What are your expectations for accessibility and accessible apps for iOS and macOS in 2017?

Club AppleVis Member
Accessibility Advocacy

In this forum I'd like to know your opinions and share your expectations towards accessibility and what are the apps you'd love to have them accessible for iOS and Mac OS on 2017?
In the passed few months, I decided to contact some developers and Super Nintendo to make Super Mario Run for iOS n contacted the customer service center last week and spoked with them through phone, they did not know anything regarding accessibility and VoiceOver. I've given them a general information about iOS accessibility and told them that many blind gamers are interested to play Super Mario Run and other Super Nintendo games, but the question was how could they make their app accessible?
I then decided to write this post to build a community that believes in accessibility for everyone. My target is to play the same games that sighted people do, not just games that are designed specifically for the blind.
If you have an opinion or have a list of apps you'd love to have them accessible by 2017 please feel free to share them with me here. It's always nice to hear from people and raise awareness.



Submitted by Ekaj on Thursday, December 15, 2016

One thing I'd like to see is a way to natively read .pdf documents on the Mac. Not just read them, but be able to navigate them too. I've been trying to figure out how the heck to use Capti Narrator, but have not had any luck and it's really been driving me batty. Perhaps I'm missing something here, but I've not as yet figured out any of this on my Mac. For whatever reason I've not received any satisfactory responses about this yet. But I recently received a blog post from my brother that discusses some productivity hacks, so perhaps therein lie my answers. But aside from that and the occasional speech crash or 3 with VoiceOver, I have thoroughly enjoyed my Mac and thank Apple for their ongoing commitment to universal accessibility.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Thursday, December 15, 2016

the PDF Reader built-in Chrome is VoiceOVer accessible and allows navigating structured/tagged PDFs.
e.g. PDFs that have marked-up headings, list, tables, etc. can be navigated using VoiceOVer quick-nav, web-rotor, etc.

Submitted by UndergroundRiver on Friday, December 16, 2016

Subject says it, I'd like to be able to read Kindle books in braille. I mean on my braille display. iBooks allows it. I want Kindle and Kobo too, accessible on my iPhone and or Mac in braille. I can only read Kobo in Digital Editions in Windows. Kindle is a zero for braille on any platform. An author I like has a Kindle only book and I want it!
I wouldn't mind to be able to play games in braille, but I don't understand how they could make graphical games accessible. Maybe they can and I just don't know. tell me!

Submitted by Khalfan Bin Dhaher on Friday, December 16, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

Great idea. I rarely use Braille displays with my iOS device, because I'm already using a big iPhone on my hands which is the iPhone 7 Plus however, it would be great using Kindle on an iPad with a Braille display. I mostly depend on speech though.
I haven't got much ideas about playing games with a Braille display on my iOS device. What other apps you'd like to have them accessible? I mean apps that you wish if they were accessible? We have to work hard together on raising awareness to developers to make apps more and more accessible.

Submitted by Ray Rucker on Friday, December 16, 2016

I would like to see more sim games accessible to the blind.

Submitted by Toonhead on Friday, December 16, 2016

I'd love to see more developers and even average people know a lot more about iOS accessibility. Just because we use it every day doesn't mean absolutely everyone does. We need to encourage developers to put accessibility into their apps right from the get go, instead of adding it later on. They look at it as a feature, when it's a fundamental thing that should be included in the app's design, right from the beginning.

Sorry can't think of a good title for this post.
Maybe we could ask Apple to include prominent info on their developer webpage about accessibility.
I don't know if everybody would read it, but if they saw a link like "Apple is committed to universal Access for all customers, click here to learn how to make your apps accessible to everybody" or something like that.
I do agree many people, including many Apple employees, know nothing about accessibility.
I find even fewer people know about braille displays and just assume every blind person uses speech.
I wish my support profile at Apple could indicate to the techs that I am Deaf-Blind so I don't have to start every support issue with an explanation of why mouse commands don't do for me.
Sorry this isn't really about apps anymore.
I would like vosual apps to present me with something other than a blank screen. I tried Mario Run and got a blank screen. No text saying video playing or this app is not written for VO or anything at all.
There should at least be a link to contact the dev.

Submitted by Khalfan Bin Dhaher on Friday, December 16, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

I totally agree with you 100%
Accessibility should be considered from the beginning of the development process, not something that should be considered and added later.
Only strong people believe on accessibility for everyone.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Friday, December 16, 2016

here is what I want to see, apple needs to get their crap together, and stop leaving the mac to rot, like it's a system that no one wants. start investing more resources on both platforms, not just iOS. by not paying attention to the mac users, apple is seriously alienating a market, that has been strong for them for thirty or more years, and for us, sense 2004. that's what I want to see my self.

