Apple Makes Last Minute Accessibility Fixes to the App Store Ahead of iOS 6 Release

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I am pleased to say that the major problems we reported with the App Store in the Gold Master release of iOS 6 have now been fixed by Apple.

This is great news, and our thanks go to everybody at Apple who has been busy working on these last minute fixes.

Those who said that this would happen have been proved correct, and I have no problem in saying that I am very pleased that they were!

When alerted to these problems, we had 2 choices - say nothing and hope that they were fixed before the public release, or give people a warning that there were potentially major problems that they should consider before updating.

As things have transpired, the former would have been the better choice. However, decisions are not made with the benefit of hindsight, and I would rather be saying now that we were proved wrong than have risked people only finding out after updating that the App Store had become inaccessible.

So, once again, many thanks to the developers and Accessibility Team at Apple for fixing these problems, and happy updating tomorrow to all VoiceOver users.

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18 Comments

Great news. Had a feeling it would work out

Great news. Had a feeling it would work out. Any news on how it has been fixed and what gestures will be used to utilize the new app store interface? Or is it the same gestures as before?

So does this mean that all

So does this mean that all accessibility problems with IOS6 are fixed?
Or are there still some outstanding issues?
You could look at the hole problem another way, and say that maybe its the fact that the problem was mentioned on hear in the first place that has lead to a rapid fix for it.
Though personally I think everyone makes a huge thing out of the big scary NDA, after all, people have been leaking stuff about IOS6 for months, and Apple hasn't been suing any of those people, they can't sue everyone who reveals information, honestly just chill people we are not big or important enough to be sued by Apple.

The accessibility problem though fixed does show something else that I think should be of concern, that is that clearly they don't have many VI testers at Apple who run betas of the software.
I would hazard that this is why such gremlins as the phone app opening when screen is unlocked managed to slip through.
I guess the only reason we know about the problem at all is thanks to some developers who updated, and not because of anyone doing direct tests for Apple.

Very heartenning

OK, so I'm not just totally crazy! I wondered what the heck the deal was with why without even tapping the phone app the stupid thing would sometimes open. It never really bothered me, as I just hit the home key, and would say, oh, screw you, IPhone! I dono why some thing, unless I am misunderstanding, that the issue's been fixed in IOS 5.1.1. That's what I currently have on my 4S, and I had this issue happen as recent as just earlier this morning. So trust me, it's not been fixed. At least not for me, that is. I know how I feel about David leaking the information he did about IOS, but then a lot of you up here know me from the blind community other places, and you knwo where I stand with things like this, so we'll just say I feel no need to express my opinion here. I'll only say this and leave it. David, if you wanna ban me, ok, but I'll only say one sentence. I hope I dont' get banned seeing some comments were more brutal than what I'm about to say, but if I do, I do. It won't be the first time I get banned from a list or forum for speaking my mind. And, I'm damn sure it won't be the last either. I'll only say, you and Apple can work things out accordingly if you wind up having to speak for your actions, but if you don't, you're a lucky s o b. That's all I'm gonna say. I totally agree you could have alerted us not to upgrade without specifics. OK, enough said. I'm outta here.

thank you

Thank you for reporting this information, and a huge thank you to Apple's accessibility team. As I had said, I was looking forward to iOS 6 for some concrete, solid proof that VoiceOver debugging would be remaining a priority for Apple, and it seems that we're right on track to get back to very smooth VoiceOver functionality. Now if I can only figure out this cursed Google Youtube app by tomorrow we're good to go!

No, your not crazy. The

No, your not crazy.
The problem does still exist with ios 5.1.1, and in fact the problem isn't specific to the phone app.
The problem happens when you have 4 icons in your dock, and affects whatever app people have in there dock as the first icon, so I guess for most people that's why its always phone that opens.
But I have found that as long as you have 4 icons in your dock, the first will always open if you touch the screen two early.
The work around I found for the problem, is to simply only have 3 icons in the dock, and then the problem doesn't happen.
Lets hope its fixed in ios 6 though.

Thank You to All Involved

I also want to thank Apple for resolving the issues pointed out here. It is my opinion That what David expressed at the top of this whole discussion was not in violation of NDA due to the availability of information from other sources. He himself did not enter into such an agreement. If Apple were to have issue with any disclosure, they would need to take it up with the developer(s) who revealed such info. If any Tuesday morning quarter backing were involved, I would express that a more vague announcement that some critical issues might be loomikng. Anyway, I'm glad the most critical issues were resolved ahead of the formal release. It is also my view that if there are still any remaining issues, they can easily wait till formal release because I would assume them not to be show stoppers.

