Apple Releases iOS 9.2 With a Number of Fixes for Blind and Low Vision Users

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 9.2, bringing with it some new features and improvements across the operating system.

For blind and low vision users, Apple has made significant progress towards addressing the accessibility-related bugs present in iOS 9.1.

As always at this point, it is worth noting that our testing of iOS 9.2 has been limited and that it is impossible for us to test all devices, apps, and use cases. Consequently, it is possible that your own experience with this release may be different to our own and that additional fixes or new bugs may exist. 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 9.2 that we do not have listed on this page, please do let us know in the comments.

Accessibility Bugs Believed to be Fixed in iOS 9.2

  1. This release appears to have resolved a number of connectivity issues with Bluetooth devices. For example, turning VoiceOver on/off whilst connected to a Bluetooth device appears to no longer cause that device to be disconnected; and after putting a Braille display into Airplane mode and turning Bluetooth back on, displays now auto-connect as they should.
  2. VoiceOver now again announces the time when you press the Power button to wake your device.
  3. Sending audio iMessages is once again completely accessible.
  4. Problems with the Raise To Speak feature appear to have been resolved.
  5. Owners of the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus can now use 3D Touch on the left of the Home Screen to open the App Switcher.
  6. Using the VoiceOver Actions Rotor on a Contact icon on the Proactive Search screen will no longer occasionally result in the information from another contact being used/shown.
  7. The occasional crashes in the News app when using the ‘Say All’ gesture appear to have been fixed.
  8. The Search field in the Mail app is now back to being treated by VoiceOver as a single element.
  9. The 3 finger swipe once again works reliably for moving between pages within Home screen folders.
  10. There is no longer an extraneous audio tone when using the 3-finger swipe in the Notifications Center.
  11. There is no longer a missing button label when viewing downloads in progress in the Music app.
  12. Removed the extraneous text present on calendar names when adding a new event to the native Calendar app.

Accessibility Bugs Introduced in iOS 9.2

At the time of posting, we are unaware of any new bugs being introduced in this release.

Other Changes

The focus of this release appears to be on under-the-hood fixes and performance enhancements, as there are few outward-facing changes.

If you use a Content Blocker, you may appreciate that a long-hold on the Reload button in Safari now offers an option to view the current page without the Content Blocker. Previously, this would only offer the option to request the Desktop version of the website.

This release also rolls-out support for AT&T's new NumberSync service, which enables AT&T users to receive calls to their phone numbers on Macs and iPads even when those devices are not on the same Wi-Fi network as the iPhone.

Arabic speakers in our community will be pleased to learn that this update also includes the addition of Arabic language support with Siri for the first time.

Main Changes and Fixes

According to AppleInsider, this update includes the following improvements and bug fixes:

  • Fixing issues with VoiceOver when using Camera face detection
  • Adding support for VoiceOver to wake up the screen
  • Adding support for VoiceOver to invoke app switcher with 3D Touch gesture
  • Fixing an issue with Guided Access when trying to end phone calls
  • Improved functionality for Switch Control users when using 3D Touch
  • Fixing an issue with speech rate of Speak Screen
  • You can now create a new playlist when adding a song to a playlist
  • Your most recently changed playlist is now listed at the top when adding songs to playlists
  • Download albums or playlists from your iCloud Music Library by tapping the iCloud download button
  • See which songs have been downloaded with the new download indicator next to each song in My Music and Playlists
  • See works, composers and performers while browsing Classical music in the Apple Music catalog
  • A new Top Stories section in News so you can stay up to date with the most important news of the day
  • Mail Drop in Mail for sending large attachments
  • iBooks now supports 3D Touch to peek and pop pages from the table of contents, your notes and bookmarks, or from search results inside a book
  • iBooks now supports listening to an audiobook while you browser your library, read other books, or explore the iBooks Store
  • iPhone support for the USB Camera Adapter to import photos and videos
  • Improved stability of Safari
  • Improved stability of Podcasts
  • Fixing an issue that caused mail attachments to be inaccessible for some users with POP email accounts
  • Resolving an issue for some users that caused attachments to overlap text in mail
  • Fixing an issue where Live Photos could have turned off after restoring from a previous iCloud backup
  • Addressing an issue that could cause search in Contacts to display no results
  • Resolving an issue that could have prevented Calendar from displaying all seven days in week view
  • Fixing an issue where Camera screen on iPad could be black when attempting to capture video
  • Addressing an issue that could cause instability in the Activity app when viewing the day of Daylight Savings Time transition
  • Fixing an issue that could prevent data from appearing in Health
  • Fixing an issue that could prevent Wallet updates and Lock screen alerts from displaying
  • Addressing an issue where updating iOS could prevent an alarm from going off
  • Fixing an issue where some users were unable to login to Find my iPhone
  • Fixing an issue that prevented some manual iCloud Backups from completing
  • Addressing an issue where using the iPad keyboard could unintentionally trigger text selection mode
  • Improved keyboard responsiveness when using Quick Reply
  • Improved punctuation input on the 10-key Chinese (Pinyin & Stroke) keyboards with new expanded view of punctuation symbols and better predictions
  • Fixing an issue on Cryllic keyboard where caps lock would be enabled when typing in URL or email fields
  • Siri support for Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates)

