So, I was on the beta for Ventura, one of the first actually. I was delighted to find that safari hardly hung, was responsive and actually a pleasure to use.
Fast forward to now and, it's worse than ever. Safari not responding is a constant, command tabbing through apps does not land on safari, skipping through headings of sponsored links on google is sluggish...
Safari is a car crash. Apple support should be ashamed that a key application of their Mac suite of applications is such an utter pile of shit. Yes, I could move to chrome or some other browser, learn how it works, transfer my passwords and credit cards, lose Touch ID and key chain access in these apps but, to be honest, I don't want to and, more importantly , I shouldn't have to.
I'm sure, like me, you have put in bug reports, told them of the poor performance of safari and, as usual, they say, we're working on it, and nothing gets done and we acclimate to the horseshit apple is serving up. Do they think so little of us?
Now, I know there are going to be those of you that pop up and say: It works for me... Great, good for you, you're obviously blessed by your preferred flavour of deity. For me, however, the experience is worse than annoying, it slows me down, actually hampers my work, the very opposite of what 'accessibility' is designed to do.
Anyway... Rant over. Nothing will change. I'll go on buying apple's increasingly average products, probably be first in line... I'm a hypocrite, or maybe I believe that a brand new, super powerful computer might, just might fix my woes...
Spoiler alert... it doesn't.
Okay the subject might be a little off. But I understand the frustration behind your rant. I was thinking of using an iMac at home and a Macbook Air both powered by the M1-Processor for university work. Horrible PDF-Support, random spoken spaces in places where no spaces occure in the file, missing lines in PDF-files and Safari lagging so frustratingly much brought me to buy a Surface Pro 8 one day before uni started to just being able to keep up with presentations, research, papers etc.
I almost fergot how bad MS Word on the Mac is. Not giving information about the heading structure... Which pages gives you but... only if you don't care that pages is lieing to you about which portion of the text is formated as a heading.
My comment shows that there is so much more wrong with Macs when you really want to us them for productive work and for more than just playing around or doing media production. And honestly: I like the Mac. I mean i spend over 3000 € this year alone on them just to find out that I am not able to study without worrying about accessibility-issues.
Funny enough: The majority of people with which I talked are using Macs and iPads to study. Often there are problems with PowerPoint files not showing correctly. So at least the problem with productifity is not just there for us blind folks.
The problem is that I regret the money I spent on the Macs in my home. On the other hand I'd really love to just use Apple stuff, cause the hardware and the interconnectability of the iPhone and the Mac, AirPlay, AirDrop etc. are very useful. I want to use the Mac but I couldn't get through just one day with serious presentation and text based work thanks to extremely bad accessibility when I needed it most.
Maybe there would have been workarounds. But who has the time and energy to find them on the fly when you have to follow the presentations and learn with time pressure? The truth is that there are just so many problems with the mac that it makes me sad and angry. I used the Mac from 2014 up to 2018 as my only computer and off and on again since then. Every OS Update was promissing better accessibility improvements and every generation of Macs should run sooo much smoother. True to a degree. But if you do need to get real work done which does not fall into the media category we as blind people are left in the dust! And that is a f*cking shame!
Every few months or so I…
Every few months or so I consider jumping ship to windows but I'm lazy or, more accurately, I've got better things to do than learn a new operating system, remap keys to work with windows and NVA and so on. Don't get me wrong, I think the iPad is a marvellous device and would suggest it to most people, it just feels the Mac is, as they say, whack. From an accessibility perspective, it has stagnated.
My big issue about jumping ship is the app I use to write with. Maybe once I've finished this novel I'll look elsewhere, but there are some excellent applications on Mac.
I imagine it as a van diagram, for most there is the intersection of price, features and reliability (probably many more to be fair), but when we add in accessibility, that overlapping sweet spot pretty much vanishes. Basically, we cannot have it all.. We're constantly having to make sacrifices dependent on platform. Choose windows and we get more stable options for accessibility, but it is expensive and we move out of the apple ecosystem and connectivity, stick with Mac and we have all the cool advancements, but trash accessibility which, to be fair, we don't have to pay for.
I wonder, would anyone purchase a screenreader for Mac similar to jaws? I think I would, it's someone that would be held accountable and people could then vote with their wallets. We simply don't have a reasonable fallback. Maybe it is time there were a little competition in the accessibility sector for Mac. the responsiveness of NVDA is such a breath of fresh air.
Try waiting until August; it works a lot better
Real sorry to hear about your frustrations. Believe me, I share them, which is why I started waiting until August before upgrading to the newest MacOS. By August, you can pretty much count on Apple fixing most of the newest (previous September) bugs. On the other hand, you can just continue upgrading the moment each newest operating system is released, but you already know what happens when you do that.
About Safari not responding, I decided to vacuum my bank account to buy the latest greatest hardware, the Mac Studio Ultra. It helped. Safari still has seizures but they are not as bad.
Last, have you tried vo-f5 before loading a new page? I'm curious to know if that makes a difference. If the bug is caused by VoiceOver, vo-f5 might be your best option for now.
