Please share your Uber app accessibility experiences.

Accessibility Advocacy

Hello Everyone,

I would like to hear from anyone who has been impacted by VoiceOver accessibility bugs in Uber's app updates. I am writing a story that will aim to cover this issue from the perspectives of blind users and Uber. Please email your thoughts to me directly at





Submitted by Richard P Merrill on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I have been using the app for quite some time to take advantage of service.
The following issues have been found.

1. When entering a new destination while on a trip, the area to enter the information isn't properly read by Voice Over.
The confirm screen doesn't read.
on the last updated i was able to clear my target location and enter the new information but got no confirmation that the information was sent to my driver.
2. The contract driver menu has become useless.
The menu goes away before i can choose a contact option.
3. i'm not getting push notifications from Uber on my apple watch.
The app doesn't even load properly on the watch.
4. The company needs to provide an actual description of what changes were made in the app or maybe provide a mailling list for blind users to keep updated on changes.

Submitted by Kelly Pierce on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Darrell, it is good to find that another technology access advocate is going to crawl over Uber’s ass. The company comes to blindness conventions and seeks feedback but doesn’t seem to apply much of it. I am fortunate to live in a city with two Uber competitors. I have not used Uber in more than a year. I use either Lyft or Sidecar and am pleased with the apps of each.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I documented my issues with the uber app in the Applevis directory entry. I did contact them and they are aware of the issue so I certainly hope it's fixed in the next update. I do agree that instead of just using their usual blurb about making localization changes, they need to be more forthcoming about what changes have actually been made, including bugfixes. This is the tough thing about using VoiceOver, one very small change can break accessibility. I did make them aware that they have blind/low vision users, and even gave them directions as to how to enable Voiceover for testing purposes.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I have had no problem with the app. Whether in Atlanta or San Francisco, I have been able to use it successfully. Of course, several months ago, they had some bad accessibility issues, but those appear to have been straightened out. Is it perfect? No. Does it work? Yes.

Submitted by Kelly Pierce on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I’m Seeking Effective Not Perfect

When I last tried to take a ride using the Uber app, it was difficult to choose the service that I wanted, such as Uber x. Some buttons were invisible to VoiceOver. I kept getting stuck in an endless loop and used another ride sharing service without app accessibility problems. Uber ignored written requests to immediately correct the access problem it created. It seems clear that Uber has no internal process of designing its app to conform to the W3c accessibility guidelines, despite all its empty promises. Effectively communicating with blind riders would include the location of the driver as he approaches. This information is displayed visually on a map for sighted people. Technologically, this location information could be presented in the form of an address for blind riders. Uber and all the other ride share companies do not provide this accessible information yet. The issue is not whether or not blind people can somehow find a number of work arounds to use the Uber service but whether the communication is as effective for blind people as it is for sighted people.

Submitted by Kevin W. on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I would consider myself a frequent Uber rider. I use the service every day to get to work, and frequently for trips around town when I do my errands. As such, I have a pretty good idea of the usability of this app, and have encountered no bugs within the app that make it unusable. While using Voiceover I am able to change payment methods, contact the driver, split fares, update account information, and even change destinations while on a trip. There is even a feature that alerts the rider if a driver is unable to communicate verbally, and gives instructions on contacting the driver in an accessible form, with an accessible popover message for the rider.

A coworker once sent me her ETA from within the app, and I was able to read it and timed her arrival so accurately that I was able to meet her as her Uber pulled up to our office building.

The one aspect of Uber that could potentially cause a vision impaired person some irritation is the map that pin points a driver’s location in relation to you. This is not necessarily a problem with Uber, but a limitation in all screen readers in referencing images. All I do in this case is contact my driver, a feature that is 100% accessible using the app, and coordinate pickup locations. The app also provides the rider, by default, with the driver’s estimated time of arrival. This gives the rider a general idea of how far away the driver is in relation to the rider.

