Features and Bugs of OS X Yosemite

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

10.10.2 Update

The latest update to Yosemite, 10.10.2, is now live. It claims to fix wifi bugs and other assorted problems, including VoiceOver. With the exception of the two bugs encountered when typing in edit fields on webpages and the inability to play audio iMessages, I have to say that I've found nothing new or fixed in terms of VoiceOver, as much as I hate to write that. See the list of bugs at the bottom of this post. There is a note next to some of them, indicating if it is fixed or could not be tested/reproduced. Bugs with no notes have not been fixed.

Yosemite is Here!

The long-awaited update to Apple's Mac computers, OS X 10.10 Yosemite, has just arrived, bringing along a lot of changes and features. It is a completely free update, as usual. Here are just some of the goodies you can expect:

  • Handoff for moving tasks between your iOS device and Mac
  • a Notification Center that supports widgets, "today view", and other iOS-like features
  • an updated Spotlight that can convert units, pull up business information, and more
  • a feature that lets your iPhone become an internet hotspot for your Mac, with no configuration or even unlocking of your phone
  • the ability to use your Mac as a speakerphone for your iPhone, and even initiate calls from the Mac
  • plenty of other things as well.

Below, I'll go through the major changes VoiceOver users can expect, not just in terms of VoiceOver itself, but also any updates that will make apps look different. I will then warn you about the bugs you can expect; if you are planning to update, I recommend you read the bug list first, in case there is something you would rather not deal with. This is not an exhaustive list - very few of us on the AppleVis team are heavy Mac users, so our testing pool was smaller than for our iOS tests. I'm sure more information will roll in over the next few days, and I'll do my best to keep this article up to date as I find more things to add.

A note for braille users: I have no access to a braille display, so I have not tested braille under Yosemite at all. If you rely on braille even a little, please do NOT upgrade until you can get confirmation that braille will work properly. I am not saying braille is broken in Yosemite, I am saying I cannot confirm braille support either way. Things might be just fine, but I do not yet know for certain one way or the other.

For what it's worth, I have been running the public beta of Yosemite for the last three weeks and have found no show-stopping problems. What I am willing to put up with and what you are willing to put up with will, of course, be different, but I will say this: if you are okay with using the Alex voice, and you want the new features of Yosemite, I would tell you that you can upgrade. Again, though, please read the bug list before you do anything.

New Features

Arrow Key Navigation in Safari

Yes, you read that right: Safari now supports moving through webpages with the arrow keys! This includes the arrows by themselves; navigation commands to move by word, jump to the start or end of a line, and so on; and selection commands. Basically, if you use an arrow key command to move around text in Pages or Text Edit, chances are you can use that same command on a webpage in Yosemite. Remember to have Quick Nav off to take advantage of this feature.

If you are wondering how this will work in edit fields, since VoiceOver lacks anything analogous to a forms or browse mode, it is simple. Once VoiceOver is focused on an edit field, the arrow keys will move only within the field. To get out of it and continue arrowing through a page, simply use a VoiceOver command to move focus elsewhere (for instance, vo-right). That is not to say that VoiceOver will get "stuck" in an edit field as you are arrowing along. The way to get it out of a field is the same used to get it into one: use VoceOver navigation to set focus to the field.

iBooks is Now Accessible

When OS X 10.9 Mavericks introduced the iBooks app to the Mac, VoiceOver users were surprised to see that it was mostly inaccessible. The app was never improved, despite five minor OS updates in the last year. Yosemite addresses the iBooks problems, though: buttons are labeled, all the library views work, the table of contents can be used, and, in short, I've found no accessibility problems so far. However, I am not a heavy iBooks user, so I may have missed something.

Minor Changes

Below is a list of smaller changes made in Yosemite.

  • Most, if not all, of the Nuance Vocalizer voices will have updates. You may need to visit the App Store's Updates section to get them after Yosemite is installed.
  • I have not personally confirmed this, but I have been told that Yosemite now supports Hebrew, both in braille and speech.
  • in Safari, as you type an address or search into the search field, VoiceOver will read the title of the website it thinks you want instead of just the text it auto-fills. In short, the auto-complete in Safari's search field will be much more verbose than you may be used to. This is also true of typing into Spotlight.
  • When you wake up your Mac, VoiceOver will say how many new notifications you have. If you have only one, it usually reads that one.
  • When you go to the Notifications Center, note that you will be focused on the "Today" radio button. To find your notifications table, vo-right and select the "Notifications" radio button, then vo-right again to get to the table. Of course, select the "Today" radio button to see your Today View instead.
  • Some Nuance Vocalizer pronunciation bugs appear to be fixed, such as the AT&T problem introduced in Mavericks.
  • In the Mail app, threaded conversations will show all the senders of the messages in a thread as a list of first names, instead of the sender of one of the messages.
  • In Mail, when you compose a new message, a button to "add contacts" appears after each contact entry field (To, CC, or BCC). If you tab through the fields of a new email, or vo-right arrow, expect to have to do a bit more key-pressing than you did in Mavericks.
  • The button to show or hide headers when composing mail messages has moved to the toolbar of the composition window.
  • In Contacts, the label of the search field changes to reflect the selected group, telling you what you will be searching without the need to go to the table of groups to see which one is in focus. The exception is the "All Contacts" group, which provides no label to the search field.


Below are the bugs we have found so far. First is the list of bugs present in Mavericks that remain unfixed in Yosemite, followed by the bugs new to Yosemite.

Old Bugs Still Present in Yosemite

  • Commanders still cannot toggle audio ducking
  • In Messages, you cannot up and down arrow through the table of conversations. You need to interact with it and then navigate with vo-up/down. In most OS X tables, you can simply up and down arrow with no VO keys, and interacting is unnecessary. In Messages, this is not the case, and pressing down arrow by itself (with Quick Nav off) will move you to the text field to write a new message.
  • VoiceOver will sometimes still treat a press of up or down arrow like moving by character, even though Quick Nav is off. Toggling Quick Nav on and then off again fixes this, and I cannot reliably reproduce it, but it has been a problem since 10.8 or earlier. I have only ever seen it happen while editing text. Note that this is very rare, but it does happen.
  • (untested in 10.10.2) There is still no way to close the Preview Pane in the Mail app without using a physical mouse or trackpad. In older versions, one could at least use one of the sliders to do this with VoiceOver, but that was broken in Mavericks and remains so in Yosemite. Even the AppleScript command to close the Preview Pane is still not working, to my knowledge.
  • (fixed in 10.10.1) Activating the "Show in Finder" button in Safari's downloads window still causes Safari to go busy for a few seconds, then recover. Nothing else happens, certainly no switch to Finder to view the downloaded file. Safari simply stops being "busy" and the downloads window remains in focus.
  • Using Nuance voices, with VoiceOver set to change pitch for capitals, speech still says "capital" before the capitalized letter in addition to raising the pitch.
  • Pitch changes for capital letter, text field label, and other spoken notifications remains extreme. Using Alex, the change sounds relatively normal, but using Nuance voices,it is unnecessarily huge and has been so for years now.
  • If you do a search with VO-f in a text field in Safari, your search string is never found, no matter what it is.
  • When switching to an app where VoiceOver lands on a text field, you will always hear "empty text field" even if you have entered text and the field is thus not empty.
  • If you highlight text and then cut it with cmd-x, VoiceOver reports "selection deleted". Deleting the selection should result in this announcement, but cutting it should not. VoiceOver should instead say "text cut" or a similar announcement.

Bugs New to Yosemite

Critical Bugs
  • There is a lag that is often, but not always, present when using Nuance voices. It is most evident if you type some text, then delete character by character. Instead of responding immediately you will often hear the tone (if you have VoiceOver set to play a tone), then a pause, then the letter. It can also be seen when switching apps, or trying to do several commands in rapid succession. Note that some users report no such lag with Nuance voices, so your milage may vary.
  • (seems fixed in 10.10.2, but perhaps I've just gotten used to it) Overall, even using the Alex voice, VoiceOver feels more sluggish than it did in Mountain Lion or Mavericks. There is a very small, but very noticeable, pause between when the user presses a key (such as arrowing through text or a list of files) and when the system begins speaking. This delay is not a show-stopper, but it is worse than I have seen it in a long time, and is quite irksome. Given how much more quickly and smoothly Macs operate in general than Windows, this delay is a big step backward compared to Windows screen readers.
  • Randomly, the Preview app will fail to render a PDF in a way that VoiceOver can use. In other words, VoiceOver users will sometimes find themselves unable to read PDFs they formerly were able to read with no problem. There is so far no pattern (file size, machine, location, etc) and there are reports that even the same file can be "invisible" or just fine from one day to the next.
  • If you start an Airdrop transfer from the Mac, there is no way to choose the target machine except to simulate a click. Instead of enter, or even vo-space, you must interact with the table of machines, find the one you want, interact with that row, then route the cursor there and simulate a click. Not only is this far more complex than it needs to be, it is something that many newer users will not know about, causing them to possibly conclude that Airdrop is not at all usable with VoiceOver.
  • VoiceOver is incredibly laggy when you open and first try to browse the VoiceOver Utility. It calms down after a few minutes, but never goes away completely. No other app exhibits this behavior.
  • (fixed in 10.10.2) In some edit fields on websites (and, I am told in the Mars Edit app), VoiceOver behaves oddly. The punctuation level is sometimes ignored, and no punctuation is spoken; lines are sometimes spoken twice when you move to one with up or down arrow; and Command or Option with the arrow keys are unreliable for moving around the text. Not all of these happen all the time, but at least one of them happens nearly always. Not all edit fields are affected. One that does exhibit the behavior is at www.applevis.com. Go there, sign into your account, click Submit Content, click Guide or Tutorial, and write a few lines of text in the Body field, then try to move around with the arrow keys. You should see the afore mentioned problems start happening immediately.
Moderate Bugs
  • In Mail, if you read an email from a VIP, it is marked as read (that is, the unread message count decreases). However, VoiceOver continues to identify it as unread.
  • Occasionally, when you hit cmd-left bracket to go back a page in Safari, the page you land on is unusable. VoiceOver can navigate headings,if there are any, but they appear to be the headings of the page you just left, and the only thing you hear aside from headings is "text". For example, you might hear "heading level 3, text" and then "heading level 1, text". VO-arrows only land you on items that are spoken as "text". To fix this and get the page to be usable again, you must refresh the page.
  • In Safari, go to a webpage where the Reader is available, and activate the Reader with command-shift-r. Move to the end, then vo-right to loop around to the top (you must have cursor wrapping enabled in VoiceOver's preferences to do this). As you move now, some elements will be spoken where sounds might normally play, depending on your settings (specifically links). More importantly, doing a vo-a to start reading will freeze Safari completely. All these problems are fixed if you command-tab away from, then back to, Safari. Even if you don't use cursor wrapping, if you activate the Reader before a page is done loading, when it loads, this bug can be triggered.
  • Open Text Edit and write a few lines. Go to the Format Menu and choose "make vertical layout" (why horizontal is now default, I'm not sure). Try to navigate your text with arrow keys, and try selecting; in both cases, things fail very badly. Putting the orientation back to horizontal will cause everything to work normally again.
  • (cannot always reproduce) Open an email message containing a phone number and navigate to it with regular arrow key (not Quick Nav) commands. Vo-shift-m and try to find the usual phone number options; more often than not, they are not there, because focus is stuck a few words back. Now use vo-arrows to put the VoiceOver cursor on the number, press vo-shift-m, and the expected options appear. Focus seems to not always track properly.
  • In Messages, open the details of a thread with someone who is sharing their location. There does not seem to be a way, using VoiceOver, to determine the person's location. If you have labeled the place the person happens to be, the label is used, but otherwise there is nothing more than the city the person is in.
  • Focus is sporadic and confusing in Spotlight results if you try to do any navigation other than up or down arrow. You might want to do this, for example, to call a business right from Spotlight. To be clear, things work fine for arrowing through results and pressing enter to open one, the problem occurs when you try to interact with one result. Also, if a local business is a Spotlight results, the Maps thumbnail is not labeled, it is just called "image".
  • In System Preferences > General, the Dark Mode toggle checkbox is labeled simply "theme", and has no hint at all. It is not clear from the available information what this checkbox does.
  • In Classic View in Mail, all messages are preceded by the words "Conversation, collapsed disclosure triangle". This includes single messages not part of a thread. Yes, "show related messages" is disabled. Note that this does not happen in Standard View. I marked this as moderate due to the unnecessary wording taking up time. It is bad enough to have to hear "disclosure triangle" on all threads, but worse to hear it unnecessarily.
  • (reported fixed in 10.10.2, not personally tested) There appears to be no way to play back an audio message received in the Messages app. Recording works, but not playing.
  • If you use Enter to open emails instead of using the Preview Panel, you'll find that messages don't automatically read all the time anymore. About half of the time, VoiceOver lands on a "message content scroll area", which holds the headers and message text. It then either reads nothing, or reads the text only after reading the sender's name followed by some clicks and the word "unknown" twice. If this happens, you also can't use regular arrow key navigation to get around the text, you must use VoiceOver commands. Finally, to even get to the text, you must interact with the scroll area. All this just to read or skim through a message gets to be very frustrating after a while.
Minor Bugs
  • When arrowing through a webpage in Safari with Quick Nav off, VoiceOver does not honor the punctuation setting. It seems to read everything as though the level were set to Low, even when it is not.
  • (appears fixed in 10.10.2, not completely certain) In Mail, focus on a message and press enter to open it. Interact with the message text, stop interacting once, then press vo-left arrow. You will find a group of four unlabeled buttons with no help tags. Oddly, if you don't follow the above steps, these buttons rarely, if ever, appear.
  • (fixed in 10.10.1) In Text Edit, the Tag Editor text field, and some other areas, VoiceOver says "object replacement character" before certain items. In file tags, it says this just before any tag in the edit field; in Text Edit, it says it just before each item in the File > Open Recent menu.
  • (untested on 10.10.2, as my Weather Widget appears blank) There are some unlabeled buttons when editing the Weather widget.
  • In the Calculator widget in the Notification Center, the number buttons (0-9) are not labeled. All other buttons are, and simply typing the equation you want will work fine, but the buttons corresponding to the numbers should get labels.
  • In Safari's new tab view (cmd-shift-backslash), there seems to be no way of activating a tab. VoiceOver reads them, but I cannot find a way to switch to one.
  • In Safari, find a chunk of text, such as an article, and start reading through it with the arrow keys (with Quick Nav off). Press vo-shift-h,, then keep arrowing. Even though VoiceOver seems to move to the previous heading, the arrow keys keep moving you through the text you were reading. If you instead press vo-right just after vo-shift-h, you are moved to the element after the heading, as you'd expect.
  • When reading a webpage with the arrow keys, VoiceOver sometimes gets stuck in one area and keeps looping through a small subset of the elements on the page. Pressing vo-left or vo-right a time or three clears it up.
  • When reading a webpage with the arrow keys, headings and lists are not indicated in any way.
  • When moving through a webpage by heading, VoiceOver reads the headings, but focus doesn't seem to follow. If I do a search on www.duckduckgo.com, for instance, I sometimes need to interact with a heading and click the link of a result, as focus remains at the top of the page even though I might have moved several headings down.
  • When reading the conversation history in the Messages app with the arrow keys, VoiceOver reads past messages, but the message sender names are skipped. If using up or down arrows. Reading character by character will speak "new line" in place of the name.
  • Some HTML areas can be read with the arrow keys, but some cannot. For instance, the App Store does not respond to arrow keys at all.
  • In Mail, pressing right arrow on any message, whether it is a thread or not, will cause VoiceOver to say "row N expanded" (N is the index of the row). This should only happen when an actual thread is expanded, not on any message. Similarly, no matter what, pressing left arrow will result in "row N collapsed".
  • (cannot reproduce, appears fixed, or perhaps a one-time oddity) If you have a login password set, VoiceOver may not come on when you press cmd-f5 at the login screen
  • (happened in Beta 2, have not seen these dialogs since) In iCloud's preference pane (in System Preferences), I got two dialogs, one a warning that Notes could not be enabled and the other a prompt about merging local Calendar data with iCloud Calendars. In both cases, the image that was near the top was labeled "(null) iCloud Image".
  • In Notification Center, pressing up or down arrow will not move you through the table of notifications in Notifications View unless you vo-right twice to focus on the table. Needless to say, since the table is not focused on when the Notification Center opens, it takes a couple extra keystrokes to look at your notifications. This isn't critical, but it would be great if VoiceOver focused on the table automatically, instead of the two radio buttons. Note that arrowing while not focused on a table works in other apps, such as Mail.
  • In the Messages app, find a thread and activate the Details button. Be sure it is a thread with someone who is sharing their location. Find that person in the Participants Table, interact with the table and then that person's row, and you will find a button and a menu button. Neither is labeled, and both lack help tags.
  • (fixed in 10.10.2) When you are typing into a text field on a webpage, every time you press the shift key in conjunction with another character, you will hear "new line, selected". This seems to have no bearing on what you are typing, so you can ignore it. Note that my typing echo is disabled.
  • When reviewing text character by character by using left or right arrow in a webpage (with Quick Nav off), phonetics are not spoken. If you have VoiceOver set to append a phonetic pronunciation to letters, that setting is honored in all situations I've seen so far except for webpage text.


