The Accessibility Bugs Introduced and Resolved in iOS 12 for Blind and Low Vision Users

iOS 12 is now available to the public; this post contains details of the accessibility bugs for blind and low vision users which we believe to have been introduced in iOS 12, as well as details of the bugs from earlier versions of iOS which have been resolved in this release.

As is now our routine practice, each new bug has been given a severity rating; these ratings are based upon what we believe to be the implications for accessing and using iOS features and functionality and the level of impact on the overall user experience for those impacted by each bug. However, as these ratings are subjective, it is very possible that they may not reflect your own use case, so please bear this in mind when making any decision on whether to upgrade to iOS 12 upon its release.

At the time of posting, our team has identified only one bug which we would classify as serious; however, while this bug is serious, it is one which is unlikely to affect a vast majority of users.

We strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before updating—as this will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to install iOS 12 when it becomes available on 17 September.

As we always stress, we can make no claims on the completeness or accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases.

Some of the bugs listed below will be specific to a certain device, configuration, or use case; this is definitely the case with the one serious bug we have identified at the time of writing. So, it is entirely likely that you will not encounter all of what we list; and it is also possible that you may encounter bugs or regressions that we did not identify during our testing. This post represents the findings of a small group of people using iOS 12 in every-day scenarios during the beta cycle, and our testing is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive.

To help us ensure that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible, we would appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 12 —both to confirm whether they are encountering the same problems (or have found workarounds), as well as to let us know of any additional issues that are not on this list. Of course, it’s even more important that you let Apple know of any additional bugs that you find (they already know about the ones currently listed here and are actively working on resolving them). This post explains why you should report bugs directly to Apple, as well as the best ways to do so.

With all of the disclaimers out of the way, here are the new bugs for blind and low vision users which we believe to be present in iOS 12:

Serious Bugs

  • If you do not have a passcode set on your device, it is not possible to activate notifications on the Lock Screen with VoiceOver enabled. The options to clear and manage notifications work as expected; however, when a VoiceOver user double-taps on a notification and there is no passcode set on the device, it is not possible to activate the notification. We cannot stress enough that this bug is limited to devices that do not have a passcode set; activating notifications on devices with a passcode works as expected.

Moderate Bugs

  • When using a braille display with the Messages app, if one presses a cursor routing button and then immediately starts typing text, the word "message" will be inserted.
  • When using the “Misspelled Words” rotor option with a braille display, replacements do not show up on the braille display, though you can hear with speech that carrying out the appropriate action does occur. On the braille display, the word only remains highlighted until the replacement is inserted.
  • The Misspelled Words option sometimes does not appear in the Rotor when in a text field. In some apps, this feature never appears; whilst in others, the behavior of this feature is inconsistent.

Minor Bugs

  • There are several pronunciation and inflection issues with the new Irish Siri Female voice when it is used with VoiceOver.
  • In Notes, there are duplicated rotor actions to pin, move, lock, and delete notes.

Some Further Reports

Since posting our own findings, many others have shared their own experiences of iOS 12 and reported issues that we had either missed in our own testing or which are specific to certain use cases. These reported problems include

  • iPhone X users no longer receive haptic feedback when Face ID unlocks their device.
  • There are many people who report that the native image description feature has either stopped working completely or that it's 3 finger single tap gesture has become less reliable in triggering the feature.
  • There are many people who report that the 4 finger swipe left or right to move between open apps has either stopped working completely or become inconsistent and unreliable.

If you encounter any additional accessibility bugs in iOS 12, please let others know by posting a comment below. When doing so, please provide as much information as possible so that others know exactly what to expect; when and where the problem occurs; and any possible workarounds you have found.

Accessibility Bugs Resolved in iOS 12

Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 12:

  • Cancelling the drag of a Home Screen icon now leaves it in its previous position as intended.
  • After using 3D Touch to access ‘Peek’ menus in the Music app, VoiceOver users will no longer be able to locate screen elements which are not part of that menu and should not be accessible.

If you encounter any additional fixes during your own use of iOS 12, please let us know by posting a comment below.