iOS 9.2 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.

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Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I can tell you guys that the bug with Bluetooth mentioned in the post has quite definitely been fixed. After updating to iOS 9.2 I had a pare of Bluetooth headhphones on. I turned off VoiceOver, waited a few seconds and turned it back on again. Sure enough, the Bluetooth headphones stayed connected, and it was just as it should've been. Very nice! This update is very nice and comes highly recommended. Apple did a great job with this one.

Submitted by Michele Barbi on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Hello guys,
As in subject this is only relevant for Italian users.
First of all I have to say that in Italian grammar, the word "maiuscola", which is the Italian corresponding for "Capital", is put after the letter, and not before.
Capital D
D maiuscola
According to what I heared, they apparently fixed the issue where it was pronounced as in the English grammar, such as:
Maiuscola D
I doubt that this changed in English though.

Submitted by Darren12 on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Seems to be a very solid, stable update. Excellent so far.

Submitted by Codeofdusk on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I think this bug was introduced in the first iOS 9 beta and has persisted ever since. When inputinG text in a language that is not the system language, VoiceOver tries to announce things like capitalization in the system language, but using the current input voice. For example:

  • When entering a capital A in English, VoiceOver says "cap, A".
  • When entering a capital A in Spanish when the system language is English, VOiceOver says, in the Spanish voice, "cap, A".
  • When entering a capital A in English when the system language is Spanish, VoiceOver says (using the English voice) "a mayúscula" (capital A).

In other words, when the input and system languages match, the correct behavior is observed. When they do not match, the system language's announcements are used in the inputted language's voice, causing some interesting (and unexpected) results. I don't think previous versions of iOS exhibited this behavior. Can anyone else reproduce this?

Submitted by rdfreak on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wow these bug fixes sound awesome! Can't wait to get this update tonight.
I hope they've fixed the VO router issue so it doesn't keep defaulting back to character view.
Yay! Way to go apple though. :)

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hello everyone
to all US AT&T users
Can you make beside of iOS devices Enhanced WiFi calls from Mac XX?
according to applevis vis one of the hight lights of this update is the following:
This release also rolls-out support for AT&T's new NumberSync service, which enables AT&T users to receive calls to their phone numbers on Macs and iPads even when those devices are not on the same Wi-Fi network as the iPhone.

I was reading somewhere on line that I do not remember where but if I found the website I update the post here.
where did not mention about Mac XX to support Enhanced wifi calls only mention iOS devices
can someone confirm if it's available for Mac as well?

Submitted by alex wallis on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hi, I believe I experience the bug with the language,
in my case I have the phone set to united kingdom english, but I use the alex voice with voiceOver.
what I have observed is that for example when changing keyboards alex says next keyboard but the the english Daniel voice is used to say the new keyboard name. sometimes also daniel says characters after you change to a new keyboard rather than alex, one universal one that is present whenever the keyboard is changed to a third party one is that daniel says the delete character for example when on the emoge keyboard.
I did report it to apple, I hope others who experience similar issues do as well.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hello Marco back again
to update about the previous comment just minutes ago
right here confirmed by apple on the web side the 3 carious of US support Wifi callings using iOS, Mac, watch OS
if you never has found the guide how to set up for
WiFi callings from iOS, Mac XX or watch OS devices here the complete guide:

Submitted by Claus on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

If you set feedback on typing to words for a hardware braille display, this setting works, only words are spoken as the setting indicates. However if you answer an imessage from the lock screen or just from the home screen, each character is spoken.
I do not know if this is the same for e-mails.

