The Accessibility Bugs in iOS 9: From Serious To Minor

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Detailed in this post are possible accessibility-related bugs which members of the AppleVis Editorial Team have identified during their testing of iOS 9. If you have not already updated your device to iOS 9, we strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before doing so, as we believe that there are some new bugs in this release which might have a negative impact on the user experience for some blind and low vision users.

As always, we do need to stress at the offset that our testing of iOS 9 has been somewhat limited. We are only a small team, and in most cases have only installed and used iOS 9 on a single device. Also, some of the bugs listed have not been encountered by all members of the Team. So, please bear in mind that it is possible that problems mentioned below 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 issues which we did not identify in our testing. Accordingly, we would really appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 9--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). 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 problems that we have encountered to date. For this release, we have grouped them based upon what we believe to be there likely level of impact to the user experience:

Serious Bugs

  1. When receiving a phone call, the iPhone will occasionally become unresponsive. VoiceOver does not speak, and you cannot navigate around the screen to see who is calling or choose any options. This has happened when the phone is both muted or unmuted, and often happens to one user when using bluetooth audio. When this problem presents itself, it is not possible to answer the call. However, it is not something that occurs every time you receive a call. For example, one of our Team typically receives about 20 calls each day, but may only experience this problem once or twice in a week.
  2. If you enable both VoiceOver and Zoom at the same time, VoiceOver gestures and the rotor may not work, and VoiceOver may not focus correctly. We believe it may be related to having a very high magnification setting on some devices. Some of the Team have not been able to reproduce this particular issue, so it may be the result of a specific combination of settings or use case.

Moderate Bugs

  1. Braille displays will disconnect if you are in Airplane mode and have re-enabled bluetooth. The display will work normally until the screen is locked; when you unlock the screen, you will find that your Braille display does nothing and needs to be reconnected.
  2. When using the Smart Beetle display from HIMS, while the display is supported, key mapping is not done correctly. For example, pressing f4 takes you to the home screen, which is supposed to be the function of f2. Pressing f2 will activate the eject key, which is supposed to be the function of f4. This can be verified by pressing space with K to launch VoiceOver help and pressing the keys as described above.
  3. The VoiceOver Actions rotor now includes a new tool for text selection. This may take some learning, and there appear to be some inconsistencies in its behaviour and use (particularly between static text and text that you are editing and wish to select text located to the left of the VoiceOver cursor). At this point, it is unclear whether this new tool should be considered as still being a ‘work in progress’, or whether Apple would say that it works as designed.
  4. In Safari and Chrome (and possibly other web browsers), you may find that the behaviour of VoiceOver when trying to enter text in text fields is inconsistent/misleading in some cases. Using either the onscreen keyboard or Braille Screen input, the feedback from VoiceOver may suggest that text is not being input and that the field is empty. However, the text may in fact have been entered. One place where we have seen this is in the Search field on AppleVis, where VoiceOver appears to indicate that no text has been entered--but actually completing the search proves otherwise.
  5. When sending an email in the Mail app, the device becomes unresponsive for 10 to 30 seconds. This appears to only happen when you send after replying to an email, not when sending after composing a new message.
  6. In the News app that’s new in iOS 9, a 2-finger swipe down (to have VoiceOver ‘read all’) inside a story will sometimes cause VoiceOver to crash and restart.
  7. If you have notifications set to be grouped by day in the Notifications Center, there may be inconsistencies in the behavior of the ‘Clear Section’ and ‘Confirm Clear Section’ buttons when there are notifications for multiple days on this screen. These can prevent you from clearing notifications. Some of the Team have not been able to reproduce this, so it may be the result of a specific combination of settings or use case.
  8. VoiceOver becomes unresponsive after initiating a new recording in Voice Memos. Some of the Team have not been able to reproduce this, so it may be the result of a specific combination of settings or use case.
  9. If you are using a bluetooth device and VoiceOver is turned off or crashes, you may find that you need to reconnect your audio device before VoiceOver will once again use it for output. Bluetooth devices also disconnect when other audio controls are activated such as the VoiceOver Rotor ‘Audio Ducking’ and ‘Audio Destination’.

Minor Bugs

  1. On the new Proactive Search screen, there is a row of 4 icons at the top of the list of ‘Siri Suggestions’ which is announced by VoiceOver as a single unlabeled button which does nothing when double-tapped. These icons are selected/favorite contacts. When VoiceOver is disabled, tapping on 1 of these icons will result in various contact options being displayed (phone, message, etc.), which you can then choose from. Some of the Team have not been able to reproduce this. For them, VoiceOver correctly locates and announces the contacts and the VoiceOver rotor can be used to access the options for contacting them. So, this behaviour may be the result of a specific combination of settings or use case.
  2. When you attach a file to a new email, VoiceOver does not provide any feedback as to where the file is in the message as you review the text using rotor navigation. Touching the "body" field will speak the attachment name, but only after reading the entire content of the body. You can, however, locate the attached file by touch if you first touch outside of the body field and then slide your finger around the screen.
  3. In the Mail app, VoiceOver no longer reports how many messages are in a thread when you touch or delete it. Instead of "x messages in thread," you hear "multiple messages in thread."
  4. In the Mail app, the label for the search field is no longer hidden to VoiceOver. Swiping right from the Edit button now says "Search, search text field" as normal, but another swipe causes VoiceOver to say "Search" again. Double tapping either the field or the "Search" label will activate the field.
  5. In the News app that’s new in iOS 9, the suggested channels and topics on the ‘Explore’ tab are displayed in horizontal scrolling bars. When you flick up/down on the screen element that allows you to scroll through this, you will need to locate the scroll bar by touch to see the suggestions which have just scrolled into display. If you swipe into this bar, you will go to either the first suggestion on the first page or the last suggestion on the last page.
  6. When adding a new event to the Calendar app, the names in the list of calendars that you can select to add the event have some extraneous text (the calendar name followed by something like "png, clear, crisp, image").
  7. During a phone call, showing or hiding the keypad works, but VoiceOver doesn't recognize that until you touch the screen. If you have the keypad visible and double-tap the button to hide it, then swipe left, you swipe through the keypad. If you instead touch the screen to explore it, VoiceOver reports what it should have all along--that the keypad is gone. The same happens in reverse when you show the keypad again.
  8. If you use Siri voices with VoiceOver, performance is rather sluggish in some situations - noticeably more so than using the Samantha or Alex voices. In particular, the Enhanced Quality voices exhibit more sluggishness than do the Default Quality voices. The Samantha and Alex voices appear to be largely unaffected and work as previously.
  9. There are some inconsistencies of behavior when switching voices in VoiceOver settings > Speech which can result in VoiceOver not automatically switching to your new selection. You may need to use the language rotor to force the switch or select a different voice and then reselect your first choice.
  10. In iOS 9 on an iPad, the Command key on a bluetooth keyboard shows all possible keyboard shortcuts. However, this feature appears to not work with VoiceOver, as no additional information or feedback is given when the Command key is pressed.
  11. When in the Notification Center, you can swipe left into the Status Bar. For consistency across the OS, this should not happen.
  12. Using the ‘Audio Destination’ option in the VoiceOver Actions rotor can cause bluetooth headsets to be disconnected and the rotor option to become hidden. Whilst this may be the way that this is designed to work, it would be better if the headset were to remain connected and the action could be used to change audio back from the iOS device to the headset without the need to reconnect.

Bug Fixes

As with most major iOS updates, there are also a number of accessibility-related fixes for existing bugs. Here is the list of bugs that we believe to have been fixed in iOS 9.



Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Well, looking on the bright side, there are not as many serious one's out of the starting gate as I expected, and certainly nun as significant as last year, so that's a positive. However, there are enough here in this list to make me not upgrade yet for the sake of my own convenience and sanity.

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I haven't found any show stoppers in this release but that can be due to my workflow. I don't use certain apps and i don't use certain features. I can confirm the bug (or is it a bug) where mail says "multiple messages in thread" but are we 100 percent certain this isn't by design? The reason i ask is that the message is in fact translated to Swedish which at least in my opinion means it was made to announce the thread that way. Is it good or bad? That's up to people to decide. I would have wanted it the other way round so i could see how many messages there were in a thread but it's absolutely no deal breaker at all, but then again i update religiously and since i have a dev account i update already when the first version comes out.

Submitted by Jessica Brown on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I thought I read from a number of places including here and iDownload blog that iOS 9 was going to not pack in as many new features as what .0 versions usually do and instead fix bugs in features that iOS already has. After reading this bug list I can see that that is not the case.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This is public knowledge so I don't feel too bad about saying this... Apple has already seeded iOS 9.1 to beta testers, so perhaps more bugs will be fixed in 9.1. It's always the way. Some people are going to be disappointed that Apple didn't fix this or that bug, and some are going to be disappointed because of the lack of new features. I have to say, 9 does have a lot of cool new things. The only thing keeping me from upgrading at this point is the audio routing bug mentioned in the blog about accessibility bugs. I'm really surprised no one was able to reproduce it, but then again it sounds like it's a hard bug to squash.

Submitted by dvdmth on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

Not a big deal, but minor issue #11 in the list, the one about swiping left in the notification center to get to the status bar, is not new. I have been able to do that on my iPad for some time now, and I don't think it's a bug because the notification center is visually an expansion of the status bar, so in a way you are in a big status bar that is using up the entire screen.

I haven't updated yet, but I like the fact that this list is pretty short, much shorter than the one for iOS 8. The potential Bluetooth audio issues might be inconvenient for me, but that's about it for me. A number of bugs listed here are similar to issues I have seen with VoiceOver in other parts of the OS in the past, so they are no surprise.

I will probably update later today, or tomorrow at the latest. I have an iPad Air and am considering upgrading to an Air 2 later this year, so there is a lot of stuff in this update that will be useful for me. I am really looking forward to trying out the multitasking improvements, which hopefully won't confuse VoiceOver too badly.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The only bug that concerns me is the one pertaining to phone calls, where VoiceOver could become unresponsive when dealing with headphones. Has anyone actually experienced this bug? If so, what do you have to do to make VoiceOver return to normal? I'm very excited to upgrade, but I wanted to get some answers on this one first.

Submitted by Darrell Bowles on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hello, I was wanting to know if anyone has had this happen to them. When I open mail, I have messages, that I clearly have read, and that I know habe subject lines, but I am told there is no subject. Also, Even if it is a conversation, there is a report that there is no message content. Fruther more, the dates are weird, and it shows some weird date, like 1969. This does not happen on all messages, just a couple of them.

Submitted by blindgator on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I have plenty of unread messages, yet on the mail icon it says no unread emails. Of course, i got the phone bug. I can deal with not being able to answer a call until fixed, but seriously Apple how in the world do you expect us to think you are taking accessibility seriously when yet again in a new operating system, blind people can't answer the phone. I hit the volume key to mute my ringer and then tried flicking to see who was calling and VO just disappeared. Hilarious.

Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I actually think I may have experienced this bug in iOS 8, but I'm not sure - I honestly just assumed my phone was just being old and slow. It's a 4s, and has been getting increasingly crotchety these last few months.

What happens to me is that sometimes when I get an incoming call, VO will not respond at all, so I can't hear who's calling, or select any of the options for how to respond. But usually if I hit the volume down key, silencing the call, VO then proceeds to respond, giving me time to check the caller ID before picking up. Again, not sure if this is in fact a bug, or just my phone being grouchy, which is why I haven't reported it - but maybe this info will be helpful.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I just couldn't be dealing with that one. Would absolutely drive me bonkers!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I can't reproduce the bug where the email causes an app to freeze when sending. I can send fine and no frozen phone. This might be the person was out of memory etc, or a use case specific to the phone being tested.

Also the following I think is a feature not a bug.

In the Mail app, VoiceOver no longer reports how many messages are in a thread when you touch or delete it. Instead of "x messages in thread," you hear "multiple messages in thread."

I'd rather find out by swiping left and right through the messages themselves to find out how many there are to red, or I can count. Again less talk works.

Also this one.
If you use Siri voices with VoiceOver, performance is rather sluggish in some situations - noticeably more so than using the Samantha or Alex voices. In particular, the Enhanced Quality voices exhibit more sluggishness than do the Default Quality voices. The Samantha and Alex voices appear to be largely unaffected and work as previously.

I cannot reproduce this at all. The voices are fine and no sluggish behavior. I'm using the email siri voice right now. This might be a use case again.

Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I would like to say that ios9 is very stable on my 5s and I don't notice a lot of the bugs mentioned even while testing it, 2 bugs that do stand out for me is and this is probably not related to accessibility well one may be. When the phone is muted the phone will only vibrate once and sometimes not at all when a call comes in. I don't believe that one to be accessibility related. Another bug though that might be related to accessibility is sometimes when ending a call rather using the power button for older phones or the 2 finger doudle tap is at least on my 5s when ending a call voiceover will sound distorted as if the call was still active, the only way getting around this I have found is either power off and back on the phone, or answer or make another call and end the call and vo will go back to normal. Other than those 2 bugs I am happy with ios9 and notice very little sluggishness if at all.

Submitted by Steve Sawczyn on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This is a great list although I'm unable to replicate some of these issues and others have me a bit confused. Below are my own initial findings for whatever they're worth.

Under moderate:
#3, I believe text selection is designed to select from the VoiceOver cursor to the right and as such, backward selecting should not work. That said, I'd love to see the ability to select to the left. It'll be interesting to see how the updated iPhone manuals address this functionality.

#5-#8 I can't reproduce at all. Mail always sends immediately regardless of whether it's a new message, or a reply. I'm wondering though, if the delay occurs when replying, are attachments being included from the original message? If the message has large attachments, I could see a possible delay. Regarding the news app, I have no trouble reading with two finger swipe down. Wonder if the reporter has their screen orientation locked as not doing so *could* cause potential issues.

Under minor:
#1 I can't reproduce, this works fine for me (knock on wood as I use this feature a lot). :)
#2 Aren't attachments always at the end of the message body in Mail? If the issue is that attachments can't be swiped to anymore, that's more than minor. If not, I'm likely just confused.
#4 I'm not sure what the bug is here, there's a search field and a search label and double tapping either one lets you search. My understanding is that the search field is now always visible so it should be visible to VoiceOver.

#5 I can reproduce this as well, starting to wonder if all scroll bars behave this way now which would be a big problem indeed.
#6 The extra text in calendar probably shouldn't be spoken, but there's an image preview thing which is what VoiceOver is trying to describe. Visually, this is probably helpful if you color code calendars.
#7 is probably the most anoying bug for me and I'd argue that it's probably not even minor. The phone app is so critical and needing to mess around with this just to dial a voicemail pin or control the call drives me nuts.
#11 Hasn't it been possible to swipe left into the status bar for quite some time? Kind of makes sense since the status bar is how you get to notification center in the first place.
#12 and #13 are critical IMO. While some may use Bluetooth devices as a matter of convenience, there are many who rely on this as there only way to access an iDevice. Anything that even remotely could cause connectivity/audio loss is a potential show stopper for this group.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In reply to by Troy

Reset your spring board to fix your call voice over distort bug. simply hit the power button 6 or so times and wait for the phone to power back up.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I upgraded to IOS9 and am enjoying it so far apart from one thing; I am unable to find the news app. I've looked everywhere I can on the phone with no luck. I didn't backup using itunes and downloaded over the air and guess I should have done so. If I am unable to download news or get it some other way, it's okay; I'll wait until ios 9.1 and hope it downloads then. As far as I know; it should have downloaded with no problem. Can anyone help?

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Maybe your country is currently not supported by the news app. That's the case for me in Poland so I don't even see the news icon.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What is this audio destination feature that was described? I haven't upgraded on my 5s yet. This release sounds really awesome! I'm glad to see that we don't have as many bugs as we previously did in 8 and 7. This release will get even better once devs start taking advantage of Alex in apps.

Submitted by Kyle on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

super quick check to see if you have news, just ask siri to open news.
ran into the voiceover quality bug after a phone call just a little bit ago and i'm running the 9.1 beta. and it wasn't just voice over. it was also effecting a tv episode i was watching in voice dream.

Submitted by LadyMunch on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A bit of a weird one.
Using the new Siri voice with VoiceOver, the female one. It always announces my settings app as "location services settings" This is the UK accent. I've tried US female and UK male and neither have this problem.
. Any idea why/how This is happening? Thanks and sorry for disjointedness.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

This is probably a dictionary issue. Report it to Apple.

Submitted by AppleVis on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Please remember that while iOS 9 has been released to the public, iOS 9.1 is still in beta and is still covered under a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Thus, we ask that iOS 9.1 and any other pre-release software please not be discussed on AppleVis. Anyone registered to participate in Apple's beta software programs--including the "Public" beta released to customers--should have a means of reporting issues in the beta software directly to Apple.

Submitted by LadyMunch on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I had only just submitted my comment when I made a flick up gesture on the webpage and lost my VO sound effects. I don't have this option in my rotor, yet sometimes pops up where characters or headings was a minute ago. Does this make sense? It doesn't to me and it's very weird. Thanks all.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

For me, in iOS9, when I reach the bottom of a page and flick right, the last item is repeated each time I flick right. Don't know if this is by design or a bug, but I don't like it.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Good afternoon, all. First off, I've only had ios 9 installed for a few minutes, but I just wanted to share the things I've noticed so far.

The only bug listed in this article that even slightly concerned me was the first serious bug relating to answering calls. So far, I haven't encountered this one. I called my iphone using my landline, and was able to answer without any problems.

I have, however, discovered a couple of oddities. First off, I was curious if there were any interesting new wallpapers, but when I went to still wallpapers, it said there were no photos. This is true in light of the fact that I don't use my camera apart from apps like knfb reader and be my eyes, but there used to be a number of stock wall papers. So, I'm assuming the one I was using prior to the update is still in place now. I just checked again, and this issue seems to have resolved itself. In fact, the wallpapers are described very well this year, and there's one that actually sounds like it's pretty enough to make me switch to it for either my home screen or the lock screen.

The other thing I've noticed, which I would consider to be at least a minor bug, is that if you're swiping through the screen, VO continually repetes the final item rather than being silent to show that you've reached the top or bottom of the screen. I should enable VO sound effects, as the boundary sound still could be relaying this info, but I have always preferred to disable the VO sound effects. Not sure if I'm explaining this one adequately, but I could record it in action if need be. I turned on VO sounds just now, and the boundary sound is played. So, for those who use sound effects, this definitely won't be an issue, but I think I preferred it when there was silence, or just the boundary noise, at the top or bottom of the screen. I looked in VO settings, and there doesn't seem to be anything about this one way or the other.

IOS 9 seems more responsive on my 5S than 8 was. I'm using the female siri voice at the moment, but suspect that I will go back to Alex before too long. It's awesome to have more voice choices, though.

So far, those are the only findings I have. Over all, I'm much happier with IOS 9 at this early stage than I was with IOS 8. It sounds as though there are some things that are read differently than I'm used to, but that's just a matter of me adapting to new things rather than reporting them as bugs, if that makes sense. Anyway, as I did last year, I will watch this thread with interest, but am encouraged to see that there are less posts in this thread than there were last year.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I don't think the repeating item thing is a bug. It seems to be a new feature that acts just like VoiceOver on the Mac has acted for years. When you get to the end of the screen and try to continue, it plays the bonk sound and repeats the last item.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In reply to by sockhopsinger

This is my chief complaint with IOS 9 so far, and as much as this bugs me, it's very minor in the grand scheme of life. In general, we're so much better off than we were this time last year, but I'm with you on this one. If this is by design, they need to ad a VO setting so we can toggle it back to the way it was before if we want to. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who found this change frustrating.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

It is Indeed pleasing to see that things do appear to be better with this initial release than with IOS8, to be fair, however, they couldn't have been much worse though. I do have major concerns regarding the call answering behavior, and that is the primary reason why I won't be upgrading yet which is a-shame.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'll be talking about all of this to the best of my ability from the consumer point of view on a meerkat chat at 6 pm pdt, 8 edt and what ever that is UTC, probably while everyone is asleep. If you want to join me my meerkat name is the same as the one on here. Follow me before hand.

