Apple Releases iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 with VoiceOver Fixes and Support for New iPhone Models

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 to the public.

For blind and low vision users, our preliminary testing suggests that Apple has resolved the most critical issues present in the initial releases of iOS and iPadOS 14. However, there are also a couple new bugs in today's releases.

Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users in iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1

New Bugs for Blind and Low Vision Users in iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1

Because iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 were not available to test before today's release, we were not able to check for fixes, changes or regressions ahead of time. Consequently, it is very likely that there are additional fixes and possibly more new bugs.

Accordingly, If you encounter any additional fixes or bugs during your own use of iOS 14.1 or iPadOS 14.1, please let us know by posting a comment below.

iOS 14.1 Release Notes

Apple's release notes for iOS 14.1, shared by 9to5Mac, list the following improvements:

  • Adds support for 10-bit HDR video playback and edit in Photos for iPhone 8 and later
  • Addresses an issue where some widgets, folders, and icons were showing up in reduced size on the Home Screen
  • Addresses an issue where dragging widgets on the Home Screen could remove apps from folders
  • Fixes an issue where some emails in Mail were sent from an incorrect alias
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent incoming calls from displaying region information
  • Fixes an issue on some devices where selecting zoomed display mode and an alphanumeric passcode could result in the Lock Screen emergency call button overlapping with the text input box
  • Addresses an issue where some users were occasionally unable to download or add songs to their library while viewing an album or playlist
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent zeroes from appearing in Calculator
  • Resolves an issue where streaming video resolution could temporarily be reduced at the start of playback
  • Fixes an issue that prevented setting up a family member’s Apple Watch for some users
  • Resolves an issue where the Apple Watch case material was displayed incorrectly in the Apple Watch app
  • Addresses an issue in the Files app that could cause some MDM-managed cloud service providers to incorrectly display content as unavailable
  • Improves compatibility with Ubiquiti wireless access points

iOS 14.1 and iPadOS 14.1 are available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) via Finder on a Mac with macOS Catalina or later, 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.

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Comments

Submitted by dvdmth on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

You mentioned this as a new bug in iOS 14.1:

When using the VoiceOver rotor to drag a widget on the Today View, focus can spontaneously move to the Home screen and it is then not possible to navigate back to the Today View

I was having this exact problem running iOS 14.0 on my iPhone SE 2020. I also had the opposite problem, where I was attempting to move a widget on page 1 of the home screen and suddenly found myself focused in the today view, with no way to get out of that view without cancelling the drag. I ended up having to use the old-fashioned way of dragging items, with double-tap and hold, in order to arrange my widgets properly. The really frustrating part of this is that, whenever the bug happened, the apps on my home screen got scrambled around, making me rearrange everything all over again. I lost a lot of time due to this, when I was just wanting to swap the positions of two widgets. Should have only taken a few seconds.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I've read about the things that were fixed, but none of those were issues I was struggling with. My main issue is that VO tries to describe graphics even though my phone isn't capable of that feature. It makes diceworld, facebook and other apps quite tedius. For example, I almost constantly hear "logo other" in dice world, and in another app I use, I'm constantly told about an image that may contain a score board and/or a night sky. I have an iPhone 8 plus, so the recognition settings don't exist in VO settings. I've turned off everything I can think of, but still get these unwanted and virtually useless descriptions. Don't get me wrong: for my photos, or FB memes, I'd love recognition if it actually worked, but since it doesn't truly work on my phone, I wish it could be deactivated somehow. If anyone has found a way to make VO less verbose, I'd appreciate any suggestions you may have. In the mean time, I guess my only hope is to deal with it until I can save up enough to buy an iPhone 12.

Submitted by Samuel J on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Can someone please confirm if that direct touch bug is still present in this update? The one where in certain apps that require bypassing voiceover to interact with the screen, the direct touch setting kept getting turned off and had to be turned on manually for the user to be able to continue using the app. For instance some game apps

Submitted by roman on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Hello everyone. I am so happy that voice-over's lagging bug has stopt. I am very much glad.

Submitted by CuriousNetEntity on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

I can't remember most places the VO focus skipping issue existed, but I know redownloading previous purchases from the iTunes store was pretty much impossible. I updated and immediately tried todo the previously impossible and it worked just fine. This convinces me that you are right about that bug being gone.

The VoiceOver recognition problem exists for all devices but manifests a bit differently. It is impossible to totally turn it off once it is on, but for A12 and newer devices you can reduce announcements to the shorter ones given on older devices. The older devices just don't pretend to have any fake controls. I've thoroughly reported this to Apple and have found no change in iOS 14.1.

Submitted by DudeLove721 on Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Still no fix for the wireless headphones bug with my Powerbeats Pro. VoiceOver continues to randomly cut out before stopping all together (along with other audio if it's playing at the same time.) Only solution is to either turn VoiceOver off and on or take the headphones off and put them back on. The part that makes it even more frustrating is that this doesn't even solve the problem sometimes: The audio will come back and then immediately crap out a few seconds later. As a result, some apps are basically unusable when I have my headphones on now. Given how much I paid for my Powerbeats Pro, I am really not impressed.

I can confirm that the direct touch behavior you describe is still present in iOS 14.1. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure if it is an actual bug or an intended change. Either way it's a regression in my opinion, especially with games.

Submitted by peter on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

After installing this update I have had Voiceover go completely silent when opening some text messages from the home screen. Sometimes if I go back to the home screen and then open messages again Voiceover reads okay. I never had this issue before this update.

--Pete

Submitted by Fenrir on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The screen still never locks while listening to music or books and the only way to fix this is to lower the volume or turn off VO alltogether. This has been going on since iOs 12 and nothing has been done to put an end to this nightmare. I’m really appalled.

