Apple Releases iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2; Bringing Many Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 to the public. In addition to bringing some new features - including some originally slated for the initial iOS 13 release - these releases bring fixes for a large number of the bugs that iOS 13.0 and iOS 13.1 and iPadOS 13.1 introduced for blind and low vision users.

One Change of Note

In iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2, Apple has made one change that may initially have you believe that something is broken.

The Context menu item has been removed from the VoiceOver rotor's Actions menu and replaced with a new gesture: a one-finger triple- tap. Our assumption is that this change has been made to address the problem where this item would be present in the Actions menu when on UI elements which didn't actually have a Context Menu. Regrettably, this change does make it harder to discover which UI elements do have Context menus - one must use a mix of experience, educated guesswork, and trial and error.

If you would prefer to have a different gesture to access the Context menu, you can change it by going to Settings > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Commands > Touch Gestures.

Bug Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users

Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2:

If you encounter any additional fixes during your own use of iOS or iPadOS 13.2, please let us know by posting a comment below.

New Bugs for VoiceOver and Braille Users in iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2

Disappointingly, our testing suggests that iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 also introduce some new bugs for VoiceOver and braille users:

  • There are numerous places system-wide where the Misspelled Words item will be in the VoiceOver rotor's Action menu where this functionality is not available (examples include when viewing a web page in Safari and when reading an email in Mail). In some of these it is the default position of the VoiceOver rotor, which is a frustrating hit on the user experience - for example when opening a webpage in Safari and expecting to be able to immediately flick down to navigate by heading.
  • When editing text that contains line breaks using a braille display, the cursor which is represented by dots 7 and 8 will often disappear after a cursor routing button is pressed.
  • After one app has opened another (for example when double-tapping on a link in an email opens Safari), you may find that it is not possible to locate the Status Bar by touch. Our experience suggests that this is a device-specific issue, and most devices are not affected.
  • Previously, the Misspelled Words item was not available from the VoiceOver rotor's Action menu in Safari text fields. It is now present, but does not work. It also does not appear to work consistently when composing emails in the Mail app.

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 13.2 and iPadOS.

General Changes in iOS 13.2

New Emoji

iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 introduce 59 new emoji characters. According to MacRumors, these include:

Orangutan, sloth, otter, skunk, and flamingo are the new animals included in the update, while new food items include garlic, onion, waffle, falafel, butter, oyster, beverage box, maté, and ice cube.

New faces, gestures, and poses include yawning face, pinching hand, person kneeling, person standing, and new people holding hands options that are both gender and skin tone inclusive.

Also new are the 13 disability-themed emoji proposed by Apple last year. These include a guide dog, woman with white cane, man with white cane, and ear with hearing aid.

When using a multi-person emoji, there's a new skin tone picker that lets you select a different skin tone for each person. Our experience is that this works well with VoiceOver.

Announce Messages with Siri

You can now have Siri read out messages without having to unlock your iPhone when second-generation AirPods and H1-equipped Beats headphones are connected. Siri will avoid interrupting you and will listen after reading messages so you can reply without saying “Hey Siri”.

This can be turned on by going to Settings > Siri & Search and toggling on Announce Messages.

Other Changes

  • After upgrading to iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 there will be a splash screen that allows you to opt out of sharing Siri‌ and Dictation audio recordings with Apple. This can also be set in the iOS privacy settings.
  • There is a new option in the Siri & Search settings that allows iPhone and iPad users to delete their Siri and Dictation history from Apple's servers.
  • iOS 13.2 adds Deep Fusion support to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
  • When using Haptic Touch or 3D Touch on a Home screen icon, the resulting menu now includes an option to delete the app.

How to update

iOS 13.2 and iPadOS 13.2 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina, or via iTunes on a PC or Mac with macOS Mojave or earlier.

Before updating, we strongly recommend making a full and complete backup of your device (either locally or in 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. Do you like the new features and changes? Let us know by adding a comment below.

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118 Comments

#1 Now quit wining

So for those of you who were wining about voiceover becoming nonresponsive after ending a call, can quit your complaining cause it's been fixed!

#2 iOS

seriously nikki? quit whining? are you kidding me? news flash, we were not whining, we expect a product to work that we, pay, for, get it? we, pay, for, the, iphones, and we expect voiceover to work. when bugs like the one that effected us using 13.0 with phonecalls came up we had every right to let apple know about it.if you can't tell the difference between whining and criticism of a huge bug plaguing many of us, then I don't know what to say to you. this bug happened to effect me and many of us, and we had every right to complain to apple about it. you wouldn't see a sited person excepting a bug where the screen went black and they would say stop whining, you would see them yell at apple about it in droves, so why in gods name, just because we have a disability have to except shotty work on software? is it because we are a smaller part of apples customer base, and quite frankly people like you say thing to us like be greatful? sorry, but when something that effect not only my self, but a good many of us, and it locks up our phones to the point to where we can't use them, it's a major deal to me, and quite frankly when apple screws up that badly, we shouldn't just be greatful as you would have us do, but tell them they are wrong for this, and it needs fixing ASAP.

