Since upgrading to Safari v15 on Mac, I encounter VoiceOver announcing "busy" much more frequently. My specific version is 15.0 (16618.104.22.168.4, 16612).
This doesn't seem to be a network issue. I have enough remaining low vision to see that a page has loaded and its content is displayed visually. Still, if I try to navigate the page with VoiceOver, I hear "busy" for every key press. If I try to refresh the page with Command+R I hear "busy". If I try to close the page with Command+W I hear "busy". If I try to turn VoiceOver off with Command+F5, I hear "busy".
If I Alt+tab away to another app, I can turn VoiceOver off, then return to Safari and try using the web page as a sighted person. This is much less feasible than it once was due to my nearly non-existent eyesight. However, it's an indication that the issue is specific to VoiceOver and not something broke within Safari per se.
Anyone else seeing this?
Yup. Same sthing here…
Yup. Same sthing here. Latest version of Safari. I don't know why it is doing this.
Issue resolved in latest Safari
This issue seems to have been fixed in the latest release of Safari 15 (build 17622.214.171.124.2). This may apply to the Safari Technology Preview application as well but it has not been tested.
How do we update to this new version? The version 15 I mentioned in the O. P. came via Software Update, but no other updates are currently available.
Safari 15 release information
See this 9to5Mac news article for release notes and update instructions regarding Safari 15, released to the public today for macOS Big Sur and Catalina users.
So far, so good
Hi. I upgraded to Safari Version 15.0 (166126.96.36.199.4, 16612) on my Mac earlier today, and I've rebooted since. No problems so far.
Paul, try googling.
No need to Google
Or, rather than Googling, he could click on the clearly-marked link in the comment I posted regarding Safari's public release, which contains release notes and update instructions for the release of Safari 15. Here is that link again, just so there's no confusion and nobody has to Google anything: https://9to5mac.com/2021/09/21/safari-15-with-new-tab-design-now-available-for-macos-big-sur-and-catalina-users/
There is no build 17612
Your post says the issue is fixed in build 17612. Is that a typo? There is no build 17612 as far as I can tell.
As I said in the original post, I'm on build 16612. This is where I first noticed the issue. It's still present, and software update doesn't offer me a newer version
For those of you not encountering the issue, note that it is sporadic. I don't get it on every web page, but I have encountered it often enough that it is significant.
That build is only for beta users
I am a user of the macOS Monterey developer beta, so the version of Safari I am running may be a slightly newer build than what Apple has released to the public. Regardless, the public release of Safari that was made available this week may also contain whatever changes were required to fix the issue you and I have experienced, and that I have noticed as being resolved in the build I am running.
Ah. That makes sense.
Ah. That makes sense.
Ongoing issue with broken links
On the subject of other things broken in Safari, I thought I would mention ongoing problems with being unable to follow some links.
In one common case, a link is embedded in paragraph text and has a word wrapping break right in the middle of the link, so that the first part of the link is at the right end of one line of text, and the rest of the link is at the left end of the following line of text. With VoiceOver open on that link, there's no way to open the link in another tab. You should be able to open the shortcut menu VO+Shift+M and select "open link in new tab". But in this case, that option isn't present. You can only follow the link normally.
The next scenario is more complicated, and I can only describe it by example. Go to the New York Times website nytimes.com. You will need to page down about eight screenfuls, but this is approximate based on your window size and the amount of content the NYT displays on any given day. But, once you do this and all the content has loaded, you should be able to find the problem using the Item Chooser VO+I and looking for the words Letter Box.
This takes VO focus to a sort of group control containing links to several interactive games. The problem is that there's no way to interact with this control, and as a result, no way to selectively follow one specific link. As a workaround, I can bring the mouse pointer to the control with VO+Command+F5, then invoke a mouse click with VO+Shift+Space. For me, this follows the crossword link, which is what I want, but I have the feeling your results will vary based on Safari window size. I think I'm just getting lucky that the mouse happens to land over the link that I want, and if it were a few pixels to the right or left, the mouse click would follow a different game link.
