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.


  • 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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Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Saturday, December 2, 2017

As far as I can see, you can now safely use the new high quality Siri voices without being concerned of them spontaniously deleting themselves on you. I had the British voice on my rotor for over a month of the beta test and it never crashed. Additionally the over all speed of the Siri Voices was improved, so now they're just about on the speed of Vocalizer on my iPhone 7. So if you enjoy how they sound, you can safely use them now.

Submitted by Lee on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hi all,
Not sure if it is a coincidence but it seems that VO now reads text in photos better. I just tried one in FB and instead of reading about 10/15 words it read the whole thing.

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Saturday, December 2, 2017

You just reminded me of another important 11.2 fix: The image recognition finally no longer depends on your screen brightness. So, tapping any image with 3 fingers should give you a description regardless of the state of screen curtain. In addition, if you come across an unlabeled button in an app VO will automatically do OCR on it and read out any text it finds. This obviously won't always help if the button is an icon, but I've seen it be useful IE in the soundcloud app.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, December 2, 2017

I have been using Apple Pay on my iPhone and watch in stores since it was available. I have updated to iOS 11.2 and tried to locate the Apple Pay icon in the messages app in order to send money to a friend. I rebooted the iPhone thinking that might have fixed it. I searched the Wallet and Apple Pay settings and the iCloud account settings but have found nothing related to the new Apple Pay cash sending feature. Anyone know of something I have missed?

Submitted by Melissa on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Don't know if this is a bug, but I have updated to iOS11.2, and I cannot seem to do a reboot on my iPhone8. I pressed the volume up quickly, and then the down button quickly, and tried to hold the power button. However, the shut down option came up. Is there a new way to force a reboot?

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hello,This feature is not available yet. It is suppose to be turned on some time this next week. I have seen some tweets from iMore confirming this.

Submitted by Melissa on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Well, the reboot is working. it seems that I didn't hold long enough. sorry about that.

Submitted by Taeshim on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Hi, I have an ihone 6 running ios 10.3.3 and have been afraid to do any ios updates... How is the latest update wth iPhone6? should I stay with ios 10.3.3? Thanks

Submitted by Wayne A on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

Hi everyone
It seems that the bug with respect to mail and message badges still persists. Voiceover, sometimes, does not correctly identify the number of unread mail items or messages. Not serious but annoying. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon.

Submitted by fatih on Saturday, December 2, 2017

The claim that the siri voices bug has been fixed is totally wrong. I just installed iOs 11/2 and I installed the Russian siri voice. Then I turned siri back to Turkish and I waited for some ours. the siri voice worked for some minuts, then boom, when I turned voiceover into Russian it didn't speak and stayed like this. I am currently trying to update my iPhone with iTunes for this reason. I think this is another reason to switch to android.

Submitted by Troy on Saturday, December 2, 2017

I used the beta and had no issues with the siri male and female voices crashing. For those of you who come on here promoting android, why don't you do us all a favor and just switch.

Submitted by dvdmth on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

This iOS update also fixes a bug affecting hardware keyboard users.

In prior versions of iOS 11, attempting to navigate the lock screen or notifications screen with a hardware keyboard was impossible, because pressing any key on the keyboard would immediately dismiss the screen. This wasn’t a problem in iOS 10 and earlier, but it was a definite annoyance in iOS 11. Now the bug is fixed, and I can use my Apple Wireless Keyboard to check notifications again.

Submitted by DPinWI on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I am really liking this update so far on my iPhone 7. I have not had any further issues with badges not being voiced. My crackle and dropped audio issue has not reappeared, and when using the Siri voice for Voice Over, the phone feels much snappier and responsive. I have yet to have a VO crash.

Though it's a little early to call any or all of these issues "fixed," it's looking good here.

Submitted by David Lai on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I just loaded on iOS 11.2 on my iPhone SE, and the Siri voice has responded faster than ever, and I'm looking forward to playing with them more and more. As far as I can see now, no crashes or anything like that. Bravo for Apple!

Submitted by Melissa on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I am liking this update so far. I have noticed many fixes with Voiceover, and am not having any problems with Siri. It seems much more responsive, and faster.

Submitted by fatih on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Please can you switch siri to another language than English for a few hours and try that? Because at the moment of the crash my siri voice was Russian and my siri language was Turkish. It caused the phone to crash untill I restarted it. The siri voice was deleted

Submitted by Justin on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I'd recommend using a different voice than siri russian. Maybe try one of the older voices, or switch to english Alex voice and see where that takes you. I know it's not ideal, but it's the only solution I can come up with at the top of my head.