Take care.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

In reply to by Chris

I never thought about it before, but I think you're right; they changed this to behave like VO on the mac does. Funny how it never bothered me there, yet on the phone, it's just weird.

Submitted by Robert A.M. on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Hi there,

I've been testing the iOS 9 GM for a week now on both an iPhone 5s and an iPad Air 2 and have found the following bugs:

1. I have consistently encountered the Mail bug where VO freezes after sending an email; like stated above, this usually only happens when replying (not composing), and it seems that the further down the message is in the inbox, the longer the freeze time. (iPad Air 2)

2. A change I found is that when touching upper case letters on the onscreen keyboard, VO now says, for example, "Cap A", instead of "Capital A". When touching the letter "X", however, VO says "Cap Capital X", in other words, the letter "X" is mislabeled.

3. In the notification Center, notifications now appear by default in the order in which they are received. For notifications from third party apps, the name of the app is spoken first, followed by the contents of the notification, however, for apps included in the OS, such as messages or Mail, only the contents of the notification is spoken. This can cause some confusion regarding the app that the notification refers to.

4. Sometimes, some app and notification sounds are not played at all, for example, the dice rolling sound effect in the game Dice World, Fleksy keyboard clicks, the Whatsapp notification sound for when a message is received, or even the new email notification sound. This is very inconsistent and unpredictable.

5. When switching to a new app in the app switcher, before loading the new app, VO speaks the name of the first item on the home page, "Social Folder, 14 apps" in my case. This can cause confusion because it appears that the device returned to the home screen when it is actually loading the app you selected.

6. In the Podcasts app, when reading a podcast episode description, VO speaks a huge amount of useless information, such as font color, type and attributes rather than just the description itself. This happens both in the "My Podcasts" tab and in the new "Unplayed" tab.

7. Another Mail app bug: when using a bluetooth keyboard, QuickNav should automatically be disabled after hitting the "Reply" button so you can move freely inside the message you are typing. This sometimes happens, however, sometimes QuickNav turns back on by itself for no apparent reason.

8. And yet another one: iOS 9 introduced some improvements for the "Search" function inside the Mail app, allowing you to select if you want to search by sender name, email subject, etc. VO has a very hard time navigating these new options using flick gestures and keyboard shortcuts. Pretty much the only way to do it reliably is by moving your finger around the screen until you happen to touch the option you want. (iPad Air 2)

9. Yes, you guessed it, one more: when using flick gestures to move through the list of messages in the Mail app inbox, VO sometimes skips the selected/last read message. The only way to land on this message is by actually touching it or by reloading the inbox list.

10. And another final one which actually has been present since iOS 8: when on the "Compose Mail" screen, the CC, BCC and From fields should not be initially available to VO. The VO cursor should only be able to land on these fields after selecting the "CC/BCC, From:" button.

11. The place where VO is the buggiest and most inconsistent is, hands down, the Lock Screen:
A. When a new notification is received, VO sometimes reads it's contents (even if this option is disabled inside the VO settings), other times it begins to speak the notification and then switches to speaking the time of day mid sentence. The time and number of notifications are then spoken one or two more times in random order until the screen turns off. VO should only read the time and number of notifications once, and not speak again until the user touches the screen.
B. When waking the device, VO sometimes reports an incorrect (smaller) number of notifications on the lockscreen, particularly when a large amount is present.
C. When saying how long ago a notification was received, VO sometimes reports an incorrect value which is subsequently corrected, for example, the first time you touch a notification VO might say "Messages, 2 minutes ago", and if you touch it again it will say "Messages, 5 minutes ago", with the second value being the correct one.
D. When using flick gestures, VO sometimes skips some lock screen items, such as the time, the date or the Unlock button.
E. Using flick gestures to go through the list of lock screen notifications is a very buggy experience. VO sometimes skips a notification, other times returns to the previous one rather than moving to the next, and yet other times stops reading a notification in mid sentence to randomly move to another one or all the way to the top to read the time.
F. Using a 4-finger tap near the bottom of the lock screen moves the VO cursor to the Control Center Grabber rather than to the "Open Camera" button. The Control Center Grabber should in no case be accessible to VO, since there is actually no way to use it to activate the Control Center with VO enabled.