#3 Honestly, just update already

Honestly, just update already. You've made your point, move on brandon. We get IT! Anyway, I'm updating right now, so will see what happens.

#4 Missspelled words in rotor actions

Does anyone know how to disable the misspelled words action in the rotor? I don't use it and would like to get rid of it.

#5 Hi,

Hi,
I'd check in the voiceover rotor settings menu. If it's selected, then unselect the miss-spelled words option by double tapping it.

#6 Likely not there

Historically this has never been in the rotor settings as something you can do anything with, but I won't know until I update when I get home shortly.

#7 ...

quote" • There is a new option in the Siri & Search settings that allows iPhone and iPad users to delete their Siri and Dictation history from Apple's servers. unquote

long overdue. one can do that with google and amazon since many years ago. apple always markets itself as big on privacy but never let users see and manage what exactly is being collected, i'm glad it finally caught up and do the right thing.

also, change how facetime and imessage and enable users to verify other partys' public key would be good, all self respecting communication apps do that.

#8 Very serious for new users

Hi,

As someone who teaches the iPhone fairly regularly, this bug was serious enough for new users, or those less technically savvy, that I advised several people not to update if I thought they would not know how to force restart their devices. Please consider this group when encountering or reading about bugs.

#9 Looking good so far. Also,

Looking good so far. Also, there was an issue with brail screen input where if you typed a message, sent it and then brought up the BSI again it was dropping out of contracted brail. This seems to have been fixed... I can stop whining about that too, thank goodness. Do love a good whine.

#10 Nearby Explorer fixed

Club AppleVis Member

It appears that whatever was causing the full version of Nearby Explorer to crash on iOS 13.1 is fixed in iOS 13.2. I just updated to 13.2, and the first thing I tried was opening NE, and it appeared to work fine. I never ran 13.1, so I can’t say if the bug was actually fixed or if something about my device is preventing the bug from showing up, so I would appreciate it if others can confirm the status of NE.

#11 What About bard?

Club AppleVis Member

Can anyone confirm whether the Bard bug is fixed where it would stop on the lock screen? I am at work and cannot check it. Thanks.

#12 I agree, vo locking up on a

I agree, vo locking up on a call was very serious as I have no vision. I've also had vo lock up on me after recording a video in the native camera app. I have not tried the camera but I would assume this has been fixed as well in 13.2.

#13 13.2

Besides the triple tap for context menu, a single finger double tap and hold will also work. For those using FlickType... a working keyboard again.
Niki.. You’re just annoying and obnoxious. Sorry staff... needed to be said.

#14 Legitimate complaint

Although I didn't have the issue when ending a call, I feel that those complaints were legitimate. I have no vision, and losing voiceover can be very frustrating.

#15 Updated

Everything seems to work just fine for me.

#16 Siri Question

Hello, I'm running iOS 13.2, but do not see the option mentioned about having Siri automatically read incoming messages. anyone else experiencing this? I'm running it on an iPhone 8.

#17 If I read the update correctly ...

Club AppleVis Member

This only works with certain earphones, namely the 2nd generation Airpods and the H1-equipped Beats. Sounds like to me it will only work for those particular headphones.

#18 Announce

Austin,
From my understanding of the feature, sockhopsinger is correct. That will only appear with detected earphones that have the ability.

#19 major Bug fix for Alva BC640 Comfort braille display users

In the last several versions of IOS, the Alva BC640 braille display would successfully connect to the phone via Bluetooth but users would not see any braille at all. This has been fixed since IOS 13.1.

#20 iOS 13.2 VO handwriting improvement

If the rotor is turned to handwriting when a numeric passcode is requested, handwriting now begins in number mode as it did in iOS 12. iOS 13.1.3 began in lower case mode. So, it is once again easy to enter a passcode silently even if Zoom is running.

#21 Can you disable misspelled words

Club AppleVis Member

If not then this update is not for me

#22 Niki

Please just because you never had this issue you do not need to be blank. It could had created problem in an emergency if someone wanted to call or at end of a call their GPS stop working because no VO. Have a drink or something else.

#23 Niki

Follow your own suggestion and stop asking and just deal with it.

#24 VO saying the time at end of notification.