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I cannot say for sure if the problem about voices disappearing on you is finally fixed or not. However, I suggest you to restart your phone and let the new update take over completely. Maybe that will solve the problem. I have been having this problem since iOS 11 with the Siri Spanish voices and, for some reason, they kept appearing and disappearing on me. Now, after having updated to the new iOS version, I have not had that problem anymore. Maybe it is too soon to say that it won't happen, yet. We'll see how it goes from here on. For now, all I can say, is that I am really liking this new iOS version 11.2.

Submitted by fatih on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thank you for your advice. I will give it a try

Submitted by Lit Xuan on Sunday, December 3, 2017

As the subject suggest, I agreed with all the comments that this update is definitely making almost everything on our iOS devices feels fresh again.
I do enjoy the improvements brought by this update in every single aspect very much specially the overall performance, speed, battery life and the improvements and fixes for VoiceOver.
I did run Geekbench on my iPhone 7 before and after the update and I got quite an impressive and satisfying results. The numbers showed how significant the speed boost introduced in this update is. I'm also liking the progress Apple is making towards having the new set of Siri beautiful voices specially the female US Variant which is my favourite Voice better in both useability and speed.
I do realized that they have tweaked Siri voice to respond quicker and sound a bit different.
i installed iOS 11.2 on my dad’s iPhone 6 as well and noticed the speed improvements which is a good sign I hope for people who use this iPhone model.
But at the end of the day, I'm loving what iOS 11.2 brought to my iPhone 7 and the 6. Kudos Apple.

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Sunday, December 3, 2017

It just happened to me again. Tried to switch to the Spanish voice and instead of getting the Siri Spanish voice I got the voice known as Monica. Now I can say that this issue still continues bugging me. If anyone is still having this problem, please contact Apple Accessibility or send your reports because every time I call they say that they are not getting enough calls reporting this issue and they think it's a problem with my device. I know this is not the case because it would be too much of a coincidence to have had the problem with my iPhone 7 Plus and now with my iPhone X. Thank you for your cooperation.

Submitted by mario_hardrock on Sunday, December 3, 2017

hi all.

someone of you can tell me if all the issues with the bluetooth keyboard have been fixed in this update?
especially the issues in text editing and form fields.
I can't not confirm this because I'm still with IOS 10.3.3.
and I'm still not completely convinced with the IOS 11 to update my iPhone.
I use a lot the bluetooth keyboard, and I would be extremely disappointed if all these issues are still present in this update

Submitted by Ipadman on Sunday, December 3, 2017

I have just upgraded from iOS 10.3.3 so please bear with me if this is something which was present in the earlier iOS 11 versions, but one thing I have noticed is that list of open tabs in Safari has moved from the top left of the screen to the top right.
This is pretty annoying for me because are used to be able to swipe up with two fingers from within webpage and then swipe left to see a list of Open tabs, But now I have to find the top right of the screen or swipe down past the end of the current webpage I’m on.

Submitted by techluver on Sunday, December 3, 2017

It sounds like the siri voices are only fixed in english. this could be a problem for me, since I use my phone in swedish, but we shal see. i'll let you know how things develop.

Submitted by Eglė on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hello for every one. with this update voice over started read some unicode characters sutch as č separate in word. it calls for example Jarmolavičiūtė you are hearing entire word now. after update it calls Jarmolavi č iūtė. there is issue to read texts with unicode characters like this.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Good news, voiceover reads messages well the second time. Before when I got a message, voiceover read it and the second time after 2 minutes it told me the time. Now it read me the message again. Hope it will keep doing so.

Submitted by Samuel J on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Here are some of the bugs that I have encountered ever since updating to iOS 11.2

1. When receiving or placing a call, Voiceover does not announce where the call is coming from or what type of call it is (the label that is). For instance, if I was calling Sam on his "Mobile" number, Voiceover will not announce the "Mobile" part. Similarly, if Sam is calling me via "Facetime Audio", Voiceover will not announce the "Facetime Audio" part. This also goes for any calls outside of regular calls or Facetime. Like making or receiving Whatsapp calls, Facebook Messenger calls, Hangouts calls, etc.
In place of the appropriate labels, Voiceover announces the words, "Zero seconds".

2. In the Phone app, under the Recents tab, Voiceover does not announce the label for the number that you have called, or one that you have received a call from (if that number happens to be saved in your contacts and has a label assigned to that number). So for instance, if I have Sam saved under my contacts, and I have two numbers for him with the labels "Mobile" and Work", Voiceover will not announce the "Mobile" or "Work" part when going through the list of call records under the Recents tab.
The same behavior occurs for Facebook Messenger calls, Whatsapp calls, Hangouts calls, etc.
There too, Voiceover does not announce the label for the number.

