The Accessibility Bugs in iOS 10 for Blind and Low Vision Users, From Serious To Minor

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Detailed in this post are possible accessibility-related bugs that members of the AppleVis Editorial Team have identified during their testing of iOS 10.

As is now our routine practice, the bugs have been grouped based upon what we believe to be there likely level of impact to the user experience to those affected by each bug. At the time of writing, we have only identified one bug which we believe to be serious—an issue which relates to using iOS 10’s Mail app with a braille display.

If you haven’t already updated your device to iOS 10, we strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before doing so—as this will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to install iOS 10 at this time.

As we always stress in these posts, we can make no claims on the completeness and accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. Also, some of the bugs listed below have not been encountered by all members of the Team. So, please bear in mind that it is entirely possible that problems listed here will not be present on all devices or in all use cases. It is also possible that, in some instances, we are simply mistaken—or that there are additional new bugs or regressions which we did not identify in our testing. Accordingly, we would really appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 10 —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 in this post). 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 accessibility-related problems that we believe to be present in iOS 10:

Serious Bugs

  1. When using a braille display with the Mail app, after opening a message, at the beginning of each line of the email, the user will see who the message is from. This occurs in the header information as well as in the body of the message. When sorting by thread, each line also begins with the message number in the thread.

Moderate Bugs

  1. The behavior of VoiceOver focus can be inconsistent and unreliable when interacting with Lock Screen notifications. This has been most common when using the ’More’ option from the VoiceOver rotor. On occasions VoiceOver focus will not correctly switch to reflect the change in what is active on screen after using this Rotor option, and swiping produces inconsistent and confusing results. In some cases you may need to use a combination of direct touch; three-finger swiping up/down; and swiping left/right to correctly place VoiceOver focus on the expanded view of the notification and for swiping to behave as expected.
  2. When using the Messages app with VoiceOver and a Bluetooth keyboard, VoiceOver focus occasionally behaves inconsistently. This issue usually presents itself after one presses enter to send a message; when this bug does occur (which is not all of the time), VoiceOver focus usually lands several messages previous in the thread.
  3. If one has multiple Enhanced Quality voices installed, on occasion one or more of the voices may revert to the default variant and require a re-download. The team member who has experienced this issue reports that it has only occurred for them with the U.S. English Samantha voice, which was positioned as a secondary language in the Rotor.
  4. VoiceOver speech may stop or fade out while reading text inserted into a text field using Dictation. This issue appears to be limited to that particular use case, and swiping or touching the screen will bring back speech as normal.
  5. Using the VoiceOver rotor to navigate by Headings on the ‘For You’ tab of the native News App is inconsistent and unreliable.
  6. On occasions, you may not be able to locate by touch the Space key on the onscreen keyboard. When this happens, VoiceOver may report that you have ‘touched’ the Dictate key, but will still insert a space when you double-tap. However, this behavior does not appear to be consistent and is infrequent.
  7. VoiceOver does not announce the current selection status of the Love and Dislike buttons on the More menu located on the Mini Player of the native Music app.
  8. In some situations, the Enhanced quality Siri voices may not be available for use with VoiceOver. This bug has been very difficult to reproduce, and only one member of our team is currently experiencing it.
  9. In the native Home app that’s new in iOS 10, the list of people who have shared access to control accessories is read by VoiceOver as one item. As a result, you cannot access a specific user to view or edit their permissions.

