 to the public, following its event that saw the launches of new video, news, and gaming services, and a new Apple credit card.
In addition to some new features and enhancements, iOS 12.2 brings one fix for braille users.
Apple has today released iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 to the public. In addition to bringing many new features originally slated for the initial iOS 13 release, these releases bring fixes for a large number of the bugs that iOS 13.0 introduced for blind and low vision users.
Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users
Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1:
Apple has today released iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5; bringing support for AirTag, new features, security and privacy enhancements, and bug fixes.
Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users
Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5:
Apple has today released iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1.
Apple’s release notes say: “iOS 15.3.1 provides important security updates for your iPhone and fixes an issue that may cause Braille displays to stop responding.”
Apple has today released iOS 15.4 and iPadOS 15.4, bringing a slew of new features and enhancements.
Our experience is that the following bugs specific to VoiceOver and braille users have been resolved or significantly addressed in these releases:
Apple has today released iOS 15.4.1, iPadOS 15.4.1, macOS Monterey 12.3.1, watchOS 8.5.1, tvOS 15.4.1, and HomePod Software 15.4.1.
Apple says that iOS 15.4.1 includes the following bug fixes:
Apple has today released iOS 15.6 and iPadOS 15.6 to the public, both of which appear to focus on bug fixes and other under-the-hood improvements.
Amongst the fixes is the following for Braille users:
Apple has today released iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 to the public. While these updates seem to be relatively minor, they do introduce two changes. The first one is the Sports tab in the News app that allows users to easily access news, scores, and schedules for their favorite teams and leagues. The second is a new wallpaper option named "Pride Celebration."
Apple has today released iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 to the public.
Our experience with past iOS and iPadOS updates is that the X.1 releases often contain fixes for many of the accessibility bugs introduced in the major X.0 updates. Our experience is that iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1 appear consistent with this pattern, resolving or significantly improving several of the bugs from the initial 17.0 versions: