iA Cast iA Cast Weekly

#iACast 131 – What’s New In iOS 13

Show description

On this episode, Aleeha, Jason, Meaghan and Michael talk about and demonstrate some of the new Voiceover improvements and bugs in IOS 13.


App development services


New iPhones are out.
The release for IOS 13.1 has been pushed up to Sept. 24.
Apple Care is now subscription based.
Apple Care is now available for AirPods and Beats headphones.


Meaghan: IOS 13
Jason: Focus 40 Blue Braille Display
Aleeha: Telegram Messenger
Michael: iPhone 11 Pro Max

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What’s New in VoiceOver for macOS High Sierra

On September 25, 2017, Apple released macOS High Sierra to the public. Here are some new enhancements to VoiceOver.

Enhanced Multilingual Support

If VoiceOver detects that a language has been associated with text that it’s reading, it Will automatically switch to another voice and will read the text in that language. You can set the voice VoiceOver uses for different languages in VoiceOver Utility. For example, if you were to add the Spanish language and set a voice for it, VoiceOver will then use that Spanish voice to read text that has been tagged as Spanish for screen readers.

Image Descriptions

VoiceOver can describe images, just like it does in iOS. To do this, press VO (Control plus option or caps lock, depending on how you have the VoiceOver modifier set) + Shift + L when focus is placed on an image.

Improved Grade 2 Braille Experience

VoiceOver provides a more seamless Braille experience when you are working with text and using Grade 2 Braille. For example, your Braille display now shows “the context of what you’re typing,” and when you edit text, it is no longer translated back into Grade 1 Braille.

Improved Web and Email Navigation

VoiceOver  navigation is more consistent and reliable when navigating webpages in Safari. VoiceOver has better support for navigating tables in richly formatted email messages in mail.

Improved PDF Accessibility

VoiceOver has better support for reading tables, lists, and forms in tagged PDF documents.

Let us know if you’ve discovered anything else new.

Report VO Change

What’s New in VoiceOver in iOS 11

On Tuesday, September 19th, Apple released iOS 11, bringing with it some new VoiceOver features and improvements.


You can now drag and drop apps using VoiceOver To do this, do the following:

  1. While on the home screen, double tap and hold to enter edit mode.
  2. Find an app you wish to move.
  3. Set the VoiceOver rotor to”actions” if it’s not done automatically and flick up or down to “drag app name.”
  4. Navigate to where you wish to drop the app and choose an option. You can drop an app before the app that the VoiceOver cursor is focused on, after it, or create a folder containing the focused app and the one you’re dragging. If you wish to drag more than one app, you can choose the final option. This is to “Add To Drag Session.” You can use this method do drag files from one app to another minus the double tap and hold.


VoiceOver includes several new verbosity settings you can now change. They are located by tapping Settings>General>Accessibility>VoiceOver>Verbosity.

These options include:

  • Speak hints. This setting is on by default. Double tapping this setting will turn them off.
  • Punctuation. After double tapping this option, you can choose to set it to all, some, or none.
  • Speak detect text. This determines whether automatically detected text in the focused item is spoken. For example: If you are on an app with an unlabeled button, VoiceOver will announce something like “Button. Possible text: View menu.”
  • Capital letters: This option will change what VoiceOver does when encountering a capital letter. You can choose from speak cap, play sound, change pitch, and do nothing.
  • Deleting text: You can choose from speak, play sound, change pitch, and do nothing.
  • Embedded links: You can choose from speak, Play sound, change pitch, or do nothing.
  • There is a table output heading with options related to the reading of tables.
  • You can toggle reading of table headers and row and column numbers.
  • As in iOS 10, you can turn the emoji suffix on or off, depending on whether or not you want VoiceOver to speak the word “Emoji” when one is encountered.


You no longer need to three-finger tap on a message to hear the preview.

When reading a message, you have VoiceOver actions to reply, archive, flag, mark as read/unread, and to activate.

If you use threaded messaging, you have a rotor option, “Expand/Collapse Thread”. When expanded, you can manage all of the messages inside a thread on an individual basis.

Smart Actions Rotor

VoiceOver in iOS 11 now has a new feature that allows for the user to continue to use the last used actions rotor item. This is useful for deleting large amounts of messages. This feature also appears in the App Switcher

What have we missed?

Know something that is not on this list? Please let us know by emailing us at or tweet us at @iaccessibility1

iA Cast

#iACast Special: New Features in iOS 11

In this episode, Matt, Jason, Shawn, and Aleeha talk about the bugs new features of iOS 11 in this iACast special podcast.

Features include

  • New Siri Voices
  • Verbosity settings in VoiceOver
  • Changes to Control Center
  • Braille Support
Report VO Change

New VoiceOver Features in iOS 10

iOS 10 has a lot of goodies for everyone, including those of us who are blind or visually impaired. We are excited to introduce you to a few of the major VoiceOver changes in iOS 10, which are sure to improve your experience!

Pronunciation Editor

VoiceOver now has a pronunciation editor! The truth is no screen reader is going to pronounce every single word the way we’d like – this is especially true for names. Finally, iOS gains a pronunciation editor just like the Mac has had for years. You can check out this feature in Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Pronunciations.

Verbosity Panel

Similarly, VoiceOver now has a Verbosity panel. Although it is limited, this section in VoiceOver Settings allows you to adjust the amount of information that is given by VoiceOver. Currently there are options for Speak Hints and Speak Emoji Suffix.

New Audio Settings

Additionally, in iOS 10, VoiceOver Settings now includes an Audio section. In this section, you can find a toggle to Auto Select Speaker in Call. If this feature is enabled, you’ll notice the same behavior you always have when making or receiving a phone call with VoiceOver running. However, if you turn this option off, calls will no longer be affected by the proximity sensor, regardless of whether or not VoiceOver is running. The second option in Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Audio will only appear if a stereo audio device is connected. This could include headphones or a bluetooth speaker. With headings called Speech Channel and Sound Channel, this option allows you to control whether VoiceOver speech and sounds come through the left channel (or speaker) or right channel (or speaker).


Another great addition to the VoiceOver section in Accessibility Settings is the inclusion of more voices. If you don’t like the current options for VoiceOver voices on iOS 10, if you get bored of voices easily, or if you just like using different voices for different tasks, you will be happy with iOS 10. New voices have been added for use with VoiceOver. Feel free to check them all out in Settings > General > Accessibility > VoiceOver > Speech > Voice.

Custom Rotor Actions

Lastly, there is a new feature in iOS 10 that may affect how you use the OS as a whole, and apps that are updated to support it. It is an option for developers called Custom Rotor Actions. This allows users to quickly accomplish tasks using the rotor, instead of searching for buttons or using a pass-through gesture. There are many examples of this, but here are two great examples:

When on the home screen in iOS 10, you will notice VoiceOver tells you the actions are available for each app, and if you swipe down, there is an option for Arrange Apps. If you would like more information about how to arrange apps this way, we have a great post about that here on iAccessibility.

Secondly, you will notice custom rotor actions in the Mail app. When you come across mail threads in your inbox, there will be a new “Expand Thread” option. This allows you to quickly interact with mail threads without having to leave your list of other messages. In addition, if you tap on a message to view it, there will be a Messages rotor action. It will allow you to quickly navigate the thread as a whole, and read all of its messages.

Custom Rotor actions is a wonderful feature, which is sure to improve your iOS 10 experience and productivity.