Voiceover issue with the iPhone XR after updating to 14.4

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iOS & iPadOS

I am currently using the iPhone XR. Since updating to the iOS 14.4 software, I’ve been having a lot of problems using voice over. After ending a phone call, the speech stops working. I have to turn voiceover off turn it back on order for it to work. It’s been happening a lot lately. It began to happen when I updated the software to the 14.0. They keep telling me that it is a software issue. I don’t think it is anymore. Is anyone here having the same problem as I am? If not, then that means I have to get a new phone.
This is my third iPhone replacement. I’ve been having so many problems with this phone since I got it. Anyhow, the voiceover issue is my main concern. I have tried everything. Creating a new Apple ID, erasing this phone and making it like new, and adding apps one at a time and still having the same problem. If anyone has any advice or can you tell me what to do, please let me know. I’m hoping it is just a software issue and I can save money. If not, then yes, I will have to get a new phone which is the last thing I want to do. Thanks again for your help.

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Submitted by Chris Hill on Saturday, February 6, 2021

This happens fairly often with my 8, especially if I didn't initiate the call. If you decide to try a new phone, I hope it helps, but I wouldn't expect any major change.

Submitted by Lee on Saturday, February 6, 2021

Hi Ann, Don't think this is you're phone. I have an iPhone11 running 14.4 and this is happening to me. However, maybe not as bad. When it does this it is like I've turned vo speech off. I.E you still get the click noises when you scroll. I've found for me coming out of the phone app starts the voice again without having to stop vo all the time.

Submitted by Ann on Saturday, February 6, 2021

Yes, I still get the clicks. Sometimes, I even hit the Siri button a few times in order to get it to turn it back on again. It’s just a pain in the butt. Might happens at least twice a week or three times a week. The speech also turns off when I turn off my Bluetooth headphones. I don’t understand why this issue isn’t fixed yet. I think it would’ve been by now. Pain in the butt. The technician at the Apple Store told me that the next software update is supposed to fix the problem. I sure hope he is right. They all kept telling me that and so far nothing. So hopefully, he is right this time. Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who is having this problem. You just save me a headache at the Apple store in hundreds of dollars. Glad I don’t have to upgrade anytime soon.

Submitted by BlackCat on Saturday, February 6, 2021

In reply to by Ann

Also using an iPhone 11 running IOS 14.4 and experiencing the same issue. After performing the 2 finger double tap to end a phone call I discovered no speach from VoiceOver. So I pressed the on/off side button once and VoiceOver is back. Sometimes I need to press the on/off button twice, but it works for me.

Submitted by Ann on Saturday, February 6, 2021

In reply to by BlackCat

That is exactly what I have to do as well. Hopefully, the next software update will fix this problem. If not, I’m going to be one unhappy customer. As I said in my previous comment, I’m so glad I am not the only one. You guys have just saved me hundreds of dollars from having to purchase another iPhone.

Submitted by Cowboy on Saturday, February 6, 2021

This got worse with 14.4, but I experienced it before that. I haven’t experienced it with a phone call but I do experience it with other random apps. The only solution I have found is to exit and re-enter VO.

OK, my phone did the same thing to once I updated to the 14.0. Voiceover got worse after that. I had to replace his phone with another 10 are. Then it stopped being sluggish like it was with my other phone. Now it’s doing like I said before. I’ve been having so many issues with voiceover since the software update I should say. I’ve also noticed that the battery is horrible with voiceover. Instead of lasting almost 14 hours like this phone is supposed to even with voiceover, last a lot less than that and it shouldn’t be doing that. When I first got this phone I had a great battery life even with voiceover. Are you experiencing this as well too?

Submitted by OmniverseAgent on Saturday, February 6, 2021

I am at least glad to hear your phone is doing a bit better than mine…
I’m usually on my phone for at least 12 hours a day. At this point the only fix I sort of have is keeping Voice control turned on so I can quickly tell it to turn voiceover off and back on again. since I am on here pretty much all day it seems to happen almost every 30/60 minutes so that’s quite fun. However this does kill the battery super Duper fast. Whereas with voice control turned off my phone can last about 10 hours. But when voice control is turned on it’ll last maybe three hours, so if that s something you don’t need to use be sure to double check in the accessibility settings that its turned off.