When there are severe traffic hazards that will impact pickups, or when serge is likely, Uber displays a notification that gives general information that a rider must acknowledge prior to requesting a ride. This notification is fully accessible to Voiceover as well.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I am in the same boat. I don't know why some people have more issues with using the app than others. The only thing I find a little confusing is that sometimes when I open the app, Uber will pop up a little advertisement, and so unless you explore by touch until you land on an element, it could be a little difficult to close the ad. However, once the ad is closed, I have no problems whatsoever with the app.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hi. It's funny because before the latest update, I had absolutely no issues at all, just like most of y'all. But I found that, in the latest update of the app, at least on my iPhone 6 running iOS 9.0.1, after double-tapping on the trip options button, the little menu that comes up wasn't readable by VoiceOver anymore. I'm certain it was there, but for whatever weird reason, I couldn't access those options like contact driver, split fares, and the rest. So, I'd like for those folks who haven't had problems before, to please check the latest update out if you can, and see if you can access that portion of the app. As for picking which service to use like Uber x, Uber XL, etc. I have no problems with that at all. when the app opens there are 2 buttons, and by default, Uber x is selected. VoiceOver even announces that that's the button that's selected. Other than the trip options thing, I have no issues at all using the app.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Agreed. I believe that once again the original poster needs to really take the time to use the app and review feedback on this and other forum posts. I had no problems scheduling a ride and even split a fair with someone. Worked good. And it was effective and very much usable.

I confirm loss of accessibility to Trip Options. In yesterday's correspondence with Uber's support team, I was advised to remove and re-install the app. I have done this, but I won't know if that fixed anything until I request another ride.

Submitted by Toonhead on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I also had the same response from Uber. So, next time I need to use it, i'll remove and re-install the app and we shall see if that works.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

At least they are made aware of the issues, but yeah I don't have any problems with the app at all. and they warned us of accessibility issues in the latest update which is a step in the right direction.

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I saw no warning of accessibility issues in the generic description of the 2.97.6 update or in any other communication from Uber. How did you receive such a warning?

Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rarely do they post anything other than the usual stuff they post in the whats new part of the update in the app store. I as well would like to know where you found out about the usability issues that you heard from Uber.

Submitted by 1drew on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I'm a little baffled by this post. I've used Uber 100's of times. I used it just last Thursday. Everything worked great--the app is fully accessible for me and I was able to complete the ride as expected.

I text my driver almost every time I schedule a trip and tell him/her where I am at. I did that on Thursday with no problem.

If you want feedback for a story, write a story on how Uber has changed blind people's lives for the better by giving them affordable ride alternatives to go out more often to shop, entertainment, etc. Life before Uber was not fun, taxis sucked. Blind people could and were taken advantage of because we couldn't see the meter to tell if the driver was being honest. Likewise, just as our sighted peers did, we would call for a taxi and wait unknowing for who knows how long waiting on them to show up. With Uber, both sighted and blind riders can tell how far away their driver is so that we are always informed.

TO sum up my thoughts, why not expend your energy attacking a company who truly don't care. To complain that they don't work to make it useable is just not true.

Submitted by Darrell Bowles on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hello everyone!
While I have had some very slight issues, those issues for me are resolved. I have had no problems calling for rides, contacting my driver, though, I have not tried to split a fair yet. There was a deal for the SEC game between Tennessee and Florida, and one of the ride options counted twards my schools total. I was able to select that option, contact the driver, and have them find me. I have had no issues, but do agree that we should be able to see the vehicles progress, and also the color of the vehicle. Either than that, awesome experience!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In reply to by Darrell Bowles

Agreed. I think this post is a waist of time as all of us knew about the accessibility issues that would crop up in Monday's update. I'm glad this post is here but it could have been done a lot better. I probably could have done a lot better. Lol! Since all of us knew about these issues since the 28th this post is a waist of electrons and they are being harmed in the making of this post and all replies.

Submitted by Siobhan on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Accessibility is like clothes, what one likes, another doesn't. but seeing there are far more positive experiences then negative ones, I'll be sure to keep this app on my phone. come on, get real and seriously consider things that will improve someone's life, not whether or not a map pin which if you have an intelligent molicule floating around in your head, you'd realize wouldn't be accessible anyway, you're wasting time trying to get that accessible. Is it worth the progress status of drivers, sure, also color of the car. How do you know someone won't take you to the wrong place? You can text your BFF that you're in a blue acura. I am a cop's daughter so i take things like this seriously. Back to someone really worth worrying about ok? :)

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I believe just about all of us here would agree that the ability to proactively contact one's driver is a critical app feature. As of the latest 2.97.6 update, this capability was broken for blind users of the iOS app. Uber has done the accessibility yo-yo before, so I believe it is now time to call some attention to this in an effort to make sure we have clearly expressed our insistence on being able to use Uber on terms of equality with the sighted.

