Apple Releases iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3; Bringing Accessibility Fixes, Support for Apple Fitness+ and AirPods Max, and More

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3; bringing support for Apple Fitness+ and AirPods Max, new features, security enhancements, and bug fixes.

Bug Fixes

Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3:

At the time of posting, we are unaware of any new bugs or regressions for blind and low vision users in these releases.

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 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3.

iOS 14.3 Release Notes

Apple Fitness+

  • A new fitness experience powered by Apple Watch with studio-style workouts available on your iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV (Apple Watch Series 3 and later)
  • New Fitness app on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV to browse Fitness+ workouts, trainers, and personalized recommendations
  • Video workouts added each week in ten popular workout types: High Intensity Interval Training, Indoor Cycling, Yoga, Core, Strength, Dance, Rowing, Treadmill Walking, Treadmill Running, and Mindful Cooldown
  • Playlists curated by Fitness+ trainers to complement your workout
  • Fitness+ subscription available in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and United States

AirPods Max

  • Support for AirPods Max, new over-ear headphones
  • High fidelity audio for rich sound
  • Adaptive EQ adapts sound in real time to the personal fit of ear cushions
  • Active Noise Cancellation to block out environmental noise
  • Transparency mode to hear the environment around you
  • Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking for a theater-like listening experience

Photos

  • Apple ProRAW photos can be captured on iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • Apple ProRAW photos can be edited in the Photos app
  • Option to record video at 25 fps
  • Mirror the front facing camera for still photos on iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X

Privacy

  • New privacy information section on App Store pages that includes a developer-reported summary of the app's privacy practices

TV app

  • An all-new Apple TV+ tab makes it easy to discover and watch Apple Original shows and movies
  • Enhanced search so you can browse by category such as genre, and see recent searches and suggestions as you type
  • Top search results shown with the most relevant matches across movies, TV shows, cast, channels, and sports

App Clips

  • Support for launching App Clips by scanning Apple-designed App Clip Codes via Camera or from Control Center

Health

  • Ability to indicate pregnancy, lactation, or contraceptive use in Cycle Tracking in the Health app in order to better manage period and fertile window predictions

Weather

  • Air quality data is now available in Weather, Maps, and Siri for locations in China mainland
  • Air quality health recommendations are provided in Weather and Siri for the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, India, and Mexico at certain air quality levels
  • Air quality data in Weather, Maps, and Siri reflects updated national scales for Germany and Mexico

Safari

  • Ecosia search engine option in Safari

This release also addresses the following issues:

  • Some MMS messages may not be received
  • Contact groups failed to display members when composing a message
  • Some videos would not appear correctly when shared from the Photos app
  • App folders may fail to open
  • Spotlight search results, and opening apps from Spotlight may not work
  • Bluetooth could be unavailable in Settings
  • MagSafe Duo Charger could wirelessly charge your iPhone at less than the maximum power
  • Wireless accessories and peripherals using the WAC protocol could fail to complete setup
  • The keyboard would dismiss when adding a list in Reminders while using VoiceOver

How to update

iOS 14.3 and iPadOS 14.3 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.

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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Comments

Submitted by WellF on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

My activities were gone after the update. Apart from that everything seems okay.

Submitted by Khushi on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I noticed that my battory drained quickly in IOS 14.2. hope that's not the case in this update.

Submitted by Maldalain on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Shortcuts work now with VoiceOver keyboard assigned commands. Also the Shortcuts app does not open when initializing a keyboard command. Now I can use my Word Count shortcut wihtout having to go the tedious process of opening the Shortcuts app and finding my shortcut and waiting for it to initialize.

Submitted by ming on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

yes
the activity has gone as well.
and it is a bug I think

Submitted by Barry Toner on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Is anyone else seeing this? I've tried using Samantha, Alex and Daniel My punctuation is set to the default of some, but everything is being spoken, making for an unpleasant user experience. So much verbosity that despite Fitness Plus I'm considering downgrading to 14.2.

was having the same issue in 14,2.
when I did the following it resolved itself
go to VO settings>verbosity set the punctuation to nun, then turn off and on the voice over. then reset it to some again and turn vo off and on again.
this fixed the issue for me but I really don't know whether it'll happen for you or not.

Submitted by Weary Mouse on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I just upgraded and so far this is happening consistently and everywhere. In VO, I have punctuation defaulting to "some" but I keep getting "all" punctuation. I change it on the roter, move to some other setting so I'm not accidently changing it but it resets itself back to "all" right away. This happens no matter what I set the roter setting to, it just goes back to "all"

Submitted by Jo Billard on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Oh good, they fixed the problem with BSI with Voiceover announcing the word after announcing a space. That really slowed me down!