I know I can’t survive without my phone but I am getting very frustrated… And that is extremely hard to do LOL. Hope you guys have a better weekend

Voiceover doing that to me every hour or half an hour, would drive me crazy. I really hope that the next software update will fix the issue. They keep tell me the next software update will fix the problem and it never does.
On top of that, I have horrible battery life. My battery will go down to at least 30% or so within six hours. It should not be doing that. When I first got this phone, I was getting 12 to 15 hours of battery life and that would be using voiceover, going onto Facebook, checking email, using audible, and watching Netflix. After that, went downhill. This is my third replacement. I would think that Apple knowing that voiceover uses a lot of battery, that they would come up a longer lasting battery even for phones that are smaller in size. I obviously don’t need a large screen since I can’t see it anyway. They drive me nuts sometimes.
Anyhow, I’m so glad that I am not the only one who’s having this problem. Like I said, hopefully Apple will have this together. I heard it is supposed to come out sometime this week so who knows. They always like to tell me something different every single time I go in there.

Submitted by nohansa nuh on Sunday, February 7, 2021

iM using iPhone XR after I anding A phone call or whatsapp call some times VO gut mutit
I updatet it to iOS 14.5 beta.
but I didn try to make A phone call yet.
sorry for my language.

Submitted by Redhead on Sunday, February 7, 2021

I currently have an iphone 7 on ios 13.1. I’m planning to buy an iphone 12 pro max. I’m really concerned that I will encounter this bug. I’m afraid that I won’t get VO back after a call. Not only is this a major inconvenience but could potentially be a safety issue as well. I use my phone to contact my family when I’m away from home. I can't aford for my phone to lock up during an emergency. After reading this post, I’m not sure what to do about upgrading. TBH, I’m not counting on apple to fix this serious bug anytime soon after reading this. So do you guys have any advice for me? I’m planning to go look at the phone on friday. I don’t want to make a mistake I’ll regret for years to come.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Sunday, February 7, 2021

My XR's battery life started taking a major hit once I upgraded to 14.2. I could usually go almost the whole day, but suddenly had to plug the phone in around 3-4 pm. I think it improved with the next iOS update, but it's hard to say for sure as a few weeks later I upgraded to my current 12 mini.

What do you see when you go into your battery settings? Do you notice any apps using a disproportionate amount of battery compared to others? Do you have background app refresh turned on for most of your apps? That can sometimes do a number on your battery life because they're updating in the background, so I turn that off for most apps, and I think it does help a little. What does your battery health say? My XR popped up a message in there that said my battery health had significantly degraded and recommended replacement, which I did since at the time I was planning on keeping the phone for the long haul and had no idea I'd be getting the mini for Christmas. In retrospect, I probably didn't need to replace the battery quite that soon as its health was at 93%, but I don't know where that battery service message came from.

As for screen curtain improving battery life, I'm starting to think that's a myth. I wonder if people on this site could come up with a way to get some data that show that it does or does not actually improve battery life. In theory, most of the newer iPhones should get an improvement with screen curtain since they use OLED displays, which don't have a back light, but I wonder if anyone knows for sure.

I've been seeing that bug with VO losing speech after a call on my 12 mini, but to me it's a minor annoyance. It's certainly nowhere near as bad as iOS13 when VO would lock up completely after a call if you were using ear pods. The only way to get it back was to hard reset the phone, and with no way to know when the power off screen came up, there were many an unnecessary call made to emergency services.

I would also recommend investing in one of Apple's new 20W chargers if you can. You might also need to pick up a lightning to USB C cable if you don't have one already (like if you have Air Pods Pro). It has been super helpful especially with my 12 mini since I can plug the phone in for 20-30 minutes and get back a large chunk of battery life.

Hi,
I disagree with this bug being a minor annoyance. VO losing speach and locking up are the same thing to me. This is a serious bug and should be reported. But then again, it was reported prepiously and apple didn’t listen. I’m so glad somebody posted this, warning me about this issue. I know I’ll have to upgrade eventually, but completely losing VO after a call is Sthing I can't aford to happen. If this doesn’t get fixed, I may have to jump ship whether I like it or not. I don’t mean to sound entitled, but I can't worry whether VO will be around after a call. I need the phone part to work reliably.

I have mentioned this numerous times to the technicians at the Apple store. The last time I was there which is a couple of days ago, said that it will be fixed with the next update. I doubt this because they keep telling me that over and over and over again. I am also considering purchasing the 12 pro max since the battery on there so much better. The battery on the phone I have now, is horrible. It is my third replacement. Anyhow, hopefully you’ll like the phone. I’ve heard great things about it.

