Apple Releases iOS 11.2; Bringing Many Fixes for Braille and VoiceOver Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 11.2, which brings a number of fixes; enhancements; and changes for blind and low vision users.

This release appears to have been rushed out by Apple to address a rather nasty bug related to some notifications generated after 12:15 a.m. local time on December 2 causing devices to enter a soft reset loop. AppleInsider has more on this bug.

Fixes

  • When using a braille display or braille keyboard for text input, the translator now recognizes all characters if you type quickly.
  • Braille focus and jumping issues appear to be resolved.
  • The Braille Screen Input cursor is now placed in the correct location in text views.
  • Braille focus will now follow finger when touching in iBooks.
  • Siri voices will no longer be deleted when downloaded for VoiceOver usage.
  • There is once again a sound effect played when using the volume up/down buttons to change the volume level.
  • Prices preceded by the British Pound symbol are now Spoken Correctly by VoiceOver.
  • On the Mini Player in the native Music app, VoiceOver once again reads the name of the currently selected device on the “Audio Destination” button.
  • After performing a search in the App Store, VoiceOver will no longer behave as if the list of trending searches is present and accessible at the end of the list of search results.
  • Smart Invert now works in the Control Center.
  • The incoming call screen has improved support of Invert Colors.
  • The app review interface is now accessible with VoiceOver for rating apps inline.
  • The Apple TV remote in Control Center has VoiceOver improvements.
  • Stand hours in the Activity app are now announced correctly by VoiceOver.
  • Heart rate data in the native Health app is now spoken correctly by VoiceOver.
  • The iOS Item Chooser appears to be working correctly again.
  • In the Phone app, you can once again use the VoiceOver Actions rotor to paste telephone numbers in to the text field.
  • Movement of VoiceOver focus when swiping through a story in the native News app is more consistent and reliable.
  • In the native Files app, there no longer appear to be occasions when the “Delete” option would be listed twice in the VoiceOver Actions Rotor.
  • In the App Store, locating the “My Account” button is more reliable when swiping, making the movement of VoiceOver focus behave as expected.
  • In the native Contacts app, locating your own contact card in the list view is more reliable when swiping, making the movement of VoiceOver focus behave as expected.
  • If a bluetooth keyboard supports a "Home button" key, it should now work with VoiceOver again.
  • The graphic on the settings page for Emergency SOS now has a VoiceOver label.
  • There appear to be improvements to how VoiceOver handles math formulas on web pages.
  • There no longer appear to be occasions when playback of audio will break-up and crackle; and require VoiceOver to be turned off and back on again to restore normal audio output.
  • The Siri voices appear to be much more responsive when used with VoiceOver.
  • The completeness of VoiceOver recognition of text in images appears to have been improved.
  • Text recognition in images now works regardless of Screen Curtain or brightness settings.
  • VoiceOver now attempts to recognize the text of unlabeled buttons in apps—presenting this information as "possible text."
  • Audio destination will now only appear in the VoiceOver Rotor for AirPlay routes. This Rotor item can be enabled/disabled in Settings.

New Bugs

Our testing suggests that iOS 11.2 introduces no new bugs for VoiceOver or braille users. However, as we always stress, we are only a small team, so it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases. It is possible, therefore, that there are additional fixes, changes or regressions in iOS 11.2 that we are currently unaware of. We will update this post if we learn of anything else. In the meantime, please let us know in the comments of any fixes, enhancements or regressions that you find in your own testing of this release.

Other Changes of Note in iOS 11.2

According to AppleInsider, iOS 11.2 includes the following fixes:

Beyond the date bug, Apple built in a host of fixes for first-party apps including a resolution to a Mail issue that could cause the app to appear to be checking for new messages even when a download is complete. Another issue caused cleared Mail notifications from Exchange accounts to reappear.

Other bugs addressed by iOS 11.2 include an issue where Settings could open to a blank screen, a problem that prevented swiping to Today View or Camera from the Lock Screen and an issue preventing Music controls from showing up on the Lock Screen. Apple also remedied hiccups associated with VoiceOver, Calculator, Find My iPhone and iCloud. General stability improvements to Calendar and the soft keyboard are also included.

iOS 11.2 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

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Comments

Submitted by Orko on Thursday, December 7, 2017

I am still running iOS 10.3.3 on my iPhone SE. Initially I have been holding off on updating to iOS 11 because of several reports that it was laggy on the iPhone SE. After reading the comments above, I think I'll add too many bugs that affect accessibility to my reason for not updating.

iOS 10.3.3 is working just fine for me so I see no reason why I should update to an iOS version that has so many bugs that don't appear to be getting any attention.

