VoiceOver IOS 10 Safari HTML Verbosity

VoiceOver is speaking a lot more of the HTML elements with IOS 10 in Safari when flicking around. The most distracting part is that landmarks are spoken before any text, so you have to wait for it to go through all the landmark information, like article and so on, before you hear what the heading text is. It's also speaking all the table information, like Colum and row number with the flicks.
I can't find any way to lower the web page verbosity and it's making web pages difficult to read. Anyone else noticing this?


I Noticed this also

Yes, this is very annoying. At least with my braille display they show up after the text, but still. With speech, it's really frustrating to try and navigate a webpage now.
Also, using my braille display, with certain websites, my braille translation table switches to Unified English braille instead of US. That's also very frustrating and distracting.


Thanks for verifying that. I don't like not being able to change the verbosity.

I Agree

I agree, we should be able to set the VoiceOver verbosity settings however we want them.
I reported the braille translation bug to Apple, but I think the way VoiceOver reads web pages now is a feature? I'm not sure. I don't like it, either way.

Mine's the same and I hate it

Hi. I find the new level of verbocity very frustrating. It's nice to know voice over is recognising all the elements but I'd like the option to have them after the text or not at all as well.


I've not upgraded yet, that sounds very undesirable bluntly.

In Full Agreement

Well, it looks like several of us have noticed, and are not impressed with, this newest issue with VoiceOver. perhaps if enough of us contact Apple, they will consider changing it. I could live with the landmarks being read sometimes, if they were read after the text. And, i believe users should have some way of eliminating this feature altogether with some sort of verbosity option. This is one of the craziest tings I have seen in a while where accessibility is concerned.


I wonder is it universal, i.e, if you used Firefox or Chrome are you getting the same level of verbosity? I'm very glad I didn't upgrade, this would of driven me to distraction eventually.

Not Sure

I only use Safari on my phone, so not sure about the other browsers.
Those landmarks really get in the way and I can't understand why the Apple accessibility team would think they should be spoken first and the beta testers wouldn't be screaming about it.
I hope it's a bug and not a feature.


Indeed, no mention of this anywhere, just super glad you posted about it. Even if It's a bug, it could take a very long time for them to change it based on past history, which is dreadful honestly.


Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I'm experiencing this too, and agree it's annoying. Who decided this would be a good idea? Is it even a bug or is it supposed to be a feature? I can't see why I'd want to know that something is an article landmark or whatever before I hear the text.

It's also in Chrome and Firefox

I tried both browsers, and they're the same as Safari. Honestly, this makes browsing the web on my phone a real pain.

Considering a report

I've never submitted a bug report, so I'm looking into that process and thinking about what to say. Hope they're getting some other reports or complaints about this.

I Submitted a Report earlier, but

I submitted a report earlier to accessibility@apple.com , but I only mentioned the braille translation issue.
Maybe if multiple people write emails describing how Safari (and other web browsers) are acting with VoiceOver, they'll fix it faster?
I'm still not sure if this is a bug or some weird new feature.
My email earlier was also the first time I've contacted Apple accessibility.
Just try to explain to the best of your ability what's going on in Safari. If possible, tell them how to reproduce it. Since all of us seem to be experiencing it, though, it won't be that hard to explain.
Good luck!

Not just browsers...apps too!!!

I have a game I play, (the paid version of Football Chairman), which has a lot of repetitive pop up text boxes, containing brief information that I sometimes skip, but sometimes need to listen too, even if it's only the first sentance. Many of these text boxes now contain extra elements in front of the text that weren't there before, that considerably slow down the whole process. It is highly irritating and unnecessary.

There are other gripes, but this is by far the worst. It became old in just a few minutes.

I'm equally glad that this

I'm equally glad that this has been addressed, since it makes visiting sites relatively annoying. I'll definitely be contacting Apple about the issue as well to suggest incorporating these elements last. I've been in the same mind frame as everyone here: It would be better if these were indicated either after what you see on a page or not at all. I'll talk to them about both suggestions and hope it can be resolved.

I would say 'not at all' as I

I would say 'not at all' as I see little or no use for them.

I have also now noticed that it affects buttons too. Where it used to simply say 'Continue', it now says 'navigation - continue'. I seem to recall this button issue had occurred a couple of years ago, but it was fixed...now it's back! Of course, this means if they fixed it once, they can do it again.

