Apple has today released iOS 9.1, bringing with it some new features and improvements across the operating system.
For blind and low vision users, Apple has made some progress towards addressing the accessibility bugs still present in iOS 9.0.2.
At this point, it is worth noting that our testing of iOS 9.1 has been somewhat limited. While a majority of our editorial team has been using iOS 9.1 since September, it is impossible for us to test all devices, apps, and use cases. Though we are quite confident in the accuracy of the information presented below, it is possible that, as with all software testing, we have overlooked some changes, regressions, or improvements. With this in mind, we would greatly appreciate your help in ensuring that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible. If you spot any accessibility changes in iOS 9.1 that we do not have listed on this page, please do let us know in the comments. As additional information becomes available, we will update this post accordingly.
Accessibility Bugs Fixed in iOS 9.1
- In the Mail app, VoiceOver now states the actual number of messages in a grouped conversation rather than saying “multiple messages”.
- Fixed the problem where VoiceOver behaviour appeared to indicate that it was not possible to enter text into some webpage text fields (such as the Search fields on the AppleVis and BookShare websites).
- When using a Bluetooth keyboard with an iPad, VoiceOver now correctly speaks the available keyboard commands displayed onscreen. (Note: Not all possible keyboard commands are displayed onscreen; this is not a bug with VoiceOver.)
- VoiceOver no longer becomes unresponsive upon receiving an incoming phone call.
- Audio now returns to the correct level after being interrupted by VoiceOver when audio ducking is enabled
- VoiceOver sound effects no longer randomly disappear.
Accessibility Bugs Possibly Fixed in iOS 9.1
There are some bugs which we have been led to believe should be fixed in this release, but cannot 100% confirm. It is possible that in these cases that Apple has resolved the problem in specific use cases, partially resolved the problem, or resolved a similar but different bug.
The bugs in question are:
- Switching VoiceOver voices in Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Default Dialect now behaves as expected (the only situation where voices may not switch automatically are when you have limited storage space available on your device or poor internet connectivity).
Accessibility Bugs Introduced in iOS 9.1
- Using the VoiceOver Actions Rotor on a Contact icon on the Proactive Search screen will occasionally result in the information from another contact being used/shown.
- VoiceOver may not always automatically announce the time when you press the Power button to wake your device.
Support For New Hardware
This release will put in place support for the soon to be released iPad Pro and fourth-generation Apple TV.
iOS 9.1 adds support for Unicode 8, which means that you will now have a number of new emojis to choose from. These include new emojis for sports, weather, animals and foods, and the selection of new smilies includes upside-down face, money-mouth face, nerd, rolling eyes, hug, and thinker. If that weren’t enough, you can now give people the middle finger emoji.
iOS 9.1 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings> General> Software Update) or from iTunes on the Mac or PC. As always, we would encourage you to make a backup before installing this update.
We will update this post as more information becomes available. In the meantime, please let us know via the comments of any additional fixes or new bugs that you find.