I hope Apple is reading this, because they need to know these problems don't occur in either Firefox or Chrome. They are driving blind users away from the flagship Apple web browser.
Are we sure these are VoiceOver-specific bugs?
Yes, these are VoiceOver- and Safari-specific
The first bug, in which the shortcut menu fails to provide an option to open in a new tab for links that split over line breaks, is not a problem when VoiceOver is disabled. Sighted users simply mouse to the link, right click, and open the link in a new tab. This is a long-standing VoiceOver issue that has existed prior to v14.
The second issue, in which the individual New York Times puzzle links are not accessible using Safari with VoiceOver, is not a problem when using Firefox or Google Chrome with VoiceOver. And, obviously, it's not a problem with VoiceOver disabled, as sighted users simply click on the game link. This is a fairly recent issue, since Safari v14. The New York Times HTML is related, as the problem has gone and returned at least once without a change to Safari. I suspect the New York Times is using HTML code that Safari doesn't fully support. I emailed information about this bug to Apple's accessibility team, and was told I should log it as a bug with the Github Webkit project. That was pretty much the last time I bothered to send a bug report to Apple's accessibility team.
That was good advice
The Apple accessibility team frankly gave you great advice; did you end up logging the bug like they asked? They have no control over WebKit, the browser rendering engine used in Safari, as that is an open source project. Thus, the best way to get accessibility bugs resolved in Safari, especially as they pertain to the rendering of Web pages, would be to file it in the issue tracker of the WebKit open source project, just as they suggested. The last sentence of your comment though leads me to believe you were expecting more from the Apple accessibility team in regards to software that is open source and community driven and software over which they have no direct control, but hopefully you still filed a bug with WebKit nonetheless so they can look into the two issues you reported here.
Still Seeing Busy Bug
Running Catalina with Safari 15.3 (156188.8.131.52.8, 15612).
Contemplating upgrading to Monterey, but the Safari versions reporting the issue/fix are behind my version (15.3) so wondering if this was reintroduced?
Re: Busy. Busy, busy...
My personal experience is that this issue has actually got worse with Monterrey. One change is that instead of saying “busy, busy, busy...” VoiceOver now says “AppName is not responding.”
This is on an M1 MacBook Air. I've no reason to think that it's any better on Intel Macs.
As I've said many times already on here, I won't be recommending a Mac to anybody who will need to use VoiceOver until this is fixed. Having your Mac frequently unresponsive for periods of up to 10 seconds is simply unacceptable when everybody else is blown away by the performance of Apple's latest Macs.
I can confirm this on my M1 MacBook air
I can confirm that with Monterey, the problem still exists. Especially when you used an app for a while and then quit it by pressing CMD-Q, VO will freeze for a short time (round about 10 seconds).
It's still a problem.
There's a second AppleVis Forum thread discussing this issue, I wish we could consolidate the discussion. But, yes, sadly, this issue is still present in current Safari. The VoiceOver announcement has change to "is not responding", and I've seen it with Safari, App Store, and some other apps that load web content. It's important to note that the web page has loaded and is entirely usable by sighted users.
I just encountered the issue while previewing this post. Hung for about four seconds.
Frustration Driving me to the Winds
It's the tenth day of the fifth month of the Year of Our Lord of 2022 and the problem is still here. Safari version 15.4 (176184.108.40.206.13) on Monterey. It occurs randomly--randomly enough that one is often quite willing to grit one's teeth and put up with it, but happening just often enough to drive one quite insane. Yes I have Chrome and no it's not a problem there, but there are clearly aspects of Safari that make it otherwise preferable--performance in the general case, when it works, privacy, and my aggressive content-blocking policy that, for non-allow-listed sites, always drops all first and third party content that is not the document origin. It's very fast when it works, typically immediately after restarting Safari.