By these recent actions taken by Apple to fix the matter, the notion that "Apple no longer cares about accessibility" is sheer crap. Yeah, they might need to have a bug cage rattled now and then but approaching Apple professionally as a paying customer should be able to go a long way. Even beta testers don't catch everything and if you rely on a handful of "insiders" to do it all, things won't be caught either. If Gold Master was indeed exposed to the general public last week, then any discussion of that release would be open season and not subject to non disclosure agreements.

Anyhow, let's bury the hatchet and not blast the folks at Applevis for the foregoing; The mentioned issues might or might not have been resolved in time and who knows the outcome. In this case now, we should fare will with the update and subsequent discussions and podcasts can help us out all with any muddy waters encountered.

Not even close!

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Chris,

You will need to try a lot harder than that if you want to get yourself banned ;)

And no, that's not a challenge!

As you say, far worse has already been posted. And, to be honest, I've already moved on to more important and pressing things ... such as the many podcasts that we need to prepare for posting tomorrow.

onward and upward

I would like to say that while everyone doesn't have to agree with every choice made by David and the rest of the Applevis team, I for one still support the site. I greatly value the hundreds of hours put forward on behalf of users. I would strongly encourage everyone, regardless if you agree with every choice made here, to financially support the site. This is a resource that must stay and I would strongly encourage others to help where they can.

Well played!

Well played by Applevis. Yes, while the original post could have probably been worded differently, I agree that we as consumers of Apple products needed to know what was in store for us. Now that Apple has taken the proverbial bull by the horns and dealt with the issue, we can enjoy the new IOS when it releases in just a few hours! I haven't been on the site for very long, but I can see what a truly valuable resource it is and I will financially support whenever possible! Well done!

site support

Many thanks to the brainchild of this site & to those who work tirelessly on it to maintain credible information. Yes there are many costs in keeping any site going. I would salso encourage anyone who is able to show their support for applevis by a small financial donation Anything helps. As for the information that got this discussion started, we are no different than any other user group who pays attention to various leaks. In all of the rumor mills prior to the iphone 5 launch, there was no mention of accessibility issues one way or another. We deserved a heads up. Maybe, through our subsequent contact with Apple let them know accessibility is not taken for granted.

Thank you Applevis and thank you David

Thank you David for posting that information I'm glad you did inform us about the problem. I am very happy that Apple fix this issue and that we can update to iOS six with no problems now. Thank you Applevis for the wonderful work that you guys Do.

Thank you!

Hello David,
I would like to thank you and the team of Apple's accessibility. They corrected the problem in time (which is good) and you contributed to this to happen. Thank you!
Now I'm ready and eager to upgrade. Just need habtuar me with the damn new YouTube app (which I hate immensely). But this is for another comment. :)
Apple, there I go!

I would also like to thank

I would also like to thank the apple accessibility team, and thanks to david for keeping us updated. I can't wait for tomorrow; this IOS update is going to be just huge! :)

the phone bug people knew from iOS 5

Hello,
I've seen people posting about the bug when the screen is unlocked and the i device sends you to the phone app. I reported this bug to Apple development back in June, and it has been fixed. When you upgrade to iOS 6, you shouldn't experience this issue anymore.

Thanks to Applevis

My sincere thanks go to the folks here at Applevis who took the initiative and broached the topic of these accessibility issues before the release. While we'll never know for sure, the massive outcry from the blind community that came of Applevis's decision to facilitate this discussion couldn't have hurt our chances for an accessible app store. Of course there have been opinions on both sides of this issue, but lets put that aside for a moment. By releasing this information to end users, Applevis proved once and for all that the admins and contributers to this site are firmly on the side of the blind community, and not simply puppets of Apple. We all love our i devices, but this move on the part of the Applevis team has shown that Applevis is not just a fan site, but a provider of real and honest information about the products we all love and use. This announcement of our voice being heard, and our update making it into the final release has made me proud to be a member of Applevis. Hats off to all you guys, and thanks for making the tough call to put this information out for all of us to see.

Excellent work

This is a paradigm example of this site and Apple working as they should. I have no doubt that Apple responded to the feedback from blind developers and from the very public posting of this article to sort the matter out immediately. This site is a highly valuable platform in that regard so well done, folks.

By the by, let's not get too excited about the NDA and the spectre of litigation. As someone has already pointed out, the NDA is not signed by any of us and Apple could not sue on the agreement as a result. employees of Apple obviously enter into an NDA, just as employees of almost anywhere do, individual Beta testers and developers might enter into the NDA by becoming a beta tester or developer, but for ordinary folk like Bingo Little and ordinary blogs like this one, this particular NDA is not applicable, fascinating though the jurisdictional problems would be if it were. We all agree to Apple's terms and conditions when we use their products and those terms and conditions vary from country to country (though Apple prefer to sue in the jurisdiction of England and Wales when they need to), but use of a blog about Apple, whether by commenting or posting, cannot bring one within a contract. So, folks, keep up the good work as you provide an essential service.