Detailed in this post are possible accessibility-related bugs that members of the AppleVis Editorial Team have identified during their testing of iOS 10.
As is now our routine practice, the bugs have been grouped based upon what we believe to be there likely level of impact to the user experience to those affected by each bug. At the time of writing, we have only identified one bug which we believe to be serious—an issue which relates to using iOS 10’s Mail app with a braille display.
If you haven’t already updated your device to iOS 10, we strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before doing so—as this will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to install iOS 10 at this time.
As we always stress in these posts, we can make no claims on the completeness and accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all applications and use cases. Also, some of the bugs listed below have not been encountered by all members of the Team. So, please bear in mind that it is entirely possible that problems listed here will not be present on all devices or in all use cases. It is also possible that, in some instances, we are simply mistaken—or that there are additional new bugs or regressions which we did not identify in our testing. Accordingly, we would really appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 10 —to confirm whether they are encountering the same problems (or have found workarounds), as well as to let us know of any additional issues that are not on this list. Of course, it’s even more important that you let Apple know of any additional bugs that you find (they already know about the ones currently listed in this post). This post explains why you should report bugs directly to Apple, as well as the best ways to do so.
With all of the disclaimers out of the way, here are the accessibility-related problems that we believe to be present in iOS 10:
- When using a braille display with the Mail app, after opening a message, at the beginning of each line of the email, the user will see who the message is from. This occurs in the header information as well as in the body of the message. When sorting by thread, each line also begins with the message number in the thread.
- The behavior of VoiceOver focus can be inconsistent and unreliable when interacting with Lock Screen notifications. This has been most common when using the ’More’ option from the VoiceOver rotor. On occasions VoiceOver focus will not correctly switch to reflect the change in what is active on screen after using this Rotor option, and swiping produces inconsistent and confusing results. In some cases you may need to use a combination of direct touch; three-finger swiping up/down; and swiping left/right to correctly place VoiceOver focus on the expanded view of the notification and for swiping to behave as expected.
- When using the Messages app with VoiceOver and a Bluetooth keyboard, VoiceOver focus occasionally behaves inconsistently. This issue usually presents itself after one presses enter to send a message; when this bug does occur (which is not all of the time), VoiceOver focus usually lands several messages previous in the thread.
- If one has multiple Enhanced Quality voices installed, on occasion one or more of the voices may revert to the default variant and require a re-download. The team member who has experienced this issue reports that it has only occurred for them with the U.S. English Samantha voice, which was positioned as a secondary language in the Rotor.
- VoiceOver speech may stop or fade out while reading text inserted into a text field using Dictation. This issue appears to be limited to that particular use case, and swiping or touching the screen will bring back speech as normal.
- Using the VoiceOver rotor to navigate by Headings on the ‘For You’ tab of the native News App is inconsistent and unreliable.
- On occasions, you may not be able to locate by touch the Space key on the onscreen keyboard. When this happens, VoiceOver may report that you have ‘touched’ the Dictate key, but will still insert a space when you double-tap. However, this behavior does not appear to be consistent and is infrequent.
- VoiceOver does not announce the current selection status of the Love and Dislike buttons on the More menu located on the Mini Player of the native Music app.
- In some situations, the Enhanced quality Siri voices may not be available for use with VoiceOver. This bug has been very difficult to reproduce, and only one member of our team is currently experiencing it.
- In the native Home app that’s new in iOS 10, the list of people who have shared access to control accessories is read by VoiceOver as one item. As a result, you cannot access a specific user to view or edit their permissions.
- The 2 personalised music playlists new to Apple Music in iOS 10 are appearing on the For You tab as unlabelled buttons with no feedback for VoiceOver users on what they are (which is “My New Music Mix” and “My Favorites Mix”).
- If you paste text into the Search field of the App Store, the Search button itself will not become active until you have used the onscreen keyboard to make some further change to the text in the search field (such as simply adding a space).
- When swiping through a list of articles from one of your favourites in the native News app, VoiceOver will in some instances provide feedback which suggests that you are actually on the Main screen of the Favourites tab. When VoiceOver does announce these elements, they will not behave as expected when double-tapped.
- When editing the list of mailboxes/folders to be displayed in the native Mail App, VoiceOver does not announce their current selection status.
- The Delete option in the VoiceOver Rotor Actions menu does not work with tracks listed in the ‘Up Next’ section of the Mini Player in the native Music app. This should work, as sighted users can simply swipe on a track to delete it from this list.
- In the Mail app, VoiceOver will occasionally speak the "Inbox" heading at the top of the screen as a long string of numbers and letters. Exiting out of the Inbox using the "Back" button and then reentering the Inbox appears to resolve this problem.
- If you have multiple locations added to the native Weather app, VoiceOver focus may wrongly switch away from the currently selected one when swiping through the last elements on the weather details screen.
- When moving an app out of a folder using the drag method, VoiceOver does not play the sound to indicate that the folder has been closed.
- The Heading at the top of the 'For You' tab of the native News App reads as 2 separate but identical elements when swiping to move focus.
- When using 3D Touch in the native Music App to open a ‘peek’ menu, it is possible in some situations that swiping left will move VoiceOver focus to the Status Bar rather than ending with the first item in the ‘peek’ menu.
- When one activates the “Call” button when placing a phone call, VoiceOver will often say, “Incoming Call…” before speech stops as the call is connected.
If you encounter any additional accessibility bugs in iOS 10, please let others know by posting a comment below. When doing so, please provide as much information as possible so that others know exactly what to expect; when and where the problem occurs; and any possible workarounds you have found.
This post was updated on 9/13/2016 to remove a moderate bug, regarding the moving of apps out of folders using the new rotor actions method, which we now believe to be working as intended.