The only (potential) thing I've found might be responsible is the iCloud syncing behaviour. I've disabled the fraudulent website warning and ad effectiveness measurement already--it didn't do that much for me. I thought perhaps it might have something to do with VoiceOver focus tracking and turned off all mouse tracking the focus--didn't help. iCloud is the only thing that seems to have an impact at all. Needless to say, if you do that you'll lose all bookmark and tab syncing (but not Keychain). Try it for yourself--it might help you. Disable the "Safari" option in System Preferences, Apple ID, iCloud.
If anyone knows of any issue being tracked that pertains to this, perhaps on WebKit's issues list, please let us know. I'm sure we'd all be delighted to hear there's any progress at all on this.
And yes, there really is only so much that hope (and great PR) can do to overcome empirical reality: quality control is on the floor, and VoiceOver is hurt by it, especially in macOS. I love Apple Silicon, but increasingly it's just not easy to see the case for macOS as such. Apple really has lost its soul ...
Still an issue
I just upgraded to Mac OS 12.4 and Safari version 15.5 (176220.127.116.11.8). If anything, the issue has become even worse. There seem to be some situations where the issue will not resolve itself no matter how long you wait, and you must disable VoiceOver and restart it, causing VoiceOver to place its focus at the top of the page, meaning you've just lost track of where you were. Incredibly frustrating to still see this behavior after eight long months.
I hate this so much
This happens elsewhere as well. Opening a Logic project? Logic Pro is not responding. Bouncing a track? Logic Pro is not responding. Left your Mac alone and it went to the login screen? Authentication is not responding over and over and over and over until the heat death of the universe. Went into the bootloader to ease up on the draconian security restrictions? Startup options is not responding.
Seems like they aren't listening to the bug reports we submit. Apple, fix it. No excuses, no apologies. Just fix it. I paid over a grand for this machine and depend on it for my livelihood. I've been sorely disappointed by the silicon transition so far on account of the fact that Voiceover keeps getting left behind. Fix the bugs. Fix the performance issues. We are paying customers, and this is unacceptable.
I haven't been experiencing this much
Nhere are some cases where the, application not responding is going to happen no matter what, bouncing a mix / files, from any daw will probably cause this to happen, depending on the file length. Bouncing, unless its not a very large file, generally takes a bit of time. I haven't really been experiencing the, authentication not responding bug these days. As far as safari... I do have icloud enable, and haven't been experiencing the, busy, busy, busy, that often. Another contributing factor to the safari busy could be adds popping up in web sites. I use a addblocker and it does seem to make pages less cluttered and take less time to load minimising the safari busy, occurring.
Although I don't seem to be experiencing these as much as others here, it is a shame that apple hasn't, doesn't fix these problems. Could writing a petition and having a lot of signatures force their hand or at least make them listen? Also, the fact bugs like these haven't been addressed... makes me wunder if there are really blind people working at apple. I mean if these was the case, the bugs would've been fixed by now probably.
Safari isn't the problem, it's VoiceOver
I am partially sighted. The interesting thing about this issue, in my opinion, is that Safari isn't actually hung at all. When VoiceOver announces "Safari is not responding", anyone with eyesight can still interact with the website. Safari is operating just fine. VoiceOver seems to be hung, though, and it is incorrectly blaming the problem on Safari.
I wonder if it's some problem with WebKit support in VoiceOver. Presumably iOS is also using WebKit behind the scenes, yet there aren't any problems with VoiceOver support there. Oh well, just another issue we'll never get Apple to admit to and fix.
I'm wondering if this might be a CPU usage priority issue. I vaguely remember an issue wityh VoiceOver some years ago where the solution was to increase the CPU usage priority assignment (or whatever the correct term is) for VoiceOver to have over other CPU processes. Just a guess.
You'd think, though, that with 8 plus core processors, this wouldn't be an issue, but if not a CPU hang up (has anyone checked activity monitor during busy busy busy?), then what is it?
Here's the response I just received from Apple and what I wrote to them, further down.
