Let's be honest about upgrade accessibility

Forum
Accessibility Advocacy

Time to Act

To the AppleVis Board: please feel free to hijack this post if you will conduct a better poll and report the results.

To applevis members:

Do you want to let Apple know how many of us refuse to update for fear of bitterly regretting it? Do you want to let Apple know how unhappy we are with the accessibility problems their major IOS and MacOS upgrades are causing us?

I did not upgrade to IOS 14.5 or MacOS 11.3. Why? Because I've had too many unhappy upgrade experiences in the past. Now, reading on applevis.com about all the unhappy experiences everyone is having with the latest upgrades, I'm thinking it's time to tell Apple what they're doing to us, and what they're doing to their company.

Please vote.

1. I do not trust major Apple IOS and/or MacOS upgrades because of the accessibility problems they too often create:

yes/no?

2. I have regretted upgrading:

yes/no?

3. I have decided to avoid major upgrades until after the major accessibility bugs they create have been resolved:

yes/no?

4. As a result of the accessibility problems major IOS and/or MacOS upgrades have caused, my opinion of Apple has changed for the:

better/unchanged/worse?

Thank you for participating in this poll. I intend to send the results to Apple Accessibility. If you have suggestions for rephrasing my questions or adding to them, please let me know. I can edit this post to include them if helpful. If this poll improves our lives in the future, I'm happy. If no one responds, I'll be happy thinking it's just me. smile

Thank you,

Bruce Harrell

Options

Comments

Submitted by Alan on Friday, April 30, 2021

I've been using apple products for almost 10 years, and never skiped or delayed an update, major or minor, intentionally.
That said, yes, sometimes new accessibility bugs appear, but in my opinion, nothing as that makes the device unusable.
Moreover, some people that complains about latest updates and believe Apple is doing it worse every year, possibly don't remember, or never experienced, some really anoying bugs we dealed with on legacy versions of iOS. An example? VOICEOVER focus jumping around the screen like crazy, or updates that made voiceover unresponsive, etc.
So, believe me, updates are not getting worse, in my opinion they are much more stable than 2 or 3 years ago"

Submitted by charles on Friday, April 30, 2021

I agree that the updates to Apple software have improved rather than getting worse. I do not expect perfection, and they are getting better. Remember the problems with version 13? There is no comparison between that and 14.5. And, based on your lack of upgrading, you have no leg to stand on. Also, as my subject line asks, well, I'd like your thoughts on that as well. Thanks.

Hi Charles,

I quit Microsoft after 30+ years because there were far too many bugs and too much space and power taken up by too expensive third party programs intended to avoid and fix microsoft problems. I never belonged to a microsoft user group made up of blind folks, so there was no forum for me on which to post that I knew of. I never notified microsoft because I had no idea the might actually be able to fix the problems they had been perpetuating for decades. Also, I paid private computer techs to maintain my office and home computer networks. The techs spoke to microsoft. I spoke to the techs. Our discussions were focused on what was happening and what was needed to fix it. My experience with what the techs said microsoft told them was not very positive..

As for not having a leg to stand on, smile, not so! First, as I stated in my post, I decided to post my post after reading on applevis about the difficulties other blind users have been having with IOS 14.5 and MacOS 11.3. My heart went out to them. Some of their issues are very serious, e.g., double voices or no voice at all.

The other leg I'm standing upon is my personal experience with major Apple operating system upgrades. A handful of times I seriously kicked myself for not waiting to upgrade to see what bugs the upgrade was introducing before I took the leap and made the irrevocable decision to upgrade. This time, however, I (I think wisely) chose not to upgrade until I saw which way the wind was blowing. Unlike you, apparently, I have no wish to take the chance on upgrading, only to discover as others have discovered that the upgrade has made my Apple device virtually unusable. No thank you, Charles. I am happy for you that you did not have problems with your upgrade this time, but I don't think you have a leg to stand on in saying I don't have a leg to stand on. I suggest you catch up on what people have been saying about their own upgrade experiences before calling the kettle black.