Submitted by Aine on Friday, December 8, 2017

You can indeed type faster now which is wonderful, although early use is showing that the Braille display doesn't always refresh itself to show you what you just typed—or, more problematically, what you just deleted. If in doubt, press space with 4-5, one press for every "missing" word. The operations themselves are working more often than not though. Also, if you try and position the cursor within a block of text to edit it, it often takes two tries to get the cursor to go where you want it to. Have reported the above to Apple. On the whole though Braille appears to be moving in the right direction now!

DPinWi, I am having a couple things that are very different after updating to 11.2 on IPhone 7, and wonder if you notice or know if it is how things work now.
I cannot seem to access the control center by swiping 3 fingers up from bottom of screen. Any Suggestions? Secondly when typing in edit fields like in messages or mail, if there is a mis-spelled word, I can't seem to figure out how first to get to the word in that roter and sometimes it says a possible word followed by "menu item". Before if I wanted that word, I would just tap it and it would replace the mis-spelled word, now it is like it backspaces a letter if I tap that and erases it. I am doing this with the keyboard on the phone, not a blue tooth one or braille one. Thanks for any suggestions.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, December 11, 2017

To get to control center, get focus on the status bar at the top of the screen and then, anywhere on the screen, swipe up with three fingers.

Submitted by Liz on Monday, December 11, 2017

Hi all,
When I receive an incoming call, in using a one-finger flick right VoiceOver gesture to move VoiceOver focus off of the telephone number/name of the contact who is calling, where VoiceOver will usually announce either the city/state or type of number (home/mobile/etc) if it is a contact, VoiceOver announces "0 seconds". Can anyone else confirm this behavior?

Submitted by Yusuf on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I'd just like to confirm the lack of information about type of number calling reported by others both when receiving a call and when checking in the recent items in the Phone app. Although there, facetime calls are being correctly identified in so far as I am told it was a Facetime audio/video call. I'm also seeing the 0s in the dialogue when someone is calling me.
One bug I've noticed which hasn't been mentioned here as far as I can tell is in the messages app. After dictating a message I like to go back and check through moving by word and character where necessary to make edits. I'm having difficulties in doing this, initially VO reports the dictate and change keyboards buttons but doesn't give me access to the text or the quirty keyboard. Also, periodically swiping up and down to move by word or character reports dictate, or spells it out. I have to move around the screen and go in and out of the edit box before I can get the quirty keyboard to reappear. Is anyone else seeing this?
In the same app the number of characters in a message isn't always reported correctly. On one occasion I got 80/70.
I'm using an iPhone 7 and have reported these to Apple.

Submitted by cool cat on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Yes Yusuf. I'm having problems with dictation. I don't usually dictate a whole message at once so when I stop and then start again the keyboard isn't up. Therefore I have to swipe through the messages in the chain and find the text feild again. It's very annoying.Also I updated from 10.3.3 so I don't know if this started from 11 or 11.2 but when you go to dictate Voiceover says more " use the rotor to access mispelled words " is added to the usual "double tap to start ...." which takes 7 or 8 seconds which I don't like at all. I know you start your dictation bydouble singl tapping at the start or in the middle of that message but only works some of the time and I find myself having to delete whatever voiceover says while it's recording.

Submitted by cool cat on Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Also, When there is mistakes in the dictation I shake the phone to undo alot. When I go to undo the keyboard is not up and like I said before I have to go hunting for the text feild box.the text is still highlighted and sometimes it is not so the undo doesn't work. I generally like the update to IOS 11 but this is a con about it. Other things, like mentioned before I don't get the place where they are calling from anymore. Not sure about the seconds thing.

Submitted by Kathy Brandt on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The screen locks or freezes after placing a FaceTime audio call. However, when I use earphones, I can read the buttons with voiceover. If I do a FaceTime video call, I don’t have to use headphones. The Apple accessibility rep duplicated this on his unit. The case number, if anyone wishes to contribute, is 100377527297.

Submitted by Kathy Brandt on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

When I’ve copied and paste did something from Safari, and then go to coffee something else, when I use text selection in the rotor, it says that what I think I am copying is selected, only when I hear back what was supposedly copied, or when I paste into the email, , it reads out and or pastes the previously copied material. How can I stop this from happening?

Submitted by cool cat on Friday, December 15, 2017

Small thing I noticed. Back in 10.3.3 I used siri to change my email accounts. I said to siri "settings" then "mail" but in IOS 11 to change your email account of course you have to go to accounts and passwords. Siri can't do that so I have to swipe all the way down. Siri still goes to all the previous stuff in the settings but not the new accounts and passwords or emergency s.o.s.

Submitted by Eglė on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hello for every one. Maybe someone tryed go somewhere using apple maps on ios 11? Now VoiceOver does not read how many metters or kilometers left until nextt turn. instead it says "no turn, take a left" So