What is direct touch?

iOS and iPadOS

Hello Everyone,
I noticed that in the new Ios 14 there is a new feature in Accessibility (infact, is the last one that we find inder Accessibility/ VoiceOver) called "Direct touch", but I have no idea what does it do, please, could someone tell me what is it?, is there in this new upgrade any other accessibility new feature?. Many thanks in advance.



Submitted by Squirrel on Tuesday, February 2, 2021

From https://www.applevis.com/blog/updated-important-warning-braille-display-users-apple-releases-ios-144-and-ipados-144-bringing

For those unfamiliar with Direct Touch, it's a way in which developers can tell VoiceOver to ignore touch events in part or all of an app's screen so that the app can handle those touch events directly. Examples include virtual instruments, exploring a map by touch, interpreting touches and gestures in a game, and so on.

Submitted by dvdmth on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Club AppleVis Member

Apps have been able to utilize the direct touch feature for years now. As described above, an app can designate a portion of the screen as having direct interaction, which tells VoiceOver to ignore gestures made in that section of the screen, allowing the app to interpret the gestures directly.

What's changed is that you can now enable or disable the direct touch feature on an app by app basis. If you disable direct touch for an app, then VoiceOver will always interpret gestures made within the app, regardless of whether or not the app has designated any part of the screen for direct interaction. You may want to do this if an app abuses the direct touch feature, enabling it in a portion of the screen that interferes with how you intend to use the app. I have not encountered any apps where this would be a problem, but if such an app were to show up, then this provides a way to work around the app's behavior and hopefully make it more usable.

Submitted by Jo Billard on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

I think I'm having a problem with this. As far as I can tell, direct touch is enabled, but with one of my games I keep ending up in the control center, or the notification center if one comes in, and hitting the home button won't take me out and back in to the game. I have to hit the side button, then double tap where it says open home button because it simply doesn't work. Is this because my phone is too old, or is there something I can do to keep control center out of the game?

Submitted by Remy on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

I've mentioned this before, but for years I've been wanting a way to disable voiceover in an app without explicitly disabling voiceover. I have a little residualsight and can competently navigate visually. I just can't read anything. Considering how annoying voiceover has always been to scroll with (in comparrison to it being off I mean) I'd love the ability to toggle full direct touch. I see now this is partially done, and I'd love there to be an option to enable and disable direct touch for all apps. I bet this could be done, if there was enough interest in it.

Submitted by SilverMoon on Thursday, February 4, 2021

Hey so then is there a way to look at direct touch settings and make sure it's on always for a specific app? I have the latest ios and I don't see the direct touch settings under accessibility voice over. Is it somewhere else maybe? Thank you so much, hope you all have a lovely day.

Submitted by musicjunky on Thursday, April 8, 2021

I had an app on my phone for a while that I just never used. The other day, I finally got around to playing with it. I created my account and got it set up just fine. But then I was greeted with, "direct touch area. Use the rotor to enable direct touch for this app." But I can't even use the rotor unless I go out of the app, go back in and very quickly try to do the gesture, then very quickly swipe down to enable it. And I still can't do anything with the app! Whatever happened to just swiping and tapping? This is all so convoluted!