Meanwhile, as I stated in my post, I hope to do some good, whatever the outcome. How about you? Your own experience is helpful. Your vote is helpful. Want to go with that?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, April 30, 2021

I'm having nothing but good experiences with iOs 14. I can't really tell you about mac os 11, but yeah my experiences with iOs have been nothing but Steller. I'm a beta tester and I can say the experience for me has been very stable. I'm quite happy with it.

Submitted by Chris Hill on Friday, April 30, 2021

First of all, yes, yes, no, worse.

Sometimes you are just forced to upgrade, either do to security issues or the fact that you need one thing fixed that is severely broken. The Braille scrolling issue in 14.4 was that one for me.

Often the new versions bring new bugs, but it is the only way to get some of the old huge issues fixed. I'd switch to Android, but I expect the experience would be worse.
I don't have much trouble with Microsoft, a good screen reader manufacturer usually manages to plaster over the worst of the cracks. I was never left unable to read books, in Braille, for example.

This is good! Thank you. Since you were beta testing, I am hoping you might be able to answer a question for me.

Do you have any idea why different people have such different experiences with the same OS upgrades? I suppose some could be because of varying settings but not all.

Submitted by Malthe on Friday, April 30, 2021

I haven't had any show-stopping experiences with iOS 14. Bugs are a part of life, but I think that Apple have a good track record on fixing them and a good track record on a11y in general. I don't believe making a generalised complaint is going to solve anything. Just my $0.02.

Malthe

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Friday, April 30, 2021

I suppose I must be a very lucky guy because I am not experiencing any of the issues you mentioned, Bruce.
My experience has been great with iOS and Mac OS.
Usually, I'd rather find out by myself if things are so bad as people say rather than just going by what they say.
There will always be bugs. That is normal. After all, it is a part of life. There will always be issues here and there but none have rendered my device unusable. I agree with those who have said that, in their experience, updates have been better than what they used to be two or three years ago.
In my opinion, things are looking good. I feel for those who've had or are having problems with, for example, there braille displays.
I am not a braille display user so there is not much I can say about it. All I know is that, thank God, I am not having any issues with either my iPhone or my Mac.

Submitted by a king in the north on Saturday, May 1, 2021

I'm on the beta releases, and the accessibility bugs are rarely serious. They don't completely brake my experience. compared to a lot of companies, that's a lot better.

Submitted by Chris Hill on Saturday, May 1, 2021

In reply to by a king in the north

I don't know how that one made it through, but the scrolling issue was a real problem to read anything much in braille. I tried the beta program for 13, and I'll never do it again unless I have a spare device to run it on, when they say to not use in a production environment, they aren't kidding.

Submitted by Michael Charlton on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Unchanged.

I have been burned so badly in the past for upgrading that I COMPLETELY skipped all upgrades to version 12 of iOS.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Saturday, May 1, 2021

I've had my iPhone since September 2018 and I have not had any significant problems with it. When I didn't know something, I asked, and the advice I got usually solved the problem. I have nothing but good things to say about Apple and the accessibility they've incorporated into the product I'm using. I have read posts from years ago on this site and I have read about nightmares from people who seemed to know what they were doing, i.e. they were good at finding solutions instead of just complaining, and I compare that with what I have now, and am very grateful I got my iPhone when I did. I can't see what you're complaining about. If you don't want to update, that's fine, but when things no longer work anymore, it's on you and not Apple.

Submitted by Christopher on Saturday, May 1, 2021

With all due respect, this is exactly the reason why Apple probably doesn't do anything to fix the issues encountered, because so many of you are not willing to come to a CTA plan. I for one am very glad this post was made up here, and will very gladly post my answers.

1. I do not trust major Apple IOS and/or MacOS upgrades because of the accessibility problems they too often create:

yes

2. I have regretted upgrading:

yes: Bigtime!

3. I have decided to avoid major upgrades until after the major accessibility bugs they create have been resolved:

No

4. As a result of the accessibility problems major IOS and/or MacOS upgrades have caused, my opinion of Apple has changed for the:

Worse

Submitted by PaulMartz on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

Wow, look at the responses. It's either hot or cold. "No problem" or "right on, this is crap". I'd be interested in knowing why.