Submitted by Ronit on Wednesday, September 30, 2015

One thing that has been left out here is what IOS version and which iphone everyone is using. I am using the latest version of uber with an iphone 5s and IOS 8. I found that the main screen of uber is not as accessible as it used to be but I am able to contact my driver with the trip options menu. Perhaps those who cannot do this are using IOS 9 or more current iphones.

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Thursday, October 1, 2015

As advised earlier this week by Uber, I completely removed and re-installed the app.

After requesting an UBERX ride this morning, I noticed the Trip Options button remains inaccessible.

I am running an iPhone 6 with the latest iOS 9.0.2.

It would definitely be useful to know which iOS versions and iPhone models are working correctly with respect to the accessibility of Trip Options.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Agreed. I had no issues so this poster is either trying to cause trouble or making false claims against uber, or they have a grudge agains uber and its methods. I do, but I will use them if I have to. All of us except this person are hving no issues using the app, so yeah his post is pointless and was a waist of time.

Submitted by Steve on Thursday, October 1, 2015

FWIW, 2.97.6 appeared on my device last Friday, well before Uber said anything. Since they use the same, bland, unhelpful changelog for every single update, the only way to know if there were issues was to install it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I can tell you guys with absolute certainty that I had installed the latest uber update last Friday, just before my problems accessing the trip options button happened. It worked just great in earlier app versions, but when you double-tap on trip options in the latest update, the options in the menu simply are not read by VoiceOver in any way, shape or form. I have no issues with Uber, in fact, I alarted them to the issue and they were quite helpful and generally seemed interested. Sarah saw a post on an NFB-related blog, and it was there that Uber mentioned that they knew they had some accessibility issues with the app. I'm just trying to make sure everything is presented in the best way. You can find the link that Sarah posted in the original Uber directory entry here on Applevis.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, October 1, 2015

Triple tap on the button, respond no when Uber asks to access your contacts, and the driver contact screen will come up. As to the person who suggested that blind people should be able to tell what color our Uber vehicle should be, I would suggest that perhaps all Uber vehicles be given a coat of corduroy. Then we can feel the car as it goes past us. smile

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Thursday, October 1, 2015

I think it would be useful to know the color of the car. Having as much detail as possible about the car and driver picking us up is essential in order to insure the greatest possible safety. If the color of the car is only available in the picture, then it is probably unreasonable for us to insist Uber provide us that information. But, if the car color is already a part of Uber's metadata, then, yes, as a matter of equal accessibility, Uber should be providing us that information on terms of equality with sighted riders.

Keeping things in perspective, though, access to key Uber features like the ability to request a ride and communicate with the driver are critical aspects of the Uber experience for which we must absolutely insist on comprehensive, consistent accessibility.

Submitted by Nina on Friday, October 2, 2015

I'm running the latest version of Uber with iOS 9.2 on an IPhone six.
I agree with those who say contacting the driver is critical.
Usually I use Uber to go home from school and gps has problems locating certain places on or around campus. Naturally I contact the driver to give directions but with the latest app version I can't do that because the trip options menu is not accessible. This concerns me.
I am glad many of you are not having issues with the app and I hope you don't have them in the future. But just because you guys aren't having issues doesn't mean this post is a waste of time or has inaccurate information. Be careful with your assumptions and let's all continue to tell Uber these issues.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, October 2, 2015

Thanks for the tripple tap trick. I'll try that the next time I request a ride.

