Apple Releases iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1; Bringing Many Bug Fixes and Some New Bugs for Blind and Low Vision Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 to the public. In addition to bringing many new features originally slated for the initial iOS 13 release, these releases bring fixes for a large number of the bugs that iOS 13.0 introduced for blind and low vision users.

Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users

Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1:

  • The performance of Smart Invert and Classic Invert is now much more consistent and reliable. In particular, our testing suggests that users are unlikely to find their device's display spontaneously and randomly switching between light on dark and dark on light. There are occasions when some UI elements - in particular the onscreen keyboard - do not use the expected and desired color combination, but this appears to be no worse than it has been in previous versions of iOS.
  • Braille input once again works correctly when composing an email or note.
  • When composing an email with a braille display, the VoiceOver cursor now behaves consistently.
  • System sounds (such as notifications) now much more reliably follow the volume of VoiceOver, even when "Change with Buttons" is disabled in Settings> Sounds and Haptics.
  • VoiceOver volume no longer fluctuates when using AirPods.
  • Expanding grouped notifications in Notification center now works correctly.
  • VoiceOver speech now works reliably when navigating Notification Center.
  • VoiceOver no longer becomes unresponsive when opening apps.
  • VoiceOver now correctly announces the number of messages in a mailbox in the Mail app.
  • The Status Bar is now somewhat easier to locate by touch, although the target area when on the Home screen still feels smaller than it has been in the past.
  • Apple has resolved the behavior which saw some VoiceOver labels for Today View Widget elements prepended with the extraneous text “Today”.
  • When an iOS or iPadOS update is available through the Settings app, VoiceOver once again speaks the size of the download and the download progress.
  • When swiping through the Lock Screen, VoiceOver focus no longer enters the Status Bar.
  • It is now possible to reliably navigate by heading the history tab in Safari.
  • When opening the App Switcher, VoiceOver now correctly places focus on the most recently-opened app.
  • When using the Alex voice, there are no longer unnaturally long pauses after punctuation.
  • When in the Status Bar, performing a two-finger scrub or pressing space with B on a braille display now works correctly and takes the user back to the main area of the screen.
  • When encountering an emoji in braille, VoiceOver now displays the emoji correctly.
  • On the Map Settings screen in the Find My app, the Close button is now announced by VoiceOver as being a button.

If you encounter any additional fixes during your own use of iOS 13.1 or iPadOS, please let us know by posting a comment below.

New Bugs for VoiceOver and Braille Users in iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1

Disappointingly, our testing suggests that iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 also introduce some new bugs for VoiceOver and braille users:

Serious Bugs

  • On occasion, VoiceOver becomes unresponsive after ending a call in both the Phone and FaceTime apps; this issue sometimes necessitates that the user must perform a force restart to restart the device. The presentation of this behavior is inconsistent; some members of our team report experiencing this issue several times per day, while others have not experienced it at all.
  • When running a shortcut that prompts you to make a selection from a menu, VoiceOver does not read the menu options. * Note that this problem is not present if the menu has only a few options.

Moderate Bugs

  • When using a braille display and editing text in a text field (such as in an email message or note), the blinking cursor represented by dots 7 and 8 will often not be indicated on the display, even after pressing a cursor routing button.
  • VoiceOver focus is ‘jumpy’ on the People and Devices tab of the Find My app. Our assumption is that this is triggered by the location data updating; hence the more people and devices you are tracking, the ‘jumpier’ VoiceOver focus will be.
  • On occasion, the Edit item is missing from the VoiceOver rotor's Actions menu when in empty text fields; even though you have text on the clipboard. On these occasions, a double-tap and long press on the text field will typically reveal the Paste button. At this point, Edit also becomes available from the Actions menu.
  • The VoiceOver keyboard shortcut to move focus to the Status Bar does not work when on the Home screen. It works when in an app, but you are unable to then use the keyboard to move focus through all items on the Status Bar.
  • On iOS, double-tapping on a shortcut in the Shortcuts app will open its edit page rather than run the shortcut (which the VoiceOver hint indicates should be the expected behaviour).