Apple's Biggest Problem
Apple's biggest problem is one that many of these tech giants face, although to them it is not a problem. I will sum it up in one word; expansion. These tech giants are so busy trying to take over every corner of the market they forget what made them successful in the first place. Look at Apple. It's been known for computers and their reliability and innovativeness for decades. Do they continue with what made them successful? Oh no!!!! Phones and iPads, I understand, as they are esentially computers. Good for them. Headphones? Right! Music? Why? Video subscription service? Please! If their mlb coverage is anything to go by, I'd rather listen to white noise. I love headphones as much as the next person, but I will never buy another pair of Apple headphones, especially wireless ones, but that's a whole different issue. My point still stands though; Apple has gotten too big for themselves and we, the consumer, are paying the price for their greed. Just my opinion.
That's a shame. I thought Ventura was supposed to fix that along with many other things. What hardware are you using? Does an adblocker help? I keep flipflopping between wanting an M2 Mac or not. It's a shame Apple won't engage directly with us. Perhaps I'm better sticking with Windows 11 which runs faster on my 2013 Air than Big Sur.
Maybe Big Sur forgot to take its Viagra, and this version should be called Big Flop?
I love safari actually. it…
I love safari actually. it is very, very responsive on my m1 mac. I use it for my job, have used skype on the web and a lot more. I am using mac os 13.0.x righ tnow and just love the stability.
Hmmm, maybe it's due to upgrading the system instead of clean installing it? Try installing a clean copy of the system on another partition and/or in a virtual machine and see how it works for you. I imagine M1 and newer would be even better since those chips are incredibly fast.
Not having any issues
This isn't helpful, but I am seeing safari being snappier than ever and its working well on my M1 Pro. I'm not really trying to do hard-core work though, because where I work, they require windows for most things! But for my personal life, browsing AppleVis etc. plus doing some audio hijack and editing things work wonderful. I've come to realize that as a blind person, certain things just work better on different operating systems. I hate having them all but sadly, I almost have to have them all to do every little thing. One could make posts on things that are in accessible in windows as well, especially when you talk about third-party applications! At the end of the day, the screen meters are tools and we just have to use the right tool to get the job done! I agree Microsoft still has a way to go on reporting information, but that's not Apple's fault ultimately necessarily! As a blind person, I have to remember that we're not even 1% of the population not this is an excuse for Apple but it's reality they're not going to spend tons of money to give me the best experience! Which is why I do like your third-party screen reader option.
Just switched to
Yeah, jut switched to Chrome for that reason, it is so much better then that. Also switched to the Google pixel because Apple is busy doing more other things then fixing bugs. Loving my pixel 7 by the way, but that is a different story.
Hope you can reconsider switching to chrome, because honestly, once you actually transfer everything, you can just go back to normal.
Really hope this helps!
For those asking, on a…
For those asking, on a MacBook Pro m1 so plenty of power under the hood.
Maybe it's just the way I'm using it, or the sites I go to... All very odd.
I have done a reinstall, but maybe I should look at doing a scorched earth install. Still, it seems a little excessive to go through several hours of setup only to find the same issues. Working out the differentials might be helpful too, bu... As I said, I shouldn't be having to chase down these bugs. If I were on linux, fine, it's open source, community based... Fact is, I dumped a lot of money on Mac.
I believe it can work well, for a few wild weeks it worked and I was pathetically grateful.
Maybe I should just jump to chrome but that is letting apple's off the hook.
Be better apple... Just be better.
When I fell in love with my iPhone, I considered switching to Ma
Wayback win, when I first got my iPhone 4S, I was so amazed at what I was able to do, independently. I was asked by many, why wouldn't I also purchase a Mac, so that both devices could complement one another. As an office person, I already knew what I demanded out of my windows machine. In looking around, reading articles, I discovered that it appears that is so much more difficult to get the same job done with a Mac, as opposed to Windows, running all of the Office suite of products, along side jaws. I would much rather have voiceover built into my machine, and not have to pay every darn year, as I do with Jaws, though. Now, all these years later, I'm so very glad that I have stayed with my windows system. Yes, it appears that Mac can do wonders with media, and it has blazing fast chipsets, but for me, I don't think I will ever purchase a Mac, as windows serves me much better, when it comes to true work productivity. Here's hoping that everyone is able to get Their issues worked out. Or, better, should I actually say that here's hoping that Apple gets a clue, and goes back to what they used to do best, taking care of their people, instead of expanding into further markets, beyond maybe what they should. At the end of the day, though, media tech giants are after that dollar, and once they've tasted, I don't know if they'll ever go back. Nevertheless, I am still hoping that somebody, somewhere will actually understand that there are valid problems with accessibility and finally get the issues taken care of. Perhaps, if those in the top spots of the hierarchy of Apple were forced into utilizing accessibility as we do, something might actually be done then. Anyway, hang in there guys.
Technological Communism to Blame?
