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.

Blog Tags



Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, October 31, 2019

I think it is an Apple bug. I have noticed if you are playing a video in the Apple Photos app, then you switch to another video, the first video doesn't stop and it tries to play both at once. after hearing about your issue, I believe it is an Apple problem because it sounds very similar to the one that I have noticed.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, October 31, 2019

I have noticed this one since the introduction of iOS 13. If I am sending a text, after typing my message, I do a touch and explore for the "send" button. However, instead of reading other messages in my thread, the iPhone reads previous messages that I have sent to other people. As an example, if I am sending a text to Bilbo Baggins, after typing my text, I then search and explore to find the "send" button. However, instead of identifying other messages that Bilbo and I have sent back and forth, Voiceover reads message threads from Smaug, Frodo, Sauron, and Gandalf. I hope this makes sense with my example.

Submitted by Blackadder on Thursday, October 31, 2019

I was going to upgrade but after reading all these posts I would rather not. Αχαιοί το iOS thirteen Γουίστ I state τον άγιο στο Α. Oh and this is another back of iOS thirteen Greek and Ίνγκλις and the same sentence χα χα χα

Submitted by Tina on Friday, November 1, 2019

I've noticed a minor bug with bluetooth speakers. If you use a lot of bluetooth speakers, as I do, VO is not playing through the speaker, yet the music or other audio does play. The speaker is indeed connected, and you can hear the audio, but VO still plays through the iPhone or iPad. Yet this doesn't happen with my headsets. I have alerted Apple about this, and they're aware of the problem.

Incidentally, as a whole, I've updated and am having a good experience with iOS 13. Thanks.

Submitted by Phen Varghese on Friday, November 1, 2019

IOS 13.2 is great on IPhone SE but I am having an issue in getting the status bar hope apple would fix it in the upcoming updates.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 1, 2019

Woke up. I turn my iPhone on and was expecting my Siri male to talk but who show up? She did. Siri female. Unlucky 13 strike again. I will wait to see if he comes back. He is no longer in rotor but she is. I do believe in women right but this is bad. I had not even had my coffee. I do not want to hear from anyone about me calling unlucky 13 please. Where is iOS 14? I wish I had a time Machine to go to September 2020for iOS 14.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Friday, November 1, 2019

Check it out Victor talk about voiceover and thants to Bella the cat asking me to email him about the issues we blind are facing with bugs. He also mention about Braille and considering using voiceover for a week to have some understanding about our problems. Thanks to AppleInsider and Bella the cat.

Submitted by Troy on Friday, November 1, 2019

I noticed another one I had this morning, it's not accessibility related, when my phone got to 80 percent my charger's power totally disconnected, meaning that I had to physically disconnect and reconnect my charger again. What is the contact info for reporting non accessibility related bugs?

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Friday, November 1, 2019

The number is 1-800-myApple, or 1-800-692-7753

Submitted by J.P. on Friday, November 1, 2019

In reply to by sockhopsinger

This isn’t consistent, but has happened twice now.
Has anyone else had haptic vibrations just start pulsing randomly? A phone restart stops the behavior. Very strange.
No, it’s not related to alerts. It’s happened while typing, then haptics start spazzing. Even after taking fingers away from screen.

Isn't that just the semi-new battery saving feature, whereby the phone does not fully charge all the time because doing so shortens the battery life? Check it out in Settings > Battery > Battery Help. The option is called Optimized Battery Charging, and it is explained by the text control right after the On/Off toggle.

Submitted by Shaun Williams on Saturday, November 2, 2019

In reply to by brandon armstrong

Hello there! I just wanted to add to Brandon's comment. Due to Apple's failure to not fix this bug before the release of IOS 13.2, is (in fact), a huge deal! Because of this bug of VoiceOver randomly crashing after a call, I accidently called the Cops at least three or four times. I had to explain to them each time that Apple had a bug within their screen reader. It was actually quite annoying, not to mention a bit embarrassing. I called Apple several times and said to them: "Imagine if this situation with VoiceOver was reversed. Imagine if this situation were to happen to a sighted individual. Do you think they would be happy? Absolutely not! Imagine all of the social media posts and news reports you guys would be dealing with." I then told the Apple Accessibility agents that I realized that this VoiceOver bug was not in any way their faults, but that it was extremely annoying and frustrating. Just one more thing to add to Brandon's comment. I did mention to Apple that I felt like those of us with accessibility needs (were at that time), were basically almost an afterthought. I guess why it may seem to some individuals that I'm being hard on Apple is because this is not the first IOS where there were a lot of VoiceOver bugs. Do you all remember IOS eight, and IOS eleven? I am a braille display user, and I certainly hope that we see those bugs fixed very soon. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this post.