Minor Bugs

  • On occasion, you may find that VoiceOver focus will jump to the first UI element on the screen soon after you go to that screen, but after you have placed VoiceOver focus on another UI element. For example, after using View from the Actions menu on a notification and then placing focus on to the Delete button, focus will jump to the Dismiss button. If the timing is right, this may happen just as you double-tap on what you expect to be Deleted. Similar behavior can routinely be reproduced after selecting to ‘react’ to a message in the Messages app, where VoiceOver focus will initially be on the ‘Heart’ tapback, but then jump to the Back button. These are just two examples. Similar behavior is present system-wide.
  • The ‘New Window’ UI element on the App Expose (‘Show All Windows’) screen in iPadOS is not spoken by VoiceOver as being a button.
  • On occasion, VoiceOver does not speak the time when using the Side Button to wake the device's screen.

As we always stress, we can make no claims on the completeness or accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases. Accordingly, to help us ensure that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible, please let us know in the comments of any fixes; enhancements; or regressions that you find in your own use of iOS 13.1 and iPadOS.

How to update

iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or via iTunes on a Mac or PC.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either in iTunes or iCloud, depending on personal preference). This will ensure that, in the unlikely event that something goes wrong during the update process, you will have a current backup on hand in case a device restore becomes necessary. Also, if using OTA update, we recommend plugging your device into a power source for the duration of the download/installation process, so as to prevent the unlikely event of your battery going dead during the update.

More information on how to update the software on your device is available on this Apple Support page.

As always, we look forward to hearing your thoughts on these updates. Questions? Comments?? Let us know by adding a comment below.

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144 Comments

#1 Smart Invert still buggy.

I’m running iOS 13.1 on an iPhone XS Max and still experiencing odd behaviour with Smart Invert. It does seem better but flicks between standard colours and inverted colours. Sometimes the fix appears to be just changing tabs within an app or switching to another app then switching back.

Thanks for your summary BTW, great work as always.

#2 Is the loss of VoiceOver after facetime and phone bug detectable

hey there,
Is there a way I will know if I have that bug before I update? This is a make or break for me, and if this is still a bug I might be on IOS12 for a long time lol.

#3 When reading anything with

When reading anything with voiceover, if you come across anything with the letters o n in it, voiceover will not read that word correctly.
For instance, words like won't, don't, are both spoken as dot o n t. This occurs with Alex as well as all the other US voices I have tried testing with.
Interestingly, while this issue occurs on all three of my devices, an iPhone 6S, an iPhone XR and an iPad 6th gen, it does not occur on someone else's iPhone 7+.

#4 Re: VoiceOver Stops Responding After Ending a Phone or FaceTime

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Techluver,

There appears to be no reliable way to predict when this behavior will occur. I myself did not experience it on my iPhone XS Max running iOS 13.1 Beta 4; however, when I set up my iPhone 11 Pro Max with a fresh install of iOS 13.1 Beta 4, I did experience the problem after ending a FaceTime Audio call. In my case, I was able to toggle VoiceOver off and back on with the Accessibility Shortcut.

#5 Bit nervous

I'm a bit nervous about the phne and facetime bug. During a force restart, how long typically would you need to hold the side button on an iPhone 8 before the Apple logo appears and you can release it?

Also, someone mentioned on the other topic that Daniel had been broken, but nobody else has commented on this. Did anyone else experience this behaviour and if so, has it been fixed with this latest update?

#6 A hard reset

To perform a hard reset you typically wait about ten seconds.

#7 thanks

I should probably track this bug... i'm just going to upgrade and hope for the best. I can't hold back, unfortunately, since everyone else in my life is upgrading.