I am at a loss to understand why the beta testing didn't pick this up.


I find it interesting that Safari is pretty regularly an accessibility challenge for Apple. We had the whole crashing when going back in ios8, as well as mac OS, focus issues when going back in safari in ios9, even in the latest builds, and now this ridiculous verbosity in ios10.

Yes, and we don't even have the option of using

Yes, and we don't even have the option of using a different browser. Both Chrome and Firefox use the same... I'm not sure what the right word is here, source code? As Safari. Back in iOS 8, I used Chrome to get around the Safari focus/crashing bug, but in iOS 10, it doesn't matter which browser I use because they all have the same issue. (I think they actually changed Chrome's code a few months ago) It's almost identical to Safari now. Honestly, the only reason anyone would use Chrome (or Firefox) at this point on iOS is to have their specific Chrome or Firefox bookmarks that they saved on a desktop/laptop computer.
All this to say, we really don't have much choice in web browsers at this point. It's very... disappointing.

noticing the same thing

I've noticed the same thing, and I want to shut this off. Not only does it make browsing a webpage difficult as others have stated, but it can also make it hard to fill out forms. I looke in the voiceover settings as well as the safari settings, and sadly, there is no way to shut this annoying thing off. Whoever thought that this was a good idea has lost their marbles.

Pretty sure it's a bug

This has to do with the ARIA tags in markup code, though tables are also showing up. I think they are mostly supposed to be hidden and a lot are tagged to be hidden by the web page designers.

Glad I read this post

While I am sorry to hear that you guys are having this trouble, I appreciate that you brought it to everyone's attention. I was just a minute away from upgrading based on other threads here encouraging us to do so, but I am sticking with iOS 9 for now. This is a showstopper! This definitely needs to be addressed and I think we should advise people who have not upgraded yet not to do so until Apple fixes it. Thanks again everyone, and I hope a solution comes quickly. Please, for everyone who is experiencing this problem, send a clear and descriptive email to: accessibility@apple.com. I normally would send one as well, but because I have not experienced the problem myself, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to describe it properly. The more emails they get, the more likely they are to take swift action.

Like many others here, I am baffled how this slipped past beta testing. You would think web browsing would be a major area of focus for most users. Perhaps this issue didn't pop up until the proper release?

Emails too.


This also affects my HTML based emails that I receive and read using the mail app.

Since it’s affecting all browsers, email and some apps, I suspect it’s a VO specific problem. Hopefully this will make it easier for Apple to find and fix.

BTW, did anyone else install the final beta? I don’t recall running into this problem.

It's not a bug, it's a feature

It looks like apple has done some restructuring in iOS 10 regarding speech on the web. There's mostly 2 issues being discussed here. First, more things are being announced, such as table coordinates. More importantly, container information for lists and landmarks is now announced before the text, not after which is how it used to work. I'm fairly sure this change is intentional and mirrors how other screen readers handle it, like NVDA, JAWS or even VO on the mac. I preferred it how it was before iOS 10 as well, and what apple hsould do is make these configurable (there's now a verbosity button, after all.)


You make a good point there. It could well be a feature, all be it a poorly thought out one. When you first install NVDA, it is horribly verbose, and if this is functioning how I imagine, you all have my profound sympathies. The difference of course, is that it is user configurable, and that was the first thing I did when using NVDA, it would be intolerable otherwise.


Noticed this issue on FC Pro. Wondering whether or not to revert to iOS 9 in view of the comments posted here.

Tried it out on my iPad

I went ahead and installed iOS 10 on my fourth generation iPad because I don't use it that often. I played around in Safari for a little bit and I didn't notice anything especially annoying, myself. I didn't spend a whole lot of time with it because it was getting late and I was tired, LOL. I will mess around on there some more today and report back my observations. Again, nothing struck me as terrible as some of these comments make it sound… But maybe I didn't visit enough websites to really experience it. I love the idea of controls for verbosity, much like NVDA and ZoomText. Count me in on that idea!


