Hello, I’ve come across a weird VoiceOver experience with the Apple TV app. I hope you can help me figure this out.
I own 3 streaming devices and a smart TV. They are an Apple TV 4K, a Roku Streaming Stick, a Google Chromecast, and a Samsung Smart TV. (Please don’t ask me why I use so many ha ha.)
The screenreader experience is pretty much the same VoiceOver experience you’d expect on any Apple devices. Swipe left or right to move to the previous or next piece of content. Also, the app’s design is very consistent no matter which device you’re using. The problem is that the Apple TV version doesn’t let you navigate to certain content.
For example, if I’m on any non-Apple TV streaming device then I can navigate between the title, description, ratings, etc. But this content isn’t available for me to hear on the Apple TV. I can only navigate between buttons or sections when I swipe left or right.
Is someone able to test this out if you own multiple devices or a smart TV? I’m confused why the actual Apple TV experience is worse than it is on other non-Apple TV devices.
I gave up on the apple tv a…
I gave up on the apple tv a long time ago. Ever since TvOS11 the experience has gotten worse each version. Some will disagree, but that is my oppinion. You're better off using your other streaming devices rather than dealing with this headache. There are settings you can go in and change such as turning on direct touch or something like that but even that doesn't fix the problem. You also have to constantly mess with the rotor and turn settings off and on. Who really has time for that nonsense?
It doesn’t make sense since…
It doesn’t make sense since the Apple experience is actually consistent and great on the other devices but not on the Apple TV.
The Apple TV, in terms of…
The Apple TV, in terms of apps being accessible, is hands down the best media device. There are many apps on fire stick and Samsung that simply don't voice with built in screen readers... Saying that, it's far from perfect.
OP, I often have the issue with my Apple TV switching to dolby with certain content which seems to cause VoiceOver to freak out. To get to the info, picture and sound menus you have to swipe up, that brings a pop up bar up.
I do wonder, if it's because of how VoiceOver works when audio output changes, I've had similar issues in different apps, gets all stuttery and useless.
Oliver, when you say the…
Oliver, when you say the info, picture and sound menus do you mean within the Apple TV device settings or in the Apple TV app itself? I’m experiencing problems with the latter.
I had this problem last year, Apple introduced two Modes but didn't bother to tell anybody.
Navigation mode allows you to move from control to control that you can activate. Exploration mode allows you to access everything.
To toggle between these modes, two finger triple tap on the Apple remote touchpad.
Nige, this is exactly the…
Nige, this is exactly the issue! Thanks for explaining this. Exploration mode is something I noticed recently when I was flipping through photos on my iPad. I wouldn’t have expected it on the Apple TV experience though.
I noticed that you can only explore via swiping left or right as opposed to clicking the remote buttons. It would seem easy to lose your position on the page. There can actually be two cursors present at the same time.
For example, I might be on a TV show’s details page swiping through to hear information like the description and the cast. I continue swiping through and the cursor moves along until I get to an episode I’d like to rewatch. But when I press the center button on the remote it takes me back to the other cursor at the very beginning where I started.
This seems confusing to me. The concepts of navigating and exploring are so similar except that one of them navigates through each piece of content. Anyway, thanks again for giving me the right solution.
This is why I stopped using…
This is why I stopped using apple tv. In my oppinion apple broke accessibility when adding these 2 new features. I don't know why they just couldn't leave well enough alone and left navigation like it was. Apple tv use to have the same navigation as their other devices but for some reason changed it for apple tv. As the saying goes if it ain't broke, don't fix it.