#8 Charging information

In previous iOS version, after finishing a charge, Voice Over would eventually tell me 100% charged on AC Power. At that point, I'd disconnect the chord from the phone and wall. Today after updating to iOS 13 after over five hours, Voice Over continues to tell me 100% charged, charging, on battery power, charging. It should not continue to say charging. Its actually on AC power. Has anybody else had this situation occur?

#9 Navigation in mail app

Hi,

In the iOS 13 bugs list, there were mention of two bugs in the mail app: unreliable voiceover navigation in the message list of the mail app, and the inability to navigate by lines while composing a message. Has any of these bugs been addressed?

Also, while reading a message thread in the mail app, I noticed that the actions under the messages rotor no longer work. You can hear them being spoken when you flick up and down, but double tapping no longer causes anything to happen.

Thx,
Zuhair.

#10 Shades of iOS 8

This whole thing is reminding me more and more of iOS 8. A friend and I were looking at the bug list today, and when we noticed the phone call issue, we both got nervous. I'm surprised at this, since while I want to ensure this thing is stable, I can't hold out forever. Has anyone reported the phone call bug to the accessibility team? Also, I'm curious as to whether this depends on the phone you're using. Is this more likely to happen with older phones than newer ones?

Also, someone is seeing Voiceover not reading words like "don't" and "won't" right. Has anyone reported this to Apple? For the person who is dealing with this, does anyone know of a workaround so they can fix it?

Face it, I recognize that any piece of software will have bugs, and I don't expect it to be totally free of bugs or issues. If that was my expectation, I'd be waiting forever. My expectation is that the OS is stable, and that features I need work. I may hold out until this call issue is resolved, but I can't hold out forever. Eventually, I will need to update. Thanks.

#11 Notification center still behaving oddly

Using 13.1PB4 on an iPhone 8 I still think the notification center doesn't function reliably. When swiping over messages, some are skipped, or VO starts reading messages that aren't there and cannot be found when exploring the notification center. This doesn't happen with only a few messages, however if, e.g. you have notifications turned on for a specific tweeter, you could end up with a lot of them, in which case this happens.
Also, I see no way of activating a link in a twitter notification, whereas this is no issue on 12.4.1.
Also the habit of jumping back to the left top of the screen, e.g. after leaving a mail message, is quite annoying when I I am using the keyboard for navigation.
With kind regards,

Henk.

#12 Apple is Aware of Everything We've Listed in the Post

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has been made aware of all of the bugs we've reported in the original post, including the issue of VoiceOver sometimes becoming unresponsive after ending a call.

#13 Words with on't in them.

I'm running iOS 13.0 on an iPhone XR, with Compact Samantha as my voice of choice, and am not experienceing this behavior. What voices have you tested with? I've noticed that VO likes to call apostrophies single quotes lately. This has been happening for several iOS versions, though. Do you think this could have something to do with it? Either way, it's strange.

Thanks,
Shersey

#14 Entering Passcode in Braille Screen Input

In IOS 13.0, it is no longer possible to enter your unlock passcode in Braille screen input, without first entering the first digit on the on-screen keyboard. This is a regression from IOS 12.4.x where one could enable braille screen input, and immediately enter the passcode. Can anybody confirm whether this bug still exists in IOS 13.1? Many thanks.

#15 It Works if You Use a Number Sign

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hello Sam T,

I just checked on iOS 13.1 Beta 4, and I was able to enter my passcode using Braille Screen Input if I entered a number sign before the numbers. This capability isn't anything I recall having tried before, so I'm not sure how this worked in the past or if requiring one enter a number sign before the digits is expected behavior.

#16 Entering Passcode in Braille Screen Input

Thank you, yes, I've always used a number sign, and what you describe was the correct behaviour experienced in IOS 12.4, so it appears that this has been fixed for 13.1. Thanks.

#17 Having to use a number sign makes sense.

If you're using a strictly numerical passcode, having to use a number sign before the first digit makes sense.