Minor Bugs

  1. The 2 personalised music playlists new to Apple Music in iOS 10 are appearing on the For You tab as unlabelled buttons with no feedback for VoiceOver users on what they are (which is “My New Music Mix” and “My Favorites Mix”).
  2. If you paste text into the Search field of the App Store, the Search button itself will not become active until you have used the onscreen keyboard to make some further change to the text in the search field (such as simply adding a space).
  3. When swiping through a list of articles from one of your favourites in the native News app, VoiceOver will in some instances provide feedback which suggests that you are actually on the Main screen of the Favourites tab. When VoiceOver does announce these elements, they will not behave as expected when double-tapped.
  4. When editing the list of mailboxes/folders to be displayed in the native Mail App, VoiceOver does not announce their current selection status.
  5. The Delete option in the VoiceOver Rotor Actions menu does not work with tracks listed in the ‘Up Next’ section of the Mini Player in the native Music app. This should work, as sighted users can simply swipe on a track to delete it from this list.
  6. In the Mail app, VoiceOver will occasionally speak the "Inbox" heading at the top of the screen as a long string of numbers and letters. Exiting out of the Inbox using the "Back" button and then reentering the Inbox appears to resolve this problem.
  7. If you have multiple locations added to the native Weather app, VoiceOver focus may wrongly switch away from the currently selected one when swiping through the last elements on the weather details screen.
  8. When moving an app out of a folder using the drag method, VoiceOver does not play the sound to indicate that the folder has been closed.
  9. The Heading at the top of the 'For You' tab of the native News App reads as 2 separate but identical elements when swiping to move focus.
  10. When using 3D Touch in the native Music App to open a ‘peek’ menu, it is possible in some situations that swiping left will move VoiceOver focus to the Status Bar rather than ending with the first item in the ‘peek’ menu.
  11. When one activates the “Call” button when placing a phone call, VoiceOver will often say, “Incoming Call…” before speech stops as the call is connected.

If you encounter any additional accessibility bugs in iOS 10, 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.

This post was updated on 9/13/2016 to remove a moderate bug, regarding the moving of apps out of folders using the new rotor actions method, which we now believe to be working as intended.

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Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Another bug I found is that when you explore the faces gallery tab in the Watch app, and you tap on any of the faces, before the description of the face there is a button that's not labeled correctly. The button says "UICTContentSizeCategoryL." Can anyone tell me what that button is supposed to do? Hopefully the bug will be fixed in a future update.

Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Another possible bug and I say possible because I just rebooted my phone in hopes it fixes this but I ended up missing a call today because my phone was on mute but did not vibrate, when the same person called back my phone still didn't vibrate but I heard vo speak the name even though the phone was on mute so that was the only way I knew someone was calling. My vibration options are all turned on. Like I said I just rebooted my phone so I guess I'll leave this one to be continued.

Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Have they completely removed the ability to reply to messages from the lock screen? I can't seem to get that to work.

I wish i knew how to fix the issue. Hopefully it will be fixed soon. I have also noticed that same issue with the Bible app i use. It just happens randomly. If I find a way to fix the problem I will post it. I may let Apple Accessibility know as well. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one experiencing this issue! Thanks for speaking up!

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

There is a bug with invisible ink. With short hidden messages you can double tap to read but with longer messages you can't get the message to reveal. You can read part of the message when out of the thread but that's about it. Short messages that are a few words in length will show with a single double tap.

Submitted by JeffB on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Sorry for the double post but when turned on to have Siri announce calls and set to always she won't announce any incomming calls. I'm not sure if this for the other settings as well but I tried with both a number not in my contacts and a number in my contacts.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, September 15, 2016

I don't know if this is an issue/bug/whatever. When deleting characters with BSI, it announces the dots instead of the letter. Is this a bug or is it just how BSI works when deleting characters.

Submitted by Darren12 on Thursday, September 15, 2016

It should be announcing the characters your deleting. This might be a consequence of using grade 2 if your using it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, September 15, 2016

I can't stress this enough guys, but every single person who posts about bugs here needs to do exactly the same for Apple. I know we've hammered this into everyone's heads multiple times but is your best bet for actually getting some of these bugs solved. and with the exception of a few posts, these do seem like actual bugs, and not real show stoppers. For the person having trouble with VoiceOver actually working, the trick is to have VoiceOver actually talking while the volume is being turned up. So, swipe the screen to the right and left with one hand, and with the other hand crank up the volume and that *should* do the trick to getting VoiceOver back for you. Just imagine if everyone was as passionate about reporting bugs to Apple as they are about posting them here...this is really valuable feedback that Apple needs to see. Even if something only happens once, it's still a bug that needs to be reported. For example, after I send this post I'm going to report the issue I had yesterday with unlocking the screen for the first time to enable touch id. yes, it only happened once but from what I saw, it happened to other folks too, and if Apple has more than just one instance of a problem, they can better replicate the issues and solve them.