In Closing

We have been compiling these lists of new bugs for every major iOS release since iOS 7; and we can state with complete certainty that iOS 12 introduces the fewest number of new bugs for VoiceOver and braille users since we began our testing. Our experience during the beta cycle has been one where most new bugs have been resolved very quickly by Apple's engineers; for this, our thanks go to everybody at Apple who has been involved with the development of iOS 12 and to the community of VoiceOver users who participated in the beta cycle.

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Submitted by LaBoheme on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

the recent calls log bug appears to have been fixed. i know it doesn't bother most of you, but for those who know what i'm talking about, this is a small consolation.
and no, i'm not going to say good job apple or nonsense like that. why should apple be praised for something they broke, refused to fix it for one year and just put it back to it used to be? for a company selling their top of the line phone for $1500, it is not good enough.

Submitted by dvdmth on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

To the one that is having trouble with the swipe gesture for notifications on the iPad Pro, I cannot reproduce your problem on my iPad Mini. The gesture works consistently for me in all four orientations. Of course, this isn’t an iPad Pro, so the issue may be specific to the larger iPads.

Have you tried performing the gesture from different parts of the status bar? That is, instead of swiping from the top center, swipe from the top left or top right. As long as you go straight down with your gesture, it should still work, but maybe doing it from a different starting point may allow it to work more reliably? I’m just guessing here, since I’m not seeing the problem myself.

Submitted by Dawn on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hi! To the person asking about shortcuts:
You have to go to the app store, and search for Apple shortcuts, and download it from there. Or you can click the app store link in the app entry on here to make things easier! Hope this helps!

Submitted by Dawn on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

To the person asking about shortcuts:
You have to go to the app snre, search for Apple shortcuts and download it there. You can also click the app store button on the app entry on here to make things easier. Hope this helps!

Submitted by Rob on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

In reply to by dvdmth

Update to my previous reply and issue below:
It looks like that zoom is the culprit for my issue. Although I haven’t invoked zoom at all, I do have the zoom feature toggled on. As soon as I toggled it off the one finger swipe Down jesters worked as expected. I will be reporting this to Apple. Thanks.
Hi DVDMTH, thanks for the feedback and letting me know that you are not experiencing the same issue with the 1 finger swipe down on your IPad Mini. I have tried swiping down from all different areas of the status bar but that had produced the same result. I can get it to work after turning off Voice-Over and using the general non-voice-over method. the problem is that it will work with voice-over shortly after doing that but as soon as I close out an application and return to my home screen the gesture stops working with voice-over on. again this is only in landscape. perhaps it is specific to my device and or the large IPad Pro's. anyway, thanks for trying to reproduce my issue. it is much appreciated.

Submitted by Ipadman on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Oh, and it was all going so well too.
For some reason, in iOS 12, voice-over freezes completely.
Siri works but all the other sounds stop working and swiping my finger across the screen does nothing,though voice-over will occasionally read out a solitary word before becoming silent again.
The only solution I found so far to this problem is to ask Siri to make a phone call, and then double tap the screen to exit out of the call, voice-over works normally after that.
I’ve shut down my phone and will turn it on tomorrow, hopefully that will solve the problem, but if anyone else is having similar issue, it would be great to know.

Submitted by Blinken223 on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

I don't know if this was done by design or possibly a bug, but I've noticed that, even with my Bluetooth turned on, the status icon is no longer visible.

Was this something that was done by design or is this a bug?

Submitted by Thomas on Tuesday, September 18, 2018

OK, on my iPhone 6s I do have a 4 digit password to unlock my phone however I can’t activate notifications. After entering in my four digits and then bringing up the list of notifications and again tapping on them, I still can’t open them.

If I flick up I get to hear all the new options like view and expand etc. and these work fine. So far some notifications will let me read them via the view option.

I did ask someone to look at the screen for me and was told, each time I double tap on a notification a little square like a tile, pops out to the left which voiceover doesn't announce.

If voiceover is turned off, tapping on the notification again activates the little square which when one taps on it, the notification opens.

