Here is a post from a BVA member about the new Apple iOS 8:
This is not intended to cover every facet of iOS 8, rather provide a quick overview of a couple of the updates, bugs, and resources with more extensive reviews. This does not discuss anything related to the iPhone 6 or issuance of the KNFB iOS app.
iOS 8 Release: Things to Consider Before Updating Technology Association for Veterans with Visual Impairments
September 24, 2014
On September 17, Apple officially released iOS 8. This update includes many new and updated features that take the iPhone and iPad to a whole new level. Here are some of the most notable and what they do:
• Voice Over announces “footer” when it reaches the last bit of text at the bottom of a page, regardless of whether you are on a webpage or in your settings menu, Voice Over will start that final line by saying, footer. This is designed to let you know that you reached the bottom of that page.
• Audio ducking toggle switch is now available as a rotor option. Audio ducking is a Voice Over feature that reduces the volume of the non-Voice Over sound as you use Voice Over. To enable this toggle for your rotor, head to Settings, General, Accessibility, Voice Over, and Rotor settings, and swipe down to Audio Ducking.
• More options exist as an action for Voice Over when swiping up/down on an email message in the Mail app. The more options allow you to quickly forward, reply, reply all, and other tasks commonly performed with emails.
• Direct Touch Typing merges standard and touch typing into one typing method. If you are in a text field, turn the rotor to typing options. Direct touch typing by default acts like standard typing. However, if you are extremely confident that you hit your desired key on the first try, direct touch typing will type the letter you simply tap on without exploring by touch.
• Braille now appears as an option like handwriting in the rotor. Head to Settings, General, Accessibility, Voice Over, and Rotor. Swipe until you find the braille option. Reference the below link for detailed information from AppleVis.com on this feature.
• Zoom now possesses multiple methods to zoom. For those familiar with Android Zooming or Zoom Text options, you will be happy to notice some of these now appear in Settings, General, Accessibility, Zoom. These include the standard full screen zooming, window zoom, region zoom, and area zoom. Apple also included an on-screen joystick style controller to ease panning.
• Speak screen is another advancement for Zoom users. Located under the Settings, General, Accessibility, Speech, Speak Screen menu, you can listen to the contents of the screen without turning Voice Over on.
For more information on changes to Accessibility in iOS 8, visit these links:
Note: Perform a four finger double tap to start Voice Over help.
• Hey Siri is a new way to interact with Siri. This feature requires the following steps:
◦ Your iPhone or iPad to be connected to a power source
◦ You must say, “Hey Siri.” If successful, you will hear the Siri chime that indicates its ready for your next command
• Health Book is an app of sorts located on all iOS 8 devices. It will be up to the individual to take advantage of this app for tracking various bio-metrical data. These range from your weight and intake to exercise and blood pressure. As more wearable devices hit the market like the Nike band or pending Apple Watch, we will have more methods to track how we live.
• Wallet truly becomes a digital wallet. Right now, only a few high end retailers and some credit cards take advantage of this app, but more, like Bank of America, will arrive. A downfall for Wallet stems from paying with Wallet. Only devices with NFC capabilities (i.e. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus) will be able to remotely pay.
• Near Field Communications (NFC) finally arrived on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. This stands out as special mention as those Script Talk users will soon be able to download the Script Talk app, and scan their medications with the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
• Now you can answer a message or make a call directly from the Notifications Center.
For more information about iOS 8, view these links:
Caution If You Are Updating to iOS 8:
It’s common to approach these major updates with a bit of hesitation. In fact, many people elect to wait for the first incremental update (like 8.0.1 or 8.1) before taking the plunge. If you are on the border, the below list includes some examples on why waiting to update is advisable:
• You are a brand new iOS user, and have concerns about learning the new features
• You are concern about the bugs with Voice Over or Zoom
• None of the new features appeal to you
• Unsure if you have enough storage on the device as the update requires 1 GB of free space to download and install
• Concern that the new update will increase the battery drain, and you do not have a backup battery pack
Sluggish Devices with iOS 8 and Voice Over
If you are concern that your device may become sluggish after updating, the following list are those devices where Voice Over users report such behaviors:
• iPhone 4S
• iPad 2nd Generation
• iPad 3rd Generation
After working with iOS 8 for several days now on both an iPhone 5 and iPad 3rd Generation, I have been able to duplicate many of the bugs reported at the below link. Some of these are severe and stand out as major frustrations when using your device. This next piece will list the bugs posted by AppleVis.com and my experience with each.
