The two worlds of Voiceover

Accessibility Advocacy
As a new registrant on this site and a totally blind computer user, but one who has browsed quite a bit, I appreciate all the information it contains. Intending to be somewhat controversial and spawn a discussion, I’m posting this perspective to see if others agree and how much I can learn from this community. I have been a JAWS user for years and spend much of my work day on a PC writing and editing complex documents in Word, using Outlook very heavily for email and using Internet Explorer on the web for research. A few years ago I bought a MacBook Pro to digitize a large music collection and to experiment with Voiceover. Through work I have both an iPad and iPhone, which I use both with and without braille. While I believe Apple and app developers have done a fantastic job on accessibility on the IOS platform, I cannot say the same for the OS on the Mac platform. I have had a good deal of experience with accessible phones and, hands down, the iPhone is an absolute marvel. I can handle all my voluminous email, take notes, read newspapers, etc. Because of the smaller screen surface, I find the iPhone easier to use than the iPad (but I can perform all the same functions on it). I love many features of the Mac platform (especially stability, security and uniformity), but it ranks far lower on the usability scale. While the operations of the machine itself are effectively integrated with Voiceover, I do not believe Apple and Voiceover have come close to Windows and JAWS when it comes to functionality. I do not find Pages to be easily usable and Word for the Mac is inaccessible. Therefore complex word processing is ruled out on the Mac. Similarly, I find using the web with Jaws to be far easier and more efficient than Safari with Voiceover. While I would like to move everything to the Apple platform, (effectively integrating phones, tablets and computers), I can’t get there. The computer itself is still the mainstay for work and the Mac with Voiceover just can’t compete with the PC and Jaws. So now, please let me know where you agree and, more importantly, where you disagree.



Submitted by Daniel Angus M… on Monday, October 14, 2019

Club AppleVis Member

helo all,

I am a beta tester for macOS Catalina. thus, I experience bogs and some are bad. but accessibility on the Mac has stagnated in reasons years. but it seems that every beta restores that. Windows 10, they are developing narrator to be quite good, but I feel the nobody is going to use it because JAWS is the pricy standard that people use because of government not caring to investigate the new screen readers that come on to the scene/ their are some things I wish work work with VoiceOver on macOS that don't, namely voice control, though it works beautifully on iOS. and to the people who complain about bugs in macOS, the only way to really fix them, is to become a beta tester. Most, if not all the bugs I reported via the Feedback Assistant app have been fix. Apple do a good job fixing VoiceOver bugs reported. So, become a beta tester, apple does not have enough VoiceOver users who are beta testers.

to the comment about Xcode in this thread, in macOS Catalina, VoiceOver works better in the editor their. it's an exciting road this beta testing, and I incur gage all to be a part of it.


Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Monday, October 14, 2019

In reply to by Daniel Angus M…

The reason people do not use narrator is because is not easy to use, the voice is (I am not allow to use bad language) I use jaws but would like to use narrator. Microsoft would help themselves by using better voices like apple and jaws uses. In a perfect world Microsoft purchase jaws and add it to windows.

Submitted by Ahmed on Friday, October 30, 2020

In reply to by Holger Fiallo

Hi I can completely agree with you on this one while I can see where your coming from it's not a bad idea to teach yourself how to use Microsoft Narrator because you never know what happens if your Jaws ScreenReader speech crashes? what screenReader are you going to use? you see this is my main point here that I want you to understand please don't take it the wrong way I'm certainly not trying to discourage or stop the use of Jaws if that's your comfort zone than by all means stick with it.
I'm simply saying teach yourself how to use Microsoft Narrator so at least you know what ScreenReader to fallback on.

Submitted by Kaare on Friday, October 30, 2020

I agree with you entirely. However by the time I'm done my day job, I don't require my Mac for the same thing as my work stuff. Pages is not nearly the word processor word is but I've managed with it for the light tasks that my home use paterns require.

Submitted by Pepper Fox on Friday, October 30, 2020

Wow, this post would have come in handy if I'd found it about a year ago. It's surprising to see just how far the disparity between iOS and Mac OS goes back.