I think I'd have to in part agree with those of you who say Apple has gotten too big over the years. This also seems to be the opinion of my personal assistant, who is not technically an Apple user but who asked if he could have my previous Mac for gaming purposes. I said yes. That would've been just one more machine to recycle or do whatever with. In addition though, he's been with me since December of 2005 and he's honestly done a great job. We've had disagreements here and there, and at present we're in a bit of a disagreement over something which I won't discuss on here. But suffice it to say, my parents and I wanted to do something nice in return for him. Having said all that, I've had good luck with the M1 MacBook Air that I got last Christmas. I've gotten "Safari not responding" from time to time, and it seems to happen most if not all the time on websites that are cluttered and/or that don't play nice at least with VoiceOver. I've tried out Google Chrome, and it keeps saying "Chrome has new window" but otherwise seems pretty good. I don't know what happened to Chromevox, but I can deal with that. In addition though I've gotten an odd beeping sound which seems to come from one side of this Mac. I don't yet have touch ID set up on here, and somebody suggested that might be the reason for the beeping. So I'm going to try and set up touch ID over the Thanksgiving break. But all in all, I'm very happy with Apple. This Mac works great, as did my previous one. I'm still on my first iPhone, and have been super impressed
I don't thinkk this is a safari
I do't think if this is a safari issue. I don't experience it often, but I think there are sites which tend to cause the not responding, however, this seems to be a voiceover freezing thing, not related to safari. Next time your experiencing this, have a sighted person nearbye and when voiceover says not responding, ask them if the site is loaded, if yes, then its a voiceover thing not safari.
agreed, I love and continue…
agreed, I love and continue to use safari. chrome can go die on mac as far as I'm concerned, I only use it for a pwd manager.
Just curious, but why crome as a password manager? Wouldn't keychain be a better alternative given your using safari?
Thanks to Velja, found at
, you can easily switch between browsers at will with just a few keystrokes, in addition to opening up specific web sites and/or web apps when clicking on a link among an application you're using.
Although of course in the Mac App Store, you can grab it as a normal Disk Image Download as well.
I myself go between Firefox Nightly, Chrome and Edge Canary, and the Orion Browser:
, rarely ever touching Safari!
Certainly a VoiceOver-Issue
The Subject sais it all. My girlfriend is using my Macs with great success and joy.
Don't know if Chrome on the Mac is any better. But maybe I'll check it out.
re: chrome in loo of key chain
the reason I use chrome as a password maanger as i'm also on windows and android plus iOs so I need the browser/password manager and more. This si how I've done it and it has saved me in the past, just a few months ago inf act. I do have both auto filling in passwords on iOs, not on mac. don't think I can do that yet.
Chrome is no panacea
Thanks for posting this rant, which expresses the frustration that many of us are feeling.
I was once a proud Apple user, even a promoter. Now I'm ashamed. Over the past ten years, I have encouraged several blind users to replace their Windows systems and Android phones with Apple products. Now, many of these people come to me with complaints about how unreliable their Apple products have become.
Yes, Safari Not Responding is now much worse under Ventura. I also see it in the Discord app, and never saw it there before Ventura. And as I mentioned in another thread, Ventura's Safari has made Google Drive unusable.
As a result of Safari + VoiceOver being in a state of disrepair, I've taken a close look at Google Chrome. It should be no surprise that Google Drive works flawlessly in Chrome. But Chrome isn't without its problems. The most noticeable flaw is no support for arrow keys to move up and down through lines of HTML paragraph text. Also, I'm completely unable to select text from any website using Chrome. Add to this the aforementioned lack of Keychain support, and another missing feature - no Reader View, and Google Chrome is simply not an option.
Switching to Windows is no solution either, as Scrivener is the main app I use for fiction writing, and it is not accessible on Windows using any screen reader, from what I hear. If I were to switch from Scrivener to MS Word on Windows, it would be accessible, but it would be a huge loss of many Scrivener features that I use regularly.
On the other hand, if I stick with Mac, each new release makes one feature or another entirely unusable. I might be better off switching to Windows, swallowing hard as I lose access to Scrivener, and get on with life using MS Word. Because the bottom line is that I'm losing access to features no matter what I do.
I think it depends on which
This depends on a lot of factors. As I've said before, the safari not responding is a voiceover issue, not sure what causes it but, its for sure a voiceover ,issue, which, i'm pretty sure is really tough to pin point and do to that, it hasn't been fixed. As for my experience, I use a addblocker, and this seems to help. A lot. I rarely experience the safari not responding, where I seem to experience it the most, is when loading up big, cluddered web sites, avid.com comes to mind. For the record, this also happens on ios. Not exactly app not responding, but voiceover crashing and turning off and back on by itself in these same sites. If we could pinpoint exactly what and when, this bug is happening, and its specific triggers and tell apple, i'm sure it would be fixed in a flash. But as long as we just write, there's x bug, and it happens do to this, or in x site... I mean yes, it happens, but pinpointing a bug with only this info, and given it is a really inconsistent bug, its not possible for this to be easily fixed.
Much agreement, and general commiseration, and shared grief.
Chrome is but a workaround, useful when Safari doesn't work. I'm very much afraid you have to have it, if only for that reason, and if only with the caveat that, yes, it falls down in many areas. It is still the only way to work with certain web apps, or to use extensions that are meaningfully useful for accessibility. I can't, for instance, use the Cloudflare dashboard at all using Safari, owing to the stupid way tables are broken on that website with Safari and VoiceOver (I'm assured it looks fine visually). Ditto the problem with modals, where in Chrome one can at least tab into the modal and manipulate links and form controls, even though VO will not read static text.
Oh, and yes, there is a caret browsing mode. Press F7. Indeed, I now find Safari's keyboard navigation to be totally broken; whatever state I set the VoiceOver tickbox too, arrow keys don't work for navigation with QuickNav off. I restarted Safari with each switch, too--still no result. Problematic in Chrome is the immense pressure it puts on the system as a whole, and the fact that Braille support is completely broken, at least on MacOS, while it's in use.
