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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Well, in US and Unified English anyway, the question mark is dots 2-3-6 in contracted Braille. It is the same as the opening quote, in fact, and relies on translation context. Dots 2-6 is an en contraction. In the case of uncontracted 8-dot English or computer Braille, dots 2-6 is the number 5 and the question mark is dots 1-4-5-6.
Here's the thing. BSI's input language is dependent on your input keyboard, not voiceover's language. So, if your VoiceOver is in English for example but your input keyboard is currently Romanian, BSI will use Romanian and not English. I've certainly never seen dots 2-6 input a question mark, and a darn good thing too or my en contraction wouldn't work.

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Friday, September 16, 2016

Hi folks. Had some initial teething problems when upgrading to IOS10 however, simply forgetting and re-pairing the keyboard seems to have eliminated the vast majority of these. the only 1 now that seems to remain is the inability to navigate by word when using control+left or right arrows. Is this particular to the Logitech Keys-to-go keyboard, in which case, maybe I'm better off talking to them, or is it something that other people with other keyboards are experiencing? I did email last night as this bug is not just particular to 3rd party apps but also occurs in the iMessaging and mail apps native to the iPhone. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has this problem and what devices/keyboards other people are using if they are not experiencing this. Thanks.

Submitted by GraceWins on Friday, September 16, 2016

Is anyone experiencing a bug with the alarm where you're not able to use snooze when your phone is not locked when the alarm goes off? There are no alarm options when it goes off and as soon as I try to swipe or tap anything the alarm shuts off.

Submitted by mastodont on Friday, September 16, 2016

the thing is that i'm not using contracted braille, I use 6 dots braille and I type each letter individually. I don't really know how this is called because i'm relatively new in tthe field of writing braille on phones or computers, the only thing I used until recently was an old giant of a type writer. anyways, the question mark works as expected when I switch to romanian now. I reported to apple that when I'm using the romanian keyboard dots 2 3 and 6 still imput a question mark because those dots make only the opening quote sign in romanian. I hope they'll fix it in the next update.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Friday, September 16, 2016

I have a very large music collection and use an iPhone 6S. Here is how navigation by heading, i.e., letter by letter works for me.

After selecting artists, I locate the table index and then begin flicking upward. This increases the alphabet by one letter. Then, if flicking downward, it decreases the alphabet letters. I then toggled back to playlists and then reactivated the artist selection and had the same result. My library is 125 pages and I didn't have any navigation problems.


No, the Mini2 is the oldest device in the mini series to work with iOS10.
Compatibility list (From IDownloadBlog:…
• iPad 4, iPad Air and iPad Air 2
• 12.9 and 9.7-inch iPad Pro
• iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 4
• iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus
• Sixth-generation iPod touch

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Friday, September 16, 2016

I think this may actually be an iOS bug, but not sure. In your library tab, when you click on downloads, then songs, the library is still sorted by artist. Anyone else noticed this?

Submitted by Jake on Friday, September 16, 2016

In reply to by mastodont

In English, we call what you are doing uncontracted Braille. Contracted Braille is when dot combinations, letters and letter combinations, and a mixture of both will input different things sometimes based on context. For example, in English contracted Braille, the letter w by itself is translated out as the word "will". To get a w on its own, one must precede the w with another symbol. It's complex. Not all languages have contracted Braille, and some (such as English) have multiple levels (called grades) of contraction level. I don't know if Romanian has a contracted Braille writing system or not, as many languages have not developed contracted Braille usually by choice. Since you said you were reading Braille books in English but printed in Romania, they had to have used Romanian Braille code. From this, I'd deduce that Romanian has no contracted Braille system. The same books printed in English-speaking countries would look very different indeed.
Anyway, I'm rambling too much. I'm glad you reported this one to Apple. The Braille tables are probably getting mixed up somewhere in VoiceOver.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I sorted by music downloads, and then songs. I see that the sort does sort by artist but it lists the individual songs by the artist, as well. This looks to be normal to me.

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I have no option on my keyboard. I have function, control, alt and command to the left of the space bar. Either way, I've just tried the alt key and that seems to do the trick. :-)

Submitted by Dave Nason on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Just to let you know Kerry, the Alt key and the Option key are the same thing. Some keyboards say Alt and some say Option, but from a software point of view they are literally the same thing.on Alt is Option

Submitted by Tim Hornik on Saturday, September 17, 2016

One I have replicated throughout the beta builds and public release of iOS 10 on two separate iPhone 6 and an iPhone 5 is Braille Screen Input closing when typing # while sharing to Twitter from apps like News, Safari, and other apps.

Another bug I have replicated on the same three devices is when sharing from News and you are in the article, the linked article is the previous article in your list and not the actual article you are reading. The workaround is to share the article from the main News screen or other screen with the aggregated list of articles.