Submitted by Chris on Friday, December 16, 2016

I agree with the last post. Apple needs to start taking Macintosh Accessibility more seriously. iOS is not the best computing device for everyone, despite the marketing crap about the iPad Pro. This all started after Lion. once Apple started releasing annual software, the bugs started to crop up and no real meaningful features were added to VoiceOver for Mac. All the attention is focused on iOS which powers the majority of the products the company now sells. Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but it is not my primary computing device. The best we can do is to continue to write to Apple Accessibility. If nothing is done, there's always Microsoft. While I haven't been a fan of Microsoft, there are some fantastic things coming for Narrator in the update to Windows 10 that is coming in March. If Apple wants to let the Mac rot, I'm fully prepared to move platforms. I think the Mac is fantastic, but the days of Leopard and Snow Leopard are clearly gone, and they're not coming back.

Submitted by Michael Feir on Saturday, December 17, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by Khalfan Bin Dhaher

I have no problem reading Kindle books in Braille. I have iOS10.2 and it's working fine. Thinking back, I don't think I've ever had a problem reading Kindle books on my Focus40 on my iPHONE since Kindle made its app accessible. There are gaps between what I presume are where print lines change and the like so it doesn't realise you're using a Braille display. However, books are perfectly readable for me.

Overall, I've been quite happy with how accessible things have been. One thing which would help is if the app development tools like Unity3d were forced to include easy hooks into Apple's accessibility tools. Many apps which we could be enjoying are rendered inaccessible because development tools don't make it easy for developers to tie into the tools like Voiceover which Apple creates. Efforts are underway to solve that problem but Apple doesn't control the companies making these app building tools. Developers are forced to choose between faster easier app creation reducing development costs or different development environments which might allow accessibility but hamper their efforts in other ways and/or cost more to use.

Submitted by ming on Saturday, December 17, 2016

I would like to have some mainstream games that will be accessible to voice over I hope some mainstream games developer can awaear our thought.
or apple can have a develop tools to make a games accessible...

Submitted by JeffB on Saturday, December 17, 2016

I'm still dreaming that I'll be able to play Pokémon Go. I hate that we are never a first thought in the mainstream gaming world and become something that is easy to ignore... I agree with what Tunehead said.

Submitted by Mauri on Monday, December 19, 2016

I'd like Football Manager and Championship Manager to be made accessible. These are online managerial/simulation games so there's no reason why they couldn't be played by blind users. That would be a dream for me!

Submitted by tunmi13 on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Ok, I know this is gonna sound a little harsh, but you guys may wanna calm down about the "Apple crap selling market" thing. This is about what we expect, not negatively, but positively. For example instead of saying something negative about Apple not caring about users of the Mac and the system, why not simply say, "I would like to see Apple start caring more about macOS instead of iOs all the time, and that is all you have to say.
Ok, back to the subject. WE need more sim games, there were a lot this year but they were either inaccessible or had bugs/lag.

Submitted by brandon armstrong on Tuesday, December 20, 2016

no, I'm sorry, but clearly this is the problem. why should I be nice to a company and say oh your doing great with the mac, when clearly it's not the case. this is exactly why we don't get results from apple, I think the issue is some of you, in this community settle for lack lustermediocre experiences. if we want to get results, and better things done with apple, we need to stop settling for mediocre approaches, and hold them accountable when things clearly don't work, and when things clearly aren't what they were when we came to this company with the mac. whether some want to believe this or not, let's be quite clear where apple is going with its mac user base here. clearly they want more people to use iOS for basic computing needs, guess what, they are alienating a huge vast market that has been their bread and butter for 30 years, and their are still lots of them out here who don't use iOS for their basic needs, especially if they are creaters, or artests. clearly some who say that I should not say anything to apple about the lack of good user experience on the mac have not used a mac for any length of time, so until you use a mac daily, and have done so sense 2009 or earlier, then please, don't come out here and say we need to not tell apple they are marketing crap. lets be honest here folks, apple is putting geekyness over good experience and good customer satsfaction for mac users.

Submitted by molly on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

In reply to by brandon armstrong

if you think the mac is crap try using an app on android with buttons that are clearly labeled that don't work with talkback. i'd rather deal with some minor accessibility issues on the mac than google's mediocre attemt at accessibility. at least apple doesn't treat accessibility as an afterthought. believe me there are other platforms with a lot worse accessibility issues than the mac. i am sick of hearing people saying something's crap. seriously, can we find a better word?

Submitted by Darrell Shandr… on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hello Everyone,

My accessibility expectations for Apple and 3rd-party developers are starkly simple...

As always, I expect full accessibility across all Apple hardware and software products, as well as all 3rd-party apps and accessories, for blind people on terms of equality with sighted people. It is only through full accessibility that blind people will be allowed to fully participate in society, and anything less than full accessibility represents discrimination against the blind.

First, I would like to see more members of our own online, connected blind community start to rise up and proactively insist on better accessibility that is given higher priority than just another gee-whiz product feature.