Overall, the major new features of Yosemite seem to be accessible, with the exceptions noted above. The additions of iBooks accessibility, arrow key navigation in webpages, and the other small fixes are wonderful to see. Arrowing through webpages will be especially good, as that has long been a sticking point for potential Mac users. Plus, it will make the lives of even long-time users much easier.

The lag in VoiceOver is definitely annoying, and most people will want to try their preferred voice after the update, but will probably switch back to Alex for a while. If you already use, or don't mind using, the Alex voice, I see no other reason you should not upgrade. My system has gotten much better when using the Ava voice, and the lag is now barely noticeable. Yes, there will be annoyances to deal with, but nothing large enough to make me suggest waiting, unless you rely on a Vocalizer voice or need to read a lot of PDFs. Again, please note that I have no way of testing braille display support under Yosemite; if you need braille, please wait until someone can run tests to ensure everything is working as expected. As of 10.10.2, I have not heard any reports about braille support being broken, but again, I'm not a braille user so can't say for sure.

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Playing audio messages in Yosemite

As far as I can tell, there doesn't seem to be a way to play audio messages received in the messages app. Sending them is easy, and works fine with VO. But I have to use an iOS device to play back messages I receive. I reported this during the beta period, but beta 6 (also called GM 3) still has the problem. Perhaps the actual release will fix this at the last minute.

Assorted thoughts

Braille, for me at least with a Brailliant BI 40, seems to work. A few things that are also more accessible include the midi devices view of audio midi setup, you can actually see the various midi devices, but to access settings you will have to simulate a mouse click on them.
The ability to use arrow keys in Safari doesn't apply just to safari, it's now the case with every HTML control in the OS, which includes many messaging apps like Apple's messages app, Adium and Textual. Too bad it doesn't apply to something like Preview, where reading PDF files isstill a very painful experience... For Adium, using the arrow keys this way may actually be prefered now as VoiceOver seems to put the message and its sender in separate groups that have to first be interacted with which is slow, but using the arrow keys doesn't exibbit this behaviour. Reading the text this way also seems to cause Voiceover to detect, and if turned on, announce spelling errors in those html areas and I'm guessing they aren't actually highlighted visually.
More things that read now include the pickers for accented characters that pop up if you hold down a key on the keyboard like A or E and then proceed to use the arrow keys to select an alternative character. The highlight for me is definitely iBooks though, I can't stress enough how happy I am that OS X now has a book reader that doesn't suck and can keep your place even if you close whatever you're reading.
In other accessibility changes, just like iOS, we now have a toggle for audio description, and the speakable items feature is now gone. To replace it, dictation has been expanded. It now includes more than 20 languages, again, just like iOS, and if you choose to use the offline enhanced dictation you get access to more commands, like clicking controls, opening/quitting/switching to apps and replacing/deleting/selecting a specific text. The interface to add new commands is more user friendly now (it no longer envolves putting in an applescript in a specific folder), but it's also more basic. I'm also not sure if this new enhanced dictation can be accessed from Applescripts or not.