Submitted by John H on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Seems with all of these posts and even the ones I've discovered on my own iOS10 seems pretty buggy as far as accessibility goes. Or is it just me?

Submitted by Toonhead on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I'm having no problems here. The reason it always seems so incredibly buggy on Applevis is that everyone literally uses their iPhones in different ways, with different languages, with different apps in different ways. This is why reading things about the latest iOS can be both a bit of a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that you read about how everyone uses their iPhones, which is really sort of cool. The curse is that a new user reads about all these bugs, and it can get rather unsettling if you're not used to using iOS. Either way I can't think of a single thing i'm having trouble with.

Submitted by Rocco on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I'm also experiencing the issue of not having enhanced quality siri voices in VoiceOver. Has anyone found a work around for this? Very annoying...thinking about completely erasing my phone and starting with a clean install to try to fix this, but I'd rather not do that if possible...

Submitted by Darren12 on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I downloaded it this evening. I did have some reservations, but, after an evenings use, really it isn't all that bad. Quite good, for a .0 release actually. The one thing I have noticed is that the reachability sound is no longer present on the home screen or whilst your on a page of the home screen, but does happen if your inside an app. This is obviously intentional, so just wondered had anyone else noticed this.

Submitted by Melissa on Saturday, September 17, 2016

I am having issues when on the locked screen, my phone does not vibrate on siolent. However, when I turn Voiceover off, it works. I find this to be very strange. It does work when not on the locked screen though. I remember having this issue at the beginning of iOS9.

Submitted by Darren12 on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Encountered a pretty serious one here, whereby searching for apps in the app store is now completely inaccessible. Can't clear text, can't get at the search results and can't dictate a search either. A good old British phrase for this circumstance is bugger. Will be writing to accessibility tomorrow.

Submitted by Darren12 on Saturday, September 17, 2016

Did eventually get this working again, by opening and closing the app store several times. Something is definitely amiss with app store search. However, searching using dictation in the app store does appear to be completely broken at the moment, can't get it functioning correctly at all.

Submitted by Troy on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Yes, the vibrate issue is still hit or miss, and I'm also noticing the appstore search issue as well. Other than that, love the update and I will be sending the most common bugs mentioned on here to apple as well.

Submitted by Mattie SV on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hello all!!! I found a way that dictation will work in the App Store the first thing that I did was refresh the App Store by double tapping nine times on any of the bottom tabs such as featured or search or updates you will know when the App Store is refreshed it will make a little sound then I double tapped on the search tab and then I double tapped on the search bar and I put one space using the onscreen keyboard and then use dictation to dictate my query and it worked I hope this helps!!!

Submitted by Darren12 on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Further to my comments regarding app store search, and thank you for the work around, it also appears that BSI is flaky when using it in the app store. This was a bug in ios8, and the difficulty with searching was again prevalent in prior releases. There's also a strange pop-up that you have to dismiss before being able to access the search results, which is a change, but perhaps is some kind of visual modification to the design.

Submitted by Darren12 on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Searching in the podcasts app does seem completely impossible currently. Attempted BSI, dictation and regular typing with no success. Very buggy. Not good.

Submitted by Mattie SV on Sunday, September 18, 2016

Thank you so much and you're very welcome I'm glad that that workaround helps!!! Hopefully it will be fixed in the next release!!!

Submitted by Crysania on Sunday, September 18, 2016

I cannot search for apps in the App Store at all, either by dictation or with the on screen keyboard. I also often struggle with searching in the contacts app for a contact and in other search Fields

Submitted by Crysania on Sunday, September 18, 2016

In the Podcasts app when I want to dismiss the many player, I have to swipe right over the whole status bar. Before the update, the dismiss mini player option was the first option on the left.

Hi. Just tried this with my iPhone 5SE and I can confirm I'm getting flaky results too. If I type in the search and then double tap on the search button at the bottom right of the screen I do get search results but can't see what they are. There appears to be nothing on the screen. ON the successful time I have got something to come up, I then can't seem to see any of the podcasts listed. The funny thing is when I was doing this after installing on Wednesday I didn't seem to see any problems. I was talking a friend of mine through it who is still on IOS9 and hadn't really delved into the world of podcasts.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, September 19, 2016

Yes it does sort by artist, just as it does with the artisst button. By song is supposed to sort alphabetically by song title.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, September 19, 2016

I don't think this is a Voiceover bug, but I can't find the autolock settings. Before, it used to be under settings, general, autolock. Anybody know where it is in iOS10? Thanks.