It's true. Windows has always been the obvious alternative (Christ, can't believe I just described Windows as an "alternative") when accessibility is a primary virtue. True, too, that the heart-breaking failure of Apple to do its job properly has meant that the general state of VoiceOver has dipped well below even the mediocre state of the mid-2010s, to be something quite unsurpassed in user hostility and frustration.
But Macs are Macs, and MacOS (notice the initial capital--I will not demean the proud history of Mac OS X by relegating it to the status of the OS of a mere iPhone) is MacOS. There are excellent, solid reasons to love the hardware and software that Apple makes. The question, then, is just how much we are prepared to put up with, before it becomes self-evident that the pain of switching to Windows and commodity hardware (remember, that includes the hunt for drivers, and configuring system firmware without sight) is well below the frustration of benefiting, however frustratingly and imperfectly, from Macs, MacOS, and many terrific Mac applications. I can't be the only one for whom grabbing the lovely new Apple Silicon MacBook Air, flipping it open, and getting straight to work on editing plain text files in TextEdit, bashing commands into Terminal to make stuff happen in a real UNIX-like OS, playing IF in Spatterlight in what has to be the very best experience there is for a blind fan of that genre, and catching up quickly and efficiently in Mail, lire and Podcasts, not to speak of all the convenience of a lightning-fast OS with completely accessible recovery environment, a community of developers of wonderfully accessible native applications for all manner of useful purposes, system-wide spell check and dictionary, and no drivers or firmware setup to worry about, is a source of great joy and happiness. A web browser is an important tool, of course, and the fact that it doesn't work properly on the Mac is a total embarrassment, but it's not the only tool we need, and Windows has a much less enjoyable offering across the board in many of these other aspects, that is largely compensated for by community efforts like scripts and other system hacks or even the use of web apps, which although they are more reliable under Windows screen readers, are never as good as the native experience of yore. But again, it's absolutely true that one day it will turn out to be the best available accessible offering, and the only thing between switching and not is simply the momentum, or switching cost, of doing so.
Well, that was longer than I thought it would be ...
Looks like even some basics in Mac environments are broken
Wow, I feel for you guys. You can't even navigate paragraph by paragraph, line by line? How frustrating must that be. I can't believe that Apple is letting this kind of crap be put out in their name, even.
@Paul... it is not your fault that you recommended what used to be a good product to your clients, that's on Apple's shoulders. It seems to me that all are being disrespected, by Apple's lack of responsibility to provide a good product, across-the-board, not just for some. That's on them.
In reading through this thread, I am quite surprised at all the issues you guys deal with on your max. I don't understand, this is basic stuff you guys still have problems with. Apple makes it look like that, no matter who you are, they've got you covered, at least that's how all of their ads look, but yet you guys are struggling with even some of the simplest tasks. Unacceptable. Shame on them
Here's hoping that Apple will get a clue, as I have said before.
It's indeed very sad. I want to think Ventura is the start of good things to come, but perhaps I'm getting too optimistic we'll return to the good days of Snow Leopard when the people at Apple seemed to care far more. As I've said many times, VoiceOver has a lot of potential, but I don't understand the lack of priorities at Apple. iOS is excellent and demonstrates how accessibility should be done. Snow Leopard was excellent, but that was then, this is now. The fact it took them 9 years to make Apple Books accessible is ridiculous! The more I think about it, I'll wait for M3 and monitor what may or may not be coming in version 14 and later of the system. I really want an Apple Silicon Mac, but if it's going to be a repeat of my MacBook Air experience and there's no way to run Windows or other systems natively on the hardware, it's not worth it. Let's see what happens.
I can understand the frustration about the bug in Safari (and webkit in general), which has been around for more than two years now. Especially when it makes entire applications suddenly unusable (Google Drive). However, some of the posts you have to read here are, in my opinion, even more "shame" than the fact that Apple still hasn't fixed the Safari bug. Apparently, a Mac is often expected to work just like a Windows computer with NVDA / JAWS in terms of the screenreader. However, from some posts it appears that the people in question have not even bothered with the operating concept of the Mac and try to transfer the concept from Windows and NVDA / JAWS to the Mac. If that doesn't work, they say that it doesn't work and VoiceOver is not suitable for productive use. I can only speak from my own experience: I love my Mac! I use it to program my web projects and I'm currently learning how to use Swift, SwiftUI and Xcode. I have hardly any problems with it. Besides that, I also use this Mac to study at university. Yes, it is often a bit strange or even completely buggy with a new major release, but in a production environment, which many are talking about here, the latest OS is also not always required. A stable previous version with security updates is usually more recommendable. In September, shortly before the release of the next major version, you can then switch to the current version with a clear conscience. Furthermore, many bugs are not directly related to VoiceOver, but rather caused by apps whose developers often do not seem to care about accessibility to the full extent (MS Word, for example). I am in no way suggesting that a Mac is the best solution or better or equal to a Windows computer. There are unfortunately a few bugs that can be killers in certain workflows. Also, many of Apple's decisions and generally how they handle bugs are not always compatible with the company's stance on accessibility that is publicly postulated (bugs with Books, Safari and some other included apps, or VoiceOver itself). However, one must also remember that Apple is a mainstream company and no other company offers the services provided here. Now, anyone who brings up a Windows computer running NVDA is wrong. NVDA is not developed by Microsoft or the computer manufacturer itself - this is from people who specialize exclusively in screen readers.