Submitted by Afrim on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Here are the bugs I could discover so far by exploring the areas of iOS 10.
1. On the Mail app, when looking through the actions over a thread, Voiceover may occasionally not focus to another action other than the activate button (default). The way to fix this is to touch again on that thread and read the actions menu through the roter as you always do. However, I think the accessibility team needs looking into this issue as the first time you want to take action on a thread, when activated may slow down Voiceover’s performance.
2. Already mentioned; on the first time you try unlocking your device after upgrading to iOS 10, Voiceover will not read numbers on the passcode keyboard. They will be read as in the keyboard of old devices such as “A B C”, “P Q R S”, and so on.
3. On the Facebook app, Voiceover is unable to read the two buttons (log out/cancel button) when you want to log out of Facebook.
4. Very important: when browsing with Safari, Voiceover may read a heading along with its related headings. An example of this issue can be seen by going to the following website and browsing one of the topics there.
5. When going out of Braille screen input using roter, Voiceover will not read the next option/setting in the roter.
These were some of the bugs I could find in these two days with iOS 10. If I find more, I will surely comment again and see if we can do something to fix them. If the accessibility team of Apple would consider looking into these issues, I would be extremely grateful for the consideration towards Voiceover users.

Submitted by Lee on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hi All, First I have found the table index in contacts is now working for me. However, in the music app it seems we can now search in headings/table index form. So for example click on album button. All albums are displayed and flicking down through headings goes A, B, C etc. However I've found that it doesn't work. I can flick A, B, C then get Heading not found. I have to flick right through all albums starting C. I can then suddenly find D as a heading. Flick down and E comes up. Then again it fails. So if you have hundreds of albums/songs etc you'll spend ages trying to find what you want.

You're right that scrolling by headings doesn't work in the music app, nor does the table index, I just tested that myself after reading the previous post. The only workaround I can think of is going to the Search tab and searching for whatever you would have scrolled down to in the first place. If you're just scrolling through your library in the hope of deciding what to play from it, you may not know what to search for, but if you have a good idea of what you want, searching is a possible solution until the headings and table index bug gets squashed in the Music app.

Submitted by DJ on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Apologies for commenting here but a game I enjoy has become frustrating to play as VO announces landmarks prior to game information which was not the case prior to the recent update.

I've raised this issue in more detail below.

Is this a bug or simply the new way in which VO itself works?

That's how BSI works if you have contracted Braille on. Think about it, you enter a w, then backspace over it. It doesn't know if it's a w or the word "will" (for U.S and UEB anyway) so it's telling you the dots. It's always worked this way, at least on my devices.

Submitted by mastodont on Thursday, September 15, 2016

hi. I have found a very annoying bug with braille screen imput, I use it to type uncontracted braille but it seems that I can't imput the question mark using dots 2 and 6, when I try to imput the question sign nothing happens, voice over reads nothing, not even the dots i'm pressing. those dots work perfectly if I try to imput an other sign like equals or exclamation mark.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ah, thanks Jake. I figured that wasn't a bug but i wasn't sure as before iOS 10, I didn't fiddle with BSI much. Thanks for the info!

Submitted by Pavel Ondra on Thursday, September 15, 2016

i noticed: when i do a spotlight search on iphone 5s, my way for opening apps quickly, after it voiceover starts speaking randommly something like 0 items found, i have to do another search, leave field blank and press home button.

I'm not sure if this is a bug? but when I hit more, I could see the vertual keyboard as I had my Bluetooth keyboard on and the keyboard was showing. but when I turned it off the edit box for replying to the message went away. I had tou double tap on the messages button to open the messages app before I saw that edit box again. Maybe this is a once off thing? I dunno. My iPhone is jailbroken and on iOS 9.0.2 and my iPod on iOS 10, and I don't get a lot of messages to try this on.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

A couple of keyboard bugs I've noticed.
1. After typing a number or punctuation character and pressing space or return, the keyboard is supposed to automatically revert back to the letters section. I'm finding this is often not happening.
2. When auto correct fixes a spelling, sometimes VoiceOver says "bottom of document" instead of the word it has inserted.

Submitted by dvdmth on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

I can confirm the issue trying to navigate by heading in the Music app. My library isn't too large, so I can get to whatever I want relatively quickly using three-finger swipes to scroll, but for those with a massive library, the search option is probably the best way to go until the issue can be resolved.

To the one who could not enter a question mark in BSI, I just tried and had no difficulty. Both the proper literary symbol, 2-3-6, and the ASCII symbol, 1-4-5-6, worked to insert a question mark in 6-dot mode. If in contracted mode, the proper symbol works at the end of a word, or if you escape it with dots 5-6 preceding the symbol, while the ASCII version requires 5-6 to work.