Submitted by Fritz on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hello all you great people at Applvis,

I recently updated to iOS 9.2 this morning and I noticed that in Safari when I open a link (like here on applevis) and regardless whether I use the scrub gesture or the back button, voicover jumps to the top of the page instead of placing the focus back to where I was. I'm using an iPhone 6s installed in German. Has anyone else encountered this problem? I did the restart procedure but no change. Have a great day and happy holidays to all, Fritz

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I think i saw somewhere that voiceover users now can get in to the app switcher by 3d touch but i can for the life of me not do this. If i press with one finger on the left hand side of the iPhone 6s + that i have, the nearest icon gets selected and prepared to move or delete. If i press on the right side, the nearest selected app or folder opens. How is this done if at all?

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Hi there! I downloaded this update yesterday, and I'm sorry to say that so far, it hasn't impressed me at all. The only new bug I've found, if you can call it that, is that there appear to be audio glitches in my IPhone 5S speaker which didn't exist prior to this update. For example, sounds in games such as hanging with friends and trivia crack cut off for a second or two and then resume playing. I thought that maybe it was just distortion from the volume being too high, but even when the volume was low, the same cut-outs in sound occurred.

I'm also very disappointed to find that some long-standing bugs from IOS8 still aren't fixed: most noteably the inability to hear how many radio buttons are in a group; it always says "1 of 1" instead of '"1 of 4," "2 of 4" etc. Granted, the radio buttons are functional, which is all that truly matters, but it still frustrates me that they can't or won't fix this issue. I've reported that bug more times than I can count, and every time there's a new update, I keep hoping that it will be fixed, but apparently this isn't meant to be. I'm also very disappointed in the way notification center currently works. The clear section thing still says "button heading" or something like that, and... I don't know; the whole process of navigating the notifications and clearing them just hasn't been right for quite some time. It was almost perfect in IOS 8.3, I believe, and then in the next update, it was broken again.

I'm very happy that this update fixed some serious issues for other users, but for me, it's certainly nothing to write home about.

Submitted by raaj on Thursday, December 10, 2015

Hello nice people,

Have anyone of you noticed this? If you're going back while you're browsing safari, in earlier versions, it will take you to the same place where you were in. But not now. Lol I think it's a kind of bug. What y'all are thinking?


Submitted by rdfreak on Thursday, December 10, 2015

Well alas, I notice the bug still remains where the VO router keeps defaulting back to character view no matter what we leave it on. This is one of my most annoying bugs as I like to have the router stay on speech rate.
I wrote to apple about this ages ago, so hope they can resolve it soon. :(

Submitted by Joseph on Thursday, December 10, 2015

a work around for that bug is to reorder the speech rate setting above the characters settting.

Submitted by Darren12 on Thursday, December 10, 2015

Yes, I've observed the same behavior when going back in Safari. Certainly quirky. I've found that if you position your finger broadly in the middle of the screen and do a single tap it generally reads the last link you've activated. Doesn't work 100 percent of the time, but more often than not I've found it suffices. Unsure if I'd categorize this as a bug Per Se, perhaps just a modification in behavior.

Submitted by Paul Martin on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I've been reading many reports both here an elsewhere that folks have been met with macs unable to connect to AT&T's recently released Numbersync, and I've been one of those unfortunate souls having the same issue. I in fact had representatives baffled from both AT&T and Apple regarding this. In short, I realized yesterday an article on the AT&T website was briefly mentioned. Upon looking there myself, I quickly found the detailed requirements, and my mac is simply too old. Before you suffer the same frustration as I did, I encourage all with macs or any apple devices otherwise to give it a read and check your model numbers and such.

Submitted by Darren12 on Friday, December 11, 2015

The more I've used Safari since updating, the more frustrating I've found this different behavior when navigating back a page. It's really inefficient and annoying. It also happens in Firefox and Chrome too.

Submitted by Chris on Friday, December 11, 2015


When I send items from my Mac to my iPhone, VoiceOver doesn't give the airdrop dialogue focus. This means I can't choose which apps get the content I send. This is really annoying as I use airdrop all the time to transfer files from my Mac to iOS. Anyone experiencing this issue? It may even appear between iOS devices, but I can't check as I only have my iPhone 5s and 2013 Macbook Air.

Submitted by creed on Friday, December 11, 2015

After updating, when exiting an app, the focus ends up in the status bar. Extremely annoying!!!

Submitted by Chris Hill on Friday, December 11, 2015

If you go to a place where you have previously used one of those public wi-fi networks and it requires you to click continue or whatever to get in, and your phone is locked, unlock either doesn't show up or tapping it doesn't work (I can't remember which). The only workaround I found (tried restarting voice over but it didn't help) is to open the camera and then hit the home button to get back to the phone home screen. This si with ios 9.2 and an iphone 5.