To sum up:
Apple could take more care of macOS in terms of accessibility and not always fix everything piecemeal, it works much better on iOS after all. But the fact that the Mac is not intended for productive use and cannot manage even the simplest things is simply not correct.
Arrow navigation with Chrome
Thanks Sebby for the tip, F7 turns on arrow navigation in Chrome. Sometimes it even works.
Ditto the problems with navigating tables in the CloudFlare control panel. It used to work. Then CloudFlare redesigned their interface.
Anecdote. Once, as a software developer, I had inherited an old code module with a small handful of bugs. None of the original developers were still around. No one understood how the code worked. I told management the only feasible way to fix the bugs would be to rewrite the code module from scratch.
"No way," they told me. "Years of testing and maintenance has gone into that code. If you replace it with something new, we end up with an unknown. We invalidate all the testing that has gone into that old code."
At the time, I thought it was a ridiculous philosophy. But now that I see new releases of pretty much everything, constantly. Not just Safari, but website redesigns like CloudFlare that think they need to reinvent the HTML table. Finally I see the wisdom in that philosophy.
No Defence of Cloudflare but ...
Of course I agree that we should not fix what isn't broken, simplicity is a virtue, etc. but the issue is that there's no standard way to do what CF wants in a table view on the web and therefore they had to have something, and it seems the accessibility model used by Chrome exposes that to VoiceOver where it doesn't to Safari. Given that most of our problems are down to the screen reader rather than the browser, this is both striking and sad, since it's well within reach of a web browser update to fix it during the course of an OS release. Let's hope (against hope) that this somehow happens when it is reported to WebKit.
Basic Tasks in a production environment
Actually I love how VoiceOver works. I even think that it is the better way in terms of getting to know applications and websites. However, PDF-Support regarding Accessibilit is broken for how many years now? Sure on the surface you can read PDFs okayish nowadays. But when reading many of those files and finding that entire lines are just not read is a real problem!
I can only comment about the Mac in a university setting mainly working with documents and presentations regarding different laws. In that setting a missing line of text here or there might byte you in the behind in the longrun. Cause it is not always obvious that there was text missing.
And that is something that should *never* happen outside of a beta-product.
The Mac works differently that is fine. But at least it should work with such basic tasks. And I say it again: I would love to just switch to the Mac full-time! Cause ultimately I think it could be the better system. But then again: I am thinking and saying that since 2014... Wondering how much longer it takes...
Chrome routinely crashes VoiceOver
The more I use Chrome, the less I like it. I'd rather stick with Safari and employ all the workarounds I've learned than suffer through Chrome repeatedly crashing VoiceOver. The ten or fifteen seconds where my system is unavailable might seem short, but once my train of thought is derailed, I'm up getting a coffee or doing something else, so it may as well be ten or fifteen minutes.
As I've said before, we're quickly approaching the point where there are no good options.
RE: Basic Tasks in a production environment
You're absolutely right. PDF support was enhanced 5 years ago but it's what I'd call partially implemented. As far as I know it's still not possible to navigate by various elements such as links or headings in accessible documents. The enhancements in Ventura are a good step forward, but I'm afraid this will once again be half-baked work which is why I hesitate to purchase new Mac hardware. SO much for the statement that Ventura contains many bug fixes. Safari in its current state is not what I call the definition of fixing bugs. Given Apple's past track record, I don't expect Ventura updates to fix anything, and we may or may not get enhancements next year with macOS 14. Maybe it's time to move on. I keep hoping things will get better, and then they only implement half-baked solutions to basic things that should have been fixed years ago. Apple needs more people working on accessibility features or better yet, a dedicated team that can both interact with us and get some sort of bug tracker system in place where they communicate with us in real-time about the status of bugs. I still maintain my view that iOS gets the majority of the attention. My experience with iOS 16 has been fantastic! I really wish someone could hold Apple accountable for this horrible neglect, but it is what it is. The best thing you can do is vote with your wallet.
hopefully not too off topic
Port iOS to the mac?
But I guess that would be a step back.
I think this is the price we pay when screen readers are done by a mainstream company.
I fear the same will happen on windows eventually, when 3rd party screen readers are deemed a security risk, so we'll end up having to rely on the manufacturer providing the screen reader.
That will be a dark day indeed, until the built in screen readers catch up, if they even will.
No, I think we will always be an afterthought, because we're the minority, until these developers start to go blind and need to use the screen readers themselves.
Then they might wake up and do something about it.