Submitted by Kasper Antonsen on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hi. I have bin a beta tester of the ios 10 on an ipod touch. Now that the official version are released I have discovered a serious bug in an app. I will try to explain to you as best as I can and if you have any questions regarding this, please contact me.
I have an app called e-boks installed. It looks a bit like an email app, but you cant send mails. Instead you get official letters from the state and regions instead of paper letters also letters from your banc etc. the problem is when I start the app I get a obtion with a logon button. I press it and now I am in the area where I can type my cpr number and passcode. After I do that I press logon again now I get in to a dialog where it ask me if I want to use touch id the 2 buttons on the screen are I want to use touch id and a no thanks button.
My friend can see that dialog.
When I press the I want to use touch id button the dialog goes away. My friend can’t see it any more. Instead my inbox are there.
But voiceover are stuck in that dialog I cant see my inbox or do anything to come there.
I have tried everything to fix it, restart voiceover, reboot my phone etc but nothing helps.
I have contacted e-boks a/s user support with the same report as to you.
Best regards
Kasper Antonsen

Submitted by raaj on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Is this for me alone? Or for everyone? Or only for a few users? I couldn't find out the wake up feature with my iPhone6 even after updating it to IOS10.

Submitted by Jake on Thursday, September 15, 2016

In reply to by mastodont

Perhaps this question mark issue is a bug in the Braille table for your language? Which language is your input language? I could test. This combination isn't the question mark in English.

Submitted by mastodont on Thursday, September 15, 2016

my primary language is romanian but I use the english keyboard when I type. this is strange because in IOS 9.3.5 I could use dots 2 and 6 to imput the question mark with no problem, maybe this is a misunderstanding because in my language the question mark is made by using dots 2 and 6 only.
edit: I've just tried it using the romanian keyboard and it works but dots 2 3 and 6 work also as question mark so now I have no way of opening quotes on the romanian keyboard. I was using the english keyboard before and it worked fine with 2 and 6. I think this is some kind of bug for sure but I'm not sure how should I report it rofl. now i'm confused :D

it's me again, it seems as this was my mistake, I thought that braille signs were international, well that's the case for dot exclamation mark collon, excepting the question mark it seems rofl. I've read braille books in english that had the question sign written as 2 6 but I guess they were printed in romania so damn! but the bug still remains though, I can not open quotes with 2 3 6.

Submitted by JeffB on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hi the table index is still broken for me in contacts I'm using an iPhone 6s. @Lee did you do anything to get it to work?

Submitted by dvdmth on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

I just tested inserting quotation marks in BSI.

In six-dot mode, entering 2-3-6 inserts a question mark, but if I then type a word and hit space, the question mark is changed to a quotation mark automatically. If I am in contracted mode, 2-3-6 inserts a quotation mark immediately if it is the first character of a word.

In unified braille, you can force the use of double quotes by adding dots 4-5 before the quotation mark sign. So, use 4-5, then 2-3-6 for an opening quote and 4-5, then 3-5-6 for a closing quote. If you do this, make sure to use dots 4-5 for both signs, or else you may end up with mismatching quotes when translated to plain text. I believe you have to have your braille language set to unified for these symbols to work.

I have no idea how this would work in other languages, so your mileage may vary.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Thursday, September 15, 2016


I am wondering if anyone else is experiencing a problem with Braille Screen Input using iOS 10. My problem is that whenever I flick left to remove a character I have entered with braille, I do not hear the character that is deleted. This worked fine until I updat3ed to iOS 10. Apple Support indicates I need to restore my OS using iTunes, which I am not comfortable doing, but if this is the only way to fix my problem (as opposed to being a real iOS 10 bug), so be it<smile>.


Curtis Chong

I myself have an iPhone 6 Plus and the more option works perfectly, but I do know someone who has an iPhone five and someone who has an iPhone 5s, both of them have said that the more option is not working so this may be a bug with older devices, it depends what ios device you are using

Submitted by Anna Beige on Thursday, September 15, 2016

In reply to by Kayla Cole

Kayla, I received a reply from Apple Accessibility a bit ago.

Thank you for your email. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention.
It is possible that this is an issue with the website’s code, but we will
test the behavior to be sure. If you discover this behavior with any other
sites, please reply to this email with the link or links.


