Issues with the new Youtube Apple TV app

tvOS & Apple TV Apps

Has anyone else tried the new youtube tv app on apple tv? It like prime video has it's own self voiceing which by the way I don't like how companies are doing that, anyways I'm trying to sign in and when I click on already a member? all it reads to me is a back button. Anyone else noticed this issue? and nothing else, I am unable to sign in.



Submitted by Kelly on Saturday, February 3, 2018

When you are on the screen with the Back button, there is a message displayed telling you to go to to enter a code, also displayed on this screen. I was not able to read this screen with any standard Apple TV gestures. You might have some luck getting the code using something like the Short Text channel in the Seeing AI app on an iOS device.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Monday, February 12, 2018

seriously, anyone figured out how to turn off the self voiceing thing? it is so annoying. and i don't understand howsighted users can stand this crap. obviously they had, or google would have done something already.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Monday, February 12, 2018

upon further research, here are the findings:
1) the self voiceing thing only comes up if vo is on prior to app launch, so no, sighted users don't suffer from this, so i think the chance for improvement is close to zero.
2) if you remove youtube from app switcher and turn off vo before launching youtube, self voice won't come up.
3) but if you do the above, vo won't read anything, so the app becomes useless.

Submitted by mendi on Monday, February 12, 2018

I opened youtube for the first time in a while on my Apple TV and found a most unpleasant surprise... the self voicing youtube app. While usable, it is definitely challenging to say the least. Looks like it'll be airplay from my device to my TV, but honestly, this shouldn't have to be the option. Any suggestions on how to make our thought on this known? Is Apple Accessibility a good place to send this? I know it is good for iOS and/or Mac concerns, but I wasn't sure if this should be sent Apple's way or that of google, who I believe is responsible for youtube.

Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Yes, I would direct my concerns at google accessibility. What baffles me is that the self voiceing is useless when it can't even read device activation instructions. I doubt that they even had anyone blind test it before they launched the new youtube tv app.

Sadly, you could be very correct. Or, if they did test it, they did not test it thoroughly and used it on an already activated account. Even still, I would tend to agree with you, as the interface is a nightmare to navigate.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

“I doubt that they even had anyone blind test it before they launched the new youtube tv app.”

if "blind test" means test by a blind user, you are probably right, but i think they did test the app before releasing. the problem is actually more profound than that.

essentially, google profoundly changed the code, so it can no longer usable by vo, that's why they add self voiceing to the app. so yes, google did consider blind users, it's just that the solution is horrible. and that's why i said the chance of meaningful improvement is close to zero. google is not going to profoundly change their code again just to make it usable by vo. most likely, they believe adding self voicing represents their best effort.

Submitted by mendi on Tuesday, February 13, 2018

In reply to by LaBoheme

Now we all just have to hope and pray this new code doesn't make its way to the phone app, because as of now, it still works just fine with VO on the phone. And to that end, is the TV code that much different that it doesn't work with VO on the Apple TV and still does on the iPhone? Admittedly, I am not versed in all of this and am often baffled as to how an app works flawlessly on the iPhone and not on Apple TV. Case in point, the game TuneClash.

Submitted by Troy on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Yes that's what I meant, I hope there's a way that google can do something so that the self voicing can read the activation code.

Submitted by Tj on Monday, March 5, 2018

In reply to by mendi

I have had the same activation issue with you tube tv on my apple tv. Has anyone discovered a work around for this problem? Have five days left in my trial. If I can't find and play content directly from my tv that will be a definite deal breaker for me.

Submitted by Mohammed Alwahhabi on Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I have reported this issue to youtube and to apple accessibility support month ago.
unfortunately no feedback. the issue will not be fixed I think

Submitted by LaBoheme on Sunday, April 7, 2019

i completely underestimated google. don't know about the activation issue, but the selfvoicing thing is gone, and the app is now clean and pleasant to use.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, September 6, 2019

Is the YouTube app on the Apple TV the same app for YouTube TV? I recall using the YouTube app a few months ago and didn't encounter a in-app voice. I know that Prime Video does have this in-app voice and I had to get a sighted friend help me set it up with my Amazon acount. Basically, read out the website I had to go to and then read out the code to enter.

As for the YouTube, I was able to sign in, using my YouTube app on my iPhone. I believe my phone had to be on the same wi-fi, but after a bit of playing around with the app, was able to sign in to Youtube using my iPhone as part of the setup process.

Submitted by Trenton Matthews on Saturday, September 7, 2019

On a related note...

The YouTube app on Fire TV,, also has this sign in problem, quite annoying since Prime works so well on there.

As someone mentioned earlier, contacting the google Disabbility folks, is your best bet in getting all resolved.