Braille displays and IOS issues

Braille on Apple Products

Hi all,

This topic has probably been done and overdone in this space. I understand that Apple keeps promising improved Braille support after it went down with the introduction of IOS 8. But I am still experiencing difficulties. I work with both an iPhone 6 and an iPad, and with both devices my Braille display freezes altogether or freezes but puts in one letter repeatedly before getting stuck. I have a Focus 40 and a Braille Note Apex. I test aps as a part of my job and find this disruptive. Any suggestions? Is there anything I can do here?



Submitted by Anna Beige on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This actually just started happening to me yesterday. I was used to the letters I type to take a bit to show up on the phone, but yesterday, my Refreshabraille 18 totally froze with the phone. Then it got disconnected. I had to un-pair it, then restart the phone with the home and lock buttons, then re-pair it. I don't know why it just started for me yesterday, but it is so annoying, and disruptive, seeing as I use my display most of the time with my iPhone 6. Has your display gotten disconnected, too, or just froze? What did you have to do to un-freeze it?

Yes, exactly. The phone/iPad doesn't usually freeze, but the display will get stuck or freeze altogether. I usually lock the screen and then disconnect the Braille display. If I'm using my Braille note I can just exit out of terminal mode. I just wish there was something I could do to improve Braille support because I love using Braille with my phone, especially when I can turn speech off and only use the Braille to text or email.

Yes I have been experiencing the same problem with my Brailliant, iPhone and iPad. When I am typing an email adding a Twitter post, using Facebook, etc my Brailliant freezes while typing and I have to turn my brailliant off, close my iPhone and iPad and then switch the Brialliant back on and sync again with my iPhone or iPad. This is so frustrating as you want to reply to an email write a Tweet, etc but you can't.
I thought it was just me and hope that an update will come soon to sort this out.

Submitted by kithri on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've had a similar situation with my iPod and my braille sense, but not freezing. For some reason when typing on my braille display connected to my iPod, not all letters will show up in edit fields like for inputting passwords or just messaging in general. I did unpare the 2 and then repare, but its still happening. I can control the braille display with the Pod, but typing in letters/numbers on the braille that should show up in the edit fields on the Pod are not showing for some reason and I have it set in terminal mode in grade 1 uncontracted. Plus with passwords, it should show the braille dots 3-4 as in the ST sign on braille display, but it is showing the letters instead and not inputting them in the edit field/not showing up on the pod.

I haven't really got a fix for any of it yet and the people at the HIMS company that produce the Braille Sense U2 aren't much help either. So annoying!

Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, April 1, 2015

This sounds like it's not the display, but it is an apple related bug. I would contact there accessibility email address, and give them as much info on this problem as you can, so that way they can troubleshoot it on there end. Like I said earlier, this sounds like an apple bug, not the bug with a particular display. I don't know, as I don't use braille whatsoever on an iOS device.

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hi. Am working with a student who has a Focus 14 and an iPhone 5S. When typing a message, she wants to edit a word. For instance, we type the word Making and leave out the A. when putting the A back in, we focus the routing button in the proper place, press the A, and all that shows up on the display is the A. the word making is not expanded when pressing the routing buttons. The display just freezes and nothing happens until we press the spacebar. Any ideas what might be happening here? I do not experience this using my RefreshaBraille.


Submitted by Rammland on Friday, August 21, 2015

Hi All, As I said I'm a newby and I've only had my IPhone 5S 32Gb for a little while. I have a Brailliant BI 40 which I'd love to use to control my phone so that I can use it without speech when I want to.
The first time I paired by bluetooth everything seemed to go really well and I was very excited about all the things I could do with the phone using the Brailliant as a control device. However, after a short time, the Brailliant just beeped and dropped back into it's menu. The phone said it was not connected. I told the phone to forget the device and started again from scratch, but haven't managed to pair the display again yet.
Can anyone help?
Talk soon, John

Submitted by Kerby on Friday, August 21, 2015

Did you pair it going into braille settings under voiceover settings? I'm only asking because many people make the mistake and assume you can pair it using the traditional blue tooth way.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Saturday, August 22, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

hi. i am experience this.
i have VarioUltra braille display, and all the time my braille display had disconnected and i need to lock the screen and open in again.
I thoth that my problem related to VarioUltra and now i see that it'sn't.
varry annoying!

Submitted by Bertil on Saturday, August 29, 2015

When i use a language other than English, my braille table reverts back to English in certain situations. It happens with certain websites in safari. It happens in iBooks but only with epub files, not with pdf files. It doesn't happen in Kindle. Has any other multilingual person noticed this?ΓΏ It didn't happen in iOS 7.

Submitted by Maria Reyes on Monday, September 14, 2015

Try turning off your braille displays and turning them back on.

I also have a braillant BL 40, but I have huge lag when I'm typing braille directly; I type on the braillant I have to wait about 4 to 5 seconds for the letter to display on screen. Do you also have this issue ?


Submitted by peter on Friday, March 10, 2017

The problems with braille displays could either be related to Apple and iOS or the problems could be related to the manufacturer of the braille display and the quality of the driver they produced. Seems like it is likely to be an issue with the OS on Apple's behalf since a number of braille devices seem to be having similar issues. On the other hand, I would guess that the manufacturers each develop their own drivers that they pass along to Apple and the problem could be in the drivers and/or how the mnanufacturer interpreted Apple's specs.

How does one distinguish issues related to the OS or the manufacturer's driver? perhaps complaints and bug reports should be directed to both Apple and the device manufacturers. If the manufacturers of devices have enough complaints from customers then they will be incented to push back on Apple until a satisfactory resolution is reached.

Submitted by Maldalain on Friday, March 10, 2017

Well not sure if there are who have the same issue. On my iPad Pro I am unable to get braille work properly. Pairing, impairing and re-pairing is very annoying and it requires almost 30 minutes to get my braille devices working fine. First if the screen is locked nothing seems to get braille working except impairing and re-pairing again. Second, braille input and output is too slow. I use the BrailleSense U2, U2 Mini and Brailliant2 and they are all having the same issues. Therefore, I don't believe this is device-driver issue, but it is Apple who should work on revamping braille support> I use an Android phone and it has never failed me to connect my device. Things are quite good and braille input/output is great.

Submitted by Tristan Bowen on Monday, August 31, 2020

Yes I'm also having issues. I have an IPhone SE2, and when I try and connect the Focus 40, it says that this device is not supported. I have IOS 13.6.1. I have a focus 14 which works fine, but would like to be able to use the Focus 40.