Submitted by John H on Monday, September 19, 2016

I'm quite happy to have my iPhone on 9.0.2 jailbroken while my much less used iPod remains on the current iOS10 brance. Just so many many bugs that come up from everybody its insanety at its finest.

You'd think that when I searched for lock that I would find autolock, but I had to hunt to find it a few days ago. Is it me or should it have come up?

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Monday, September 19, 2016

In reply to by John H

It's under settings>display and brightness.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, September 19, 2016

Thanks for that answer. In retrospect, it makes lots of sense. Although, I did do a search for it in settings and it didn't come up.

In our testing, we found that if the switch on the side of the iPhone was in the mute position, the track position and mute actions were not frequently announced. If you are finding the announcements to be distracting while listening to music, we recommend temporarily enabling that switch to prevent the announcemtns.

Submitted by Matt D on Monday, September 19, 2016

When playing live stream, such as ESPN radio in the music app, or a football game of some type on tuneIn audio ducking will work for a short time, but the moment another sound such as a notification or voiceOver feedback sounds is played audio ducking no longer works and I can barely hear the Alex voice over the live feed playing. Tried this on two separate 6+ devices one 64gb and the other 128.
Anyone else experience this?

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, September 19, 2016

Audio ducking has had a bug for several iOS versions. For instance, even when you have it turned on and not in your roter, so you really shouldn't be able to turn audio ducking off, when you unlock your phone, more often than not the first time you flick up or down, it will change the status of audio ducking. Also, sometimes when audio ducking is enabled, like you said, sometimes the background sound doesn't drop out during other audio. What I find works is to let the Voiceover voice stop for a few seconds and then try to read the notification again. That usually seems to fix the problem.

Submitted by Nickus on Monday, September 19, 2016

I think I found another possible bug using a iPhone 6, can someone try to see if they also experience it?
1. In the Mail app compose a new email.
2. Double tap the "To" field to type in the recipients email address.
3. After entering the email address, double tap on another field like subject or the mail body to type in that field.
4. Now go back to the "To" field and double tap on it to edit the recipients email address as if you initially made a mistake when typing it.
5. Turn your roter to navigate by caricters and try to navigate through the email address which you typed earlier.
6. When flicking up and down to navigate the email address by caricter, my Voiceover doesn't speak the caricters like its suppose to, so its basically impossible to hear where you are and impossible to edit the address. The only way is to completely delete and type it again.

Submitted by Darren12 on Monday, September 19, 2016

Yes, this seems to be a bug. Don't honestly know if It's exclusive to ios10, because I've not needed to do precisely those steps before, but regardless, VO doesn't announce the characters as it should.

Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I let Apple Accessibility know of this hiccup today.

I use an iPhone 6S Plus running iOS 10. I use VoiceOver 100% of the time and wear EarPods and control my iPhone with a BlueTooth Logitech Keys-To-go keyboard

I have the timer set up to only vibrate when it goes off. However, when the timer does go off, all sound is routed through the phone speakers rather than the EarPods which are plugged in. I have tried this with both the mute switch on and off.

I would hope that VoiceOver output would continue to go through the headphone jack if in use.

If someone is listening to something private and then the timer goes off, all talking is then out loud. And, to turn off the timer, VoiceOver is talking out loud while you are trying to clear the timer and not through the EarPods.

Submitted by Morgan Watkins on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I just discovered a work around. When the timer goes off and VoiceOver begins to talk through your phone speakers even when you have headphones plugged in, just press the Volume Down button on the side of your phone. Sound then goes back through the attached EarPods. Phew! Perhaps this is not a fix, but it is a good work-around.

I've only had an iPhone since iOS8 and this has always happened. I noticed too that the phone ringer is very low from the headphone jack too. I am not sure this is a bug, this may be done on purpis so that you don't miss your alarm (in case your headphones are plugged in and you've walked away from your phone but are like just across the room.

Submitted by Brad D on Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I've emailed Apple Accessibility on this.

When I first used the iPhone 6S after downloading IOS 10, the screen lock announcement, for the love of god was gone.

However, when I changed the Raise to Wake setting to off, the screen lock announcement came back.

Despite changing the, Raise to Wake, setting to on again, Voice Over still announces the screen lock.

The only other change I did was to the Home button setting, to change the fingerprint to unlock the phone, which doesn't work at this time

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, September 21, 2016

When I get message from braking or message I heard the toe but voiceover does not read it. It just says notification.

Submitted by John H on Thursday, September 22, 2016

I just got this note from Apple Accessibillity, but haven't tried it yet. Remember I and a few others have posted there was a bug in reading the body of a message in mail, where you'd have 5 lines of text shown but Voiceover would not read them?

Hello again,
After reporting this I have come to learn that the behavior was changed in IOS 10. Now you three finger tap to hear the email preview.

Apple Accessibility