This behaviour appears to be consistent across any native or third-party apps which have a bottom menu (tab) bar. For example, the App Store, iTunes Store, and the Music app.
- Ensure that VoiceOver is enabled.
- Open any app which has a bottom menu bar. For now, make it the App Store.
- Navigate to the Search tab.
- Place VoiceOver focus in to the search field and double-tap with 1 finger.
The onscreen keyboard should now be displayed.
- Place VoiceOver focus on the “Space” bar on the keyboard.
- Flick right with 1 finger to move focus to the “Search” button.
- Flick right with 1 finger again.
You would expect focus to now move to the next visible screen element, which in this case is the “Next Keyboard” button.
What actually happens is that VoiceOver will say that focus is on the “Today” tab of the App Store's bottom menu bar. Flick Right again, and you will be told that focus is on the Games tab. Each subsequent flick right will suggest that focus has moved to the next tab. Only after you flick right when VoiceOver has indicated that focus is on the last of the tabs will focus actually move to the “Next Keyboard” button.
If you double-tap with 1 finger when VoiceOver has indicated that focus is on one of these “phantom” elements, the behaviour is not what you might reasonably expect. Instead of the tab being loaded, a space is typically inserted in to the search field.
Essentially, VoiceOver gives the impression that the bottom menu bar is visible and actionable, when in fact it is not.
Note that when this behaviour is present, you cannot locate these “phantom” elements by touch.