Re: hopefully not too off topic
Greetings. Thought-provoking opinions I'd say. However, I'm wondering why 3rd party screen readers should be deemed a security risk on Windows. Given the status of the development of JAWS and NVDA, and considering Microsoft's cooperation with Vispero and NVAccess, I don't think it's going to happen. That aside, as someone who was in favor of the camp of so-called built-in screen readers, I've now, sadly of course, come to the conclusion, and realization, that it's not the optimal, or future-proof, way to go. Just see how many bugs Narrator has after so many years and after Microsoft's apparently abundant attention to it (I can crash it with some TXT files reliably and it doesn't work in many apps), and notice how VoiceOver on macOS is riddled with issues. Comparatively, I do have really far fewer issues, especially critically nagging or time-wasting issues, on Windows 11 with JAWS/NVDA, and I'm using it on an 8-gen Intel machine with 16GB of RAM and an SSD. Not a modern machine in terms of sheer specs, but it's blazingly fast under heavy load, and works like a charm in the apps I need. Yes, bugs are here and there and the idea of a bug-free screen reader is more of a myth, but you can utilize both Windows screen readers to get the job done in MS Office, on the web, in Reaper, etc. And you might argue in favor of free or paid screen readers (that's totally fine and I see the benefits of those on the Windows side as I mostly use NVDA these days), but, to be frank, I can't imagine living with, or tolerating, VoiceOver issues on the Mac, resorting to the hackneyed justification that every new OS release, and along with it every new release of VoiceOver, is supposed to have bugs. Yes, we are a relatively small group and there are other more important or inclusive bugs to hammer out from the perspective of, say, Apple, but that means nothing when you, as a user, heavily depend on your screen reader for your daily tasks at the university or on the job, or when you painfully know that some of these bugs have been lurking around for so long. Now I've transformed the idea of being off topic to an entirely new level <grin>!
RE: hopefully not too off topic
Hello Amir. Thank you for your thoughts in this post.
I have been following this thread. In looking at everyone's thoughts, frustrations, and perspectives, on both Mac and Windows machines, I have been just thinking that, although it shouldn't happen, it's not fair, and it's not right, I think that we as a minority community of computer users, simply need to choose which ever machine or piece of software that we have available to us, to get the job done, most effectively. Unfortunately, in the land of software, there are always going to be bugs, despite all beta testing. It's not a blind thing, it's a software thing. That's why the beta tests exist, to try to prevent software bugs. But, Bugs exist, nevertheless. It's an unfortunate situation, but I would just like to encourage this community to try to continue to do the very best with what we have available. As previously stated, bugs are not acceptable, at any time, under any circumstances, in my opinion, nevertheless, unfortunately they still are a reality. I am thankful that we have windows and Mac products to choose from, in the attempt to try to get our daily tasks done, rather at the university, on the job, or for simple pleasure, on our own time. I understand that this does not alleviate all of the stressors that we experience, but I just wanted to encourage all of us to continue pressing on, despite the stupid issues we face every day in the land of using software.
Safari on Big Sir Vs Now
I am still running Big Sir on my 2015 MBP. I do not have a lot of trouble with Safari. I do have some issues but no more than I had using Internet Explorer under Windows 8 with JAWS 16, before I switched to the Mac in 2016. For me, using the Mac, there are not more internet browsing issues, just different issues, and there will always be issues of some sort. With Safari, there are some aggravations but it is certainly very usable. Again, this is using Big Sir. Have things gone down hill significantly with Safari sense Big Sir? I cannot update my current Mac to Ventura but I can update it to Monterey and I will eventually get a new Mac so I am curious.
Rant about how *** Chrome is
Of the several comments on this thread, I wonder if any of them were posted by people using Chrome on the Mac?
When I tried posting an AppleVis comment using Chrome, I found VoiceOver did not read text in the text field as I arrowed through it. In other words, after entering some comment text, try to review it by using up and down arrow to read a line, left and right arrow to read characters, or option plus left and right to read words. VoiceOver says nothing, whether caret browsing is on or off makes no difference.
Has anyone gone to a fairly complex website and tried to open the Item Chooser with VO+I? It takes Chrome easily twice as long as Safari.
By the way, I get Chrome is Not Responding, too, so Chrome is no solution for the not responding bug.
Chrome is simply not an option. It beats Safari in a few use cases, but isn't worth the time it would take to adjust my muscle memory to a new browser.
Regarding iPad OS on Mac, I…
Regarding iPad OS on Mac, I'd like to see things heading that way. It's still a long way from being a viable product using an iPad exclusively with a keyboard, but it's slowly getting there. I think we'll end up seeing hybrid machines in a few years anyway by which point the current Mac OS will have been phased out for something that has better touch capability and iPad OS having something that works well with keyboards. Apple are always very slow to the draw on such things.
Another frustration, mail... it's pants. focus getting stuck, the requirement to restart VoiceOver, not reading full emails and so on and so forth.
The key applications, and sorry to sound repetitive, for the Mac, made by apple, do not work well with VoiceOver... Which is bonkers. They've not improved in the years sinc we've had them. As another poster said, PDF reading is still awful compared with reading PDFs over on windows.
Yes, we do need to work with what we have, do our best and so on... But our tools are rusted, misshapen and often unfit for purpose. Unlike sighted peers who choose on merit, we're left choosing the lesser of evils and, especially in the case of apple, settling for the devil we know.
None of this matters though. We tell apple the problems, I, or other crotchety old fellows like me, pop up every year to bemoan the issues. Bug reports are sent, argue over what works and doesn't work and... Nothing... Ever... Changes.
And that is the crux of it. I feel tired, I feel impotent and ignored. I'm sure I'm not the only one, as sure as I am that there are many of you out there reading this who are quite satisfied with their products... I envy you.
Just today, trying to buy a part for a 3D printer off AliExpress, I had to switch to chrome to log in because safari wasn't reading out the options for logging in with various social media accounts. This, however, only got me part of the way as there were aspects that VoiceOver couldn't parse on chrome that it can parse on safari. I know this is a very specific use case, buying from a Chinese sight which doesn't fall under any need to enact accessibility, but it's just the typical grind of anyone who wishes to stray even a little off the beaten path.