Bug fix regarding the following. On the lock screen when getting a notification, VO no longer mention the time at end of any notification. Happy, happy and did I state happy. For those people who stated that it was not a bug, Bella the cat has a message for you, meow, meow, meow. Do not ask me to translate because this is a PG web-page.

#25 Voiceover Focus in Mail Bug

Hello all,
I just upgraded to iOS 13.2 running on an iPhone 8, and I've noticed that in the Mail app, when ever I select and activate an action with the roter on a message, such as archive, Voiceover focus always jumps to the back button in the app. Focus then has to be manually set back to the message list, and one must relocate the position in the list.
This is really annoying.

#26 Thank u applevis

Thank u applevis
Will update shortly
Happy that Indian voices now work with Vo

#27 Oh yes, sorry I forgot to say

Oh yes, sorry I forgot to say thank you too... Where are my manners?

As always you continue to be a fantastic and reliable source for us. Thank you for all of your conscientious, unbiased and factual writing. Just a shame the first commenter had to be a troll, very much against the spirit of this site in my opinion.

#28 Laggy "Hello" Screen and Inability to Enter Pass Code

Club AppleVis Member

After completing the update, I experienced a weird problem...

I found myself on an extremely laggy "Hello" screen that was so sluggish I was unable to successfully enter the pass code using the on-screen keyboard with VoiceOver.

The issue cleared up only after performing a hard reboot using the side button.

Did anyone else experience this issue?

Thanks,

Darrell

#29 Notifications hang until manually dismissed

Notifications now hang until they are manually dismissed. This is particularly problematic with apps like Lyft as new notifications don’t pop up until previous ones are manually cleared out

#30 Some initial feedback

After completing the update using OTA software update which I haven't done for quite some time, I noticed that all my downloaded enhance VO voices were not working and my VO switched to Samantha to my surprise. But after several minutes, all the voices are functional again without requiring redownload, they are all there, but were not working when the update was done, good thing I have my Siri Female US voice back. Speaking of Siri Female US voice, I found out something rather hilarious but it could be understandably annoying for some people, she couldn't announce numbers like 13 or 12 or those numbers if there's something like .1 or .2 behind it, like iOS 13.2 will be announced as iOS .2 for whatever reason. And I also have the notification banner not going away bug, it happen a lot to me specially with Twitter where I always get bunch of notifications, that's seriously bothering me. Otherwise, the update is solid on my iPhone 7 overall, and what Apple does good deserves credits, just like they deserve criticisms for what they do poorly.
Regards, ALX.

#31 Whining

Yeah, little inconsistencies like the ones that still remain present in 13.2, such as that the focus returns to the back button after performing a rotor action on a mail and not the message list, would be neat to have fixed but reemphasizing them over and over again might be on the borderline of whining. But calling the reiteration of the VO crash on hang-up bug whining is unbelievable. It has happened to me loads of times because I do still use wired headphones sometimes even in 2019, you know, cause latency, and that's when it used to happen, and even though I know perfectly well how to restart my device etc, it was still annoying as hell, let me tell you. Especially so when you needed to quickly find something out and let the other party know back or something. And a friend of mine had this effectively impairing her business, because whenever she'd get a call from a new client, she would start filling out the order in her calendar as they spoke. If she hadn't completed entering all the info before they hang up, you know what would have happened, right? As she is always on the move when not at work, she doesn't carry around a laptop or an iPad or whatever, just a tiny mobile BT keyboard. If she couldn't remember what the person told her to manually re-enter it after the restart, she'd have been screwed up. The clients could get upset and not return again if this happened several times. And she tends to be getting literally dozens of orders an hour on busy days. And I believe she's certainly not the only one in the VI community with such a job. So there you have it, that's whining, the 2019 shift in meaning rendition.
Lukas

#32 bard & bt fixes?

Hi. Can anyone tell me if the bug where Bard. would say space before any button name (like space play/stop) is fixed?
Also, can anyone tell me if any issues with bluetooth & Vo. randomly going up 2 ear splitting in volume are fixed? That was quite annoying 4 me, because I never know when Vo. would suddenly decide 2 scram. lol It'd just be nice 2 know if these issues were fixed.
Also, can anyone tell me if jhis rather odd issue was fixed? I couldn't move apps out of my dock on my ipad! I could move them in, & around in the dock, but not out. Yeah very annoying & strange. Don't know if any of you had this issue or knew anyone that did. But if io, can it be conf3rmed that this rather strange issue has been fixed? Thanks in advance guys! I'm beyond happy 2 know that the call hang up bug has been fixed. I'm doing a very big happy dance kind of happy! I got big by this bug twice. And let me tell you, it was no fun either time, the 1st time was really scary! Especially because I wasn't expecting it, since I use Fb. Meiienger for calls! Thank you AppleVis! I always go here 1st after hearing about an update. As this is the only place where I can get intel on accessibility-related bugs $ bug fixes! Thank you 4 grinning & baring it so we don't have to! I think I'll be updating later today!