I noticed this in the Blue Letter Bible app as the passage window is an HTML table. I had to stop using the BLB app because of it as it really, really distracts from the Bible reading. uVersion is a good alternative if you don't mind the social media-geared nature of this app, though some buttons are unlabeled. I ended up switching to Holy Bible by Paul Avery, even though it has a lot more unlabeled buttons because I don't like uVersion. It seems to me that the next changes to Voiceover might need to be to add the ability to turn off automatic speaking of individual html elements such as table cell coordinates in the verbosity section recently added to the Voiceover settings.

Problem is

For every one of us who don't like this feature, I've met others who have actually submitted the lack of this information as a bug to Apple in the past. Personally, I can't stand it. Landmarks, in particular, are a useless element and why in the world we should ever care about them when they're never used properly anyway is beyond me. I think the only way Apple can satisfy everyone here is to make verbosity options akin to the ones we have on the Mac, so each of us can get exactly the information we want in both speech and Braille. VoiceOver's verbosity settings on the Mac are incredibly sophisticated and powerful once you drill down into them.
The problem is, this isn't technically a bug. Others have demanded this feature, and now they have it. It's a feature that some of us do not want, not a bug. We all need to keep that in mind when writing to Apple, as they're likely to disregard our reports if we call it a bug. A bug is a function that is not working as it should. This is working just fine, we just don't want it!

good catch on the word "bug"

This does strike me as more of a new feature than a bug, as it actually seems to be working perfectly. It just created the need for an additional feature/improvement to the existing verbosity rules. The new feature of speaking the elements this way definitely seems to be impacting usability significantly, which is why in my opinion verbosity should be given priority for development in the immediate future.

HTML tables

After playing with safari in iOS 10 a little more, I can see what you guys are talking about. I still don't find it quite as distracting as some of you seem to, but one thing I thought I would point out: In HTML, tables are generally used in one of two ways. The first way is, obviously, to present information in a tabular format. The second is to use tables with invisible edges to format the layout of the webpage. It is this latter use of tables that should not be explicitly described by voiceover as you browse the page. This would be akin to having big thick borders on these formatting tables for sighted people, which would make the page look terrible and cause quite a visual distraction. If they make one change, we don't need to hear all the information about these formatting tables.

well said

The question of how to distinguish between those types of tables might be tough to resolve. in the BLB app, each verse is a row with the verse number in one column and the verse text in another. Sometimes tables made only for formatting have one column with multiple rows or one row with multiple columns, or even just one cell in the whole table. In fact this seems to be the case most of the time for such tables, but not always. Application specific verbosity settings would probably go a long way toward eliminating unwanted chatter along with specific verbosity controls.

For the record, I don't mean to be a negative nelly. I love Voiceover and am eternally grateful to Apple for providing such amazing accessibility out of the box with their products. Thank you, Apple.

Right on, Tony!

Good reminder for us all, Tony. We never want to take for granted just what a fantastic thing Apple has done for us. I believe the limited set of options for VoiceOver on iOS is in keeping with Apple's ethos of simplicity, which I appreciate. I do, however, feel that we as advanced screen reader users need more options to customize our experience.


Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I've noticed that voiceover now says "list end" before reading the last item in a list. Even if the new way of reading HTML is meant to be a feature and not a bug, this in particular is confusing and needs to be looked at.

Agree with everyone on here.

Agree with everyone on here. I play turf wars on my iPhone and have noticed the verbosity stuff. Don't think its a bug, but theres got to be a way to disable it. Wondering if you turn hints off if that'll change things? probably not.

I have hints turned off all the time

I have hints turned off all the time, and I still have the... issue.
If we were to write Apple Accessibility an email, what should we say? Since this seems to be a feature instead of a bug.


This seems to be a new feature. I just wrote to Apple Accessibility describing this issue. I suggested that the verbosity section of VO settings be expanded to customize how different elements are spoken, similar to the verbosity section of VoiceOver Utility on the Mac. This is probably the best solution tooth's problem as it will please people to customize the information.

Not sure it's every device

I haven't found anything that changes it. One person in this thread said an iPad doesn't seem to have the issue, a beta tester said in this thread the beta wasn't like this and I don't find anything about this change in the threads about IOS 10 features and bugs, with the exception of one poster who also posted in this thread. I think only some people or devices are having this issue.
I haven't heard back from Apple yet. I told them that I was noticing an increased verbosity in Safari on my iPhone 6. I also described how the landmarks are being spoken first and getting in the way. Then I provided a link to this thread.