Submitted by Darren12 on Friday, December 11, 2015

I wonder if someone could explain how you can accomplish waking up the screen with Voiceover, other than using the usual methods, as the post outlines. Is this feature exclusive to the 6s?

Submitted by John Gurd on Friday, December 11, 2015

I just updated from IOS8 to 9.2 and now find when using my Bluetooth keyboard in Instant messenger that pressing the Enter key no longer gives me a new line. Instead it sends the message. In a way this makes sense. Hopefully it's not the same in text messages. So my question is how do I make a new line or is that no longer possible in IM?

Submitted by michael on Saturday, December 12, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

Hey something that's just come up with the phone app if i have a call in progress when i unlock the phone the keypad used to be shown now only the end call and hide button are there what's up with that

Submitted by mgrant on Saturday, December 12, 2015

it seems good stable update so far

Submitted by Rodney on Saturday, December 12, 2015

When talking on my iPhone 6 with the phone raised to my ear, an audio stream that I had paused begins to play in the background. I have to remove the phone from my ear, switch to the app that is playing (in my case Downcast) and active the pause button in that app.

I did not have this issue until I updated to 9.2.

This has happened twice so far, and I had restarted the phone after the first occurrence.

Anyone else experience this?

I am not sure, but I think both times Downcast was playing while the call came in (at least the second time this happened Downcast was playing, not positive about the first time). iOS automatically pauses the audio playback, the ring tone chimes, and I answered the phone.

Submitted by Maria Reyes on Saturday, December 12, 2015

I just updated to iOS 9.2 and I noticed something interesting with notification center. If you're in Notification Center, and you got a mail message or an Outlook notification VO would say Outlook, mail, AppleVis subscription, etc. In iOS 9.1 and previous iOS versions all my emails that I got would say AppleVis when I go to Notification Center VO says Mail, AppleVis instead of AppleVis. Has anybody else notice this?

Submitted by Wally Harding on Saturday, December 12, 2015

having read that this bug was fixd I was disappointed to find that on an iPhone 6, using IOS 9.2 the backup still fails to complete. this applies to both manual and automatic backups. I've tried deleting the backup but it seems as if it just doesn't quite get deleted or something. any new hints would be welcome, I've tried all those mentioned up to the time of this posting without success.

Hi! First of all, I'm sorry to say that this is also true for texts: pressing enter sends the message rather than going to a new line. I hate this change; my friend and I would occasionally send mini novels through IMessage, just to share about our days or whatever, but now, if we want to do that, it all has to be one paragraph. That's taken a lot of getting used to. I checked settings, hoping that maybe behavior of the enter key could be changed there, but no such luck. I haven't tried just entering a blank line on the phone itself; am wondering if that would make a difference. Like you, I suppose the change makes sense, but I wish they could give us options in case we did prefer the old behavior of enter. If you ever do find a work-around, please share.

Submitted by David on Saturday, December 12, 2015

I have to say that overall I've been disappointed with IOS 9. After all the hype, it's delivered very little of benefit that I've been able to discern. I've no interest in Apple Music and turn it off every time I update ITunes and so on.

Plus, I was sure it was claimed that with IOS 9, updates would be smaller and quicker. So why, when I selected to update to 9.2, did it download 1.82Gb of data? That's neither small nor quick.

I can't think of any of the changes in IOS 9 that I've found to be positive. I've not even noticed any particular performance improvements. That's not to say performance is poor, just that I didn't have any noticeable performance issues before, and still don't. Battery life seems much the same too. There are a few functionality changes that have made things worse in my opinion, especially the move of audio books from the Music to the IBooks app.

So all-in-all, I'm not terribly impressed with IOS 9. A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing for me.

Submitted by charles on Saturday, December 12, 2015

In reply to by David

The size of firmware 9.0 is much smaller than previous files, and this was a good feature for those who upgrade through their iDevice rather than through iTunes on their computer, which do not advise. Also, to me, it makes sense to arrange books in the book folder rather than in a music. They are, after all, books. My iPhone 6 does perform faster after going to 9.0, and another very much wanted feature was added. You can now delete all Emails from the inbox at once rather than having to delete them one by one.

