Apple Design Awards 2019: Not much in the accessibility department this time

Other Apple Chat

I found the list of this year‘s Apple Design Award winners. Check them out at:

Browsing the selection, I found myself a bit disappointed from an accessibility perspective.
I haven‘t tried all the apps out; but from what I‘ve tested and read so far, it seems that most of them are not VoiceOver accessible.
This particularly disappoints me because in other years, Apple not only chose accessible apps, but also mentioned their accessibility in their „lines of honor“. This time, accessibility is not mentioned a single time.

I do have some hopes for an app named „Flow by Moleskine“, because another app by the same developer was recently given very good marks in the AppleVis IOS Directory. But the app also seems to focus very much on visual elements (lots of different colors and stuff to create notes), and I‘m not sure how well this can be made accessible.
I will definitely try „Eloh“ and „Thumper“, which seem to be rhythm-based.
What does everyone think? Has anyone tested any of the awarded apps yet?



Submitted by René Jaun on Tuesday, June 4, 2019

I tried some more of them now. This is what I found:
- Flow: Some buttons are accessible, but the essential part - the actual note sheet - seemed inaccessible for me with VoiceOver.
- Eloh, Thumper and Ordia: They‘re all completely inaccessible: VoiceOver does not announce a single button. You can blindly navigate the app by turning VO off. If you‘re lucky, in case of Eloh and Thumper, you can actually produce some kinds of music / rhythm. But no, they‘re not at all accessible.
- I ignored Pixelmator (I am too blind to be doing something useful with a photos app, even if it were accessible); The Gardens Between (This is Mac only and I don‘t own a Mac); Asphalt 9 (never heard that their previous versions were accessible, so not gonna bother); Butterfly iQ: Which is not availalbe in my country and requires some Ultra Sound Equipment anyways.
So I guess I was wrong by calling this topic „not much in the accessibility department“. It should be called: Apple Design Awards: NOTHING is accessible this year.
Well, I must run. Gonna get those Apps Refunded...

Submitted by René Jaun on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Turns out, there is an IOS version.
So I tried that too.
But no, don‘t get your hopes up. The Gardens Between again presents basically a blank screen to VoiceOver. The game is not playable if you‘ve got no eyes.