My suspicion is that the people who are really inconvenienced by new breakages are people who have work to do, projects to complete, and tasks to perform. Their device is a tool, and any new breakage is a major interruption to their workflow.

For people who approach their devices more as a luxury or toy, perhaps it's not such a big deal if an update causes them to spend hours researching the new way to do what they can no longer accomplish. To them, it's all fun.

Just speculating out loud.

Submitted by Siobhan on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Speculating does nothing but fuel the fire. I am in no way disputing that some have bugs I do not. Yet, I also think the original poster has a flaw. They chose not to update. It's up to them, no one is holding a gun to their head. However then they have issues that come up. maybe five hundred people have them, maybe just them. Yet, they are blaming a company in which has some fault but we also do not know a lot. Do we know how many testers are blind or low vision working there? do we know if at all, Voice Over and Zoom and other accessibility features are being tested on anyone but sighted co-workers? Do we know of anything on the internal cycle that signifies that the bugs are being addressed in the manner they should be? The answer to all of the above is a resounding, no. We don't know how many people are visually impaired working on the internal testing. From others' posts they who have quite a bit of knowledge keep pushing bugs to the forefront only to be let down by the next release. Finally, what did you expect? Did you expect others to jump on the let's get Apple to fix this?! Because I see it pretty easily. If you don't update, take what comes. If you do and dislike it, there is another accessible alternative. If you choose to put up with Apple's lack of improvement, then it's on you. Note that I am suspecting a lot of the problems are because apple has so many new OS that they don't QC much or quality control or quality assure. either way, If this really needs to be addressed, then make sure it's written in a more cohesive manner. I would never show an apple tech this site. Between language barriers and poorly drafted responses, it's a wonder Apple accessibility doesn't send more than form letters.

Submitted by Jason White on Saturday, May 1, 2021

Upgrades sometimes bring new bugs as well as improvements. I've been lucky with Apple products: the bugs generally haven't been serious - no more so than the accessibility bugs you'll find elsewhere. I think I am a fairly demanding user of all my devices, so the "using it as a toy" explanation doesn't hold.

I've encountered significant accessibility bugs on every operating system that I've seriously used in the last decade: Linux, Mac OS, iOS/iPadOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows - to mention them in no particular order. In short, it's a problem everywhere. It never discourages me from upgrading. Solutions are needed, but the issue goes well beyond any particular company. Whose bugs are worse is so dependent on a person's individual needs and use cases that it's hard to give a general answer.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, May 2, 2021

Just a thought for the OP. You could do with changing the post title to be more descriptive. It comes over as rather obtuse on the Applevis homepage requiring people to click through before they get the idea.

I'd really like perfection too but I don't think we'll ever get it, no matter how many poles we send over. the best course of action, in my option, is to report issues to

accessibility@apple.com

They do listen. I agree that we shouldn't have to do their job for them, but considering we are a far smaller user group than generic users, they probably do need the feedback to action fixes, but it does need to be specific, just saying "do better", isn't going to hep, I don't think. If only that did work...

Good work for bringing it up though. We should be constantly looking for ways of improving experiences for ourselves with these amazing products.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, May 3, 2021

Frankly I'm not having any issues, and any issues I reported during beta have gone away. it is now to my knowledge 100 percent stable. Now, I don't use a braille display or large text or what not, but it works quite well, at least the voiceover part does.

If one doesn't use Braille, they are going to have many fewer problems. The same goes if one doesn't use many different bluetooth audio products (I've had to reboot twice in two days to fix audio issues). Everyone thinks they are a heavy user, and that really isn't true.

Submitted by LarryMac on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Hello:
I have tried to go to Facebook Live but I am not successful. The only way I could get it is to have a sighted friend click on the icon after I have disabled Voiceover. I cannot get Facebook Live with Voiceover enabled. Does anyone have a different experience?
Larry

Submitted by PaulMartz on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

In reply to by CMX1409

As I said, I really am interested in why the responses are hot or cold. I'm sorry if my speculation came off as arrogant. If anyone has a more plausible explanation for why some people find breakages to be unacceptable while others do not, let's please discuss and get to the root of the issue. By doing so, perhaps Apple can minimize the inconvenience of their updates.