Thanks,
Shersey

#18 I'm getting the charging issue two.

Subject line says it. I thought it was only me having the continues to charge thing. I'm sure this is fixed in 13.1 as that would be even visual enough to get their attention. Apple, I mean.

#19 A couple of bugs I've found

A couple of bugs I've found not mentioned are:
sometimes when pressing the sleep/wake button voiceover will not speak the time, instead it plays the item activation sound.
When you engage Siri voiceover will sometimes speak causing her to hear what voiceover said and not what you said so try to wait until voiceover is completely finished speaking before engaging.

#20 MBraille and 13.1

If you use MBraille, do not update to 13.1. It works fine with 13, but as of 13.1, all VoiceOver feedback ceases. This includes any typing feedback setting you may have, as well as movement and editing feedback done from within the MBraille keyboard. Sorry, I'm unable to speak to the behavior of any other third party keyboards.

#21 The voices I've used

Happens with Alex, enhanced Ava and enhanced Samantha. Those are the ones I've tested on. Compact voices don't seem to do it.

#22 Does any buddy have speach rate issue???

Hi all, as the subject says
After updated on IOS 13.0 since day of lonch officially
Im experiencing VO speach rate issue
I lost full control on VO speach rate, i try to increase and decrease the speach rate
From both way going to accessibility settings and through the rotor, but not able to do so.
Does others and beta testers of AppleVis team and public testers and normal users like me, have experienced such VO speach rate issue? And is their any work around?
Does Apple has fix this issue in 13.1?
Thanks

#23 imaginary context menu when reviewing messages

How about that bug. Is that fixed in 13.1? I didn't see any mention either way of that one. A bit on the annoying side when you think you're reviewing a message by character only to find a context menu that doesn't work. Thanks.

#24 Re: Speech Rate

I have had this issue before. Please follow the steps outlined below to fix it.
1. Go to settings>accessibility>voiceover>speech.
2. Swipe right until you hear the roader languages heading, and select add new language.
3. Select the language that is your default. Meaning, if US english is the language/voice voiceover reads to you in, select US english and choose a different voice.
4. When you want to adjust speech rate, switch to this language in the roader, and adjust its speech rate. This will change the speech rate of your default voice as well.
For reference, what voiceover is actually doing is changing the default speech rate for languages you aren't selected. So if you run across, say, Russian characters somewhere, the rate at which those are spoken will have been changed, rather than your default voice's speech rate. Don't ask me why, but there you have it.
I hope this helps.

#25 I'm still holding out

From what I've seen, I think I'm holding out until 13.2 to ensure these issues get resolved. As I said before, given this is a major update, I'd rather play it safe than have an unstable OS. But I can't hold out forever. In the meantime, if you have to update, does anyone know of a workaround for the call issue? Thanks.

#26 dear all, I just wanted to

dear all, I just wanted to know whether these bugs have been fixed in IOS 13.1 which I found to exist in 13:
1. While selecting a new language in the rotor settings by going into the speech settings for voiceover, when I swipe write to English India and double tap on it, nothing happens. However, when I tried the same thing with English US, it happened. I had downloaded Ava before updating and when I deleted it, it automatically switched to an Indian voice named Rishi but there still was no language under language option in voiceover.
2. When I go and select Siri female under English India voices and double tap on it, nothing happens. However if I do the same with Siri male, it does what it is supposed to do.
3. When I’m selecting the language in Voice control settings by double tapping it to change the language, nothing is happening. The language option is not activating.

thank you.

#27 app crashing bug fixed or not?

Hey all! Can anyone confirm if the bug that made apps such as Goodreads crash is fixed in 13.1? I ask because the person who made the comment said that Goodreads was 1 of the apps that was crashing. And I use that app several times a day.