I will email this list to, hopefully they will correct some of these issues on iOS 9.1. Although some of these bugs are certainly very annoying, iOS 8.0 was definitely much worse a year ago!

BTW, I have received plenty of calls and have never encountered the call answering bug described above, so you shouldn't bee too afraid of it!

Cheers and regards!

Submitted by Darrell Bowles on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I have been using IOS 9 for a while, and I can honestly say that it's a lot more stable than the previous release. The mail issue I had is gone now, maybe it was just an iceolated incident? I have experienced the hole bug issue with the phone distorting VoiceOver, and sometimes the only way I can fix it is to power down, and back up again.
While again, I understand that beta software is covered under an NDA, I'll again pose the question, wich no one has answered. If apple says that jailbreaking your device is a clear violation of the IOS user agreement, and violating this agreement not only opens up your system to problems, but voids your apple care support, why does applevis have a hole section of there sight dedicated to jail breaking? If the same standard is to be applied here, then perhaps any references to jail breaking should be removed. After all, we here at applevis would not want people to violate the IOS agreement would we?

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Robert, a fantastic list of additional issues that may be experienced. Many thanks for sharing!.

Submitted by Brooke on Thursday, September 17, 2015

This one, listed by Robert;

"9. Yes, you guessed it, one more: when using flick gestures to move through the list of messages in the Mail app inbox, VO sometimes skips the selected/last read message. The only way to land on this message is by actually touching it or by reloading the inbox list."

I'm actually having that issue on the latest version of iOS 8.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I think ost of what the last poster listed are not reproducable. I can't reproduce any of them, and I think most of them are also features. so be aware of what is a bug and not a feature.

As for JB, jail brakign is now legal so apple needs to get with the times. It will brake yoru worentee, but tha'ts a risk I'm willing to take if I need to.

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I have encountered and oddity with spotlight. If I invoke it with the new gesture, a three finger swipe right, I find an unlabeled button. Now if I invoke it the old way with the three finger swipe down from the middle of the screen that unlabeled button is not there. Is anyone else seeing this with iOS 9?

Greg Wocher

Again, with that logic, let's all go violate the NDA, since apple is behind the times. If we are truly about supporting the apple products we claim to support, then the JB stuff needs to go, and we shouldn't violate the NDA.

Submitted by Liz on Thursday, September 17, 2015


i updated to IOs 9, only to discover I have no news app and the news stand folder is still there.
Is anyone else experiencing this?


Submitted by Robert A.M. on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hi again,

To Troy:
Yes, exactly, like I said in my post, VO saying "Cap" instead of "Capital" is a new feature which I rather like, the bug I am reporting is specific to the letter "X". All other letters are reported correctly, however, instead of saying "Cap X", VO says "Cap Capital X".

To Darrell Bowles:
I completely agree with you, being able to discuss beta software openly here would greatly benefit the community. General awareness of the bugs in new iOS versions would grow considerably, and bug reporting to Apple would be done in a much faster and efficient way. I've known about these bugs for a while now, but had been unable to share them due to site policies.

To Brooke:
Correct, this Mail bug appeared in iOS 8.3 I think, but it's still present in iOS 9.

To Greg Wocher:
The screen that is accessed through a three-finger swipe right is actually a little different than SpotLight, it's called Proactive and it offers some additional functionality. Like you, I did notice some poor button labeling but forgot to list this above.

To everyone else:
Thanks for all your positive comments, glad to be of help!

Cheers and regards!

