Concerns About M1 MacBook Pro 13

macOS and Mac Apps

Hi all,

Since the new M1 MacBook Pro is out now, I have a few questions and concerns about usability.

• Will apps running under Rosetta be accessible? And if so, how good or bad is it?
• When running iOS/iPadOS apps, can you navigate them with standard VO commands, or is it strictly just the Trackpad Commander?

Thanks in advance and have a nice day.



Submitted by Tyler on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

From what I understand, if an app is accessible with VoiceOver on an Intel-based Mac, it should also be accessible using Rosetta.

Regarding the accessibility of apps designed for iPhone and iPad, I think it really depends on the app, as users have reported a wide range of impressions, some positive and some negative.

I should note that I do not have a Mac with Apple Silicon, but have tried to keep on top of reports from early adopters of the new chip to help inform my thinking for the future.

I know that Intel-based apps are definitely accessible under Rosetta2. As for iOS apps, VO commands should work like they do with a keyboard paired to an iOS device, modulo the differences like VO Command Space for custom actions instead of the rotor. What might not work are keyboard navigation commands that are not VO specific, like tab or arrow keys. That, however, is true even for iPad apps ported to the Mac via Catalyst, so not much difference there.

Submitted by Squirrel on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

There are no reasons for your concerns.

There's zero reason why an application running under Rosetta would offer a different level of accessibility.

As for iOS apps, the harsh reality is that the limited number of good and actively developed apps available on the Mac right now - and providing a positive experience - is relatively so small that you simply should not factor it in to any purchase decision.

I've gone through the complete list of every iOS app that I've downloaded over the past 10 years, and 99% of these which are available on the Mac are essentially abandonware. Of the apps I like and routinely use on iOS, there's only one (Overcast) where the developer has opted to make it available on the Mac.

Submitted by Eric Davis on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

All the apps that I have tried have worked just fine. I got my Mac about five days ago. I haven't had a moment of trouble with any of the apps that I have not caused myself. I have apps from my iPhone that say they cannot verify them to work on a Mac but, they work just fine. Accessibility seems to be well set up within these apps. I am able to successfully navigate and use these apps with both the keyboard and trackpad on my Mac. Suffice it to say, I am rather impressed with the implementation of the accessibility within the Mac and the apps related to the iPhone iPad and Mac.

Submitted by Joe on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

The biggest issue I see when using iOS apps on Mac is that apps that use the system voice don't often translate over well. For example I loaded the blindfold games and they just get crazy and ridiculous when trying to play them. Also some of the actions that require iOS specific actions such as two finger or three finger adjustments don't seem to work with voiceover on or off in some of the games. That being said since the games really don't play well anyway it's sort of a moot point but the apps that actually do work work super well! I record of the podcast I stuck on here demonstrating a few of these things last week!