Apple Releases iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1 With Fix for Bug That Could Cause Braille Displays to Become Unresponsive

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOS 15.3.1.

Apple’s release notes say: “iOS 15.3.1 provides important security updates for your iPhone and fixes an issue that may cause Braille displays to stop responding.”

We've not had an opportunity to test these updates ahead of today's release, so do not know for sure if they do indeed resolve the bug which could Randomly have, VoiceOver announcements cause both a braille display and iOS to freeze. Accordingly, please post a comment below if you are able to confirm this bug as resolved.

As these appear to be minor updates, our expectation is that they do not contain any additional accessibility changes for blind and low vision users; however, if you notice any changes, improvements or regressions in your own use of the software, please post a comment below with your findings.

iOS 15.3.1 and iPadOs 15.3.1 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.

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



Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Friday, February 11, 2022

This update seems to be a bit of a letdown for me. I'm still getting double reading of notifications, and now, some weird focus issues have resurfaced that I thought were gone. Hoping for better things with 15.4.

Submitted by Mitchell on Saturday, February 12, 2022

While it's great to know that it seems like the Braille displays won't freeze now, I've been running into some other odd issues.
When in a text field and having written more than the cell amount on the display, I'm running into a problem where panning left appears to not return focus to the prevaround g enough to . ious Braille line of text. this only appears to occur in single-line text fields (like Discord or Twitch), and when the Braille cursor is at the end of the line.
Additionally, the cursor jumping that's been around since like 15.1 still appears to be problematic.
However, there are times where Braille randomly decides to put parts of words on separate lines, even with Word wrap on. Additionally, in these cases, large amounts of empty space can be generated, along with sometimes displaying garbage (although it might just be computer Braille, and it wasn't around for very long.
It unfortunately feels like there are more regressions than fixes in this update, and I'm planning on submitting some bug reports, once I figure out why things appen.

Submitted by Joker_Alice on Saturday, February 12, 2022

So after updating I noticed some issues with Pages, although I have characters and words checked for hardware keyboard typing style, some reason whenever I typed it only tells me the letters I’m writing but not the words. The same is happening whenever I try to type using the phone keyboard witch has it’s typing to only words; however, if I go to type all I hear is the letters.. so far it doesn’t seemed to affect braille screen imput.

Submitted by Joker_Alice on Saturday, February 12, 2022

I’ve been having this issue since IOS 15.2, whenever I use my Bluetooth keyboard if I delete or choose from the predict that may appear if I make a mistake when typing for some reason voice over acts up, as if the curser jump off and whet elsewhere, if I try and keep deleting or typing, I will sometimes hear the sound that voice over makes when their isn’t anything, a lot of the time the only solution I’ve found is to double tap on the text field and go to the begining of the ext and then double tap again to get to the end. It’s a bit frustrating to be honest.

Submitted by Mitchell on Saturday, February 12, 2022

It appears that the spaces aren't random. This appears to happen when a long notification comes in, and the spaces are placed where they are supposed to be placed baseda on the location of the panned line before the notification. However, if the location is reset, having a new word at the beginning of a line, that isn't accounted for when the braille comes back up. It appears that the bug probably has something to do with the positions of the Braille cells not being updated correctly.
I'm using a 12 mini, but would love to know if other people have this issue too.