Now for a few issues with the today view. The stock widgets that OS X comes with could be more accessible. Weather's forecast summary is scattered amung tiny elements that look more like a poorly designed webpage table with missing headers. Also, if there's a way to view a different city or change the temperature unit I haven't found it (thank god mine came set to Celcius by default.). I have similar issues with the world clock, reading the time in Cupertino is very accessible, but good luck trying to delete that city or add a new one. If anyone figured this out, do let me know. Another thing I couldn't figure out is how to accessibly send an audio iMessage. The button does show up, but focusing it and holding the spacebar didn't seem to do much.

Over all, it's a definite upgrade for me, if you don't mind the increased lag, but read a lot, it's a no brainer.

Working with widgets in the today view

The widgets are tricky, but they can be edited with VO. Changing the world clock requires much more interacting than it should, but it works. press VO+space to begin editing the widget. Interacting with it will show you a clock list which you also must interact with. In there is a button to add a city, and a clock face for each city you've added. Interact with the clock to find a delete button. When adding a city,pressing the button brings up a search field. When you type the city name, navigate right to see a list of results. You'll have to simulate a mouse click with VO shift Space to add the city you want.

As for the weather widget, I'm having an odd problem right now. My weather widget is completely empty at the moment. I know I've used it before, and that I had been able to add and remove cities from it. I'll post here again when I get it working so I can document how.

I modified the comment to add this update: I had to remove and re-add the weather widget to be able to use it. It's easier to edit than the clock widget. VO+Space to edit the widget, then interact once. There will be buttons to delete each city, add a new city, and switch between Celsius and Fahrenheit.

Very excited.

I am very excited about this update. In my opinion the favorable arrow navigation is a really big deal. It is one of the top two things that I felt were keeping the mac from being a no brainer for many more people. I am very excited to try out this update. Unfortunately I have three papers to write before the weekend is through and I can't afford to fiddle with my machine at the moment. Hopefully by next weekend. I was just reading that one can open and read pdf documents in ibooks on the mac. Has anyone tried this under the new version and if so what is the experience like?

not updating right away

If there is one thing I learned after the whole IOS 8 fiasco, I will not update right away. for me, the lag with the Alex voice would be one that would probably drive me mad. Yes its certainly no deal killer, but I would just get annoyed by it. I've been spoiled by windows when it comes to latency so it would be difficult for me to get use to.

shift key issue has been reported.

Hi all. For me, the new line selected thing has driven me bananas!!! lol seriously I finally broke down to tell accessibility in case they hadn't seen my feedback, willing to accidentally break my NDA. I think this might be fixed soon. Note: I hadn't to my knowledge broken the NDA but still anoying yes. lol

Found a small bug

In System Preferences, under General, there is a check box with the text, "Use dark menu bar and Dock." VoiceOver, however, announces the item as, "Theme checkbox." This checkbox is used to access the so-called "Dark Mode," where the menus and dock feature a dark background instead of the normal light background.

Safari cursor issue?

I haven't explored the update that much but in fiddling with safari, I did notice an interesting issue. If I am arrowing through the middle of a page just reading text and go back a heading with vo command shift H, the heading is announced but arrowing continues to read the mid page text. Could this be a small bug or do I have the wrong cursor options checked in the VO utility?

Thanks Everyone

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Thanks for the feedback. I've added the bugs you all have told me about, after confirming them, and will continue to do so as Yosemite is put through its paces. Please remember to keep telling Apple Accessibility about these bugs, or they will never get fixed. For a first release, this is going quite well overall, and I'm even told that not everyone is experiencing the Nuance voices lagging like I am.

Creating a Yosemite Boot disk


I am holding off on upgrading to Yosemite because I cannot figure out how to create an external boot disk for the Yosemite installer. I always try to wipe my hard drive and install a new operating system from scratch because I've heard that it can eliminate some weird issues.
For those that may be having weird issues, try a clean install of Yosemite.
Anyway, how do I create a bootable drive from the Install Yosemite.app file?
Disk Maker X doesn't support the installer yet.
Can anyone help with creating the boot disk?
I will not continue until I have created and tested my Yosemite install drive.

Re: Safari cursor issue?

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

I can confirm this one, and all my cursors are set to follow each other, so I'd call it a bug. Thanks for pointing it out.