3. During a call, the call duration timer keeps going back and starting from zero after every minute. It will start from zero, go all the way to 59 and then start again from zero. So it is not correctly reflecting the duration of the call.

Submitted by Ka Yat Li on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Has anyone experiences a slight lag with VO on the home screens after updating from IOS 10? It doesn't seem to lag on most other screens. I've tried using responsive voices such as Alex, and Fred and there's still a lag on the home screens.

Submitted by Bobcat on Monday, December 4, 2017

If I set the rotor to move by lines while editing, in this box, voiceover will move focus right out of the edit field if I flick down to the next line.

And then navigation by line is removed from the rotor.

Submitted by Bobcat on Monday, December 4, 2017

There is a search function in Safari history but tapping the edit box doesn’t bring up the keyboard.

Submitted by DPinWI on Monday, December 4, 2017

The tone to indicate volume changes with the up and down buttons is back.

However, there is a new behaviour. On my iPhone 7, if no audio is playing, pressing the volume up and down returns the beep tone as in previous versions of iOS. If audio is playing, no tones are generated.

I like this behaviour. If nothing is playing, I like the feedback to let me know things are happening. If audio is playing, I can hear the change, and no beep is required.

Submitted by Kerby on Monday, December 4, 2017

I still don't get volume sounds and I have 11.2

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Monday, December 4, 2017

Hello, i am getting the sound volume on my iPhone7, i am very happy with this update. it's a very good update. iOs11 was very worse. know, it's has very improoved.

Submitted by Shawn T on Monday, December 4, 2017

In reply to by Kerby

This setting is linked to VO sounds. If these are off you will not hear them. Sighted people I think got annoyed by the sound when it was on for everybody. Decent compromise, it helps those of us who need it without getting in the way of a non VoiceOver user.

For me it comes and goes. It is not consistent. Sometimes it works sometimes does not.

Submitted by Graham Page on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Subject line says it all but Cant find an option to define a word in edit menu when word is selected.
Is there something I need to change in settings or is this a problem with IOS 11.2?

Submitted by Rafal on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I love this update though it drains too much battery power. I had 31% last night with the low power energy mode on, and in the morning the battery died. What has drained battery? I Hope this will be fixed soon.

Submitted by David Lai on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I personally think that if you update via PC or Mac, the battery life is longer than updating wirelessly. Just a thought.

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Hi, curious has anyone else experienced the following bug? I have only encountered this since ios 11 came out but I have found this on both an iPhone x and 7 plus.
the issue I have is that I protect my iPhone with a passcode, and I always do updates through iTunes on the pc rather than over the air wirelessly on the device.
I have found that when updating on the pc the update installs and my phone reboots, but then I get a prompt from iTunes asking if I want to trust the computer and that data will be accessible through it on my iPhone.
I say yes but then I am prompted to respond on my phone by entering its passcode, at this point though there is an issue that VoiceOver hasn't started, and none of the usual methods for starting VoiceOver work, it doesn't matter how long I leave my phone connected to the computer with this prompt up VoiceOver fails to start.
I am literally forced to unplug my phone then sometimes VoiceOver starts, but other times I have to hard reboot the phone then it starts.
either way really not a fun bug to deal with, I have just emailed apple about it but curious if anyone else has experienced this.

Submitted by JoeM on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I am still using my iPhone 6 Plus with 10.2.3 or whatever the last iOS 10 is. And I have been looking everywhere for problems and reasons not to or to update my current phone. Currently is a little laggy on webpages and with the keyboard. I can live with this if updating will decrease this even further thank you for any help you can provide.

Submitted by techluver on Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I use swedish female siri, and it did the erase voices/crash voiceover thing again, even on 11.2. must say much more responsive though.

Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ever since 11.0 I have also experienced the issue where iTunes was wanting me to use my passcode and voiceover will not start. I just update over the air.

Submitted by Ellie on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

I’m not sure if this is just my phone/headphones but ever since upgrading to iOS 11.2, I’ve been experiencing some issues with VO cutting out. It mostly happens on the lock screen after I pause music/reading on Voice Dream Reader. VoiceOver says the time and date as usual but when I flick right, it says nothing and I can only hear VoiceOver sounds. This happens mostly when the audio I was listening to isn’t playing but has also happens when it is playing and I want to rewind it.

Again, this might be just my phone playing up.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, December 6, 2017

So far, the Siri voices for English speech have not had the crashing problem for me running an iPhone 8 plus.

This isn't a bug, I guess, but it is a feature that Apple has now with its app store on iOS that I find very annoying. Actually, there are two of them. Before iOS11, whenever there was an app update, it would tell you the app size; now it does not. I find that very annoying. Also, since I do not allow auto updating, when I go to the updates tab, I have to manually refresh it every time before all updates show which are available.