iOS 8.1.3 - Braille keyboard feature completely unusable for Me

Braille on Apple Products

Hi folks,
may anyone of you confirm that the Braille keyboard feature that came up with IoS8.0 finally is completely unusable after install IOS8.1.3?? OK, that feature really seems to be the reason for trouble from the day on it was borne, but the release of Ios8.1.3 unfortunately has completed the disaster.

Just turn on Braille keyboard by activation of that option in rotor settings. Than try to turn on that feature by selection via rotor. You may hear the spoken announcement after selection, but that will be approached shortly after beginning. Instead of that, you will hear VoiceOver announce “VoiceOver on“. And thats all; no touchable or visible Braille keyboard is in reach.

So I have to come to the conclusion that there’s the first accessibility bug recognized by public, pretty immediately after release of IOS8.1.3. It seems to me that IOS 8 got some strange kind of everlasting blues. :-)




Submitted by Zack on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Braille keyboard works just fine on my iPhone 5S running 8.1.3. i need to test on my iPadmini when I update it later today.

What device are you using?

Submitted by Nina on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I have no problems with it. I have an IPhone six. I have used the keyboard feature since it came out, so I don't know if it would make a difference for those who try to use it for the first time with this version, 8.1.3.

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In reply to by Zack

I use an iPhone 5S thats located in Germany. Perhaps I should try to switch to US or GB location. That would be a workaround but not a reliable solution.

Submitted by Doctor D on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Everything is working fine with the braille keyboard feature on my end. I just sent someone a message using this feature, and it worked flawlessly.

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In reply to by Nina

Well, I got the idea that the correct functionality depends on the chosen language location. I'll post it here if I get any success.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I have had some problems entering my passcode on the lock screen with the braille keyboard since updating, though text entry seems fine in notes and messages etc. Particularly on the lock screen ios8.1.2 seemed to give you lots of flexibility with finger placement, now not so much. I was also unable to enter my passcode in braille in the field before downloading, was much easier to use conventional keyboard and swipe, so did that instead. Can't really confirm if this behavior is a bug or simply my mistakes at this stage.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hi Martin! Just tested on my iPhone 5C, and it works as previously. Have you tried to reboot your phone by holding down the power and home buttons for 10 seconds? My language of the IOS is set to Danish, so I don't think it is language specific. Hope you'll get the keyboard to work again. Best regards Thomas

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I’ve tested continuously the Braille keyboard feature of IOS8.1.3. It is sure that Braille input works properly if you choose the table flat position for input. If you try the screen away mode, thats the one I personally prefer, Braille keyboard mode shut down immediately and there isn’t any chance to wake it up again using this input position. All that happens, no matter if I use any specified language.

Weird question: when using the keyboard in screen away mode, have you tried changing the way you hold the phone? E.g, if the home button is on your right when you type, what about trying to type with it being where the left hand is? Or viseversa? I know the way to type shouldn't matter, but I've heard people do that and the keyboard works for them. Good luck.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hi Martin!

This is quite interesting. I use it the same way as you're saying, and it doesn't shut down here. However I have some issues when typing fast on it, therefor I've decided to use MBraille when writing longer messages. I've tried to test it from the homescreen, and I can't get it to restart Voiceover. Can you give some examples where you find that it crashes? Then I'll be happy to give it some tests here.

Submitted by Clare Page on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hi! I just did a quick test with Braille Screen Input under IOS 8.1.3 with my iPhone 6, and it worked the same here as it always has done, with words coming out correctly as long as I place my fingers in the right position on the screen. I don't type passwords or passcodes with Braille Screen Input, so I didn't test that, nor did I test contracted braille, as I tend to use the six dot mode because it has better typing feedback. I've found it's bettter to change the keyboard, as you do for onscreen typing, if you want to change the language you're brailling in: if you have tried to braille in English using the German keyboard, that might explain why things don't work so well. That shouldn't make Braille Screen Input shut down, though, nor should you lose VoiceOver, judging from my own experience. I don't use Braille Screen Input all the time, but I've found that it usually tends to work well for me when I do use it, and I'm sorry others have far more problems with it than I do.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just some additional confirmation, Braille is functioning as expected, previous issues with passcode failure, were my incorrect finger placement. I've attributed this to a new casewhich positions the phone slightly differently.

Submitted by Clare Page on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I always use Screen Away mode myself,, as I'm honestly not really sure how to position my fingers for Tabletop Mode, and I've never had any trouble with it, except typos because I'm not the world's most perfect braillist an yway, but I already mentioned that above.

Hi Thomas,
If I use MBraille as an alternative, the input itself does fine. Sometimes it isn't possible to delete previous content by shaking the phone. Pressing home button and on/off button together for around 10 seconds is a workaround.

Submitted by dvdmth on Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

Though I haven't had the issue myself, I have seen this issue reported by a couple of other users in the past. The best theory I can come up with is that the dot calibration for screen away mode may be getting corrupted, causing VoiceOver to crash when trying to use braille screen input in that orientation. If this is the case, a reset of the VoiceOver settings would take care of it, though I don't know how one would go about doing that.

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Thursday, January 29, 2015

Unfortunately it doesn't matter if I hold the unit with home button directing to left or right. The Keyboard shut down overtime if I'm up to select screen away mode.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov Dalgaard on Thursday, January 29, 2015

In reply to by Martin Kirchner

Hello Martin!

If you can not get text deleted when shaking the phone try to give MBraille this command: on a newline type the following: .set shake-to-clear on

make a newline and it should work. I believe I've seen something on how to recalibrate the braille keyboard in IOS8, but can't exactly remember where it is located on the Applevis website. You may wish to look for the podcast that covers the build in keyboard. I think it is in the comments section...

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, January 29, 2015

When you open Braille Screen Input and put it in Screen Away mode, VoiceOver will tell you the orientation is Landscape if that has changed, then it usually prompts you to calibrate the dots by pressing three fingers on the right-hand-end of the screen then three on the left-hand end without lifting the first three. I've sometimes found that this calibration gesture can make all six dots be brailled, or just some of them, but this can easily be got rid of with a swipe to the left with one finger to clear any character you accidentally brailled by calibrating the dots. I sometimes start brailling without listening to the calibration prompt, but that still seems to work for me, probably because I'm getting used to where my fingrs should be in Screen Away mode.

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Thursday, January 29, 2015

Hi Thomas,
the command line for MBraille you had provided really works awesome. Many thanks to you! I'll keep my eyes open to find any trick to recalibrate the Braille keyboard in IOS8 itself.

Again, thanks to you!

Submitted by Martin Kirchner on Saturday, February 14, 2015

perhaps you'll remember my postings here concerning a bug in screen away mode of Braille keyboard under IOS8.1.3. Now I've find a way out. Simply setup your IOS device, using a backup that should be stored before IOS 8.1.3 was released, that's it. Screen away mode now nearly works better like under V8.1.2.