Submitted by Melissa Roe on Saturday, October 3, 2015

Hello everyone,
First of all, I need to say something. While applevis has had some amazing discussions on app accessibility, I don't think it's necessarily fair to judge a particular person based on the way they are experiencing certain app accessibility issues. I do not believe the original poster is causing trouble, nor wasting time. His title was very neutral in fact, please share your Uber experiences. It did not seem hostile or slanderous towards the company. While it is clear he expresses frustration and is quite displeased with his own user experience, he wouldn't take the time to write if he just didn't care about the company and didn't want to use it again. As one of the posters have said, the user experiences could vary based on phone model and version of IOS. If you are having no problems using the app, that's awesome. When I was using Uber, I did enjoy my rare experiences. Unfortunately, there are only about 4 drivers currently using Uber, and even though our community is primarily a senior citizen community, and most of them aren't comfortable with accessing an app on a phone if they're not familiar with newer technology, Uber is still in very, very high demand here. This is one of the reasons I do not use Uber, because of their surge pricing, which can be 3 or 4 times the normal price. What costs me 6 bucks, for example, to go meet a study group at starbucks a few blocks away, ends up costing around 24, and to me that's just not worth it. Not only that, but accept for the weekends of the Coachella fest, when Uber brings in hundreds of drivers from all around such as the Los Angelis and San Diego areas, the Uber drivers here have a major issue with my guide dog.
With all that said, I did have positive app user experiences most of the time, but it has been over a year since I've used Uber. While I applaud the concept of Uber, as it takes out the middle man and connects you directly with the drivers, I can understand how app experiences can make things difficult for some people. What really gets under my skin is the few people who go so far to assume this person is inaccurate in his assumptions and wants to cause trouble and waste time. While I agree that a discussion about this could be handled a bit more diplomatically, remember that there didn't seem to be hostility on the poster's point of view, but rather frustration. Just as the folks complain about him finding more productive uses for his energy, you could also do the same and refrain from making negative remarks about the person in question. If Uber's app isn't working for you, inform them of your existing equipment, and if nothing is being done to remedy the situation, put them on the back burner and use another ride sharing service if possible. I'm not saying to close the doors on Uber altogether. We should continue to keep the doors of dialog open, but gentle reminders to them to constantly look into accessibility fixes for their ap I'm hoping will eventually pay off. What it all boils down to is that everyone will always have different experiences. For example, I could go to a restaurant and get wonderful customer service, while the person sitting in the table across from me might not agree with me. Does this make the person a complainer? In some cases it might, but that's not for us to judge. Maybe something did occur between the customer and the waitress, but again, that's not any of my business. If several people keep experiencing similar issues with that restaurant, then maybe it's time for management to conduct their own investigation. Voice your opinions to the people who are providing you a service, or who aren't providing services correctly. Whether they do their job or not, either thank them or let them know of your concerns. I believe that Thank yous are just as important as the complaints. If all people get are complaints, they may be reluctant to help in the future.
With all that said, if there are still some users experiencing accessibility issues with the app, find a means of contacting one another privately, so you can get together in a group and feel free to discuss the issues with no interference from the outside. Then, come up with a list of accessibility issues, and construct an outline of what you want to say when you contact support. Then, not just one person contacts support, but everyone in the group should contact them, using the outline that you've all put together, with possible revisions. You don't have to copy the outline word for word, but use it as your guide. This way, Uber wil know that a group of people have thoroughly thought this through, and are all stepping up to unite as one voice, instead of just sitting on the sidelines and relying on one particular person to do all the work. While I have had good experiences with the app in the past, I'm willing to accept that things change, and there might be issues that I'm not aware of. If you are continuing to enjoy your experience, then Uber to your heart's content. Your equipment and other circumstances may be different from others, and in the future that could change. I'm hoping that if there are any issues, they will get fixed soonner rather than later.
I know that was a lot of talking, and while I have no ground to stand on since I have no recent Uber experience, I first off wanted to give suggestions on how to better coordinate and collaborate to insure that Uber is made aware of, and hopefully working on the issues discussed. I also wanted to speak my thoughts about the negative remarks of certain people. I care deeply for a wonderful community like Applevis to see people complaining about other people. It's true that people can find more productive ways at times if they are causing everyone else to be upset, but those who don't agree with the complaints can calmly lay their thoughts on the table, offer suggestions to the person experiencing these issues, and perhaps offer assistance through Skype if possible to see if workarounds can be achieved. All of us could be just as productive if we care and are passionate about standing our ground and insuring that the complaints don't go on. Also, ask yourself, what is complaining to you? If you are simply irritated with someone else expressing strong frustration, then step back and evaluate. What would you do to handle a situation like the one they are having? Like I said, I am compassionate about helping people instead of complaining about their complaints, when most times they're probably just having a bad day and their frustrations are being misinterpreted, and again, Applevis is a wonderful community with amazing discussions and content. Let's keep it that way. Yay for Aplevis!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, October 3, 2015

The thig is uber doesn't listen to our support. Yes they let us know ther ewas an issue and the original poster never got the message even though I linked to th ethread. That is not my problem but theirs for not paying attention to the blog wherein this post was. So again this post is a waist of time and uber doesn't listen to our complaints anyway. Go lyft.

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Monday, October 5, 2015

The triple tap trick does not seem to work for me. After triple tapping on "Trip Options," I see them for about one second, but they have disappeared by the time I flick to them.

