You will find on occasions that VoiceOver focus will spontaneously jump to another UI element.
This appears to most typically happen shortly (within a couple seconds) after navigating to a new screen in an app, or opening a contextual menu or modal. On these occasions the user may already have moved VoiceOver focus from its initial position to the desired UI element.
However, it is not specific to the above scenario. It can also occur after you have been on a screen for some time. In these cases, it seems that it most commonly occurs after you have interacted with an actionable UI element on the screen - such as making a selection from a dropdown list or increasing the quantity in a selector. However, it can also occur when simply flicking through UI elements - suddenly VoiceOver focus will jump back to an earlier position.
There appears to be no clear pattern as to where focus will jump to, but most commonly it will be to a UI element earlier on the screen, menu or modal. Often this will be the the first UI element. However, again, this is not consistently the case.
This behaviour can often result in the wrong UI element being activated, as there are times when focus jumps as you are in the process of performing a double tap.
Examples of where this has reported to have caused issues include:
- On the recents tab of the Phone app it can result in calls being made to the wrong number.
- In shopping apps it can cause the wrong product or quantity to be added to the shopping basket.
- It can cause the wrong music to be played.
- It can cause the wrong setting to be changed or an option to be set wrongly.
These are just examples. There are many more situations where the spontaneous movement of VoiceOver focus can cause problems or simply provide a poor user experience.