Submitted by Christopher on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

In reply to by CMX1409

Arrogant is when people start name calling others on this form. If I ran this thing as an admin, this post would not be tollerated, would be removed, and user would be banned. We're here to help each other, I thought. Not call each other derogatory names. Suppose I called you an idiot! I'm not doing that, but let's assume I did. How would you feel. OK then! Shut up! How about for once contributing feedback rather than blessing someone out. Is my post rude? Yeah, I'm sure it is, bigtime so! But, quite frankly, call it what you will. I'm sick of people constantly attacking one another! I'm unsubscribing from alerts on this thread, and do not expect me to respond any more to it. And some of you wonder why Apple doesn't take us seriously. This is exactly why! You come at it with the attacking mountain lion, pun intended, approach, then what the F**K do you expect them to do! Listen? Seriously? Really?

I think you put your finger on at least one important factor, Paul. Interruption or slow down of work is a big deal, certainly a bigger deal to the working blind than the non-working blind, generally. In my experience, I have had to be considerably more productive than the sighted in order to be considered equal. Having a device essential to my productivity suddenly slow down or stop in any way that interferes with my productivity is a far bigger deal to me than an interruption or slow down in my access to a game or an app for shopping or dining, for example.

Charlotte? Your personal attack was rude and completely off topic. Please find somewhere else to work through your feelings more constructively.

Paul? Your apology was courteous but unnecessary, in my opinion.

Charlotte? The definition of bigotry is intolerance toward those whose opinions or beliefs are different than your own. That's the definition SIRI will give you if you ask.

Thank you all for your helpful input. I'm not sure how I'll draw it to Apple's attention, but I will find a way to pass along your feedback.

The joy of spring to all! smile

Bruce

Submitted by CMX1409 on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

There’s a lot of emotion going round aboutthis post.the original post ask us to be honest, so I’ll try to be honest.

I don’t have the problems you talk about. I have never had the problems you talk about.
My iPhone, Pixel phone, iPad, Watch and Windows laptop are all essential tools that I use to be independent and achieve my goals, in work, in my studies and in my personal life.

Because my technology is an essential tool I invest both time and money keeping both it and my ability to use it up to date and I keep it in good working order with regular maintenance. It is not a toy, not a luxury item I don’t ‘play’ with technology to keep me busy. Without an IPhone or a laptop I literally wouldn’t have the same variety of food to eatt and I wouldn’t be able to manage my household or attend university.

By suggesting it was only working people with jobs to be done that were unhappy with Apple and that people for whom it is just a toy are shielded by the frustrations was deeply offensive to me.

I thought I was being very mild, calling the commenter arrogant, I didn’t expect this level of abuce.

I should have stuck to what Malthe said. Or maybe I should have used a less female ID, then I might have been allowed an opinion!

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Thank you, Charlotte. Your second comment is much more helpful. I'm also glad you have had such a positive experience with upgrades, particularly since you rely on your devices for so much! smile.

Happily, no one, including Paul, actually suggested "it was only working people with jobs to be done that were unhappy with Apple and that people for whom it is just a toy are shielded by the frustrations."

I encourage you to reread whatever you thought was deeply offensive. I believe you will see what i mean.

Thank you again for offering constructive input, and again, I am very glad for you that you have had such a positive experience with Apple upgrades.

Submitted by Dennis Long on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

IOS is far ahead of android. If you use Braille or a physical keyboard for your way of interacting with the phone stay on iOS! IS iOS perfect no. I will say iOS 14 and particularly 14.5 is awesome.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

My iPhone is definitely not a luxury and I don't treat it like a toy. There's a lot to be said for researching a problem, and keeping systems up to date. A lot of the problems people are having are strictly due to the developers of apps not conforming to Apple's standards. Sure, Apple has goofed up, and sometimes it's big time, but they usually fix it. If you keep your OS behind, it's definitely not going to work.