Iam updated for yosemiti

I like optiones for braille support. Now have there braille table in the hebrew language.
In adition, have there a new voice that has cold "carmit".
Also on ios8 have there a new voice carmit, and the braille in hebrew.
Rite now, at the moment have there also ios and osx braille table of 6 poyntes.Today iam updated for yosemiti for mmmy macbook air.
But iiam don't like the nuance voices.
I am workt with pablick beta version and i am atantion the version of vocalizer expressive have a sevral bugs.
First of all, sumtimes i am work a spicific voice, and hee is to weaken.
Also wen i am typing.
It's hapened to more pipole?

Are english compact voices updated?

Hi all, can anyone confirm if the english nuance compact voices have been updated for Yosemite?

For reference, I particularly like how the way Daniel sounds using IOS 7.1.2 and if this voice change carries over to Yosemite, then that alone for me at least, maybe a compelling reason to update.

Thank you in advance.


More thoughts and replies

Yes, the compact voices have been updated for most languages. Daniel, Samantha and Karen now sound like just like on iOS 7.x.
Using arrow keys in Safari moves the keyboard focus. VoiceOver will only change the keyboard focus only if it comes across something that can be activated somehow, IE a link, form field, button, etc. So if you encounter a link, the keyboard will go there, but if you then use VO-right to read some text and then use the arrow keys you'll find you just now moved the keyboard off of that link.

Thanks for the help with the widgets. It never occured to me to press VO-space on them.

I'll need to try opening pdf files with iBooks again. I did try it with I think developer preview 2 which was long ago, and while iBooks did add the pdf to its library opening it just brought me to preview. Of course, things could have changed since then. The same can be said for iMessage audio sending, the last time I tried it was 1 or 2 previews back so it may work fine now.

Unlabelled Buttons in Mail 8.0

First of all, I'm running OS X Yosemite. I use the Nuance Karen voice and have not noticed any lag. This is on my 2011 MacBook Air 4GB RAM 1.7Ghz i5.

I have, however, noticed the “new line” bug when I hold down the shift key and press a letter. I'm also noticing that VoiceOver is unnecessarily repeating some characters, words and lines when navigating. It's actually getting quite annoying as I'm typing this.

The new issue I'm reporting is four unlabelled buttons in Mail 8.0. I use classic view. When I open a message VoiceOver reads the header view off to the left, followed by four unlabelled buttons with no help tags before the message text. Does anyone know what those unlabelled buttons are?


I confirm all the bugs.
In mail using option + comand without the interaction with the table of messages moves you at the begining or the nd.
instead the email messagges can not be copied as it was in previos versions.

another very important bug is the the impossibility to use properly the voiceover ativities. it seems, at least in italian, that every time i change application, with activity on, voiceover is turned off and on.

bug present anche in mavericks.

editing in text fields in safari has become worst, vo repeats the letter and words as i try to write.

YoruFukurou in Yosemite

I am holding off on upgrading to Yosemite, but am curious and am hoping it was just a rumor as during the testing phase there was a rumor going around that YoruFukurou would not work with VoiceOver in Yosemite. Hopefully this was just a rumor can someone running Yosemite confirm that YoruFukurou still works. Thanks. Should it not work please do let us know what Twitter client you might be using as I think if YoruFukurou does not work that might be a deal breaker for me. Again, hopefully this was just a rumor Thanks again

Decided To Hold Off

I've decided to hold off on upgrading. I've come to this decision based on what I've been reading on here, and the fact that I am still rather new to the Mac and Apple's way of doing things. I'm going to show these Yosemite posts to my sister and her tutor, although their trainer at the Apple store has probably covered at least some of this.

Thanks Good to Hear

Thanks so much for letting me know and glad to hear that it was just a rumor.

It works fine

I haven't spent a lot of time with it but the twitter client works fine from what I can see, so just another one to add to the list of people saying that it works.

First thoughts

I put the new os on an external hard hard drive and have only had about an hour to look at it. I have seen some quirky stuff, but over all my first experience was pretty positive. I was really worried about lag because I experienced amazingly terrible lag when I first updated to Mavricks. I didn't experience any major lags with the only voice I use, Alex. I was actuily surprised by the responsiveness, however I'm sure results will vary and major lag is a major headache. I love the new arrow navigation. I am not exactly clear what issues other people have had and as I said I have not had much time to play with things yet, but so far I feel like navigation works just as it should. I like how you can still skip over larger chunks of text, just as you previously could. This means that you can quickly move through text if you desire, but you can zoom in on sections and easily select and copy desired text. This Is a really big deal for me since I'm a student and convert lots of my books to html docs. Ibooks is also great, you can move by heading and links. Everything seems to work just as it should. I posted earlier something I heard about pdf's in ibooks, but sadly you can't open pdf's in the desktop app. Which is really really stupid since preview is trash and the iOS version of ibooks deals with pdf's fine. Speaking of pdf's has anybody tried the skim reader in the new os update? I briefly looked at it and it didn't seem to work. Since I was not using my regular system I'm not sure what the problem was. I was hoping that the new arrow navigation might work in the app. Does anybody know what accessibility improvements have been made in the I work apps? I use pages every day and would be excited for even better accessibility. Any way this has been far to long of a post. Over all my experience has been very positive. I plan to play some more with the new os and maybe update my main machine next weekend if I find no major red flags.