• Screen fails to follow the Voice Over Cursor. This becomes evident if you attempt to select a button, but cannot activate it. Work around is to try to find that button by exploring the screen with your finger, lifting then sliding, and tapping on it.
• When using the number pad to dial a phone number or in a teleprompt, the button would “stick.” Basically, you will hear the key’s tone no matter what you try to do. The only way to shut this off is to actually turn off your device by pressing any holding the power button and double tapping on power off the device.
• Handwriting may crash Voice Over. This seemed to mainly occur if you use handwriting to open an app on the home screen or enter your pass code on the unlock screen. Additionally, Handwriting might seem unresponsive while entering text in a text box. Best solution is to use the rotor to activate and deactivate handwriting. Additionally, this problem seems to occur less and less after powering off my iPhone 5, and it is non-existent on my iPad 3rd generation.
• Voice Over will not read off notifications on the lock screen. Rather, you will simply hear the chime. No work-arounds exist yet.
• Voice Over will not automatically read off the caller ID. You will have to swipe through the screen in order for Voice Over to mention the caller.
• Siri’s responses often are cut off. For example, Siri would state, “the time is,” but not finish the statement if you asked Siri for the time. This also occurs with numerous other commands. I have noticed this bug arises less often as time passes.
• If trying to purchase an app or other App Store or iTunes store item, you may have to do a single finger triple tap to activate the button. Not sure how pervasive this issue is, so you may wish to try a single finger triple block on other buttons that do not seem to work properly.
• App icons located on the fifth row above the dock cannot be moved. This bug definitely impacts those interested in rearranging their screens. This row of apps appear completely unaffected no matter how you try to shake things up.
More bugs exist as these represent the relatively few I have personal experience with. Please use the below link to obtain a full list of bugs identified in iOS 8 for Voice Over users.
Apple Accessibility and Bug Reports
Apple Accessibility requires our assistance as end users to fully diagnose these bugs. For many reading this, updating to iOS 8 can be very helpful. This of course depends on your comfort level and willingness to troubleshoot some of the bugs within iOS 8. The only way we will see many of the bugs resolved in a timely manner depends solely on the outcry from the consumers.
Contacting Apple Accessibility is fairly easy and straight forward to do. I recommend the following steps:
• Ensure the bug is related to an accessibility feature
• Send an email to Apple Accessibility at: firstname.lastname@example.org
• In your email include:
Model or iOS Device Version of iOS
Exact details and events that created the bug Voice Over, Zoom, or other accessibility feature you were using
Settings of that accessibility feature (like if it is a voice issue, what Voice Over voice you were using)
Historically, I have sent in one email per each bug, and never bunched several unrelated bugs together. Now, if the bugs are related, it could be useful to group these together. For example, a very similar occurrence where by handwriting behaves weirdly on both the home and lock screens.
I cannot stress this enough, but convey your messages in a professional and straight forward manner. Do not curse or blame the accessibility team in your email for not having the problem already resolved. They will be swamped with these types of requests over the next several weeks, and you will receive a far better response by sounding like you wish to help in resolving the problem.
How to Update to iOS 8
For those still interested in updating to iOS 8, the below two methods illustrate how this might be accomplished. Before we proceed any further, here are a few words of advice and caution:
• Back up your iPhone or iPad. This is crucial in the event you encounter an issue while updating.
• Connect your device to a power supply. If you update your device through the Settings option, this will reduce the chance of corrupting the install via battery drain. If you update through iTunes on your computer, then this advise is redundant.
• Once you update to iOS 8, you will not be able to revert to a previous iOS
Updating through System Settings
The easiest method of updating occurs through your device. The easiest method involves awaiting for an alert to appear that your device possesses an update. This only appears if you enabled automatic updates. Otherwise, do the following:
1. Connect your device to a power source.
2. Unlock your device
3. Open the main Settings app.
4. Navigate and tap on General.
5. Navigate and tap on System Update. Within Update Software screen, you will find your current version and a button to check for any updates.
6. Tap on Check for Updates button. A window will appear if an update is available for your device.
7. Tap on the button to begin downloading and installing the update
Updating Through a Mac
In order to accomplish this, you must possess the latest version of iTunes. To determine this, either open iTunes or navigate to Software Update in the Apple menu at the top left of the screen. Once your device is connected, perform the following:
1. Open iTunes
2. Force your Mac to backup your device by navigating to File in the top left menu, to Devices, then sync.
3. Navigate through the main iTunes window until you find your device in a pop-up menu option.
4. Select the Summary Tab.
5. Navigate to the summary window.
6. Scroll down to the button that states Check for Software Updates.
7. Clicking on this button will download the iOS8 update package to your computer.