Apple Releases macOS Sierra 10.12.4, watchOS 3.2 and tvOS 10.2

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Today has seen another round of software updates from Apple. In addition to the release of iOS 10.3, there have also been updates for the Mac, Apple Watch and fourth-generation Apple TV.

At the time of posting, full release notes for these updates are not yet available; however, it is safe to assume that there will be the standard mix of bug fixes, security patches, and under-the-hood performance improvements.

The macOS update brings a Night Shift mode to the Mac; and also includes dictation support for Shanghainese, cricket scores for Siri, improved PDFKit APIs, and iCloud Analytics options.

watchOS 3.2 introduces a new "Theater Mode" which enables you to quickly mute the sound on the Apple Watch and disable Raise to Wake. This release also brings SiriKit to the Apple Watch, allowing you to ask Siri to do things such as send messages, send payments, book a ride, log a workout or make a call.

We have been able to carry out some limited testing of macOS Sierra 10.12.4 prior to today’s public release, and our experience suggests that blind and low vision users are likely to find no accessibility-related changes in this release.

As we always stress, it is impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. So, it is entirely possible that there may be some changes, regressions or improvements that we are unaware of at the time of posting. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility-related changes in any of today’s releases, please do let us know by adding a comment below.

We will update this post if we learn of significant new features or changes in any of these releases.

How to Update

macOS Sierra 10.12.4 is available via the Updates tab in the Mac App Store.

watchOS 3.2 is available by going to the Watch app on your iPhone and navigating to General> Software Update. To install the update, your Watch must be connected to its charger and have at least 50% battery power.

To install tvOS 10.2 on a fourth-generation Apple TV, go to the Settings channel, then look for the System section near the bottom. From here, look for Software Updates under Maintenance, then select Update Software and Download and Install.



Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I am not certain why this took more than half a day to update, but it's finally updated to 3.2. My WiFi network wasn't compromised in speed because nothing was active except for the iPhone and Apple Watch. Terrible performance through the update process but at least it's complete now. After four hours, I rebooted the iPhone but it didn't help. The update just resumed at about 12%. I don't think I can blame this on a busy Apple Server issue, either, because I started at approximately 3:00 PM and it didn't finish until approximately 5:30 AM this morning.

Anyone else have these results?

Submitted by Joseph on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Jesus h christ .. 14 hours? mine took about half an hour at most, maybe 20 minutes. but wow...that's suckage. I've never had that happen to me.

Submitted by Justin on Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lol right? I updated the mac yesterday and it was fairly quick. I went to do stuff and in like a half an hour it was almost done, at 91%. Waited for 10 minutes and it came up as normal.

Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has also released updates for Keynote, Numbers, and Pages for Mac and iOs. From early observation, I've tested the bookmarking feature and found that it works fairly well with Voiceover on macOS. Bookmarks and headings can now be browsed in the rotor, making large document navigation on the Mac much easier. I have not tried these features on iOs, but I would imagine they would work similarly.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The heading navigation in Pages is fantastic. The only problem I have is that I can't use VO Command H to jump through the available headings. Still, this is a major step in the right direction. Hopefully this will get better as time goes on and new versions of the OS are released.

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The iWork suite just updated on my end as expected, but not the next build of Sierra. Not sure why but I'll definitely check into this. Better .pdf support with VoiceOver has been my one and only big complaint about the Mac ever since I switched over. So if I can actually get it to work I will be forever grateful and jumping up and down in my seat.

Submitted by Gabriel on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Hi everybody. I don't know if I'm the only one to experiment this.
I'm using MacOS 10.12.4 localised in italian, my native language and, in mail, I'm no more able to expand the collapsed threads.
When I press right arrow key, I got the "BONG" sound like when key is useless.
Anybody else has this problem?
If so, we must notify Apple 'cause it's a rated serious bug.

The VO-U key brings up the elements list for Headings/bookmarks (auto-inserted right after each heading in Pages), and Window-Spots.

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sentence and Paragraph now appear as rotor options in not only Pages, but MS Word and Ulysses.
"Document Headings" and bookmarks, by the way, are also now rotor options in Pages for IOS.
Can't wait to see the revelation of new bugs in 10.12.4. I'm starting to notice some odd behavior, but am not convinced yet it isn't "just me."

Submitted by Paul Martin on Thursday, March 30, 2017

I'm really surprised I've not heard a peep on this one given how long this bug has been around: When using a shared computer, the voiceover curser will not move to the "switch user" button, making it a little tricky to sign in as another user should the need arise. In short, the easiest way to see this issue is to use the control+shift+eject thing to get the screen saver showing, wait for your timer to kick in for requiring the password, and try to switch to another account on the computer. You can find the button with the mouse if you have "speak text under the mouse" turned on, but try moving the voiceover curser to the button.

Submitted by Tim Hornik on Friday, March 31, 2017

This cannot be understated, but the improvements to Pages is incredible. As a person working on a dissertation, its absolutely fantastic to finally have heading navigation within a document. For years its been absolutely a waste of time to structure documents with visual headings, and VO was left hanging. Secondly, embedded tables seems to work much better with Voice Over. My second long standing complaint with Pages involves Voice Over not being predictable when navigating to a table, into a table, or moving the table within a document. I like how Apple placed tables as almost a separate item within the document, so you can interact with it by interacting at the page level and not the body level of a document.

Voice Over still restarts whenever interacting with Section 1 or Section 2 of the Customize Touch Bar screen. This is a real shame, since the Touch Bar rocks, but VO users still cannot take full advantage of adding or removing items without some VO headaches.

