Cellular Bar Indicator: Where is the Correct Announcement?

iOS & iPadOS

I once addressed this bug under the topic of "bugs found in iOS 11" when the software was initially released, but I thought I would post a separate dedicated thread to further voice this persistent bug. As some users might have heard on YouTube or via sources like MacRumors, Apple reverted back its cellular signal bar to the old, four out of four bar style, and some users who have used iPhones prior to iOS 7 may recognize this form of cellular indicator. Apple went back to this representation with a release of iOS 11, possibly to accommodate the thinner, more compact status bar for the iPhone X. No, this isn't just for the iPhone X either, but instead it's shown the same way for all the devices that is able to receive the cell signal, possibly for a more unified look. However, VoiceOver users, including myself were never informed of this change, as it still says "3 of 5 bars" for example, despite the visual change. We are at the latest 11.1 software, and this mislabeling have not been addressed. I believe it's a simple bug, so for those who have noticed, please let Apple accessibility team know at accessibility@apple.com
This is an article from Apple Insider, which specifically discusses this visual change in iOS 11, just to prove it.



Submitted by TJT 2001 on Friday, November 3, 2017

I feel sure I've heard VoiceOver say 3 out of 5, 4 out of 5 and 5 out of 5 while running iOS 11. I haven't been anywhere where it could be a 1 or 2 out of 5, but maybe you or someone else can verify if VoiceOver can report the status as a 1 or 2.

Submitted by Siobhan on Friday, November 3, 2017

Hi. My coverage isn't wonderful, so I use wifi calling. Anyway I always have 2 out of five bars. I think what the original person meant, was aple now treats the call status as it does wifi on a mac. four out of four bars, but if they do that, then why not just bring the four out of four bars to the wifi on the status bar too?

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, November 3, 2017

Are you saying that the cell signal displays only a maximum of 4 bars now? So, when Voiceover reports 4 of 5 bars, that's full strength cell signal? It's not possible to ever achieve a 5 of 5 bars signal? If that's what you're saying, then that does seem like a Voiceover bug, albeit a minor one.

yes you are correct. The maximum visually represented indicator shows the maximum of four bar, as suppose to 5. Therefore if the VoiceOver reports say "4 of 5 bars" that would mean that you are getting the maximum coverage for your data. I highly advice you to checkout the article from AppleInsider within my initial post, and if you are in an area where you get a good signal, I would also advice you to move to that area and see where your bars falls into. I am on AT&T's network where I use to get the full "5 of 5" bars in iOS 10, and it now says "4 of 5 bars" which I would know I am getting the full coverage. Again, a very small bug but definitely a confusion in the announcements and for those who are unaware of this problem.

Submitted by Seyoon Choi on Friday, November 3, 2017

In reply to by TJT 2001

I have not once heard VOiceOVer saying "5 of 5 bar" on iOS 11 on my phone. I am on AT&T's network where in my area I am typically able to get an excellent coverage once I'm out and about or by stepping outside of my house, the other bars seem to remain the same but I have never once heard it saying "5 of 5 bars" in places where I normally use to on iOS 10.