Information for Developers on how to Build Accessible iOS, iPadOS, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV Apps

Apple products offer a range of built-in vision accessibility features such as VoiceOver, Zoom, and braille Screen Input. Information on the full range of vision features across all Apple's platforms is available on their accessibility portal.

VoiceOver is a text to speech screen reader that enables people to experience the interface on their devices without having to see the screen. People who are blind depend on VoiceOver to provide auditory feedback while using their macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS devices.

Often with only a few steps, an app can be made VoiceOver-accessible in Xcode or programmatically. By increasing accessibility, developers open their app to a wider audience, and make it easier for everyone to use.

Apple provides the following guides for developers on how to make their applications accessible.

iOS: https://developer.apple.com/accessibility/ios/
macOS: https://developer.apple.com/accessibility/macos/

Useful Resources

  1. Google Scanner for A11y (GSCXScanner) - a developer assistant that sits in an iOS app's process scanning it for accessibility issues to catch them before the developer even writes a test for them: https://github.com/google/GSCXScanner
  2. GTXiLibis an iOS framework developed by Google for accessibility test automation: https://www.google.com/accessibility/blog/post/GTXiLib-announce.html
  3. Matt Legend Gemmell has written a guide for iOS app developers on how to provide VoiceOver accessibility support for visually impaired users. It includes both technical information and also a discussion on how to approach accessibility, as well as points to be aware of. The guide is at: http://mattgemmell.com/accessibility-for-iphone-and-ipad-apps
  4. David Ronnqvist has written a number of guides to making iOS apps accessible to VoiceOver users: http://ronnqvi.st
  5. How to build apps for everyone using VoiceOver on iOS - by Jayven N
  6. Checklist: How to make your iOS app more accessible. Quick and easy accessibility changes you can make today by Paul Hudson.
  7. iOS Accessibility: Getting Started, by Fayyazuddin Syed. In this iOS accessibility tutorial, learn how to make apps more accessible using VoiceOver and the Accessibility inspector.
  8. How to Build Accessible iOS Apps by Donald Burr: notes created from Episode 364 of the NosillaCast Mac Podcast.
  9. Tips for Taking Full Advantage of VoiceOver in Your App - a guide about a "magic tap" gesture that only VoiceOver users can activate.
  10. Lysette Chaproniere has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for iOS app developers on Taking Your Accessibility from Good to Great.
  11. Darrell Shandrow Hilliker has created a comprehensive AppleVis Guide for app developers and educators on Teaching and Testing iOS App VoiceOver Accessibility.
  12. The AppleVis Forum contains a dedicated area for app developers to seek and share information on accessible app development.

Some developers have written online about the experience of making their apps accessible:

Please use the contact form on this site if you need more information, would like to submit your app for testing and evaluation or know of any additional resources that should be added to this page.