Thank you for your email. Our team is aware of this issue, and is currently investigating. While we cannot provide details on the status of the investigation, we assure you that it is receiving the appropriate level of attention.
On May 24, 2022 at 11:24:21 AM GMT, email@example.com wrote:
There are a lot of us voiceover users who would greatly appreciate a progress report. Here’s the link to detail the problem.
Sent from my exceptional iPhone
canned responce... yeesh
The amount of times i've reported bugs and have gotten that response and said bugs aren't addressed... i'm getting a bit fed up with responses like these. I'm hoping apple prooves me wrong, but i'm begining to lose hope of bugs etc getting fixed with a canned response like that and nothing beeing done if passed experience is anything to go by.
It is time to post in Twitter about this
I just posted a post in Twitter tagging Apple about this. You can do the same, or you can even RT my message if you like it. In Twitter I'm @contreraspr
Much better with Mac OS 12.6
Since upgrading to Mac OS 12.6, I have received the "Safari not responding" message exactly once, and it cleared itself in very short order. The problem of Safari being unresponsive for several seconds when VoiceOver is enabled seems to be largely resolved in Mac OS 12.6.
PAUL, I JUST HAD A THOUGHT
AND NO, IT DIDN'T HURT . . . MUCH.
Meanwhile, I DIMLY REMEMBER FROM EARLY ON THERE WAS A SUGGESTION AND A POSSIBLE SOLUTION to "not responding" TO THE EFFECT THAT VOICEOver wasn't getting high enough priority on cpu processing, and the solution was to raise the priority of VoiceOver to compensate. I don't remember how it was accomplished, but I do remember trying it. It didn't work. Neither has MacOS 12.6, not for me.
Thing is, I've experienced other VoiceOver issues and cpu priority issues not involving VoiceOver that might stem from me having changed priority levels for cpu usage. does anyone remember how to access that part of MacOS where cpu priorities can be altered and if it is possible to restore it to the default? I would like to restore the default to see if it clears up the issues I've been having with software hanging.
Joy! (and thanks)
Bruce, I've got an Intel-based 2018 Mac Mini. Are you on an M1?
The only way I know to change process or thread priority is with a Terminal shell command. If that's what you did, a reboot will restore default priorities.
I'm not surprised that priority isn't the issue. When the problem occurred for me, the duration of "Safari not responding" was way too long for it to be a CPU priority issue. VoiceOver seemed to be blocked, waiting on some other resource. Since I always saw the issue with web-based content, I assumed VoiceOver was trying to fetch some web-based content that normal non-VoiceOver usage did not require.
I'm certainly no expert, but occasionally
A week or so ago I was on the phone with Apple accessibility because VoiceOver on my M1 ultra Mac Studio was hanging sometimes, and sometimes it would ignore every other line of text. The accessibility tech I spoke with was sharply focused on activity monitor readouts on my Mac Studio, which indicated a higher percentage cpu use than he thought there should be. Mind, we're talking the difference of about 20 percentage points on one core out of 16 cores, so I was pretty skeptical what he was looking at could be the culprit, but what do I know?
The point of me telling you this is that he and I agreed that VoiceOver seemed to be hanging due to a software conflict, which was why VoiceOver would stop speaking, forcing me to turn VoiceOver off and back on again repeatedly every day. On his suggestion, I reset VoiceOver to default settings, and the problem went away.
And now to the point.
I suspect "safari not responding" is the same thing, to wit, a software conflict, making safari hesitate. If it only happens when VoiceOver is on, then it might very well be because of a conflict between safari and VoiceOver. If it happens when VoiceOver isn't on, it's a conflict in Safari or between Safari and something else. Unfortunately, after I reset VoiceOver to defaults, I continued receiving safari not responding messages.
Bottom line is, neither you nor I nor anyone else on Applevis is likely competent enough to do anything more than report the problem to those who have access to the code. The only other thing we can do is speculate and experiment.
Sorry man. Wish I had solutions.