disgusted with accessibility of apple tv

tvOS and Apple TV Apps

I have been disgusted with the accessibility of apple tv since tv os11. I'm currently running tv os 13.4.6. My apple tv is very sluggish, vo doesn't respond well. It's acting like an old iPhone does when it's old and out of date. I have the fourth gen. When I call apple accessibility the reps say they don't know much about the apple tv and it seems like apple does not say much about accessibility on the apple tv. Makes me wonder if the apple tv will soon become obsolete.



Submitted by Missy Hoppe on Thursday, July 9, 2020

My Apple TV devices aren't sluggish at all; VO seems every bit as responsive, for the most part, as it is on my phone. The touchpad on the remote seems tempramental at times, which makes navigating interesting at times, but all things considered, I'm satisfied with the accessibility of TV OS. I vaguely remember things being a bit better when I initially got my apple TV, but it's been the way it is now for so long that I've gotten used to it and can't even remember why it used to be better. The issues I have with TV OS are not VO specific, but I still hope they may be fixed someday.

Submitted by Blinddean on Friday, July 10, 2020

My Apple TV is not sluggish but I find that my Apple TV remote does not scroll up down left and right and decides to only scroll left and right.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, July 10, 2020

I've had an Apple TV since the 3rd generation and haven't experience any sluggishness while trying to navigate. Perhaps I could suggest, if you haven't done so already, trying to reset your Apple TV to manufacturer's default. This could potentially resolve your issue.

@Blinddean, if you have a 4th generation or the 4K model of the Apple TV, do the rotor gesture on the remote's touchpad until you land on "Follow Focus". I find that trying to navigate the Apple TV using this mode makes a huge difference.

The only gripe I have with the Apple TV is apps like Amazon Prime and YouTube, who insist on using their own built-in screen reader, instead of using the system's built-in one.


Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, July 11, 2020

There are certain navigation options such as follow focus, landmark and direct touch that seem to all be required in different settings requiring a lot of rotor action. I am certainly hoping TV OS 14 improves on this but it does seem to be a persistent issue and those aren't the ones that Apple fix. They wait for us to give up complaining.

Submitted by Troy on Sunday, July 12, 2020

I'm glad you mentioned that, I agree a lot of unnecessary rotor turning in my oppinion. Wouldn't you know it the hardest gesture for me to do! One example is the actions rotor, while the iPhone automatically puts you on it within the app switcher, the apple tv does not.

Submitted by David Goodwin👨‍🦯 on Sunday, July 12, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Troy, it's been a couple years since I last used an Apple TV, but have you spent much time with Direct Touch mode? I recall that this was the most reliable method for some scenarios (possibly all or most, but my memory is a little rusty 😉)

Also, if you haven't already done so, I would recommend that you email Apple's Accessibility Team (accessibility@apple.com)

I know that you've spoken on the phone with them, but a follow-up email sounds like it would be in order here.

Submitted by J.P. on Sunday, July 12, 2020

In reply to by Blinddean

I’m certainly not experiencing sluggishness on 4K, I understand navigation frustration. As suggested; you might consider manufacturer reset for the sluggishness.
Version 13 was a real pain with navigation. Constantly having to use the rotor. Switching from Direct to Follow. Apple remote just sucks, compared to Fire and Roku options.
I’m doing beta 14. While I can’t discuss, there’s some improvement with navigating.