Submitted by Al on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

I decided to stay on iOS 13 because I know Apple doesn't release polished released of its OS. Seeing your comments make ms happy to be on iOS 13 :).

Submitted by Harryubu on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

When viewing the list of all emails and deleting some of the threads, VoiceOver focus randomly still jumps somewhere up the list on iPhone SE2020

Submitted by MsHollyWeezy on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hi. ive noticed Voiceover saying that on videos lately. what exactly is picture and picture? also. do widgets not work on the ipad?

Submitted by Gary Hammett on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

When using VoiceOver in iOS 14.1, you can't double-tap to speed up or slow down the speech in VoiceOver in increments or decrements of 1%. In order to do it at present, you have to double-tap and hold on the slider, as well as slide up or down, but it can be a bit jumpy. Useful if you like your speech at either a faster or slower rate than the default.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Hi. Pitcure in pitcure simply means you can start something playing say a movie, and int he background you can keep texting or emailing someone. It's not always working but I still would love to lock the phone so i don't press something by accident.

I would happily report this recognition stuff to apple, but I'm not sure how to articulate it in a way that would be helpful to them. None-the-less, if you have reported it, I might give it a shot. If I'm being honest, this behavior is pretty much the only reason I'm considering a new phone this year.

Submitted by Blind angel 444 on Friday, October 23, 2020

Its still slightly laggy and not fully focusing on the letters. When you swipe accross I get a letter, simple and number. I can’t write like this, please fix!!!!! ASAP!!!!!
Also e is a strange bug where when I’m going to the top of a page I get a tone and voice over freezes. In Safari the back and share buttons say both tool bar. Siri displays the results on my Home Screen instead of in Safari. Finally the mail app doesn’t display properly, it doesn’t how many new emails I have received. Is default mode or another bug?
Lastly the roater and container don’t work any more. I’m stuck in word mode and I prefer care richter mode instead. Please help!!!!! By reporting these bugs and helping me get back to the right mode.
By the way, sentences and words get scrambled.
Thank you

Hello everyone,
Actually I didn't really get it. Do I understand correctly that the newer iPhones don't have this issue at all?
How do you turn it off for newer iPhones?
This thing with images is so annoying, so I switched to an android device untilapple would fix that. And also the images thing is really strange, apple really tells users to upgrade phones each 2 years because of new VoiceOver features or they will ruin the experience for users of old models. I don't want to be any rood or so, but this situation makes me think like that. I wouldn't tell anything if it was possible to disable image descriptions on older iPhones also, but it isn't and that's really really strange. It is impossible to use lots of apps not only facebook and dice world, but also youtube music. If you disable the item more content in the detailization settings you won't fix anything, you will be only read of the word possibly. I feel really sad I upgraded to IOs 14. I was a beta tester and i could forgive it for betas but not for release versions.
Thank you!

I have an iPhone SE and it does the same thing I get the descriptions of local all over the place and no matter what happen in it just keeps doing it I don’t know how to turn it off I would like to know how to turn it off myself

Submitted by Brian on Sunday, October 25, 2020

For those of you (especially with older model iPhones) I have a small work-around for the image descriptions. First please note that this is in no way perfect, and will require you to possibly miss important information.

Having said that, go into your VoiceOver settings and switch "Navigate Images" to "Never". Also it may or may not benefit you to disable the "Caption Panel" as well.


What this does:
This will completely ignore images on your iDevice while you are navigating with VoiceOver. Regardless of whether or not you are on the Home screen, the Today View, or inside an app, including but not limited to Safari.

The limitation:
This only works with swipe gestures. Explore by Touch is. . . . "iffy".

Potentially missing information:
In my experience with this, I miss some important info in my status bar. For example, I cannot tell when I have an Alarm set, if I have Rotation lock enabled, or if my Location is being used at that particular point in time, unless I use Explore by Touch on the right side of the status bar. As of iOS 14 these aforementioned items appear as images, and thus when Navigate Images is disabled, swipe gestures ignore them.
However Explore by Touch does not.

Your mileage may vary.

HTH!

~Brian

Submitted by Kerry Fielding on Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hi all. I refrain from updating until the release of iOS 14.1 and I have to say, so far, so good, except for one thing. The widgets. I want to move one of my widgets to the top of my to Dave you, but no matter how I try, I can’t do it. I haven’t investigated how to do this, just simply used the old drag and drop, so if anyone could provide a link to an article or some tips, I’d be grateful. Can I also say, slightly off topic, it would be really useful for those of us who don’t have much time to browse, if people would actually title their posts with appropriate subjects rather than things like I’m so happy, I know, me too. This is incredibly frustrating for those of us who simply want to scroll down comments using headings only. It tells you nothing about the contents of the post and I could be missing out on something that’s really important. Thank you.

Submitted by Koya28 on Thursday, October 29, 2020

After I updated my device it always announces tab bar or tool bar whenever I click on the safari or clock navigation buttons. This is really annoying since it 1) slows down my productivity of chosing my desired option, 2) has no way of being turned off, and 3) is unnecessary due to the fact that the layout and locations of the buttons and tabs have thankfully remained the same for years. This update is extremely irritating since i haven’t ever experienced any of the issues it supposedly fixed.

Submitted by Gary c on Friday, November 6, 2020

My wife’s 6S plus has been updated to iOS 14.1. I just opened a video, pressed edit, swiped past scrubber to start, and was able to change the number, that is, I flipped up and it said 0.1, 0.2, etc. I Then pressed Cancel and so did not actually change the video.