Will Apple's New Swift Playgrounds App be Accessible to VoiceOver Users?

iOS & iPadOS

Hi, guys.
I watched the 2016 WWDC keynote event. One thing I'm really excited about is the announcement that Mr. Tim made about the new swift playgrounds app coming out in the fall. Apparently it teaches people how to code in swift. I've been wanting to learn swift for a long time, and I'm thrilled that Apple would create this app.
What are your guys thoughts? Do you think this app will be accessible to VoiceOver users? Would this be an app you'd want to have if you're interested in iOS development? I think this would make for an interesting discussion.



Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Friday, June 17, 2016

The main objective of the app is to guide a character around a board, which clearly uses a coordinate system (even sighted people have to count how many steps to take). So, if VoiceOver can show you where byte and the gems are, as well as give you announcements where he's moving and what he's doing, then it will be a very accessible app.

It would be amazing if the app is accessible. It probably will be. Although, for some reason, I thought that making the character find the gem would be only something sighted users could do. And that this app would be very visual, like angry birds. But maybe I'm wrong?

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Friday, June 17, 2016

There have been visual apps that have been made very accessible in the past, e.g. Solara.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Saturday, June 18, 2016

I've been testing and using Swifth Playgrounds with VoiceOver on iPad Mini and the editor is suprisingly very accessible.
THe more highly-graphical output do not currently seemed to be described or summarized, but it's possible to review the code.

Submitted by tunmi13 on Sunday, July 3, 2016

It's possible. Apple has made GarageBand, TestFlight, and their other apps accessible, so why not make Swift Playgroundaccessile? Besides, Apple said in their keynote that it was accessible to everyone, and that might include us.

Submitted by tcl189 on Tuesday, July 5, 2016

I have been playing with playgrounds for a couple of days now and I am happy to say it's accessible for the most part. I say for the most part because I've been having a bit of trouble seeing the columns and rows in portrait mode. A triple click of the home button to turn vo off and then again to turn it back on seems to fix it sometimes, but sometimes an app restart is an order. Also sometimes I am unable to enter the text field, but that's only happened to me a couple of times. It's been a fun program to use and does tell you where gems and things are. I wish when you flick over the table cells it would tell you which way the char is facing instead of doing it just at the beginning of the lesson. I also wish that when you get the code wrong it would put the char back at the starting place. As it is now you have to figure out how to either code him back and start again, or code him from the broken code onward to the end. But all in all I'm super impressed with the app. My son was disappointed that he didn't fall off the edge when I messed up the code, but he liked the graphics.

Submitted by AlexKLMan on Monday, September 19, 2016

I haven’t yet played with the program, but I was at #TechShare16 up in Scotland last week, and they had Sarah Herrlinger, senior manager for global accessibility policy and initiatives at Apple confirming this.