Hey bug that I did not see mentioned

Okay, wall in FaceTime on the Mac, and after you've searched for somebody, there is no way to Swiss to call using your iPhone button the button is damned. The only way that you can do this, is by letting them to call you first. So another words, and we can even make calls. Anybody have a fix for that?

Typing echo lag

Overall the upgrade is working very well on my 2011 MacBook Pro 13. I have tried all the normal apps I use except VMWare. the only slowness I have noticed is in typing echo in mail, EverNote, and TextEdit. this happens when echo is set to characters and is very noticeable. When set to words, though there is no lag at all. Navigating by arrow keys in Safari is not working to well at this point, lots of echoing of extraneous verbiage, but I need to see if have some cursor tracking settings set wrong.

Well, they didn't fix a script for messages.

The script that speeks messages when they are received is broken. This has been broken for the last two versions. I wish they would fix this! The script is called the speak event script. Anyone have a recommendation?

The script times out. I am not able to find out what causes this. This wasn't fixed in this update. I reported it to Apple.

Yosemite and iTunes

I have a question about iTunes 12 and Yosemite.
Are you finding iTunes accessible and easy to navigate with sidebar removal?

Creating the installl disk


I tried to create the Yosemite install disk using Disk Maker X 4.0 beta 2 but it just froze up and named my disk with some weird numbers and letters.
I wasn't sure what to do so just quit it.
I'm nervous to use terminal, since the last time I tried disabling dashboard and that other crap, I messed up something and had to reinstall Mavericks.
So, how do I use the terminal command safely? Can I paste it into terminal without it messing up my system?

installed yosemite

so I took the plunge and installed Yosemite. VO is a little big laggier but certainly doable. I'm hoping they're going to fix this in later updates.
Has anyone found a reliable way to play voice messages?

Voiceover Lag

Hi all,

I was wondering, what machines were you guys using when you experienced the VoiceOver lag? I am experiencing no lag whatsoever on my Core i7 MacBook Pro with any of the voices. Could this only affect older orless powerful machines?

Maybe this problem is similar to what happens to old iOS devices, like the iPhone 4S, when updating to iOS 8.


My initial thoughts on Yosemite.

Hi. Well, I just installed Yosemite and overall I am pleased with the update.

I love that I can now use the same enhanced version of Alex that is on my iPhone. Alex the depressed is gone, replaced by a much better sounding version. Interestingly, Alex has both a standard and enhanced version and you can download which ever copy you want.
Also, if you uncheck a voice in the voices list, it will ask you if you want to delete the voice file. This is really great!
The only thing I don't like so far is the slight lag and the fact that as I'm writing this, VoiceOver keeps saying new line, selected.
Also, I'm just now noticing that when I use the arrow keys to read text, VoiceOver is saying it twice for some reason and speaking the previous character. It's strange.
I am going to check out the handoff feature with my iPhone.
I think airdrop between iOS and OS X will be a really great feature, especially for me since I can't stand using iTunes, also known as craptunes.

web browsing

Has anyone noticed the web rotor when browsing by links says, "Link", before each link? As it is obviously a link, it feels like something in the way and a potential source of lag.

Also, there seems to be some strange behavior when trying to read Youtube comments. Instead of a comment, Voiceover will occasionally only read, "Banner two items", or, "End of banner." You have to press VO left and right arrow quickly, sometimes multiple times just to read the content.


I'm using a late 2013 mac book pro also running quad core I7 with 16 gb of ram.

Holy crap!! thats a lot of

Holy crap!! thats a lot of ram! anyway, back to bugs. I've noticed that vo likes to report empty scroll bars when navigating back to the previous page on applevis's site. This might not be a yosemite issue, as I've seen it in the latest version of mavericks, but it is still going on. What I have to do is reload the webpage. Also, has anyone else noticed the volume click sounds have either changed, or in some cases when holding the FN and shift keys down at the same time whilst adjusting the volume the blips that you heard when adjusting have gone to what the apple tv used to use? Just my observations

hand off and continuity not working for me

Hi there,

I have installed Yosemite and, as a first impresion, I feel the sistem generally slower than. At least voiceover responsibiness.
On the other hand, I can not find any related preferences to hand off or continuity, and as far as I see, I can not call or answer a call from my mac. What's the process for vinculating the iphone to the mac? Maybe is it not compatible with my mac book pro?

Re: lag

I have an early 15 macbook pro (I7 .7GHZ and 16GB ram) and Yosemite definitely feels less responsive than mavericks, and that's on a clean install of the system. What voice I use doesn't really make much of a difference as even the time it takes for VoiceOver sounds, like the keyboard focus being synced click, seems to have increased.

iBooks really isn't that great

I am having busy busy busy constantly within iBooks when turning pages. It's irritating so I am back to IOS for eBooks personally. I wanted this functionality as well but there it is.

