Advocacy Assistance with DirecTV App Issue

iOS and iPadOS
Dear Applevis Community, As many may be aware the most recent DirecTV app update rendered the iPhone app totally inaccessible. I have attempted to reach DirecTV’s app developer(s)/engineer(s) to explain the issue and how it is affecting the visually impaired community. DirecTV will not allow me to contact the app developer(s)/engineer(s) directly. The best I have been able to do is contact the Office of the President. Their representative forwarded my concerns to the app engineer(s) on my behalf. Although I didn’t receive an actual response from the engineer, the representative summarized their response as follows…. Summary: It was not our intent for our app to work with the accessibility feature. We design our app using native elements for design and function. It was recently updated to remain consistent across all platforms and although still works, not to the expectations of the user. At this time, we have no information as to when or if we will be making the necessary changes to make our apps fully compatible. Based on this information I would like to ask the Applevis community to assist me in continuing to contact DirecTV and advocating the need to fix the latest update so it’s accessible. And to request that they include accessibility functionality in the app on an ongoing basis. I would also like to ask that everyone pass this request along to other visually impaired individuals and discussion groups. That way we can show DirecTV that we are a large community and shouldn’t be ignored or left out when this or any other app is created, changed &/or enhanced. Steps for Contacting Direc TV’s Office of the President via the Website: Note: I used JAWS on the website and it read the elements well. Access DirecTV’s website at Locate and click the “our company” link at bottom of the page. Locate and click the “executive team” link on the our company page. Locate and click “Ellen Filipiak”, Senior VP Customer Care link on the executive team page. This will open a page with form fields to send an email message. Note: There is no “capsha” to deal with in order to send the message. Note: If you don’t have a phone number tied to a DirecTV account, just use whatever phone number you are comfortable providing. I filled in 999-999-9999- under the “alternate phone number field to ensure the message would be sent since I didn’t have an alternate # to provide. FYI, You can send a letter via “snail” mail to the following individuals: Michael White, CEO DirecTV Inc. P.O. Box 6550 Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550 AND TO Romulo C. Pontual, EVP & Chief Technology Officer DirecTV Inc. P.O. Box 6550 Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550 I appreciate everyone’s assistance with this matter. Hopefully DirecTV will acknowledge that this is an important issue that they must address quickly. Thank you, Adam Lawrence



Submitted by Mello on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hello: I started working this problem a week or so ago, here is a link to some of the emails and other info I posted here on apple vis. a few of us are comunacating over twitter about this, my twitter name is melloinseattle we need to work together :) Thanks, and thanks for contacting Directv!

Submitted by Rick Alfaro on Thursday, September 12, 2013

Try the following to see if you get back the accessibility that you had in the previous version. 1. When you first open the app, you will get a screen that presents absolutely nothing to VoiceOver. Turn off VO using triple click home. 2. With VO turned off, tap somewhere on the screen, you might have to try different places to tap on. 3. Doing this should get you into the app which is very accessible. Understanbd that I'm totally for contacting DirecTV as this new graphical intro screen is totally unuseable unless one is aware of this work around. My comment here is to just help you get past it and use the app as before. Let us know if it works for you.

Submitted by Adam on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mello; I will check out the info. in the link you provided. Rick; Thanks for the "work around". I will hang on to the info. I was able to "roll back" to my previous DIRECTV app and am using it for now. However if DIRECTV (as HBO To Go has done) forces an update at some point, this info. will come in handy. Again thanks to both of you for your comments and assistance. Maybe at some point the Applevis community can initiate a "campaign of the month" on this issue. Regards, Adam

Submitted by Sarah on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A friend of mine has the direct TV app. I do not have the service, and here is what she wrote about her experiences. I hope this helps somebody. She said she has the latest version. I have Direct Tv and use the Direct Tv application on my iPhone 5. I am able to use the application to see what is on tv. If you when you launch the application, you flick over to the top left corner and tap on the button that says "header menu icon." Then you go to the button that says "guide." You can then view by date and time, General number, If you double tap on the view by date and time, you can change to view by Channel number. If you want to see what is on a Channel at a different time, you can use the time picker using the "icon left and icon right" buttons. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Darrell Bowles on Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hello, Are you able to record on the DVR using the phone? And, what other problems have been encountered? Thanks, Darrell