Submitted by tripolice on Sunday, November 3, 2019

Has anyone been able to reproduce this bug? I posted about it sometimes back here and also wrote to Apple Accessibility, but didn't get any response anywhere. Basically, when I select a word in any edit box and go to the dictionary in the Edit menu, I can read the initial dictionary definitions from all installed dictionaries but when I open any of them to get more details, VO often anounces empty list. Sometimes it does partially read the images there. This definitely was not the case before, though I cannot definitely recall since when this started! ,

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Sunday, November 3, 2019

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi all,

In an effort to keep this thread organized and make information easier to locate for those reading this thread, it would be incredibly helpful if everyone could please try to keep the discussion in this post related to bugs or resolutions present in iOS 13.2. There's a lot of good information here, so everyone's help keeping things organized would be very much appreciated.

In regards to the (now-resolved) phone call bug and negativity, we have two recent discussions about bugs in iOS 13 and the best ways to go about getting them resolved. Please, if at all possible, let's take that discussion over to one of the below topics:

Submitted by Doug on Sunday, November 3, 2019

I've written before about the sound for Bluetooth speakers being split, the media going to the Bluetooth while voiceover stays with the phone, and I suspect Ipads as well though I don't own one. I suspect this sound-splitting was done on purpose, someone thinking it might be helpful. Well gentle readers, no one consulted me on this one, nor you either. I would like the choice as to where my Voiceover goes when connecting to a bluetooth speaker, and BTW, headsets as well. Using a headset in my experience always sends all audio to the bluetoothheadset. If I am doing a demo of a headset for another person, I might like voiceover to then stay with my phone, having settings for sound direction in settings both for speakers and headsets with a place for each available as a rotor choice for convenience would, I think, be a respectable solution..

I think I said what I know I meant!

Submitted by Nawaf on Tuesday, November 5, 2019

1 if the original keyboard on dark appearance, and VoiceOver Direct touch mode is enable, VoiceOver can’t change different keyboards From pop-up menu, I Tried appear pop up menu by 3D Touch, ,or focus on the change keyboard button and double tap and hold outside keyboard the voiceover says: dismiss pop-up menu; but in the white appearance it work well.
2 If you move up or down by double tap and hold the screen Blinks on moment, on this moment and the finger is released, the screen go up, or down, randomly far away from you want.

Victor made your point my friend. He also talk about how apple accessibility is not responsible to us and just give us the regular respond "we are aware of the problem, or No one has reported this problem" This is why i contacted Victor from the Apple Insider and he more likely check this webpage to see about our issues because he also mention Bugs report are cool, but if apple just pet us in the head and state we are away now go away and will fix it when we have time. I spent $1000 for my iPhone. Like I stated here before no one gave me this phone.

Submitted by Kaare on Thursday, November 7, 2019

In reply to by Niki

Although it has become more stable in this release it still on occasion will freeze voiceover and all other audio. I've gotten around this by having someone call on speaker phone and answering it with a headset when it rings. Anoying but certainly not worth a snivel.

Submitted by Magic Retina on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Not sure if anyone has encountered this but after I updated I’ve found that the VoiceOver cursor jumps to the top of a page when a tab that has been opened in the background is finished loading. As someone who opens a lot of links in the background while reading very long documents, this is frustrating to say the least, especially when you don’t know what page of hundreds you were on when the cursor is suddenly back at the top. I haven’t seen this problem in years and it’s unfortunate that it seems to be back. I’ve got an XR if that has anything to do with it. Is there a solution I don’t know about for this or do I just have to wait for the next update?

Submitted by J.P. on Thursday, November 21, 2019

I thought some of you might want to read this. I would hope this also includes accessibility bugs and issues.
I came across this article from a reputable blog and blogger. Seems that Apple is well aware of the clusterf*ck release known as 13. Even if they don’t acknowledge publicly.
They are already implementing new developing processes behind the scenes. Some of the things highlighted will certainly help. I’ll be cautiously optimistic.…