Good way at looking at this

Maybe what Apple needs to do is have a series of switch buttons for Safari verbocity. You could enable the elements you want read out, and disable the ones you don't. This way everyone would be happy.

Nice one Chris

Hey Chris, it's Antonio Hernandez, a blast from your past. Hope you're doing well. Your suggestion on what to say to Apple about this problem is spot on and very constructive IMO, as was CrockerBear's observation about certain devices and his/her providing a link to this thread. I was also thinking that perhaps it would be helpful to give the ability to show or hide more advanced/fine-grain controls like this so that people who don't want to see too many options don't have to. This would be taking a page out of AI Squared's book of showing/hiding advanced options for their Window Eyes, making it possible to choose simplicity of UI or fine control over the screen reading experience. It seems that, where verbosity is concerned at least, the time has come to make something like this happen. If my understanding is correct, this is similar to Toonhead's idea. BTW, I use a GSM iPhone 5S from Straight Talk. Is there anyone who doesn't have this issue with iOS 10? Would you mind posting in this thread to see if the device-specific observation is a definite pattern? Apple perhaps would find this information helpful if they do decide to view this thread.

I use the iPhone 6

I use the iPhone 6. I'm almost getting used to just how much VoiceOver is now saying in Safari, but when it says "end" at the beginning of the last paragraph in what it thinks is an article.

Not browsing on phone now

Thankfully, I don't have to depend on the phone browser right now. I use Safari to check Facebook a few times a day when I'm away from my computer, and it can take four or five flicks to get through each heading and it has to read all that information each flick. I just gave up checking. The headings on posts in threads on Apple Vis have all the article stuff, but don't take a bunch of flicks to get to the next heading.
Other people are reporting that VoiceOver is saying a bunch of extra garbage before things that I'm not having problems with, so I think VO is just buggy in IOS 10.

If the behavior is erratic

If the behavior is erratic/inconsistent, I would say that does qualify as a bug if the inconsistencies are not device-specific, such as two iPhone 5S devices not behaving the same way in the same context.

Apple returned email

Apple answered my email and basically thanked me for notifying them and said they would pass it on to the appropriate group.
I guess if you have this issue, report it. I'm fairly sure not every one is experiencing it and I see lots of other issues that I'm not having with VO being discussed on the forum; it's a buggy update.

Sometimes the first edition

Sometimes the first edition of a new operating system is a bit of a train wreck. This is true of any OS, and waiting until an OS is perfect before releasing it would invariably mean it will never be released. Thanks for reporting back on this, CrockerBear.

I've spoken to two Apple reps

I've spoken to two Apple reps about this, with one telling me that I'd be contacted if the engineers respond. When I called in to report another bug relative to the notes and messages app, the subject was mentioned but in passing. The announcements appear to be the same on an iPad as well, as my friend also experiences them. Apart from a few things here and there, this iOS release is great. Let's hope that this issue will be fixed in the next update.

I also got a response

I also got a reply from Apple accessibility thanking me for my submission and letting me know they will pass it to the appropriate team. If enough of us do this, they should get the idea. While it is totally up to you how you want to word your message, I chose to share the problem but also thank them for everything they do. I think it is important we reinforce all the hard work they do. They are trying to stay on top of a lot of changes and I think they do a great job.

Absolutely. I not only

Absolutely. I not only clarified the issue to both agents, but told them that many of the changes have been wonderful overall. While I might not be using every feature, it's undeniable that the update is pretty impressive.


Yess, IM alls so have same problem, quite anoing .

Me too

I get this over-talkative" VoiceOver as well. Quite confusing sometimes and I've been using screenreaders all my life. Personally I am very much in favour of verbosity controls and other advanced options for controlling the user experience.

Wow! this is...

Wow! this is getting very interesting. I don't use web browsing apps on my phone, I just use it for voice/text communication. But I've not experienced the problem. In fact, after I've updated my iPhone 5s to iOS 10, I've never experienced any issues at all. it's a smoove release for me. however, if their was such a problem on my case, I would email the apple accessibility team and report it to them. but again, I'm not having any issues you guys are discussing.