Note with voiceover back on, double tapping the tile doesn't activate the notification.

So I'm not sure if this is a bug or a setting that has been activated.

Submitted by Dawn on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I couldn't resist any more. I pulled the trigger and upgraded. I'm sad to say that I too am seeing the issue of broken image disscriptions. O well. Is it annoying? For me, it is because I love that feature. But, at least there's work arounds. My only other complaint is that it's taking me a while to get used to the knew design of News. I liked the old design better. Other than that, it's just some minor adjustments, like my numbers and emoji keys are moved etc. But, they are opposite of where they were before. So, it's not that difficult, as long as I don't put emoji where there should be numbers! lol I'm also loving the snappiness! I didn't think I had much lag, but man, I opened my app store today, and it opened before I could blink! Closing it was just as fast. Overall, for a 1st time release, I'm loving it! I'm giving Apple a big pat on the back! I started playing with Siri shortcuts, and I think it's something I'll end up using. I already enabled 1. I can't wait to see what apps will do with these features. Can't wait for 12.1!

Submitted by Mattie SV on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hello all!
I must say I am really loving this update on my iPhone 8! I also have not really encountered many issues with the descriptions. It has cut out on me one time but all I did was toggle off Voiceover off and back on again and it is working properly . Also I am not having any trouble with the four finger swipe between apps and I do not have the settings app running. For example, I used it with Safari Photos and News and I was able to use the gesture with no problems. I am also enjoying shortcuts and would love to learn How to use this feature even more. With this update I completely erased my iPhone and restored from a backup and then downloaded the new iOS I must say my experience has been stellar so far !

Submitted by Mattie SV on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Upon investigating further I have found that the forefinger gesture is a little inconsistent it works but it’s inconsistent at times

Submitted by Jay-Tee on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hey guys:

Just experienced this earlier on my iPhone SE running iOS 12. When I come upon a word that is written in all caps voice over spells out the word rather than reading it normaly. Is there a setting related to this that I got messed up somehow or this is really a bug in voice over? Anyone experience this too?

I can cinfirm this issue with bluetooth as well. However, depending on what bluetooth device you are using, voiceover will indicate how much battery your device has left if it is turned on. This is the only way I can tell if bluetooth is turned on.

Submitted by negi4a on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hi Applevis,
This is the first time I update iOS so early and am not disappointed at least for now. The update of my 6 and SE was a breeze. The phones work really feel faster.

The new Shortcuts app appeared in the updates tab of appstore.

There is a VO bug that annoyed me for few versions now and it is fixed. I have added Russian language to read Cyrillic alphabets. For some reason the second language didn't respect the user setting to speak slower or faster than the main one. I was very impressed to hear it working again.

Another partially fixed bug is when reading by line. If I do, VO eats the first letter on the line. When you flik up, it reads the whole line. When you flik down it reads ok too. On the next line it eats the first letter again. In the previous versions it dismissed first few letters.

Hope I'll see more goodies soon.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hi all,

I noticed when using the Alex voice on an iPad air 2 in iOS 12 on the lock screen, VO would read the “Press Home To Unlock” button at a slower rate then it would read the rest of the content on the lock screen. I use Alex at 100%, and i couldn’t identify what speech rate Alex spoke the “press home to unlock” button.


Submitted by Ishkabibble on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

In reply to by Jessica

Hi Jessica,

To get image descriptions, which may include the blurriness of an image, text recognized in the image, people’s expressions, etc, 3-finger single-tap the screen when you are focused on the image you want to have described. However, this feature isn’t that reliable, and most of the time, it just tells you how bright or blurry an image is.

Submitted by bonerobot on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hi all,

i‘m using ios 12 on an Iphone X and have also noticed the unlock issue on IOS 12 in acess with the Iphone X. I reported it to Apples accessibility team and they answered:
Thank you for your email. We appreciate the feedback and wanted to let you know that Apple is currently investigating this issue. We cannot comment on when it may be resolved.

Submitted by DudeLove721 on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I can confirm that four finger swiping through apps does work sometimes, it’s just very inconsistent.