Now for TVOS' issues. I cannot recommend anyone updating their Apple TV. The accessibility for selecting your provider from the provider selection screen within the sign in page of an app is still not accessible. A second issue was also introduced regarding arranging apps on the home screen. Voice Over will cut out after you select an app and try to move around the screen. You really have no idea where you are placing the app or the action item you are on. This is a no biggie if you are not going to be rearranging items on your home screen, but good luck if you are. If anyone has the full list of providers available on the sign in screen within an app, please share it. This screen is very different from the provider sign in screen found within the Settings of the Apple TV.

Submitted by John Covici on Friday, March 31, 2017

Hi. I got an Email today from someone who had problems with usb audio on several computers after upgrading to 10.12.4.

Anyone experiencing such problems? I don't want to update if we are going to have this happening.

Submitted by dvdmth on Friday, March 31, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

I know it came out a week or so earlier, but there is also a new version of iTunes, 12.6 if I remember right, and it has a nice new feature as well. When adding songs to a playlist using the VO-Shift-M menu, there is now an item at the top of the menu called "Add to last playlist," which provides quick access to the last playlist you added an item to. Really handy when adding several items to a list, since it avoids having to locate the playlist every time you add an item.

Submitted by Ekaj on Friday, March 31, 2017

I got that update too and it's very good. However, still no OS Sierra 10.12.4 for me. I'm tweeting back and forth with Apple's support team to trouble-shoot this issue. I'm gonna try updating from my parents' place, since I will be there later today for a sister's birthday celebration.

Submitted by Chris on Friday, March 31, 2017

Ekaj, have you tried to manually check for new updates by going to the Mac App Store and selecting the updates radio button in the toolbar? If the update doesn't appear in the HTML area, something really weird is going on with your computer. Have you checked your App Store preferences in System Preferences? If you want everything to automatically download and install, check all the relevant checkboxes on that screen.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Agreed. I just manually check for updates in my app stores on mac and iPhone. I'd rather do it that way instead of having auto updates.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, April 1, 2017

Since iTunes 12.0, the accessibility of the check boxes for things like sincing playlists and ringtones have been unavailable. I am currently running the latest version of iTunes and I'm delighted to report that all those check boxes have returned and work flawlessly.

Enjoy the full functionality once again.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, April 1, 2017

In my prior posting here, I indicated that the check boxes now work, with JAWS and Windows. However, after turning off iCloud Library on the PC, in order to sync some playlists, now I am unable to make the check box stay checked, which turns iCloud Library back on.

I have rebooted the system and restarted iTunes. I have dropped JAWS out and had sighted assistance but they were unable to keep the check box checked, either. there doesn't seem to be an apply button, but just an OK button. Currently, my iCloud Library is not turned on in the iTunes app on the PC. However, it is working just fine on the iPhone.

Anymore ideas?

Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, April 3, 2017

I finally updated earlier today with the help of a sighted tutor who works with me. For some reason I'm getting a network issue message, and I'm thinking this might have something to do with my new neighbor's Dish and/or all the wiring here in my building. But at any rate, it is what it is at least for now. This update seems pretty good thus far on my end. I tried out the supposedly extended .pdf functionality in Preview but haven't gotten far with it. I'm wondering if .pdf's are just very spotty on the Mac no matter what app is used to read them? I'll poke around a bit more and see if I can find anything. But along with the negatives must come positives, right? Apple seems to have implemented announcements at the start and end of downloads. I have been downloading audio from another website. This audio plays automatically in Safari when each link is clicked, but I am downloading these files to play in iTunes by going to the Context menu with VO-Shift M and then clicking "Download Linked File." VoiceOver reported "Download Has Started" and "download completed," respectively. Hopefully this behavior will become standard from now on.

Submitted by themusicman08 on Friday, April 14, 2017


The subject says it all. But, I am going to explain so that those reading this won't be confused. First let me say that it took me three times to get the update installed for Sierra. Not sure why but, the third time was a charm.
The first time, an error popped up on my screen and this was during the Apple logo. The second time, the computer beeped and then restarted. The third time, it finally installed like normal. Here's where this gets stranger.
I have two hard drives. One is used for a time machine back up function, and the other one is where all my other data is stored such as music, movies, and things. When the operating system finally installed, the drive where the time machine is, was found immediately. But, my external drive where all my music and other data was supposed to be seen, wasn't found. i had to unplug the drive, then plug it back in in order for the computer to find it again. I've seen this problem twice. My Mack is a Mack Mini mid 2010 unit with 8 gb of ram in it and a 500 gb hard drive. It took me several times to call Apple's accessibility line to explain this problem to them. I also spoke to someone on my personal twitter and they have a Mack book 2012 model and they experienced the same hard drive issue. Their's is a SeaGate. Mine is a Western Digital. Before updating to the current Sierra version, I didn't have this problem.
Am I missing something here? I can't reinstall the OSX because recovery and safe modes do not talk during the process.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Friday, April 14, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

the recovery works with VoiceOver. one thing that doesn't works with VoiceOver is internet recovery. internet recovery hee does need wen that the recovry partition went lost or deleted. in normaly mode recovery works with VoiceOver butifuly. try delete evrything on your main drive and restore the operating system from scrach. it solves meny problem like this wase too you.

Submitted by Justin on Friday, April 14, 2017

I've used the old recovery mode a bit in the past. Everything speaks with the temp Vo copy that it uses. Internet recovery, however doesn't speak. I've had to reinstall OS X a couple times in the past and it works well with the standard recovery mode.

Submitted by Adam Samec on Saturday, April 15, 2017


the Safe mode, the Shift key during startup, and Startup Manager, the Option key, do not work with VoiceOver. However, macOS Recovery, Command + R, should work. You have to press Command + R as soon as you hear the startup chime, keep holding it for 30 seconds to be sure, then wait for about three minutes maximum again to be sure, and finally Command + F5 should work to turn VoiceOver on.