accessibility improvements needed for Amazon Alexa app for iOS voiceover users

Accessibility Advocacy

i'm sure that a lot of people here already know about the accessibility issues with the Amazon Alexa app for iOS. I called the accessibility department at Amazon to make them aware of the issues and it appears that almost nothing is being done. The latest version of the app is just as bad as the previous version. The biggest problem I have with the app is the routines section. there is currently a bug that causes actions and routines to be automatically put into alphabetical order instead of the order the user put them in, and the re-order button does not work well with voiceover. also in other sections of the app there are unlabeled and wrongly labeled buttons and elements. I posted something in the iOS forum about these issues a few days ago but no one responded.



Submitted by Daniel Angus MacDonald on Saturday, February 29, 2020


I too, experence issues. I think this app needs a UI update, particulary in the '
skills' section. it also needs a new layout entirly, as the ap is not easy to navagate with a bluetooth keyboard.

Submitted by Josh C. on Sunday, March 1, 2020

I agree. The whole app needs to be completely re-coated and done over from scratch. it is very clunky and cumbersome. when I talked to the Amazon rep, I don't think he understood what was going on with the accessibility issues until I told him that it was a coding issue. The most recent update didn't fix anything even though the description said there were bug fixes and improvements in performance. I also wish that they would fix it so that a user could make routines by voice on the echo rather than through the app.

Submitted by Dave Nason on Sunday, March 1, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Yeah it’s not a good app at all. Amazon have some offices in the same building that I work in. I got talking to a guy who works there, who told me that lots of people think it’s a poor app, including non-accessibility users. So hopefully they’ll totally overhaul it!

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Sunday, March 1, 2020

I had not use it for a year. It is not great. The more we talk about accessibility the less is going on.

Submitted by J.P. on Monday, March 2, 2020

While painful, it is workable. Redesign is most definitely needed. It reminds me of the old iTunes. Bloated and lacking a sensible navigation.

Submitted by Josh C. on Monday, March 2, 2020

I can navigate through most of the app on my phone, but since all my smart home devices and my alarm are controlled by Alexa, I need to use the routines section more than probably most people would need to, and that's the part of the app with the biggest accessibility issues. it is physically impossible for a blind person to make a routine with any more than three or four actions in the current version of the app because they get all out of order and it is painfully difficult to re-order them. I have been trying for about a month to make a routine that will make my alarm siren sound a wail signal. This should be easy to do, but it is impossible. it is impossible for me to control the smart home devices I have with the home app because they are not supported. If they were supported I could create a Siri shortcut in a couple minutes that will do what I need it to do. If Amazon would add a repeat action to routines it would also make things a lot easier for me.