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Everything on both my devices is working well for me here. I just installed the latest updates. I'm honestly rather amused by the Mac's double-speaking, but if Apple have the time and resources to fix this then I think that'll be good. I do have one question though, which some of you might be asking too. That is, why all the updates in such rapid succession? The only reason I ask is that a sister of mine needs a lot of help especially with her iPhone, and I'm not always there to help her because I live in a separate building. She has a tutor, but the tutor is not a VoiceOver user. I fully recognize that Apple is a big company with a lot on their plate, but am just a bit curious about this.

Submitted by Troy on Saturday, May 8, 2021

As for IPhone and IPad, yes there are bugs and accessibility issues, but I don't regret upgrading, I always read the posts on here first about experiences before upgrading and decide from there. If I have an issue that is show stopping, I try to roll back when I allowed. What I do have a problem with however is apple tv. The accessibility in apple tv has gone down the tube since tv os11 and got even worse in major tv os upgrades after that. It is to the point that I don't even use apple tv anymore. I mean who has time to quad tap this, tripple tap that, turn the rotor every wich way, etc. That's what the apple tv has become. It use to be very easy to use like the IPad and IPhone, not sure what happened there. I know some will disagree with what I'm about to say and that's fine but I find the accessibility on the firestick is much better. My apple tv is just a paperweight now as far as I'm concerned.
As for mac and the apple watch I don't have one so can't speak on that.

Submitted by Mister Kayne on Saturday, May 8, 2021

I did do the upgrade and I don't find many accessibiilty bugs with the applications I use on an everyday the last I had challenges was updating the birthday of my contacts on the phone app. however, I feel that was caused because I was using Google contacts on my IOS device and the both are not working well with each other. I regret to inform you that I miss the Favourites/ VIP contacts on the today view we could swipe right with 3 fingers and navigate to the Favorites heading and call the contact with much ease. Today I am wondering the only use of the VIP contacts is that they can call you even if DND is on. They need to really think such things over!

agree
everyone's use case is different and different too is their experience with their devices.
personally, I don't have any showstoppers but I can understand other's concerns with their devices specially those who use braille because bugs are like a spectrum. for some they might be miner but for some they might be serious and for some they'd be in the middle of all this.
I always read applevis's posts here about new upgrades and then decide on the bases of that.
***disclaimer: these are my own opinions and I do not mean to offend anyone.***

Submitted by Michael Feir on Monday, May 10, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

I never hold back on getting an update. usually, the good far outweighs the bad for me. I do wish Apple would somehow make certain that the basics work for Braille users before releasing an update. That should also be true in general but hasn't always been. In iOS13, answerring a phone call would result in VoiceOver no longer speaking once you hung up. It took far longer than I hoped for them to fix that. For me, this was manageable due to the accessibility shortcut which I knew enough to set. However, I cringed at the thought of blind beginners encountering this.
The Braille scrolling bug basically sidelined my Braille display for a couple of months before it was finally fixed in 14.5. I thanked my lucky stars I am primarily a speech and touchscreen user. Braille is a much appreciated secondary option for me when it's working right.
I don't think we'll get to a point where these problems simply don't happen anymore. We're too small a piece of the overall picture for that. Especially for beginners, it's a good idea to read the Applevis notes on new iOS updates before upgrading. Apple combines so many things into these updates that one really can't hold off updating very long. Also, many have their updates set to automatic and will wake up one morning to find new conditions awaiting them.
Honestly, I think a VoiceOver tutorial plus a guide to the basics of iOS from a blindness perspective would go a long way to addressing many of the problems blind users run into. I don't think an iPHONE is thoughT of as a toy by many users. I'm on social assistance and it was a pretty expensive but very worth-while investment. My iPHOnE is doing duty as my personal computer as well as being a phone. I do all my writing on it as well as reading. Because of it, I've been able to help many people in many ways and be more engaged with my community. It has also helped me do a lot independently or with sighted help via the camera from a distance.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I get up each morning with some idea of what I want to accomplish on my Mac.