I’ve also found that Voiceover will sometimes get choppy for no particular reason. It’s happened in facebook and safari, I believe — cant remember if it was only with my air pods on though....

Submitted by Dawn on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hey! I think I just found a really cool feature! And am wondering if anyone else has noticed it yet.
I was using Siri to read notifications this morning. I was on the other side of the room from where my ipad was. Normally, in previous versions, Siri would be done reading notifications, or whatever she was doing, and would stay on screen until you hit the home button. But, after she was done reading my notifications, after a few seconds, I heard my ipad say: `News, double tap to open` She shut down automatically. I tested it a few more times with open the podbay door, and something else, and it still happened! Persodally, I don't think it's a bug. I think this is a good feature, as I am doing other things in the morning when I ask Siri to read notifications, and sometimes throughout the day, I'm doing other things, and I may need to have her check the weather for instance on my way back to my room from jhe kitchen for example.

Submitted by Jeanine Mooers on Wednesday, September 19, 2018

So far, I’ve encountered two bugs in IOS 12: First, when using my Braille Edge 40 Braille display to navigate to the last item on my iPhone 7 Plus home screen by pressing dots 4-5-6 plus the space bar, this keystroke no longer moves the phone cursor. Second, in the Books app, when Voiceover reads the text of a book, it only turns a couple of pages automatically when the font size is at the smallest, instead of automatically turning all of the pages as the text is spoken. However, when reading a book with the braille display, with page turning set to On when panning, Voiceover turns the pages as it should.

Submitted by clarence carter on Thursday, September 20, 2018

When you activate the pass code you cannot gain access to the item without putting in the code. The process may make you safer, but it is in no way practical. I have tried it both ways, and both ways are clutsy. I assume that this is a flaw.

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Thursday, September 20, 2018

The blog posts reviewing new features should really remind users to always restart one more time manually after updating to clear out glitches, since that has always seemed to be a "thing" with Apple devices and it's hard to know which bug reporters have remembered to do this. Most, I'm sure.
On my SE, 12 doesn't seem really any faster than 11.4.1. Although it speaks the name of an opening app or screen faster, a slight pause comes next and it's about the same in the balance. Most of the more dramatic speed-up users experience is probably down to a fresh reset, since I'm on a new SE and it ran 11 for only a couple of weeks before upgrading to 12. I have no complaints now, and I had no real complaints before upgrading. The new phone did eliminate some hickups with my previous SE, which had been dropped maybe 20 times too many with no case.

Submitted by tclare1 on Thursday, September 20, 2018

Hi all. Since updating to iOS 12, I have noticed a very strange braille bug.
I have my braille code set to UEB. Up until now, I have had no problem inputting web and email addresses in contracted braille using braille screen input.
This morning I tried to log into an account on the phone using my email address and the full stop kept coming out as double d. I had to input the address using the on-screen keyboard. As you can imagine, this was very slow and annoying.
I did check that my braille code is still set to UEB in settings and it is. As UEB has done away with the double d contraction in order to make the inputting of character strings such as web and email addresses possible in contracted braille, I can't think why this bug should be introduced into braille screen input.
Also, I have noticed that while using a braille display to read text in the Books folder, there is a longer delay when scrolling. I scroll manually using the scrolling buttons. In iOS 11 there was no delay after the button was pressed. Now I have to wait a couple of seconds before the next line of braille text appears. I am a very fast and fluent braille reader so this lag is a massive problem, particularly when trying to demonstrate the efficacy of braille technology with the iPhone to a room full of people.
Just wondering, has anyone come up with any workarounds to either issue?

Submitted by Bobette on Thursday, September 20, 2018

I’ve seen some complaints here that the unlock screen does not have haptic feedback when unlocking it. I’ve upgraded to iOS 12 and I do get the haptic feedback. Sometimes a passcode will then come up but most of the time the Face ID works just fine.