#28 Apps crashing

I've brought this up in several other related threads. I'm currently running IOS 13.1 PB4 on mhy iPhone Xr and experiencing the following apps crashing on launch: Nearby Explorer (paid version), Envision AI and LastPass. This started with the first beta of 13.1 and despite my reporting it via the Feedback app, the problem has persisted. If you depend on these apps, I recommend waiting until the issue is fixed.

#29 I have this issue on my iPhone 8+

Hello Troy
On my iPhone 8+ I turned navigation sounds off, but keep the new haptic sounds turned on. Now when pressing the Home or Sleep/Wake button I hear the time every time when pressing these buttons.

#30 audible sound of face ID unlock

Dear everyone, In IOS13.0, the audible clue when unlocking with Face ID is unreliable, sometimes it doesn't produce the sound even though the phone is unlocked. In this connection, I wonder whether the inconsistency is solved in IOS13.1? Thank you.

#31 Definitely still waiting!

After reading this article, I suspect that I won't even update on Tuesday, even though I was getting really excited about it. It sounds like sticking with iOS 12.4.1 is the smartest move for the forseeable future. I will update my Apple TV boxes, though. That should satisfy my need for something new without impacting my productivity. It sounds like 13 is going to be an unlucky number as far as iOS versions go, and I'm not keen to revisit the bad old days of iOS 13. As always, thank you very much to the Applevis team for finding these bugs and warning us about them.

#32 Unlucky or not, I Understand Your Concern

While I'm not superstitious, I can understand this sentiment. In many superstitions, 13 is said to be an unlucky number. However, I'm optimistic that iOS 13 should be stable enough by either 13.2 or 13.3. Personally, I'm not sure what else Apple can do after this. Eventually, there will come a time when they can't go any further with iOS, but that's a point for another time.

Anyway, I'll be watching this, talking with experts and waiting to hear if and when these issues get resolved. Thanks.

#33 I deleted Envision Ei, but

Hello
On my iPhone 8+ I deleted Envision AI and installed it again, but still the app crashes. Guess we have to wait for an update

#34 Flicktype

Hi all. I read somewhere that Flicktype was compatible with ios 13 but its broken if using ios 13.1 . Can anyone confirm this please? Many thanks in advance we

#35 Good Reads.

I just tried the Good reads app on my Iphone and I am running IOS 13 and I do not have that app crashing. When it crashs for those of you who are having this issue, Have you thought of going into your ap switcher and seeing if it will open from there?

#36 Bugs?

In 13 whenever I use siri when the iPhone is close, voiceover states posible text and I am not able to use siri. I have to tell her to cancel and restart because she wants to send a message saying posible text. Hope this is not happening in 13.1. I am finding this blank.

#37 Yes, I can confirm what Maggie said

Yes, Flicktype works with regular iOS 13, but it's broken as a third party keyboard on 13.1. Luckily, it still works as a stand-alone keyboard app, which is more of a pain having to copy and paste, but it's better than toting a bt keyboard around everywhere, without flicktype or mBraille, that would be my only option. :)

#38 Re: Goodreads

I've never had goodreads crash, but does anyone using iOS 13 or 13.1 notice when they search for a book, the results don't read? So it's a matter of guesswork when finding the book. This is annoying, but very very minor compared to the bluetooth audio bug and the no flicktype as a third-party keyboard bug, but those are other topics for other days. :)

#39 extraneous non visible characters...

Hi,
In iOS 13.0 I've been getting repeated $$ characters that appear with Vo. When reading character by character, they never show up... This is only related to VO, and nothing else. Not sure if this issue has been resolved in 13.1 yet, but will upgrade on tuesday and see what happens.
Thanks for your help. I've restarted the phone several times, no dice. I'm looking forward to see what comes up with 13.1.

#40 Confused about the mention of notification volume

Do people actually want their notification volume to match VoiceOver's volume? I might be in the minority on this one but that doesn't really make sense to me.

