iOS 12 is now available to the public; this post contains details of the accessibility bugs for blind and low vision users which we believe to have been introduced in iOS 12, as well as details of the bugs from earlier versions of iOS which have been resolved in this release.
As is now our routine practice, each new bug has been given a severity rating; these ratings are based upon what we believe to be the implications for accessing and using iOS features and functionality and the level of impact on the overall user experience for those impacted by each bug. However, as these ratings are subjective, it is very possible that they may not reflect your own use case, so please bear this in mind when making any decision on whether to upgrade to iOS 12 upon its release.
At the time of posting, our team has identified only one bug which we would classify as serious; however, while this bug is serious, it is one which is unlikely to affect a vast majority of users.
We strongly recommend that you read through this post and any comments before updating—as this will allow you to make an informed decision on whether to install iOS 12 when it becomes available on 17 September.
As we always stress, we can make no claims on the completeness or accuracy of our testing. We are only a small team, and it is simply impossible for us to test all devices, configurations, applications, and use cases.
Some of the bugs listed below will be specific to a certain device, configuration, or use case; this is definitely the case with the one serious bug we have identified at the time of writing. So, it is entirely likely that you will not encounter all of what we list; and it is also possible that you may encounter bugs or regressions that we did not identify during our testing. This post represents the findings of a small group of people using iOS 12 in every-day scenarios during the beta cycle, and our testing is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive.
To help us ensure that the information on this page is as complete and accurate as possible, we would appreciate feedback from those who have installed iOS 12 —both 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 here and are actively working on resolving them). 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 new bugs for blind and low vision users which we believe to be present in iOS 12:
- If you do not have a passcode set on your device, it is not possible to activate notifications on the Lock Screen with VoiceOver enabled. The options to clear and manage notifications work as expected; however, when a VoiceOver user double-taps on a notification and there is no passcode set on the device, it is not possible to activate the notification. We cannot stress enough that this bug is limited to devices that do not have a passcode set; activating notifications on devices with a passcode works as expected.
- When using a braille display with the Messages app, if one presses a cursor routing button and then immediately starts typing text, the word "message" will be inserted.
- When using the “Misspelled Words” rotor option with a braille display, replacements do not show up on the braille display, though you can hear with speech that carrying out the appropriate action does occur. On the braille display, the word only remains highlighted until the replacement is inserted.
- The Misspelled Words option sometimes does not appear in the Rotor when in a text field. In some apps, this feature never appears; whilst in others, the behavior of this feature is inconsistent.
- There are several pronunciation and inflection issues with the new Irish Siri Female voice when it is used with VoiceOver.
- In Notes, there are duplicated rotor actions to pin, move, lock, and delete notes.
Some Further Reports
Since posting our own findings, many others have shared their own experiences of iOS 12 and reported issues that we had either missed in our own testing or which are specific to certain use cases. These reported problems include
- iPhone X users no longer receive haptic feedback when Face ID unlocks their device.
- There are many people who report that the native image description feature has either stopped working completely or that it's 3 finger single tap gesture has become less reliable in triggering the feature.
- There are many people who report that the 4 finger swipe left or right to move between open apps has either stopped working completely or become inconsistent and unreliable.
If you encounter any additional accessibility bugs in iOS 12, 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.
Accessibility Bugs Resolved in iOS 12
Our testing suggests that the following pre-existing accessibility bugs have been resolved in iOS 12:
- Cancelling the drag of a Home Screen icon now leaves it in its previous position as intended.
- After using 3D Touch to access ‘Peek’ menus in the Music app, VoiceOver users will no longer be able to locate screen elements which are not part of that menu and should not be accessible.
If you encounter any additional fixes during your own use of iOS 12, please let us know by posting a comment below.
We have been compiling these lists of new bugs for every major iOS release since iOS 7; and we can state with complete certainty that iOS 12 introduces the fewest number of new bugs for VoiceOver and braille users since we began our testing. Our experience during the beta cycle has been one where most new bugs have been resolved very quickly by Apple's engineers; for this, our thanks go to everybody at Apple who has been involved with the development of iOS 12 and to the community of VoiceOver users who participated in the beta cycle.