I'm sure you are not alone in your views. However, none of the points you made have altered my own. Firstly, 1.82Gb is still way too big for a minor update. The whole hype around IOS 9 was that updates would be smaller and quicker. No mention of only if you're doing it over the air. But even if you think the firmware update was small, the update also includes software updates, which weren't. But hey, you may not feel it's too large and that's fine. Second, what I listen to are not actually audio books. They are audio dramas and other audio content (not music admittedly) but not books. But it wasn't the conceptual move I was objecting to. It was the loss of functionality. for example, I can no longer sync my audio dramas to my Apple Watch, which I enjoyed listening to while out walking during my lunch break. Again, it's not the end of the world, but to me, is not an improvement. Once more, this won't affect others and that is of course fine. I'm glad you're getting performance improvements. But, regardless, I'm not. So for that reason, I'm not impressed with IOS 9. Maybe I was getting outstanding performance from my device beforehand, and so no real improvement on that could be expected. I doubt it, but it's what happens when expectations are raised. Now don't get me wrong, as usually seems to happen if someone isn't particularly positive about something. I'm *not* saying IOS 9 is rubbish or doesn't work. Clearly it works and does what a lot of people want. I'm just saying that I'm disappointed with it. Others' mileage may and probably does, vary. That's fine.

Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Saturday, December 12, 2015

In reply to by David

Although my issues with IOS 9 aren't the same as yours, I feel disappointed in this update as well. Apple claimed that a lot of bugs would be fixed, and maybe a bunch of under-the-hood stuff truly has been improved, but to still have bugs that have existed for over a year is frustrating beyond belief. Maybe 9.3 will really amaze us or something, or perhaps we should just start looking ahead to IOS 10.

Just to show that I always try to find a silver lining even in the midst of complaining, I have to say that despite the issues that still annoy me on a daily basis, at least IOS 9 is better/more stable than 8 ever was, at least for me.

Submitted by Darren12 on Saturday, December 12, 2015

After some consideration I'm a little disappointed with this update. It introduces some retrograde behaviors as others have pointed out, Safari, probably the most significant for me, and of course I've written to Apple accessibility. As normal, the accessibility team have been fantastic, and will doubtless resolve some of the minor but nevertheless annoying issues introduced in this update. Ultimately, they shouldn't exist. Overall, I've noticed negligible performance improvements, but it is unquestionable that it is better than 8 ever was at this stage. Generally I'm satisfied with ios9, the news app is worth the upgrade alone in my view.

Submitted by Brian on Sunday, December 13, 2015

Greetings everyone,
New poster here, so be gentle..
A couple silly quirks I have found in iOS 9.2 are as follows:
-In Settings > Sounds; if you go to either "classic" list of tones, the last 2 tones will not be spoken by VoiceOver. A workaround is to select the tone in question and then back out of the list. Immediately re-enter the classic list and BoiceOver will speak the names of said tones as intended.
- Not sure if this is iOS 9.2 exclusive, but the enhanced Samantha voice cannot seem to pronounce "Cap B" properly as it sounds like "Cap V".
Finally for a tip:
Try using Option plus Enter when using a keyboard on mac/iOS. :-)

Submitted by David on Sunday, December 13, 2015

Since the 9.2 update, my IPhone is always asking me for my credentials. This never used to happen before this latest update. Really annoying. More annoying than being asked to enter my pin number every 48 hours when I have a perfectly functional TouchID. Security is one thing. Annoying the user to the point where they want to stop using the darn thing is another.

Hoping this is just something I need to tweak to stop happening, although I've not found a settting to do so yet.

Thank you very much for sharing about option enter. Provided I can remember to use it, of course, it sounds like this should enable me to go back to writing aimleslly rambling IMessages! *smile*

Submitted by creed on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I have mentioned this but am wondering if anyone else is experiencing this?
When leaving an app, the focus lands up in the status bar.
Any suggestions for a fix for this?

Submitted by kingdekka on Monday, December 14, 2015

I have noticed that ever since I upgraded to iOS 9.2, I get double letters and when I hit the space bar i get a period. My keyboard has been rendered useless. An edit. I've changed the inhanced voiced to alex, and the keyboard works like it should. That means, that the Samantha voice, is a bug in itself.1 more edit. Then I'm done stomping on Samantha. That voice glitched my whole system. I had to turn off wi-fi, and everything. When i switched to Alex, everything, and I mean Everything, went back to normal. No problems, no glitching, nothing.

Submitted by Darren12 on Monday, December 14, 2015

After an acknowledgement from the accessibility team regarding the unusual behavior of Safari in 9.2, I fully expect a fix in a subsequent update as soon as they can reasonably address whatever caused the unexpected behavior initially. I'm a little surprised that this issue in particular, and some others commented upon here, made it through the public beta. However, it helps enormously when the individuals responsible acknowledge there's an issue, are responsive and communicative, and promise to deal with the problem.