Ideas of actions we might take include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • Writing and sending a coherent, open certified letter to Tim Cook asking for specific accessibility improvements at Apple that would result in full inclusion for its blind, deaf-blind and low-vision customers.
  • Writing and sending coherent, organized, open, certified letters to 3rd-party app developers asking for the full inclusion only accessibility can bring for blind users, with an expectation of a response within a specific time frame.
  • In-person visits to Apple and relevant 3rd-party companies by members of the blind community insisting on audiences with senior-level executive officers for the purpose of making the case for equal accessibility.
  • Proactive community-based tracking of accessibility concerns and their resolution or lack of resolution.
  • Online petitions for attempting to address the most severe accessibility barriers.
  • Initiate one-star App Store rating campaigns for developers who ignore our accessibility needs.

I'm sure there many other actions we could take, if only we have the will to do so.

As I always say, it is way past time for us to get serious! Will we finally start to get it done in 2017?

Second, I would like to see Apple take a few serious steps that would result in full participation and greater accessibility for its blind, deaf-blind and low-vision customers:

  • Prioritize the resolution of accessibility-related bugs during alpha- and beta-testing, so that critical accessibility issues do not reach the public.
  • Prefer people with disabilities when hiring for the accessibility support team.
  • Provide comprehensive product accessibility training across Apple, especially for all management and customer-facing employees.
  • Impose accessibility requirements as a condition of App Store approval.
  • Include an accessibility-specific rating in the App Store.
  • Allow users to roll back app and iOS updates one version in cases where updates result in a loss of accessibility.
  • Feature only apps that address accessibility.
  • Award only developers that consider accessibility in their products.

Again, I am certain there are other actions Apple could take, but I think this is a good start.

I thank all of you for reading, and I hope some of you will take on the challenge of proactively evangelizing equal accessibility in 2017!


Darrell Hilliker Accessibility Evangelist BlindAccessJournal.com

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Darrell has a great list of ideas here, but I need to speak about a couple of them. Online petitions...they don't work unless you can get a massive number of signatures. Apple literally has millions of users. For such a thing to actually work, we would need to get people interested in signing these petitions who normally have no interest. In our bunch we use these accessibility features every day because we need to use them, they're a requirement. But for your average joe out there, they either a. have no idea such accessibility features exists, why should they? They don't need to use them. b. don't know anyone with a disability so it's not going to mean anything to them. I have found that the people who are most interested in accessibility are the smaller developers who have the ability to make the necessary changes to their app, and make intelligent decisions about accessibility. Take a big company like Rockstar games. They will never have accessibile apps, because a vast majority of their apps are aimed at a sighted audience. we would love to play, but the engine they use has no accessibility hooks. like I mentioned in an earlier comment, these developers are only going to gain a bit of accessibility if they actually know that it's going to be within their interest. The biggest problem is they look at accessibility as a feature. Accessibility of an iOS app is absolutely not a feature. it's not something that you tack on at the end to make 2 or 3 people happy. It's something that, for all intents and purposes should be added in at the time of the app's design. But I'm speaking to the choir here. But what I mean is that we need to express these ideas to the developers, so they understand that accessibility of their app is not a feature, and by not adding it, they're essentially leaving out a small, but very important audience. Lets hope that in the next year that we can get some of these developers to understand all this.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I agree 100% and Apple should really pick up the paste for it's accessibility. perhaps we should send out an audio message to tim cook and the apple team to let them know how we care on accessibility, and ways they could enhance it. What do you guys think about this idea?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I think, in some ways, we have been spoiled by apple. Going from a world of expensive 3rd party software to baked in solutions was a huge step forward for us. I'm still astounded that I can sit down with with, what is essentially, a piece of glass, and interact with apps. We shouldn't forget the amount of work that has already gone into this for us, essentially it is amazing.

Saying that, we should keep applying pressure to improve products, to refine them, which is really what apple have been good at in the past. The problem is, with more features comes more complications with how features are used in different settings by different users for different uses, there is always a conflict.

I would like apple to address the more persistent issues on mac, I'm still getting the 'busy' loop in safari whilst god only knows what is going on on the page. There are big issues still remaining... But, that is not the title of this thread, it is what do I think will happen... I don't think that will change despite our raised voices.

A new iPad or iPhone without a home button at all might be interesting so there will be an issues with screen orientation.

I'm hoping for a stand alone Siri device like the echo which seems likely and more of a generic, eyes free, hands free device from which we might because.

The massive one, which is still several years away is full benefit screen which can morph texture to applications for example, create sliders for music apps, buttons for gaming and, my favourite, brail for reading. Still a way off though and even when it does come to market, apple will wait to see how other people use it first.