If I know I'm going to try a new app or website I've never been to before, then I can pretty much expect I'll encounter hurdles and roadblocks that stem entirely from accessibility issues. There will be a learning curve. Worst case, what I want to do might not be possible at all.

When I update, whether it's a new OS release, new version of an app, or a rollout of a website redesign, I think it's fair to expect accessibility improvements, not regressions. But lately I've come to expect regressions. Old ways I used to do things no longer work after an update. I need to figure out what broke and spend my day finding new ways to do what I used to.

If I didn't already have an agenda on my plate, this wouldn't be an issue. I'd roll with the changes.

Why do the regressions occur? I think we commonly believe that we're such a niche group that we can't possibly expect Apple to fully test our corner-case usage. But lately I've come to think there's more to it than that. I don't believe Apple can know when their changes cause a breakage because they don't know what use cases we've invented with the tools they provide.

For example, we have VoiceOver, and we also have Invert Colors. I don't think they would ever expect someone - like me - to always have VoiceOver enabled, but occasionally scroll through a web page of visual content and toggle Invert Colors as needed. This is a use case that I've used quite frequently as my eyesight continues to decline, but now with Mac OS 11, it's no longer possible. They never tested it because they never imagined anyone would use these features in such a combination.

Well I've rambled long enough.

Has anyone else encountered the voice over cursor jumping backwards on the search text box and search button on the Rumbele.com website ? It also happens on other websites, but especially that one !
Cheers
Dave

Submitted by Seva on Sunday, May 23, 2021

Hi all,
Well, I agree that bugs are never fixed.
There is a bug that exists since iOs 10.3, it's a bug when russian enhanced voices cannot read capital letters as they should.
To fix this issue you have to switch to compact voices. Siri voices also have that issue.
It's annoying!
155 letters were written to Apple Accessibility, I got lots of letters that they are investigating this issue, but it isn't fixed!
And about MacOS,
I tried to use it for coding tasks, it is really difficult
The process is really slow, keeping in mind that we use nuance voices.
There is no speech synthesizer like eSpeak that supports lots of languages, so we always have to switch from russian to English to be able to read code and other things.
So I switched from Mac to windows. I tried to switch to android but I couldn't.
Well, I still believe that the bug with iOs and capital letters will be fixed.
The funniest thing that there is no such issue with russian voices on Mac!

Submitted by Bruce Harrell on Monday, June 7, 2021

Hello all.

I deeply regret to say I finally developed a case of terminal optimism, because of which I managed to timidly upgrade to MacOS 11.4. Please understand, I spend all day every day on my computer, recording and composing music using Logic Pro X and Sibelius.

The good news is that my computer seems to be working just fine with MacOS 11.4. The bad news is that my audio interface (the essential external component in my studio) has a driver that doesn't work with MacOS 11.4. In short, my audio interface doesn't work any more, and the audio interface manufacturer tells me it won't be working until July or August, at which time the manufacturer hopes to have a new driver to make it compatible with MacOS 11.4.

Bottom line? I now have weeks, possibly months of nothing to do.

I hate upgrades.

Submitted by Cory K on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

this bug still isn't fixed, where you erase with a braille display or the orbit writer and characters aren't read out when keyboard is set to say nothing when typing. this has been a bug for 3 years. Please report it if you can.

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

It will be interesting to see how universal control work with VO. Right now can not get VO to switch from my watch and iPhone when I use my airpod pro. Also the feature that help you focus on a number in a picture to call. VO does not do a great job describing things in photos.

Submitted by Mark Hemmings on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Hi all.
I ran an update for 14.6 on my iPhone SA, which I’m using now, and was unable to read anything in the email app. VoiceOver wouldn’t even focus on the screen, all it will do was read the status bar. When I rang the same update on an iPhone X, it worked flawlessly, so far as I know. Having re-set the essay, I’m now left with a curious situation that the browse the menu on Edge won’t read to me at all.
I’m not sure what’s been fixed or broken but some it’s pretty rough.
That’s my comment for what it’s worth, and about the second or third time in 10 years I’ve had serious problems with an update from Apple.
Thanks for reading, Mark.