Labeling buttons & icons in apps

iOS and iPadOS

Hi all,

Quite a few times i come across that are not completely accessible or have partial accessibilitym as inm some buttons or icons are not labeled. i would like to know, if it is possible for one to be able to label such icons & buttons in these apps?




Submitted by adurdin on Sunday, April 5, 2015

If you can select the button or icon, then you can change its label by double-tapping two fingers and holding. You will hear three chimes, and then you'll get an alert window that will allow you to rename the label.

However, if the app developer has not made the button or icon accessible to VoiceOver at all, then I don't think there' sang thing you can do.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Sunday, April 5, 2015

The above poster is correct. If you can highlight the button, then a two-finger double tap and hold until you hear the tone will work. Be sure you first delete the miss labeled button information first. Then, once you have given the new label, be sure to click save instead of the done button. For some reason, at least in my experience, sometimes the relabeled button doesn't always stick when using the done button. Finally, when the app receives an update, you may need to relabel the buttons again. I don't know if this is a VoiceOver problem or an app specific problem. Finally, you shouldn't need to put the word button in the label, either. VoiceOver will announce it as a button.


Submitted by Tina on Thursday, July 2, 2015

I am using IOS 8, and I have come across apps where this has happened. I downloaded one app that two other people are also using, since it's connected with a church. Before the app was updated, Voice-over read the labels on one screen with no problem. When it was updated, something happened. Under the Media tab in this app, you'd be on the Contents screen, and the series titles would not be read. Once you selected a series, you could find out what it was and select a message.

Bottom line, in order to use the page listing the series, the buttons need to be labeled. I have alerted the developer of this app to the issue, but I can't sit back and just wait for them to do something. The odd thing is that the buttons, or whatever the controls were, did read OK before the update.

Since I am using IOS 8, and I only got an iPhone recently, I know this is an app issue and not a problem with the phone. Does anyone out there have any ideas about how to resolve this issue? Also, if anyone else has run into apps where the update caused Voice-over to stop reading buttons, how do you address developers on this issue? Thanks.

Submitted by LaBoheme on Thursday, July 2, 2015

"Finally, when the app receives an update, you may need to relabel the buttons again. I don't know if this is a VoiceOver problem or an app specific problem."

that is how this "label" thing supposed to work. when you label something, you don't really slap a label on to it. you don't modify the app or icon in any way. what really happens is you teach vo how to announce it by putting something in vo's configuration file telling vo how to announce this particular element. so for example, you have a rectangular icon and vo doesn't know what it is, you tell vo to call it "apple" when it see this icon next time, vo only remember this particular icon in the specific app, it doesn't know how to say any other rectangular icon in the updated app or when it appears in any other places.
also, when you update, vo doesn't know how to say the new icon, but the old icon remains in go's configuration unless you delete it before you update. on the mac side, you could delete these old labels easily, not so simple on the iOS side. that's why i said before labeling photos using this method is very bad. you don't really label the photo, and you end up with lots of old labels permanently loaded into the memory when you delete the photos unless you delete the label first.

Submitted by Joseph on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

No, there is not. and I wish there was.

Submitted by Earle on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Is there a way to reliably delete labels that we have made? I have labeled a button, but no longer want that label. I have deleted the text in the label, but somehow the label keeps coming back. Are they saved in iCloud or something? I can't figure out how the label keeps reappearing.

Submitted by Joseph on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Not sure if you can, tbh.

Submitted by DJ on Thursday, November 10, 2016

I am in discussion with a commercial radio station here in the UK regarding this issue and the devs recently advised that they couldn't lable their buttons when navigating the app due to the cost and yet, the buttons for rating the app are clearly labelled.

Is there a significant cost to labelling app buttons for VO users?