Apple has today released iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 to the public. While these updates seem to be relatively minor, they do bring a few notable bug fixes for Braille and VoiceOver users.
These releases resolve an issue introduced in iOS 16.5 and iPadOS 16.5 for users of Braille displays. If the "turn pages while panning" feature was enabled, they may have experienced frozen panning buttons after reaching the end of the page in certain apps. With these new updates, this issue has been resolved.
Furthermore, Apple appears to have resolved for some users the problem where VoiceOver speech output would spontaneously stop. If you still experience this issue, you may wish to test whether it still occurs when using a different VoiceOver voice.
Additionally, an improvement has been made for braille display users who utilize Live Captions. Previously, new incoming text would interrupt their reading position and place them at the start of the line. Now, as new text arrives, braille display users can continue reading from where they left off without interruption.
At this time, we have not identified any other bug fixes, enhancements, or newly introduced issues that specifically impact the experience of blind and low vision users in these updates. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.
According to Apple's release notes for the updates, iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 include unspecified bug fixes and security improvements.
We strive to provide the most comprehensive and accurate information about the accessibility status of Apple software releases. However, as a small team, it is impossible for us to test every device, configuration, application, and use case. That's why we depend on our community to help us ensure that our information is as complete and accurate as possible. If you have tested iOS 16.6 or iPadOS 16.6 for accessibility, please share any additional fixes, enhancements, or regressions you've discovered in the comments below. Your feedback is invaluable in helping us provide the best information to our community.
iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 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.