Panning a Braille display using Kindle or iBooks

Braille on Apple Products

I just updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 11.2. I'm not getting reliable results when panning a Braille display turns pages. I am using a Braille Sense u2 Mini. I also just updated the Kindle app, but don't know if that is a problem. Page flip and screenreader support are enabled in the book I am trying to read. Has anyone else seen this issue?



Submitted by Anna Beige on Sunday, December 3, 2017

Hi, I've also noticed this. I'm going to write an email to Apple Accessibility after I post this comment. You should also send them an email and explain the issue.

Submitted by Ellie on Monday, December 4, 2017

I haven’t updated to iOS 11.2 yet. What kind of problems are there? The only issue I had with the current iOS version is that at the end of each page in iBooks, there was a comma even when it didn’t fit in the sentence, if that makes any sense.

Also, had anyone noticed that in the Kindle app, there appear to be no distinctions of paragraphs? This may have been fixed.

Submitted by Dan TeVelde on Monday, December 4, 2017

In reply to by Ellie

Amazon's support for Braille is pretty lousy to begin with. There aren't any Braille navigation commands. About all a user can do is use existing Braille commands to simulate what you would do if you were using standard VoiceOver gestures directly on the phone screen. I'm not sure if the problem I'm having is because of the iOos update, or the Amazon app update. Previous Kindle app updates haven't caused any issues. Since the problem also happens in iBooks, I suspect that the problem may have been introduced in the iOS update. I sent an e-mail and called Apple to report issues with iOS 11. The support person I spoke with at Apple wasn't helpful. He wanted me to send diagnostics using the power buttons on the phone and when that didn't work, he didn't know what else to do. I suggested some other options to report the problem, but the technician refused to consider them. I didn't get Apple's attention until I had a coWorker in California pay them a visit. I also wouldn't expect much from Amazon either. They weren't helpful when I couldn't get BrailleBack to work with my Braille display. I recently tested their new Braille interface for their screenreader VoiceView, and I got Braille output for about 30 seconds until I changed user profiles on my Kindle. Then I wasn't able to define a Braille display to the other user profile. I think my other option with Kindle books is to use the codex program to convert them into a format I can read using my Braille Sense. The conversion doesn't always work. To make matters worse not all books from the Kindle' store are compatible with VoiceView. We have a long way to go unti we have a truly viable Braille solution for either Android or iOS.

Submitted by A. Hamilton on Saturday, March 17, 2018

iPhone SE with Focus 40 5th generation.
Panning over pages in the Kindle app seemed to work great after an app update a couple weeks ago. I allowed another update yesterday and it's broken again. I can't be 100% shure but I don't think it's an IOS issue. I believe I had the IOS 11.2.5 update, followed by a Kindle App update then the IOS 11.2.6 update. Panning with the Braille display worked beutifully over page turns until this latest app update . Reading with speech off, the Braille display sticks on the last word on the page. Pressing the pan right button does seem to turn the page as you hear the system fsound for this. However the display still shows the last word of the previous page. Using the Chord O command sometimes turns a page but still no Braille shows up! I emailed but a resounding silence so far. Please could someone advise me if this is actually the correct address to raise issues?Amazon won't be getting any more of my hard earned cashfor Kindle books until this is sorted!

Submitted by Maria Kristic on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Hi All,

I do have a work-around for the Kindle scrolling issue. This works with my Focus 40 Blue 5th Generation. When you have reached the bottom of the page and press, say, the right panning button, to move forward, or in reverse if you are scrolling up, the display does not refresh with the new text, but the page has in fact scrolled. To refresh the display with the new text, perform the Braille display keyboard equivalents to flick right and then left; for instance, to keep my hands on the display part, I will press the right nav rocker down followed by the right nav rocker up. When you flick right (right nav rocker down in the above case), the display will go blank, but when you flick back to the left, the display will refresh to show you the top of the page you just scrolled to. It’s extra work to press the couple of keys each time you scroll, but especially with also being able to scroll from the Braille display part using the right rocker bar up/down in addition to the panning buttons, it’s not too bad once you have done it a few times and gotten used to it.

I don't experience the scrolling issue in iBooks; scrolling works as expected there.

Hope this helps!