I actually checked my battery health. My background app refresh is turned off. When I went in to the Apple Store for the 900th time about this problem, the technician told me to lock my phone while listening to my book on audible. Well, that doesn’t seem to help either. As for the screen curtain, I don’t think that works. I think that it is a bunch of nonsense. So, how do you like your 12 mini? I’m so used to my bigger phone. I don’t know if I can go back to a smaller one. The battery on this phone is horrible. The first time I purchased this phone, the battery life was great and after a while, it went downhill after that. Like I said in my previous comment, this is my third replacement. I’m so ready to march into the Apple store and say how about you just give me a better phone for free? I mean it won’t be really for free since I’m still paying this one off. Sometimes they drive me crazy.

Submitted by Shersey on Sunday, February 7, 2021

Hello, everyone. As the subject says, screen curtain does not drain the battery. It's purely a privacy feature that just makes your screen black. It's the brightness setting that kills your battery. If you don't need to see your phone's screen, turn off auto-brightness, and pull your brightness slider down to 0. People can still see your screen under the right conditions with your brightness at 0, so it's still wise to use your screen curtain when you want privacy. I basically leave screen curtain on all the time, since no one needs to be able to know what I'm doing except me.

Also, why not just use the side button to turn off VoiceOver when it starts acting up like this after a phone call? VO is still on when this happens, by the way. I know because I have VO sounds on, and I still hear clicks. I just turn off VO with the tripple click feature, and then turn it back on, and everything's good to go. Sometimes it doesn't work the first time. I find it good to wait a second or two before trying the second tripple click. The last thing I want to do is start the emergency call process. :)

I agree this bug isn't minor, but it's also not a total calamity like some people seem to think. Oh, and you can always have Siri turn off and on VO if you don't want to do the tripple click thing, or if your tripple click is set for multiple options.

Thanks,
Shersey

I appreciate everyone’s response to my post. It is good to know that I am not the only one who is having this problem. Still trying to figure out why my battery so bad. Even though it says it is running at normal peak performance. My screen is down to zero since I don’t need to look at it and I also lock my phone while listening to an audible book. I am so confused. Hopefully when I have enough money, I will purchase the bigger phone so that my battery will be a lot better.

That might get you by for a while.

Being inside most of the time, and having plenty of charging options available, I could wish for longer battery life, but it isn't a big deal. My favorite speaker for listening to audio also charges the phone, so I might even consider the SE 2 next time, because battery life is pretty low on my list.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Sunday, February 7, 2021

Does doing a three-finger double tap work? that turns speech on and off. If you're hearing clicking noises, that should help, as Voiceover is still working. I myself have not had this problem, but any time speech quits and there are still clicks, the three-finger double tap always works to turn speech back on. HTH.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Sunday, February 7, 2021

No issues at all. voiceover for me is working quite well. I had issues with 13 but 14 has been very very stable on my system, and I Have the same phone you do.

Submitted by Redhead on Sunday, February 7, 2021

Ok, I have some important questions that I would love some honest answers to. Is the bug discussed here something I should be worried about? Do you think I should hold off getting a new phone until this bug is fixed? But then again, I'm very doubtful it will be fixed anyway. I'm really afraid that I'm going to waste the Money I've taken a year to save up on a phone that won't work out. So what should I do? Is this bug worth considering jumping ship over? Some honest and constructive feedbackw be greatly appreciated.

I have iphone 7 with ios 13.1. I really want a new phone, but with this bug present, I may have to keep this one and never update. If something happens to it, I'll have to switch back to my 4s or my old nokia.

Submitted by Ann on Sunday, February 7, 2021

In reply to by Redhead

Well, I have spoken to so many technicians being at the Apple store and through the accessibility hotline and they all told me it’s a software problem and that purchasing a new phone won’t do any good. Anyhow, if I were you, I would go to the Apple Store and see what they tell you. Apparently, there’s supposed to be an update this week that is supposed to fix the problem.

Submitted by Redhead on Sunday, February 7, 2021

In reply to by Ann

Hi. Thanks for the advice. Although they say it will be fixed in the next update, that doesn't hold water with me. I'll believe it when Isee it for myself or when I hear that it's fixed on here. However,I've come to my decision. Since I can aford to do so, I will go ahead and purchase the new phone. I will put it through it's paces for seven days. If I experience this bug one time, I will return it asap! After that, I will not get a new phone until I hear from someone that this is fixed. I understand ios has bugs, but this is a show stopper for me.

Just out of curiosity, which one are you going to get? You actually have 14 days. You will know by then believe me. I take whatever they say with a grain of salt. Every time it’s always something different. Anyhow, good luck hopefully you won’t have any issues once you purchase your new phone.