Submitted by Lit Xuan on Thursday, September 20, 2018

I have been running iOS 12 since it was out and it works beautifully on my iPhone 7
Firstly, I love the password autofill feature built into Safari, when I logged in here on my iPhone, after clicking log in and being brought to the appropriate screen, iOS already prompted me and asked if I want to use my saved credentials to get in and I just click on the provided suggesttion and verified it with Touch ID and then double-tap on login button, how hedy and easy that is
I have absolutely no doubt about the performance improvements iOS 12 brings to the table, it is beyond noticeable
And I am also very happy to report that image description which was kind of broken for me on iOS 11 works again and quite consistently for me
So, there's no doubt this is the best major iOS release by far, hands down

Submitted by Kerby on Thursday, September 20, 2018

I also downloaded iOS 12 and am loving it so far but there is one issue I'm having. When switching to speaker phone on a call, it cuts out initially for a good 30 seconds or so before coming back. I'm using an iPhone x. Anyone else experiencing this?

Submitted by DudeLove721 on Friday, September 21, 2018

I am pretty sure I figured out why the four finger swipe only works sometimes when switching between apps. If someone else can test this out, I would really appreciate it. It seems like it works when you switch between a native iOS app like Messages or Settings and any other app. Where it seems to fail for me at least is when you try switching between two apps that aren’t iOS-native... although I just tried switching between messages and Safari and it doesn’t work. This is a really weird one. I did launch help by accident and did a four finger swipe right though. It says that it supposed to switch through apps, so they didn’t intentionally disable it.

Submitted by Ipadman on Friday, September 21, 2018

For me anyway, Apple Books seems to take a lot longer to load than iBooks did in iOS 11.
Also, there is a longer Gap between the sound for the page turning effect, and voice-over reading the next page.

I can confirm this, I have not noticedb but I also experience that the speech feedback that says something like phone unlocked very seldom works if you are not using headphones. To add to this why do we not still have the option to unlock without the one finger swipe up from the buttom of the screen!

Submitted by Claus on Friday, September 21, 2018

Scrolling in general in mail or specially facebook with a Focus first generation display works in inconsistantly. Braille and speech seems to get out of touch, speech has the correct focus but on the braille display you see the wrong text, it seems to get worse the more you get down to a list e.g. in facebook or the native mail apps. Braille is really getting much worse on iOS!!! new bugs is introduced and old bugs not solved.

Submitted by Claus on Friday, September 21, 2018

Unfortunately this seems to happen only in Danish. When I write text I will here the dots read out not the letters or contractions! tested on 2 devices, both in mail when searching, and when composing a new message in messages. The old problem with speech when composing mails has not yet been solved!

Submitted by Claus on Friday, September 21, 2018

I have played around with haptic feedback. What happens it seems is that you get haptic feedback when you swipe up from the buttom of the screen, nno matter if the phone is unlocked afterwards or not. So the haptic feedback I think used to be happening when the phone is unlocked is no longer there, and is needed in the instances where you are outside and the first atemt does not always work.

I have now come across this, too, after constant use of my Focus 14 for about three days. It happens when on screens or in folders displaying apps; if you're in an app, it works as it should! The only fixs I've got are: (1) power off both the device and Braille display or (2) forget the device and pair it again. I haven't found a pattern as to when the bug crops up and, sadly, the fixes are not permanent!

Submitted by Rafal on Friday, September 21, 2018

Despite major improvements, there is one bug, 4-finger swype gesture left or right to switch between open apps does not always work. Hope this will be fixed in future updates.

Submitted by Orko on Saturday, September 22, 2018

Deleted because I posted this in the wrong place, sorry.

Submitted by Patrick Bouchard on Friday, September 21, 2018

Wanted to add a little bit of information to the serious bug regarding not being able to activate notifications on the lock screen. The blog post says it applies to phones without a passcode set. This isn't entirely accurate. It applies any time the phone doesn't need to ask for a passcode. Certainly that means a phone without a passcode, but it also happens in situations where the phone is unlocked but still on the lock screen. In my example, I touched my home button without pressing it, which activated touch ID but left me on the lock screen. I was then unable to activate any of my notifications.

