Apple Rolls Out Further Accessibility Fixes to the App Store in iOS 6

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple have just rolled out further accessibility improvements to the App Store in iOS 6.

Firstly, the rating of an app is now read by VoiceOver.

Secondly, the app screenshots now have a clear label for VoiceOver users.

Lastly, and this is a real nice one, when on the Search or Genius tabs you will now find a picker control that allows you to move quickly through the listed apps. As I said, this is really nice, and makes browsing search results quicker than it was in iOS 5.

It's great to see that Apple are still actively working on accessibility improvements to the App Store and are rolling out fixes in double-quick time.

Be sure to let us know if you spot any additional improvements.

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In the iTunes store, they've changed a few things also. Mainly the reviews and related sections now read as tabs instead of buttons, and it just seems like a nicer experience to use.

Completely broken on the iPad.

It's still broken on the iPad, when I try to search for apps, VO doesn't see the search results. Can anyone else confirm before I write apple?

i can confirm this

Hi Daniel, it also happens here, app store is completely broken on my 3rd gen ipad, they shouldn't have changed the ipad version because it's only getting worse!!now the top charts continue to be inaccessible, i mean, there are nowheadings just like the iphone version, but when you change the rotor to"links" and keep flicking down, when you tap an app you want,  in mostcases it won't open and will go back to the first apps, and now theresults are not appearing when you search something? what have you doneapple? as others have mentioned in an old topic: app store is the most important part ofios and it's now unusable. with ios 5 we already had bugs with the ipad,when searching for something or in the top charts you couldn't view morethan 6 apps in all the categories(paid,free, and the same for iphoneapps).in that case i didn't see so many problems because i downloaded an appcalled "top 100 apps" and i could even choose a country, and if therewas an app that interested me i just searched using the app store and itworked. sorry for the rant, but we aren't paying cheap for theseproducts and accessibility is getting worse with the updates.. there areno blind users testing the new changes and "fixes" that the programmershave been doing? i'll send an e-mail toaccessibility@apple.comright now! if the applevis community can help me and all the ipad owners it wouldbe really appreciated, because i think that most of the e-mails to appletalk only about the iphone, so they fix the iphone and ipod and put the ipad aside. 

Yes, App Store search results inaccessible on my iPad

Hi Daniel -- I can confirm your findings that the App Store search results on an iPad seem to be inaccessible to VO, at least on my iPad. I replicated using the following steps on an AT&T iPad 2 16GB running the current released version of IOS6. 1. Launch App Store App. 2. Type the desired search term(s) in the search field. I used the word "chess." 3. Double-tap the "search" key on the virtual keyboard to perform the search. 4. After the search has completed and the screen is populated with the results, attempt to hear the results using standard methods. I found that the one-finger swipe right or left will bypass the results section completely, and the fingertip exploration method provided just the "dip, dip, dip" sound that indicates VO isn't finding anything readable. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I'm emailing -Bryan

IPad issues

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi All, I can confirm that I am also experiencing all of the iPad problems you've mentioned above and I will email Apple too. I am also finding that the App Store crashes when I launch it with VoiceOver turned on. Is that happening to anyone else? Dave

iPad search results issues confirmed

Hi there all, I can confirm this as well, using the steps that Bryan documented. This must be recent, as, I was able to use the app store yesterday to conducta search on my third-gen iPad and successfully see the results. Regards, Mark R.

Heard About Another App Store Issue

I understand that some people are having issues with updates in the app store. They go into the update section & even though some apps need to be updated, the message indicates all apps are up to date. I understand there is a "work around" by removing the app store from the app switcher & then going back into updates. Wondering if Apple is aware of this issue & fixing the problem?

Question About Getting the App Store Fixes

Forgot to ask in my last reply; How does one get these fixes if there isn't an actual update to IOS6? Do the fixes happen automatically when a person goes back into the app store? As an example if VO wasn't reading ratings before, will it do so now even though there isn't an actual update to IOS6? How is the fix made? I apologize if this is a silly question, but I'm interested in understanding the "fix" process versus creating a new IOS6 update. Thanks.

Dynamic changes

Fixes to the stores are made on Apple's end, meaning no new version of iOS needs to be created for users to get them. Apple can change things on a wim, and we'll just notice them next time we launch the store.

App Store versus iOS updates

Basically, the app store is largely hosted on Apple's servers, and that includes what you see when you open it. It may look like a native part of the operating system, but is actually largely on their end. That being said, it's a lot easier for them to make fixes like this spontaneously, rather than having to go through a more formal release process for an iOS update. The upshot of all this is that you don't have to do anything, just go into the store and search, and you will notice the improvement immediately.

App Store Issue

Club AppleVis Member

I'm having a problem with iOS6 and App Store searches on my iPhone. I'm low vision but rely on VoiceOver. When doing a recent search, I opened the App Store app, tapped on Search, and typed "flashlight" into the search box. The first of 1,232 flashlight apps appeared on the screen. There are labels on the screen that allow me to get "details" or "reviews" for the first flashlight app but I'm not finding any buttons on the screen that will allow me to move to see the other flashlight apps. I've tried every gesture I can think of to get to the other 1,231 flashlight apps. If I turn VoiceOver off, I can move my finger from right to left on the screen and scroll from app to app but that really isn't a viable option for me. Is this an iOS6 issue or am I missing something? Suggestions appreciated. Thanks Greg

You have two options here. At

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

You have two options here. At the bottom of the screen you can put focus on "App Name, 1 of 1232". One finger flick up or down to go through search results. If you have VO focus on certain other elements such as the app name or category, you can tap and hold with one finger and move from right to left of screen. HTH