Submitted by Redhead on Monday, February 8, 2021

In reply to by Ann

I'm getting a 12 pro max. I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm not very optimistic anyway, and I never will be. Like I said, if I have the bug, I will go back to the 7 and neverupgrade again! When you experience the bug, are you able to get VO backat all? I don't get why this wasn't nipped in the bud. Does anyone out there besides me think this is serious!

Submitted by Shersey on Monday, February 8, 2021

Like I said earlier, doing a triple click of the side button a couple times should get VoiceOver Back up and running for you. This isn’t a showstopper, in my opinion, just more annoying than anything else. I haven’t tried doing a three finger double tap to see if speech will just turn back on.

I haven't noticed any battery issues, but I also don't mind carrying around a portable battery with me. I prefer them over battery cases, because you get a lot more use out of a portable battery than a battery case.

Thanks,
Shersey

Yes, you will be able to get it working again. It is just very annoying. We spent so much money on these phones and there’s always something going on with the screen Reader Drives me nuts. Hopefully when you do upgrade, you will not have this issue. Anyhow, keep us all posted.

I often thought about purchasing the battery case however, it is just too expensive. Well it’s good you don’t have battery problems. With me, for some reason, I just do and I don’t know why. I have tried just about everything. I think I will run this phone into the ground before I buy another one. These phones are getting way too expensive. This phone isn’t even paid off yet and I’ve had so many problems with this phone.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, February 8, 2021

I don't have battery issues either. Maybe you just have a defective phone IMHO. I've had a few of those in my life time. Apple replaced them for free.

Submitted by Curtis Chong on Monday, February 8, 2021

I am running iOS 14.4 on an iPhone 12 mini, and I am not experiencing the VoiceOver silencing issue. I was using this same version with an iPhone 8 a little over a week ago, and there, too, I did not encounter any problems. I have my full screen showing the keypad during phone calls. Perhaps this is the difference.

Submitted by Kostas Theodor… on Monday, February 8, 2021

Hello. After last ios update the problem who i have is that there is a delay for voiceover responce when hungout a call. This delay happends some seconds and voiceover works again.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, February 8, 2021

I don't have that issue eihter. the call drops and I have speach. iOs 14 is zactually close to perfect for me.

Submitted by Brandi on Thursday, February 11, 2021

I can't get my a description with my photos like I used to. I have taptap c but don't know how to use it well. I also have Seeing AI and the photos still aren't described. I'd like my phontos so I can delete the lame ones. Not sure how to fix it. Apple tried to help. Voiceover is fine. It's the photo description.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, February 11, 2021

I thought tap tap see was dead. and I didn't htink it worked wiht other apps. Just use the one built into voiceover. it works quite well, especually if you have the detailed one on. My favorite was " "an airplane flying in the sky over a body of water. I knew that there was a shadow over the water as I memorized the name of the picture.

Submitted by GRolandoM on Saturday, February 13, 2021

In reply to by Redhead

Hi , I solve that problem on an iPhone 7 and iPhone SE 2020 turning off picture in picture feature and enabling full screen notifications for calls , important restart yor device after appling this changes , I hope this solutiom helps until apple fix this iOS 14 bug.

Submitted by Cowboy on Saturday, February 20, 2021

In reply to by Redhead

No, this isn't a serious issue. It's an annoying issue! It's something that should be fixed! It's something that definitely shouldn't continue! But it's not a serious issue. I say it's not serious because if you know how to turn VO on and off it takes less than 10 seconds to fix. Again we shouldn't have to do it, but at least we can. A serious issue would be VO dying and not being able to restart it. In that case without doing a hard reset it would be dificult to restart the phone. That takes minutes and is more complicated.

Having said all of that, people definitely need to complain to Apple. If a sighted person's screen went black and they had to reset their screen every time they got off a call what would the uproarbe like?

Submitted by JLove on Sunday, February 21, 2021

I have an iPhone XR, and I am using IOS 14.2.
I have not updated because I use my phone for work and I cannot afford to lose speech after every single call, because sometimes the calls come in too fast, a few seconds after hanging up.
Sometimes I Don't know if I lose speech, or if it was not on as if Voice-over was on but there was no speech when I plug in the Earpods, or if the plugging in the Earpods have anything to do with it. But the point is that when I plug them in, Voice-Over is on, but there's no speech. to fix it, I unplug them and plug them back in. I do it until it comes back, which its usually once, no more than twice.
Has anyone experienced this at some point?

Submitted by Jo Billard on Sunday, February 21, 2021

In reply to by JLove

I have never experienced this, so I would think it's safe to update. As others have said, if it should happen, the fix is pretty easy.

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