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hello all,
I am not seeing any issues with VoiceOver speaking all punctuation. I am also not seeing any issues with the TV app on either my iPhone 12 or my iPad 11 inch pro. My biggest gripe is with the fitness plus app. The interface is accessible but the workouts are not described at all. This makes it a non starter for me. If they are not going to describe the workouts then I am not going to pay for this one. This is the third service they have released that we cannot fully utilize. The other two being arcade and news plus. Some of the content is accessible in news plus but not all. Other than the issue with fitness plus I am not seeing any major issues.

Submitted by mendi on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I signed up for it, but only because my watch gave me access to it for three months. Too bad it won't be so useful after all. Sadly however, I am not surprised by this. Too many of these workout from home apps are great... if you can see them. I wish I could say I thought Apple's would be different, but I did not.

Submitted by Eileen😷 on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

** Follow at own risk **

I have previously resolved the issue of VoiceOver speaking all punctuation by going to Settings > General > Reset and selecting “Reset all settings”.

This resolved the problem for me, but may not for you.

More significantly, it will result in you potentially spending several hours getting your iPhone settings back to where you want them.

My understanding is that what this effectively does is to reset some of your Settings to factory default. It’s not a complete reset of all settings, but those effected include preferences for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Notifications, General, Sounds, Brightness & Wallpaper, and Privacy.

It does not remove content or reset things such as email accounts.

This is how it's described by Apple:

All settings—including network settings, the keyboard dictionary, the Home screen layout, location settings, privacy settings, and Apple Pay cards—are removed or reset to their defaults. No data or media are deleted.

Depending upon your available time, attitude towards this kind of task, ease of downgrading, level of frustration with the punctuation issue, this ** may ** be worth considering.

Good luck, but do the above at your own risk and knowing in advance what you are getting your self in to.

Submitted by Dennis D on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I still cannot enter text in most applications like Safari, or any application that is asking for a search term or PW. I am using an iPhone 12 mini and installed 14.3 yesterday. If my sighted wife was not around I would not be able to use about 90 % of the phone's functions. I have a ticket into Apple. Every time I call and wait 30 - 60 minites on hold, I get the same answer "we are aware and working on this problem"

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

It took Apple just over 13 months to fix this problem, but ya folks like myself who enjoy using Siri Shortcuts, ya can finally call them up with a VoiceOver command such as “VO+1,” to activate the Google Assistant (without needing to enable “Full Keyboard Access.”

After opening the VoiceOver Settings screen, visit Commands>All Commands>Shortcuts, and customize to your hearts content.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

I was also looking forward to trying fitness plus just for something new and am disappointed that it's not accessible.

Thinking about it more though, could they make it accessible without changing the experience, much like is often argued with accessibility of certain games? If they described the workouts, would they be able to fit enough between pauses in dialogue to be able to explain what the user is supposed to do and have them understand it correctly? I'm one those people that sometimes needs to be shown things more than once before it clicks, and sometimes explained a different way before it does. I'm wondering if maybe they could have something you could click on in the app before you started the workout that had more detailed description of it that you could review with VoiceOver before you started.

I also think there are notifications that pop up that relate to how you are doing in the workout, like if you close one of your rings during a workout. Wouldn't that get annoying if VO popped up and read those all the time?

Just some thoughts... maybe I'm wrong.

Submitted by Sergey on Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Hi! On my iphone 7 this update reset my Voicever activities to default4 All activities I created were removed and "programming" activity was restored. So my first action after update was to recreate my activities.

Yep i'm also having every bit of punctuation read no matter what verbosity is set to. sometimes rebooting makes it return to normal for a bit but eventually it starts acting this way again. Ios 14.3 on an Iphone SE

Submitted by Weary Mouse on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My comfortable way of input has been using bluetooth keyboards. I'm having to use on-screen braille input where I am just slower. Anyway, my keyboards are old but they connected to my iphone 8 just fine, and wouldn't connect to my 12. They show up in the list of available devices and I get the code to type to pair them, I type the code and I then get an error message to make sure my device is in range and in pairing mode. So, I made the mistake of removing the keyboard from bluetooth on the 8, in case that was somehow interfering with the ability to connect to the 12. I don't know why it would, but I was looking for things to try. Then when I went to pair it with the 8 again, I got the same error as on the 12. So, I can only assume it's a bug in the ios, with the pairing, a problem not there under whatever iOS I was running when I first paired it with the 8. I've no idea with which upgrade it happened as it's been a while since I last paired it with the 8. guess it wouldn't have helped if I'd left as the 8 is being traded in, but it's a major problem no longer being able to type.

Submitted by Weary Mouse on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

My comfortable way of input has been using bluetooth keyboards. I'm having to use on-screen braille input where I am just slower. Anyway, my keyboards are old but they connected to my iphone 8 just fine, and wouldn't connect to my 12. They show up in the list of available devices and I get the code to type to pair them, I type the code and I then get an error message to make sure my device is in range and in pairing mode. So, I made the mistake of removing the keyboard from bluetooth on the 8, in case that was somehow interfering with the ability to connect to the 12. I don't know why it would, but I was looking for things to try. Then when I went to pair it with the 8 again, I got the same error as on the 12. So, I can only assume it's a bug in the ios, with the pairing, a problem not there under whatever iOS I was running when I first paired it with the 8. I've no idea with which upgrade it happened as it's been a while since I last paired it with the 8. guess it wouldn't have helped if I'd left as the 8 is being traded in, but it's a major problem no longer being able to type.