Submitted by Nina on Monday, October 5, 2015

Thanks for telling us about the update. I was going to ask if it was worth updating to the new version and if there were any fixes regarding the trip options menu. Guess not.
But other than that are there any improvements? At all?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Monday, October 5, 2015

Maybe yoru phone is broken or you are not very fast at using yoru ios device. it's working for those of us who use the app. Granted I can't really go anyware as my area is flooded so no ride haring for me and I really don't feel like getting in to an accident. Who ever suggested the tripple tap trick if you can can you upload a demo to dropbox and paste it here so we may hear it, or submit it to apple vis if we know it works well?

Submitted by Troy on Tuesday, October 6, 2015

One fix I did notice is that in the recent version and yes I did read in the blog that someone posted on this thread Uber did mention when swiping through the options there were spaces (I'm not sure of the exact terms here but when I would swipe through the options on the screen there were spaces where vo would just click and not say anything at all, this has been fixed as far as I can tell.

Submitted by Katrine on Monday, October 12, 2015

Hi all,
I haven't had any accessibility problems with Uber, but admitedly I haven't tried contacting the driver in the latest versions which seems to be coursing problems.
However, I wish Uber would add an option for us to let the drivers know automatically that we are visually impaired and to look for us. But since no one else has mentioned it, maybe it's just me. I often use Uber when abroad and having to call the driver every time can be expensive. Also annoying. And I don't write French well enough to send a text message explaining the problem. But if you don't call or text, the driver won't look for you even if you're standing right where you're supposed to because logically, they are expecting you to find them, not the other way around.
I guess most of you use Uber in the US and so you don't have this problem. But imagine going on a business trip to Europe, what would you do?
I love Uber though! I contacted them once and their response was personal and very positive. I agree that they have made life for blind people a lot easier!

Submitted by Darrell Hilliker on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I haven't taken a Uber ride since the release of version 2.98.8. Has anyone been able to determine whether or not the Trip Options button has been fixed in this latest version?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'll be taking them this Thursday to get home from my meeting. We'll see. If not I have lyft.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I took a couple of Uber rides earlier today, and I'm delighted to tell you that yes, the trip options button works as advertised once again. Yay! I didn't have to use any of the trip options but it was very nice to know that they're usable again. This is good!

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

That's good. Let's hope I'll be able to hear the options, but that's another story and noting to do with accessibility, just mild hearing loss is all.


Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I cannot remember the correct term for this, but anyone know how accessible the option is to split the cost if you're with more than one person? I will be taking a trip soon with another person so I'm hoping this option is accessible.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

That would be an option called fare split, which is available on the trip options screen. double-tap it and if the app hasn't been granted permission to access your contacts, it'll ask to do that. If you answer yes, it'll then show you a list of your contacts and you simply double-tap on the person or persons you want to split the fare with you. They'll receive a notification saying that you want to split a fare with them and asking if they accept. If they answer yes, the fare will be split, and everyone will pay part of the fare. Hope that helps.

Submitted by Marc Baillargeon on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I have waited for regular cabs here in Edmonton Alberta at places like Safeway or Petsmart up to 90 minutes. Since February when I finally got fed up with this whole sharade I started using Uber for any taxi trips I've needed to take! All my taxi rides have been almost immediate and within the predicted time to arrive by Uber. All the drivers have been courteous and friendly and willing to assist with bags, boxes etc. Voiceover has generally worked well up to the release of this latest IOS version, for which there are a few glitches for which uber is working on a fix. Currently you cannot access driver info to see who your driver is or to contact him or her by phone or text message. I have indicated to Uber that this needs to be fixed as soon as possible because at times visually impaired people need to provide crucial info as to where they are, sinside a store for example with a basket, and that they are blind so the driver would have to identify themselves for the blind person. Other then this issue, Uber has worked great for me and I highly recommend them over any other taxi service.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

I that that was fixed in the latest update? See the comment a few headings up.

Btw you can even split rides even when someone is not in the car with you. I've done it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Yep, all that information is available again, grab the latest uber app update, and it'll be available once again.

Submitted by Anonymous on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Some posters here mentioned triple tapping to try and bring up the trip options, now when you triple tap, are you supposed to tap three times with two fingers, one finger, or three fingers. When triple tapping with two fingers it doesn't bring up trip options, it only brings up the item chooser. Is that what it's supposed to do? As far as I can tell I'm running the latest uber update on the public beta of ios 9.2 as I'm enrolled in the beta program, I've noticed that trip options has been inaccessible for quite some time now.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I did a triple tap with one finger in previous updates. However, with iOS 9.1 and the latest Uber app update, you don't need to do that. Everything works just fine.