Apple Accessibility"

I already replied to them with another website, and mentioned that it's also occurring in the Gmail app.

Submitted by John H on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hey there, yes I did report the two bugs I did find to the apple accessibility email as well as writing them on this post.

Submitted by simplon on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Hi. I have bin a beta testerof the ios 10 on an iphone 5s.
VersionIoS 10.0.1
on the mail app voice over do not read the text of the message body.
voice over only read sender's name and mail address. do not read message body. I set that shows 5 lines of text.

best regards

Submitted by PaulMartz on Thursday, September 15, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I have an iPhone 5 and there is definitely an issue with replying to messages on lock screen. When the message notification has VoiceOver focus, I swipe up to get to three different options: Clear, Activate, and More. "More" is a new option that has replaced the old "Reply" option in previous releases. The only problem is that "More" doesn't do anything. Swipe up to "More" then double-tap, and I get nothing. I'm low vision and I can see that even the screen doesn't change.

Submitted by John H on Thursday, September 15, 2016

In reply to by simplon

Mine will read the senders name and subject as well. but not the body either and like you I have 5 lines of text sent to show.

Submitted by Troy on Friday, September 16, 2016

Followup to my post on not vibrating when on mute, I rebooted and that seemed to solve the problem.

Submitted by Peter Saathoff on Friday, September 16, 2016

This was a bug in iOS 9, but is still present in 10. When I go to Settings > Safari > saved passwords and search for something, Voiceover won't read the search results. If I turn off Voiceover and tap a result and then turn Voiceover back on, It will read the page with my password totally fine. I reported it to Apple already but didn't see anyone mention it here. Probably one of the most commonly annoying bugs for me.

Submitted by kool_turk on Friday, September 16, 2016

Restoring through iTunes I'm sorry to say won't solve the BSI issue where you swipe to delete text.

It'll delete, but no feedback.

I use to restore through iTunes all the time to solve problems, but since apple introduced app thinning, it takes ages to redownload your apps.

I only have about 54 apps, so I can only imagine how long it would take for those with a lot more.

Submitted by David Allen on Friday, September 16, 2016

I think the pronunciation dialogue is great. Worked as described because I told it Waby should be pronounced Wayby. So I did this on my 6S using the US dialect Siri male enhanced voice for voiceover. Now go to the phone app, and I see the button directly under zero is pronounced like qual. This must be a new bug. I'm sure the button is call, but this makes it a bug, though not a bother, except that across the way, the endcall button is spoken correctly, even though endcall isn't really a word. If you write endcall, VO says it's misspelled. I will let Apple know this, but I find it annoying anyway.

Submitted by Lee on Friday, September 16, 2016

Hi All, I have the iphone 6s and like others I can't reply to text notifications. However, I may have a work around. Go to the more option and double tap. You don't see the edit box or other options. However, go to rotor and select vertical navigation. Flick down once and you get into the edit box. Well it works on my 6s for me. hth

Submitted by John Farina on Friday, September 16, 2016

Hello all,
I am not yet seeing the update on my iPad mini (original I believe based on the date I got it). I have looked up the information on the apple site concerning which models will get the update and think I am in the running. Anyone have thoughts?

Submitted by Nickus on Friday, September 16, 2016

I realized yesterday that all my text replacement keyboard shortcuts which I had set up has disappeared on my iPhone 6 after the update to iOS10. This is probably not a VO bug but a general bug.

Submitted by Jasmine on Friday, September 16, 2016

after each app name on the home screen, as well as in emails and facebook etc, voiceover says this randdom colection of numbers. I think it might be when there is punctuation, as it says it a lot in the facebook app and in emails, offten several times within a sentence. Very annoying, makes me not want to check my newsfeed. Has anyone else seen this? Any ideas what it is or if it can be stopped? Restarting phone, 5s, did not fix. Thanks

Submitted by Usman on Friday, September 16, 2016

So another thing I noticed which may or may not be a bug. When I am on a call, the lock screen is taken up by the call information. However, when I receive another notification, say a new text message, I am unable to see that notification at all. I know I got a text message when I heard the sound but I was unable to see what it was by swiping around on the lock screen. All I saw was the call information, and the unlock. I had to unlock my phone and go into messages to see what it was. Anyone else noticed this?