This isn't that big of a deal since there's no real reason why you'd actually need to unlock the phone but stay on the lock screen, and you can still go to the notification centre after unlocking and manage them that way. But I like things to be as technically accurate as possible, to make sure people know where and when the bug will occur and also for reporting it to Apple.

Submitted by alex wallis on Friday, September 21, 2018

Hi all, I have been looking at various new apps on ios 12 today to do various things. and I have noticed that I don't seem to be able to read descriptions of apps in the appstore on my iPhone x, I can see reviews, and screenshots but I am unable to see descriptions for any apps. can anyone else confirm this is an issue? and if so are there any work arounds, as clearly I need to be able to see descriptions to find out if apps have features I need. another problem I have found is that I can no longer see options for app support when looking at apps directly on my iPhone in the appstore.

hi thanks for the information, i experienced the same problem when bluetooth was turned off, then i turned on bluetooth and turned off the keyboard, the iPhone works normally this problem is solved by turning on bluetooth continuously for a while

I panicked because I thought the screen of my iPhone was broken

Submitted by Kasper Antonsen on Saturday, September 22, 2018

when activating a button f.x in settings or a tab in facebook, voiceover will not always activate the button. It can also happen other places too. I noticed it sometimes on my IPhone 7, an iPhone x running the official stable release of ios 12 and an ipod running the first ios 12.1 public beta so if you sometimes have this problem please confirm it here. It can help to restart voiceover when it happens.

Submitted by Gerry the beam on Saturday, September 22, 2018

when you trying to adjust The Voice over volume using the router, and set it into one percentthere is no speech at all.but if you use Alex as your synthesizer, the problem will be fix temporarily

Submitted by Ekaj on Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hello all. Apologies in advance if this has already been asked, but I've got limited time. Just updated my iPhone 7 to iOS 12 earlier in the week, and based on my limited usage it works very well. I have a question though, and I'm not sure whether this is a longstanding bug or just the way it's supposed to be. But I've noticed that sometimes VoiceOver will read each notification twice. This was the case for me in iOS 11 as well. It doesn't happen all the time though. But it seems to happen particularly when I press the Home button while my screen is locked, upon coming back to my phone after doing something else. Anyone else had this happen? Just curious. I'm loving my iPhone, and if only I could ever do more with it that would be sweet.

Immediately after installing version 12, I had the same problem where I could launch apps, but couldn't activate any controls within the app. A single finger double tap produced the same audio cue it always has, but nothing happens. Fortunately I was able to power off the phone and restart it, that seems to have resolved whatever was causing it to ignore the single finger double tap, for now. (shrugs)

Submitted by Foxt on Saturday, September 22, 2018

With iOS 12 using Oliver enhanced as the reader I’ve noticed pronunciation of contractions has changed. For example:
He’s is read He S
She’d is read She D
We’re is We Re

Not prohibitive but certainly annoying!

Submitted by Taeshim on Saturday, September 22, 2018

Hi, I've submitted this bug to apple multiple times and was curious if ios 12 finally fixed it? When using 2 language keyboard, for me it was English and Korean, When I type Korean in an message field and flick up and down to scroll through what I've written, it is properly spoken in Korean when the keyboard is in Korean, however when I'm on the English or emogy koboard, it is spoken in English voice or just says unreadable text... Anyone able to check this? TIA

Submitted by Linpin on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

In reply to by taichong

It seems, on my device ipad pro 12,9, it only works with swiping from the left to the right starting at the border.

Submitted by bj colt on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

I have a blind friend who has limited movement in his fingers. He only has the use of 3 fingers on his right hand. In the previous ios 11 he encountered a problem deleting a contact. This problem continued with the ios 12 installation. For some strange reason a sighted person can delete a contact on his phone but he can't. The delete button appears to be missing. I havegone through a possiboity of checking tboth facebok and messenger to ensure there is no contact connection in his iphone contacts. These settings have been turned off. I have gone through the normal process of deleting a contact with him but no luck at all. The delete button seems to be gone. As I say a sighted person can delete any of his contacts. A very strange issue. Any help would be very much appreciated.