Apple works to provide the average user with a good experience whilst doing average tasks. This is why it is so popular. Sadly, we do not fall into this category, add to that my choice to be a tinkerer, to explore tech and to use applications that blind people rarely use, such as slicers for 3D models, and I'm more than aware that I'm climbing without a harness. That's fine. it's when I return to the average use cases, trying to read email in mail, trying to surf certain sites, trying to use the messes that are Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV, that I become annoyed.
apple devices should be easy enough for an elderly person losing their sight to use. In the case of IOS, this is possibly true, in the case of Mac, it is most certainly not. A convoluted, dysfunctional and inefficient mess... When it comes to VoiceOver, at least.
there, I said it... Again...
I'm boring even myself.
Chrome on the mac
I am using chrome on my 14 inch macbook pro to make this reply. I am able to navigate the comment field just fine with arrow keys. I am also able to use option plus right and left arrow keys to move by word. Google chrome is working just fine on my mac. I also do not experience 99 percent of the issues people have with the mail app. I do use my mac a bit differently than most people do. I am very much a task oriented user. For example right now I have chrome open and that is the only app I am using. I do not have multiple apps open at once or multiple tabs in my browser open. I don't know if that is why I don't experience a lot of the bugs people are having or if I am just lucky. I am also noticing more and more randomness to the bugs. Some people will have them and some will not.
Re: Regarding iPad OS on Mac
As I understand it, iPadOS 16.2 has too many overlapping elements on the screen, which has resulted in some strange VoiceOver behavior. These days, I cannot rely on keyboard focus or the touch interface itself to do serious work . . . unless I only have the minimum amount possible on my screen. So... I have to command-tab to other open apps, hoping that i can relocate my focus . . . or I could just use my Mac. I don't even want to contemplate a Mac-iPad hybrid if Apple keeps breaking—and then repairing—accessibility.
On a completely unrelated note, I use Speech Central to read PDFs; I don't even bother with other reading solutions anymore. I can arrow through paragraphs and interact with text to read by line, sentence, etc after I pause the TTS! I haven't tried reading a document with links or headings, mainly because I haven't needed to . . . yet.
Is speech central paid?
Is speech central paid?
Speech central is free for voiceover users. It is a fairly extensive app in what it can do. There are multiple topics on it here on applevis.
PDF to Text Converter Expert(
I use a free Mac app, PDF to Text Converter Expert, that takes a PDF in and writes a text file as output. The UI is a struggle until you know what buttons you need to select in what order. But the result is easy to read in TextEdit. Why screen reading software struggles to perform equivalent functionality defies comprehension.
Were we wrong about integrated accessibility?
Ok so we're way off topic now but what the hell, this is an incredibly thought provoking thread even though I don't and probably never will own a MAC. It's interesting to me how we all were drawn to Apple originally because they promised, and delivered, accessibility out of the box. Turn on your computer and voiceover starts up automatically, much to the chagrin of sighted folks the world over... or at least throughout the world's richest countries. They get to know what it's like to accommodate themselves to us for once, at least in theory. Still, this whole thread has me wondering if all that fancy apple silicon wouldn't be put to better use by, say, Jaws for MAC and apple NVDA. Thanks to voiceover, that hasn't and probably never will happen. Your screen reading needs have, after all, been taken care of, even if only in the minds of developers who never will know any better.
To be clear this is as much a problem on the Google side of the fence. I've got a nice little chromebook and love it for the same reasons you folks love voiceover; accessibility's turned on by default, chromevox is better optimized for google services than any other screen reader, including Jaws and NVDA, and there's no mucking about with switching between different solutions to maybe get a better experience on a particular web site... chromevox and talkback filling in for each others' weaknesses in android apps on the damn thing is a different story but that's probably too off-topic even for here. :) Anyways, it was a beautiful solution for most of my online needs until about six months ago when chrome accessibility bugs just kept building up faster than they could be squashed. Sites I used to love, like facebook, became almost unusable and the built-in accessibility we all celebrate left me with nothing to fall back on. No second screen reader, no viable alternative browser, all because we've convinced mainstream tech companies that don't specialize in accessibility they need to add yet another item, which will inevitably be deprioritized with time, to their already bloated development cycles. At least here in windows land I have Jaws, NVDA, and hell Linux in a virtual machine if I really need that ... it's annoying as all hell but I feel a lot safer with multiple backup options that might be better than whatever isn't working at any given moment.
To be clear I love talkback on my phone, ditto for voiceover on iOS, and I don't actually think windows would be better off without Narrator or MAC would somehow be more accessible without voiceover. Still, I mostly value narrator because it helps me log on to windows on a new machine without sighted assistance, open a web browser, and use ninite to make sure I never have to use that control windows enter keystroke ever again. In other words, for me narrator exists solely to let me set up NVDA and Jaws, might Voiceover be better if it did the same on MAC?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't there a few blind people that work for Apple's accessibility team? If so, this neglect and lack of quality control is rather strange, especially if said employees use the product on a daily basis.
Yet another item
HolyDiver said a lot, but one quote stands out:
No second screen reader, no viable alternative browser, all because we've convinced mainstream tech companies that don't specialize in accessibility they need to add yet another item, which will inevitably be deprioritized with time, to their already bloated development cycles.