Submitted by Troy B on Thursday, December 17, 2020

I've had an iPhone SE for a month or 2, always running I/OS 14, and in several of my apps voiceover gives extra description like it's describing pictures. A friend of mine found a fix but it was only able to be used on certain phones, not including the SE. If anyone has an SE has this annoyance been fixed in 14.3, and if not is this something that might be fixed at some point or is it just an annoyance I'll have to get used to?

Submitted by LaBoheme on Thursday, December 17, 2020

reset all settings? no thanks. is apple going to pay me for the time wasted? time is money, you know. not to mention one probably can't get everything back the first try. you adjust the settings over time to get to where you are today, there is no way you remember everything. i'll wait, it's an easy decision for me.

I noticed significant battery drain under 14.2 when Optimize Battery Charging was enabled. Under 14.3, the drain is greatly reduced. My iPhone SE 2020 lost only eight percentage points overnight. Yay! This is a great improvement compared to the 35-40 percentage point overnight drain under 14.2, but I hope Apple can continue to reduce drain.

Submitted by YEG Derek on Friday, December 18, 2020

In reply to by TJ Olsen

Yorkshire-Drew gave this solution in another thread. it worked for me and I hope it helps you as well.

I've been having the same punctuation issues and eventually found the problem.
I'd previously set up a number of activities, each with a different voice. When I updated to iOS 14.3, the voices disappeared. In their place were two
options in the activities rota - default and programming. It's this latter which has all the punctuation in it.
If you go into settings, accessibility, voiceover, and finally activities,you can one finger swipe down on programming and delete it.

Submitted by Macky on Monday, December 21, 2020

I've just updated my old iPhone SE to 14.3 and it appears that direct touch is set to on as default again. I was able to use the Flicktype keyboard in messages, messenger, facebook etc without having to turn it on in the rotor every time. Can anyone else confirm also?

If it is fixed, does this mean that I can use MBRAILE as a 3rd party keyboard again?
Because well I use braille screen input on the iPad, sometimes I’d like to have that keyboard if I want to do something faster or if I want to do something that requires me to switch in and out of contract and move faster.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Monday, December 21, 2020

They told me they were fixed in 14.2, but they weren't. Is it any better here?

The best way that I have figured out, to get rid of this nonsense is by adding the "Describe Images" option to my Roter. Then whenever I encounter the useless image descriptions in a particular app, I just turn the Rother to the "Describe Images" setting, and swipe down to turn it off for that app. It has to be noted that doing so only applies that setting to that app, but honestly, its the only way to really turn them off.
So you'll have to do it in every app that the extra descriptions bother you with. Tedious, I know, but its the only proper solution that works for sure.
That, is about the only way to get rid of them for real. No amount of other configurations or setting changes takes away this bug. Tried and tested every possible variation and suggestion that I have come across.

I still have to turn the Roter to the Direct Touch setting and swipe up to turn it on, to allow me to use/interact with the app that requires it. So no, this has not been fixed on my end at all.

Submitted by Khushi on Tuesday, December 22, 2020

In reply to by PaulMartz

I turned off optimised battory charging in my 6s long ago. I guess in IOS 14.1 because it was a lot of battory drain to deal with.
same 14.3 reduced it a little.

Submitted by Lawrence on Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I have an Orbit Writer that doesn't work anymore with iOS, watchOS or iPadOS. Used to work good for me, not anymore. It connects to the Mac, my Android, and all my other devices other than iOS. Any issues with connecting to other braille displays? Curious if it's just Orbit Writer devices affected or if others have the same issue.

Submitted by Mani on Thursday, January 14, 2021

Hello all,
I recently got a new pair of hearing aids( Phonak Marvel) which connects to the iPhone via bluetooth (not MFI) basically serving as bluetooth headphones. I am facing a serious issue with phone calls. When I do the two-finger double tap to accept a call, something I did without issues over other MFI hearing aids for years, I don't hear anything through my hearing aids. The sound is directed to the iPhone speakers which I cannot hear. Do you think it is a setting issue or a 14.3 bug? Any suggestions on what setting would cause this?
BTW, VO works perfectly.
Thanks.

After installing IOS 14.4 I still could not fully use my iPhone. I worked with Apple disability support for over an hour. After trying many various settings, we went to reset my settings: Settings; General; Reset. After resetting my setting all worked again. Oh happy days. I needed to go back and update some voiceover settings, keyboard settings, and some application settings. It is all working and life is good. Too bad it took so long, but Tim from Apple hung in there and thanks for that.