To the person who said the call bug was no big deal: Just because a bug didn't happen to you doesn't mean it's not a big deal. I got bit twice, & I had 2 telb friends 2 hang up calls, which they did without complaint. Thank the lord! I might not experience every bug with every update. But that doesn't mean I don't sympathize & empathize with those that do have 2 deal with that bug. Sighted help isn't always readily available when Vo. goes out & force resjarts are required. Or any other help 4 that matter.

#33 voiceover still reading when invoking siri

hi all, has anyone had an issue after updating to 13.2 where when you go to invoke siri sometimes voiceover will say possible text and then the time?

#34 Moving apps out of dock

Club AppleVis Member

To the one asking about moving apps out of the dock on an iPad, I just checked on my iPad Mini 4, and I had no trouble moving apps into or out of the dock, using the rotor actions to drag and drop them. That said, I did not run iPad OS 13.1, so I can’t say if I would have been affected by this or not, so your mileage may vary.

Being my first taste of iOS 13, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by how stable the upgrade experience was for me. I’m glad I decided to wait until now before updating, since the enhancements were not significant enough to justify dealing with all of the mainstream and accessibility bugs that plagued iOS 13 and 13.1.

#35 For those of you who...

For those of you who call me annoying, abnockshis, or whatever derogatory things you might want to call me, why don't you just block me and get it over with, your all rude and disrespectful for calling me those names. Get a darn life and quit bashing others!

#36 Bug

Sadly yes.The issue you ask still there. I do not think there will be a release for a long time. Reading a book. Will see about the chapters.

#37 vo speaks when envoking Siri

Club AppleVis Member

I noticed that when 13 came out.

#38 Mail focus bug

Has anyone reported the mail bug where VO jumps to the back button after using a rotor action?

#39 Yes.

Sadly that still there. I just did to see and she got confuse.Hay siri does not work well I have to say it several times before she responds.

#40 Re: 35

Nikki,
I can see that these comments are impacting you. My advice is to ignore them and move on. By responding, you are only announcing yourself as a target.
They are right though. Voiceover freezing after ending a call is a major bug. If sighted folks screens went dead suddenly went dead do you believe that they would wait quietly?
I doubt it. So why should we? When I pay for something with accessibility features, I expect the advertised features to work.

#41 bard reading

Club AppleVis Member

I was reading a book last night and locked the screen. I am glad to say that I do not get Bard stopping after a few moments any longer. That seems to be fixed . Sadly, it still says "space" when you highlight the play button. Still, that's a very minor annoyance to deal with if we get to read our books again.

#42 Mail Bug

Hello,
I have reported the mail bug to accessibility@apple.com.
I may have also found a workaround for it.
I've noticed that if I open a message, then go back to the message list, roter action selection does not seem to mess up the focus. I've only tried it a few times, so I'm not sure if this will work all the time, nor in all use cases, but I thought I'd put it out there in case it helps.

#43 Dollars dollars dollars

It is unfortunate that I am still hearing VO saying dollars dollars dollars, after each word, after updating to iOS 13.2.
I’m sad

#44 You might want to restore

You might want to restore your device either thru macOS's finder in catalina... Or, use itunes on your PC to restore your phone. Just make sure that you back up your device, to avoid loss of data.

#45 Re: 44

I have a similar problem and restoring through iTunes didn't help.

#46 Please find attached

Definition of irony.

May help you here.

Also, how do I block you? This sounds like a wonderful feature... Is it part of IOS 13.2? The miracles of the future.

#47 Back to the subject

It is disappointing that more bugs have blossomed.

As always, report to:

accessibility@apple.com

With as much information as you can so that they can recreate the issues.

#48 Notifications and DND issue still.

Hi all, When DND is on, calls and notifications are supposed to be silenced. However, when I press the wake button, notifications are there and VO will read them. Also if I don't turn speech off, my alarm will go off and VO will start reading that notification that says, "Do not disturb. Calls and notifications will be silenced, etc.

#49 #46

Yes, irony indeed. Sits there and criticizes and bitches about others serious issues. Then antagonizes with the very first comment. Hilarious to play victim. Don’t dish what you will certainly be served.

#50 Rotor

My most serious issue is rotor jumping. Losing focus from what I had it set to. System wide unfortunately.

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