So why is an accessible interface "yet another item"? Macs all have multiple interfaces - command line, WIMP, mouse keys, ssh, ftp, html, many others - none of which suffer the same functionality degradation we've been seeing in VoiceOver. Why is accessibility an afterthought to a company that pledges accessibility and should easily have the gross revenue to fulfill that pledge? Ultimately, this is why we rant.
In the US, there is an implied warranty of merchantability. That is, a product designed for a specific task (e.g., accessible computing) will be able to perform that task. Let those words sink in.
Yet another item?
Correct me if I'm wrong but hasn't the interface for SsH basically not changed since I was born in 1991? How many moving parts exist in a terminal? HTML has obviously changed a lot over the years but isn't it the exact same standard the whole world over, with only rare updates every few years? You're a much more experienced trainer and obviously more versed in the tech world than I am but it seems to me accessibility, especially in the dynamic world of web apps, requires much more tender loving care on a daily basis or else we'll find, as we are in fact finding, things keep breaking at an ever faster rate? Implied warranty be damned, pledges b damned, with time I question whether multibillion dollar companies like Apple and Google will ever be able to give accessibility the attention it deserves precisely because they have an abundance of money, resources, and the required bureaucracy to keep all those resources moving together in some sort of cohesive direction. I don't have and have never had bugs to this magnitude using windows screen readers, one of which is literally developed by three or so volunteers and the other by a company with a tiny fraction of the overabundance of money these tech giants can and in fact do throw at the problem. And, when I do have annoying access hickups in my work flow there's at least one other screen reader and several alternative reputable apps, firefox, brave and edge for example, which make it much more likely I'll find some sort of usable workaround I can deal with.
Today Apple once again called accessibility a human right
As if they were poking fun at our discussion, today Apple Highlights Accessibility Features on iPhone, Mac, and More in New Ad. But if it is really a human right, why is it violated repeatedly? I mean, folks, human rights aren't treated this way if we believe in what we utter. Or maybe it means Apple believes it is a human right, but doesn't fully grasp how human rights should be treated. Moreover, VoiceOver apparently isn't mentioned - perhaps it's no longer part of the so-called human right due to its unresolved bugs? :)
Exactly whose job is accessibility?
I've been following along, and I've been struck by several things.
First, we all assume someone else is going to solve the problem, but where the rubber meets the road, aren't we that someone? Or maybe the sighted are right. Maybe we are all a bunch of helpless victims.
Second, whether blind folk work for Apple or not, it is safe to assume they aren't in positions of authority. Otherwise, either they're asleep at the wheel, or they've conspired to screw the blind. Neither seem particularly likely.
I think I know what's coming. More and more of us will wait to upgrade until the big bugs are fixed; the rest of us will upgrade at the first opportunity and spend the rest of the time griping. The first group will wait. The second group will gripe. Only a few of us will politely bring the bugs to Apple's attention.
So, here's my question. Do you prefer to gripe? Do you prefer to wait? Or, think about this.
What do you suppose would happen if we all, politely, en masse, complained to Apple?
Bruce, we have done it en masse many times
At least major issues like the so-called VoiceOver focus bug on iOS, Eloquence voice quality issues, Braille hiccups, language switching-oriented problems with VoiceOver, Safari glitches, and so forth have been reported a good deal. So I don't simply accept the argument that they are not fixed because they are not reported, or since people spend time here, they don't report bugs to Apple. Quite humbly, this is the old-school way of looking at the status quo I'd say. The problem is that accessibility issues, despite all the talk about human rights, are processed along with several thousands of other non-access reports, and priorities good or bad, determine the fate of each and every report.
The root problem
A comment on this thread doesn't necessarily imply that the commenter doesn't report bugs. I know I do.
But, even if no one reported bugs, there's a more important issue that needs to be resolved. There is an engineering process at Apple, and it allows new bugs to be introduced in release after release after release. The flaws in this engineering process need to be identified and eliminated. Until that happens, we're just playing bug whack-a-mole.
OK, some folks don't seem to get it. here are only a few the solutions:
1. Report to Apple en masse. A couple dozen reports to Apple is not en masse, the term en masse is defined as "all together" or "as one". Therefore, I'm not talking about those few dozens who actually report bugs; I'm talking about blind Apple users all together, as one.
2. Those who have physical access to Apple's corporate headquarters can go directly to the source, you know, obvious stuff, like making appointments with those in positions of authority and then showing up to explain the problem and why it's finally reached the point of having to go to corporate headquarters to get action.
3. Warnings about adverse publicity and following through: those who send bug reports and those who meet with those in positions of authority can mention that Apple and it s blind community are reaching the point of adverse publicity, such as the organized blind (you do remember them, right?) sending press releases to media and showing up with protest signs to walk back and forth in front of Apple's corporate headquarters after giving the press a head's up when and where the organized blind is going to stage a protest.
4. Opinion editorials in media that publishes Apple's false claims about accessibility.
5. Showing up at Apple's accessibility press conferences to hold up signs and shout questions.
The list goes on and on, but I think you get the point. It all comes back to where we started. We either wait, gripe, or act. Make excuses if it make you feel better, but excuses don't change anything. The way I see it, if we want to change the situation, then escalate action until we get it.