VoiceOver Speech Output Spontaneously Stops

Category
VoiceOver Speech/Voices
Severity
Moderate

Description

VoiceOver speech output spontaneously stops and requires a wait of about 30 seconds to resume. The issue is not specific to certain apps or actions and occurs without any clear pattern. Restarting VoiceOver can help, but it may take a couple of cycling of VoiceOver for this to work. The issue only affects the VoiceOver voice and not other VoiceOver audible feedback. The issue appears to affect many VoiceOver voices, including Alex, Eloquence, Ava, and Siri.

This issue has been reported by multiple users on the AppleVis forum: https://www.applevis.com/forum/ios-ipados/voiceover-crashing-ios-164

Based on our experience, it seems that the frequency of the issue is not consistent and appears to be influenced by the VoiceOver voice being used and the intensity of usage. Using the Alex voice, we have observed that this issue typically arises 2-3 times a day. However, based on the comments shared in the forum topic mentioned above, it appears that some users encounter this problem more frequently than others. Some users have suggested that this issue is most prevalent when using an Eloquence voice.

Steps to reproduce

  1. Turn on VoiceOver
  2. Use the device as normal
  3. Observe that the VoiceOver speech output stops spontaneously

Bug First Encountered

iOS/iPadOS 16.4

Device(s) bug has been encountered on

iPhone

How often the bug occurs

Sometimes

Workaround

Wait for about 30 seconds for speech output to resume or try restarting VoiceOver.

Apple feedback #

FB12186146

Status

Fixed

Fixed In

iOS/iPadOS 16.6

Options

Comments

By Morgan Watkins on Monday, May 15, 2023 - 19:14

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

VoiceOver still goes silent a few times a day. I'm guessing it stays unresponsive for 20 to 30 seconds before it begins to talk again. No obvious pattern leading to problem, so it is difficult to reproduce at will. This is happening on my iPhone 13 mini with hearing aids, Oticon Opn S 1 miniRITE. Alex is VoiceOver voice of choice.

By TJT 2001 on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

I'm using iOS 17.1.1 and still encounter the bug up to a few times per hour. Is anyone else still experiencing this bug?

By Brian on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

I experience this occasionally. Usually when navigating a content rich environment, like News sites to give an example.

More often than not, toggling VO off then On fixes it for me.

Oh, and I am using an iPhone SE2.

By Brooke on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

Just started experiencing this again about 2 days ago, after not having it happen for quite a while. It happened twice after I added an emoji to a text and listened to the text before I sent to check for errors.

By al-Salil on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

17.1.1 and I'm experiencing this on my iPhone XR with Norwegian SIRI 1, UK Daniel and U.S. Samantha.
I never had this issue prior to 17.1.
On 16.x I experienced the dreaded VO restart bug with SIRI voices though.
Toggling VO off/on seems to always fix it on my device.
VoiceOver speech output spontaneously stops and SIRI voices auto-deleting is the only issues I now have on 17.1.

By Ekaj on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

Hello. I experienced this when I first got a Mac, and re-starting VO seemed to do the trick only partially. But the problem seemed to go away completely with the switch to Apple's new file system. I believe that was back in El Capitan or something like that. But on this Mac the problem seems to occur at random, and mainly with email and the web. Both Safari and Google Chrome. I haven't experienced this at all on my iPhone, with the exception of hanging up calls but that hasn't been too problematic for me. I'm rather curious as to the occurrence with Braille though, and I think next week will allow me some quality time.

By Bruce Harrell on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

Hi. IOS 17.1.1 iPhone 15 pro. Typical bug frequency. Same as Applevis bug report description.

By PaulMartz on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 19:14

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I have an iPhone SE 2020 with 17.1.1. Yesterday, while Seeing AI was the active app, I held down the home button and told SIRI to call a phone number. As soon as the automated phone tree answered and started listing my menu options, all sound stopped. No VoiceOver, no VO sound effects, and no robot listing my options. Restarting VO did not help. I had to reboot my phone.

Normally, when a call cuts out, I would blame Verizon. But this was coincident in VoiceOver crashing, so I pretty much have to blame iOS. Yet it sounds much more extreme than the incorrect behavior described here.