Submitted by Dominique Stansberry on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Why not just add something that replacess the thunk sound if sounds are off or whatever that says Cannot go any ferther or something? Or at least add it in adition. Some times in MacOS, VoiceOver would say end of window or something, and you'd know that that was the last item there.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Thursday, September 17, 2015

In reply to by Krister Ekstrom

I just encountered a bug with siri and safari settings that I have just reported to apple. when you ask siri to open the safari settings, it says ok here are your safari settings. but when the settings screen comes up, it's not safari as siri has told you, it's the main settings screen.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Thursday, September 17, 2015

There still is no news app. It's not a huge thing for me; but I'd like the news app if possible.

Submitted by Robert A.M. on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I am from Mexico and the News app appeared on my screen immediately after updating. I am assuming that this is because I always use "English" as my device language and "United States" as my region format; I suggest that people outside the United States who want the News app try doing this, it just might work.

Cheers and regards!

Submitted by John Lipsey on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I'm not sure if this is a bug, a feature, or if there's a setting somewhere that controls it. When Voiceover is on, if you press and hold the home button to invoke Siri you get the traditional double tone indicating Siri is listening, and the acknowledgement tone after you're done making a request/question. If voiceover is off, when you invoke Siri you just get a double vibration, not unlike the taps you get wiht Siri on the watch. Personally, I like the Siri tones being universal whether voiceover is on or not. Thoughts?

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hi! I updated my iPhone 6 to IOS 9 earlier today, and have not used it much yet, but I have already found a possible bug which hasn't been mentioned here so far. Although I am in France, I am a Brit, so I use my iPhone in Ehnglish: therefore, having heard that the Siri voices can work with VoiceOver now, I had planned to use the UK male Siri voice instead of Daniel. However, when I selected UK male Siri in the voices list, the UK voice in my language rotor didn't change, not even after restarting Voiceover then restarting the iPhone. My language is set to English and my region is set to United Kingdom, so UK English shows up as my default language in my rotor. As far as Siri itself is concerned, I managed to change its voice from male to female without any problems, still in English as you may guess. I'm wondering if my inabbility to use the male Siri voice with Voiceover is a bug, or whether it's linked to the fact that I'm not using my iPhone with the language it had when I bought it.

Submitted by Nickus on Thursday, September 17, 2015

I managed to update my iPhone 6 a hour or 2 after the update became available. My first impressions is that iOS9 is much more stable and less buggy than what iOS8 was at release, in fact iOS9 even feels a little faster and more stable than iOS8.4.1. I see a lot of concern regarding the call answering bug, I had a hand full of calls so far and touch wood I haven't experienced any issues yet.
A little minor bug I just discovered with the keyboard and voiceover, I'll mail Apple about this now though it's not at all major or a show stopper. If starting to type in any text field whether it's a iMessage, email or Whatsapp, Voiceover loses focus after typing the first letter and flicking left or right to a next letter. This only happens after the very first letter you type, after that all is normal. For example if I want to type "we" I usually double tap "W" and then flick to the right to go to the letter "E", but now if flicking right after typing the letter "W", voiceover focus jumps to the cellular network name at the top of the screen.

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, September 17, 2015

In reply to by Clare Page

As a follow-up to my previous post, I've found two other bugs with IOS 9. Interestingly, I just set my time back to the 24-hour clock, and it shows up like that on the status bar, but not on the lock screen: not a big deal, but definitely something which shouldn't happen, as the time should appear in the same format everywhere. Also, when my iPhone is connected to my bluetooth speaker, sounds suddenly go back to the iPhone's speaker if I flick down on either Audio Destination or Audio Ducking in the rotor: this may be a correct response for Audio Destination, but Audio Ducking shouldn't switch off a bluetooth speaker. I actually have to pause the audio, a radio station or music or whatever, to get the bluetooth speaker to restart properly again after it has been unintentionally switched off.

Submitted by Nickus on Thursday, September 17, 2015

To those complaining that you don't have the new News app yet, yes it's because it's not available in most countries yet, as with many other Apple services like pay, the new public transit in maps etc, the US gets it first and the rest of us have to wait. Look on the bright side, people in the US get the oppertunaty to sort out all problems and bugs for us, by the time we get these feetures it has been well tested and it's bug free.