Handoff and continuity

Hi all,

I can accept calls on my Macbook Pro, but I still haven't found any way to use the continuity function. To start receiving calls go to your IPhone settings, FaceTime and check the option IPhone Mobile calls. Handoff is on in the IPhone settings, my devices are connected to ICloud, however, I don't see the Apps popping up on my Iphone or Mac to switch between them. I've heard that Bluetooth needs to be on on both devices, I tried to turn it on but to no avail. Where am I going wrong? In the about this mac it says that my macbook Pro s compatible with handoff. Thank you!

VoiceOver as Responsive as Ever and Improved Sounds

I've now installed Yosemite on both my 2011 iMac 16GB RAM 1TB HD and 2.6 Ghz Quad Core i5 as well as my 2011 MacBook Air 4GB RAM 1.7 Ghz i5 with SSD. It's running fine on both with no lag to speak of. I'm using the Nuance Karen voice. Many of the pronunciation bugs from Mavericks are still present, but no lag.

The other positive improvement I've noticed is the new sounds. Has anyone else noticed these? I would've said changing the sounds would be a waste of time, but I actually really like them and it makes the whole OS feel better and newer. The sounds are richer yet more subtle and classier. I really like them.

Some other apps feel much better too, like Pages. I've only played with Pages briefly, and only with a one page document, but what I've seen so far does seem to be an improvement. Once I get to work on Monday though and start using larger documents I'll have a better idea of how far any improvements go.

I also didn't have much luck with iBooks. The buttons are definitely now all labelled, and I could easily use the library view and table of contents, but reading the book was a bit tricky. I tried with Mastering the Macintosh with VoiceOver. There was lots of busy issues which really hampered progress, and changing pages didn't seem to do anything. But I'll have another go another time with a different book and see if I have better luck. In the middle of my thesis at the moment and shouldn't be wasting time exploring Yosemite.

Thanks for the confirmation on iBooks

Thanks for the confirmation regarding iBooks. I wasn't sure if it was my installation or something else, I do read very long books though, 1300 pages or so and this could have been the issue. It's all that extreme science fiction, gets long you know.

ABBYY FineReader Pro issue with Yosemite

A word of caution for folks who rely on FineReader Pro: An individual posted to one of the mailing lists that FineReader Pro had issues after the Yosemite upgrade. ABBYY posted the following comment on their FB page yesterday:

"FineReader Professional for Mac is not compatible with Mac OS Yosemite at this time. However, the retail version update is expected to be available late next week on the AppStore. Please check back for updates."

All seems great here - give or take a few things...

Hi all,

so me being the Apple geek went ahead and updated without reading anything before hand. All seems okay, accept for the newline bug that happens when I type a capital letter using the shift key as others have said. Defoe no lagging of VO as others have said... using a macbook air (2013 version). Using the Kate UK voice (I think she is UK anyway) :)

Although as I was editing this post, I did notice when navigating by character, VO comes across as if it is repeating each letter, but the first is like an echo... if that makes sense... almost like it says half of the letter and then says the letter in full straight after...

VO also seems to repeat some lines twice, but can't pick up a pattern for this behaviour as yet...

But other than that, I am happy, I can live with these bugs anyhow:)

Khafsa :)

the insane pursuit of flat design

"I have a question about iTunes 12 and Yosemite. Are you finding iTunes accessible and easy to navigate with sidebar removal?"

absolutely hate it! stupid idea, stupid design. the strength of apple is that many loyal users will keep buying apple products again and again, just like a tightly knitted family. trying to attract new customers is fine, but don't just take away your existing customers love. not even an option, just take away without warning? i thought apple knew better.

voice messages

Anyone know how the best way to play voice messages on Yosemite?

RE: Voice Messages

I'm not on Yosemite yet, but in Mavericks they just show up as attachments and you can press space to get a quick look on them. Has this been broken?

yes is has

Its changed. They are no longer treated as an attachment

iTunes 12

I spent some time with the new version of iTunes. Near as I can tell, the new version is fully accessible, and I can do everything in iTunes I have been without any issues. Having said that, the interface is significantly different, and it will take some relearning and getting used to.

I don't think the new interface is bad, and in some ways it makes sense, but it does feel like reinventing the wheel to me. I get the sense that Apple changed the UI because they could, not necessarily to make things better for the user. I am not aware of anyone requesting Apple to overhaul the iTunes interface. If anything, I mostly hear people saying they wish iTunes was more like it used to be in years past.

using the controls on earpods

This might be a pretty minor update to most but I quite love the fact that you are able to use your apple earpods to full affect unlike in the past. this means that the pause music, skip forward and backwards and even answering and hanging up facetime calls now work from the earpods.

iTunes 11 and osx 10.10?

Hi. After reading the post about iTunes 12 I have decided not to update iTunes because I am new to the Mac and don't want to have to relearn iTunes when I am still trying to learn other parts of my Mac. However, Osx 10.10 does not sound so bad so I might update that. But will iTunes 11 run on Osx 10.10?