The next big thing in tech will be AR glasses. Components are getting small enough to fit into fashionable glasses. I'd imagine that if apple ventures into this space, which it is suggested that they will, and with previous accessibility on recent devices, they will make it work for us too. This could also lead to some very interesting applications, especially with picture recognition technology which could describe the scene before us. There are also several sets of headphones coming out for AR audio, such as the Bose HearPhones which allow for audio to be overlaid with environmental sounds, obviously things like mobility good but also museums having dialogue on exhibits, commentary on football games and so on. The next step is overlaying information on the world around us both audio and visually.

As for games, I hate being left out or left behind, same as anyone, but I think that it is going to take some very interesting thinking to make visually heavy games such as Pokemon accessible, but then, will the game still be as fun when converted to an accessible version? I say this having started my reply with the amazement that apple made a flat panel computer accessible, so, who knows.

In closing, thanks apple for all your work so far and I look forward to seeing where we go in the future.

Submitted by Mitchell on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I agree completely with Big Cat's post. I feel like the majority consensus of blind people are frustrated about Apple's accessibility isues, but take this into account: Apple at least when accessibility was brought up, they said "Sure, why not?" While companies like Google were pulled kicking and screaming Into accessibility, and the implementation wasn't good anyways. Yes, we should reach out te Apple, but I don't think that sending something directly j Cook would ae the best idea. It might promote the stereotype of "blind entitlement". We need to come off from a "so what should we do to make this better and not anger Apple and make them regreat creating VO" standpoint. I know not everyone would agree with me, but this is just my opinion and my opinion alone.

Submitted by UndergroundRiver on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I agree that Apple is wonderful and has made great leaps forward in accessibility.
I am entitled to access products. so are Deaf people. So are people in wheelchairs. So are people with one hand. Everybody is entitled to use the Mac, the iPad, and the Apple Watch in a way that is meaningful and useful.
Apple understands that.
What I think we should do is continue to go to
Apple what we need for accessibility.
If you find smething that would be difficult to do with one hand, tell them.
People with one hand would be happy that you care about them.
If you find something that doesn't work with braille, tell them. Deaf-Blind and blind people would be happy you care.
So the answer is tell them.
Tell them what doesn't work and tel them what does.
I expect 2017 to be a year of communicating accessibility issues to Apple and working with them on ideas so they can fix things that don't work and add features that do work for all.
I'd like the "universal" back in universal access in 2017.
We all deserve it and should all ask for it.
Nobody should feel that access is optional. Access should be standard to the point where we stop hearing "access, what's that?"

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I agree. enough is enough! let's all get out their and write to apple about what needs to be improved regarding accessibility, and make 2017 a year full of accessibility promises! who's with me on this?

Submitted by Saqib on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I can't believe how much accessibility has been improved across all platforms. My hope the good work continues with Apple and Google. A couple of years ago, Apple was the only viable option on the mobile platform but Google Talkbaqck is so much improved and it's a breaze to use Android. It's great that KNFB Reader came to Android as I had purchased it for £20 and I think the offer is still there. Amazon have got it together on their Kindle Fire devices and I can use everything on those devices as well. My wish for next year is for more accessible games to be released on Apple TV as there is only one game that is on there which is fully accessible.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hi, this leads me to an example: 47 center, the developers of the roger app, wasn't all that accessible when it was first released. I emailed the devs and asked if their app could be accessible. Minits later, I received an email that an update will be available with accessibility support, and now, the app is accessible thanks to me, and the entire AppleVis community for stepping up to the devs and letting them know what needs to be improved. I Guess they care on accessibility!

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Another accessibility feature I think Apple should add in 2017 is a way of making all iPhones vibrate the time using vibration patterns. This would be similar to the taptic time in watchOS 3. Okay, so in watchOS 3 if the screen is locked and VoiceOver is turned on, you can double tap the screen with one finger in order to make the Apple watch vibrate the time. Maybe in iOS 10 there could be a similar way of using that feature.

Submitted by jcdjmac (not verified) on Sunday, January 1, 2017

Hello again, Time buzz also has that feature, but I don't use it anymore, thanks to the haptic feedback on watch OS 3. Let's also hope that apple fixes all related buggs.

Submitted by Ekaj on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

I recently got to thinking about another accessibility issue which I hope is resolved at some point this year. That is, GarageBand on the Mac. I don't know how accessible it is on iOS since I don't own an i-device, but the GB interface on the Mac seems a bit odd to me. Granted I haven't played around with it that much since first acquiring my MBA, but I am a musician of sorts and would kinda like to hear more of the samples and possibly record something for later playback. But GB and the pdf issue mentioned earlier in this thread seem to be the only big issues for me.

Submitted by ming on Wednesday, February 1, 2017

well, I think I want some exciting games coming in 2017 not just text games but, some fighting games or shooting games as well. the sixsense and audio defence is are good example. but, I think both of them i are no longer updating anymore!