If you have VoiceOver set to speak very quietly, you could miss a notification. I'm not sure why having it ignore the change with buttons option is a good thing and I was hoping someone could clarify. That sounds like VoiceOver causes the exact opposite thing from expected behavior when the change with buttons option is disabled.

#41 Phantom Characters with Voiceover and Troubles with Good Reads

It sounds like some people are hearing phantom characters when using Voiceover. They're hearing $ characters that are not on the screen. I'd be alerting Apple about this, especially if it's driving you crazy. Personally, I don't like to read a whole screen character by character just to be rid of these annoyances. It slows you down

Finally, for anyone using the Good Reads app, I know some of you are having trouble with the search results. Is this a case of broken accessibility or just that something got overlooked in the iOS 13 update? Thanks.

#42 I reported this

I did report this with Daniel and they said they couldn't reproduce the issue.

#43 question about blocking email senders & 3rd party email provider

Hey all!
I hav"a question about blocking senders in Mail app.
Does it work even if you use 3rd party email providers?
I ask because I use Apple's Mail app, but I have my Gmail account connected 2 it. I know this may be a dumb question. But, this is 1 feature I'm really looking forward 2 using, because I have some email newsletters that I want 2 not see in my inbox again, but no matter how many times I move them 2 the junk folder, it never works. And 2 unsubscribe from this particular newsletter, you have 2 print out a copy of it, & put unsubscribe & actually send it 2 this adress by mail in Arizona! So, I'd appreciate any feedback on whether it works with 3rd party email providers or not. Thanks!

#44 Shades of iOS 8

Yes, this does remind me of iOS 8 with the going and coming of serious VoiceOver bugs. Even in the sighted world, I have seen developers comment that an iOS release cycle this sloppy has not occurred since iOS 8. I am having very poor luck with iOS 13.1 beta 3 on my 2019 iPod Touch. I have deleted my beta profile and hope to get the final iOS 13.1 on that device soon. I will say that the iOS 13.0 public version is working great on my iPhone 7, so I will probably let sleeping dogs lie tomorrow. All of this to say, thank you so much to Applevis for your tireless and frustrating work to help us all do better with our iDevices!

#45 Smart punctuations and more

If you have smart punctuations turned on, voiceover reads apostrophe as single quotes.
Also, has anyone tried voice control using voiceover? I tried using the feature, but it's a mess on my phone. The hints from voice control keep clashing with voiceover

#46 Voiceover becomes unresponsive in email if BSI crashes

App Developer

All,
Be interested if anyone else has experienced this. When replying to an email in mail using BSI as the keyboard, longer messages, will often crash leaving the BSI keyboard vissible on the screen voiceOver becomes completely unresponsive and a force restart is the only method for getting it sorted. I have this happen at least twice daily.

#47 Punctuation Fix

Club AppleVis Member

For those who are having problems with words with apostrophes, check your punctuation setting. I find that if you have it set to read no punctuation this will include pronouncing words with apostrophes correctly. The trick is to set it to some punctuation on the roter and then your words should pronounce correctly.

#48 iOS 13 - what an embarrassment

Club AppleVis Member

After reading all of the reviews here and others in various news outlets, what becomes clear to me is that Apple did a shoddy job bringing this new release to the market. Of course, they pride themselves on quality but in this case, I feel that they blew it (as did many others). Here's hoping that they do a much better job on iOS 14.

#49 VO speaks callerID on speaker instead of AirPods when muted

when receiving phone call and connected to AirPods, and mute switch is set to muted, voiceover announces caller ID on speaker.

The ringtone is Heard through AirPods. But caller ID is spoken on phone speaker. In truth, All voiceover speech is heard on speaker when receding incoming call.

This shouldn’t be happening. When mute switch is set to unmuted, all audio including voiceover speech and caller ID is heard through AirPods.

It’s an issue that’ exists through 13.1.

#50 Dot dot dot

I've reported my issue with voiceover speech through the feedback app. I did it over two months ago. And it's still broken.

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