The hype around the new iPhone 7 release is growing by the day, and with it comes the new operating system iOS 9.3.4. The new phone is said to feature a better camera, more storage, improved speakers, and much more. Unfortunately, some users will be getting a raw deal if they purchase the new iPhone or upgrade their current Apple devices to the new operating system.
Gordon Kelly, a technology writer for Forbes, summed up the biggest issue with the new iOS in a recent article.
“The problem in iOS 9.3.4 is an incompatibility between VoiceOver and voice dictation. It’s hitting disabled and, in particular, blind users hard,” said Kelly. “In short: with VoiceOver enabled (it describes everything on your screen with a triple press of the home button) voice dictation is broken, producing duplicate and often muddled words.”
Kelly noted that multiple blind users have already contacted him regarding this issue. They told him the workaround is a tedious 10 step process that’s particularly difficult for a visually impaired user.
Apple is aware of this issue, but has no plans to fix the bug until the next iOS update (iOS10). There have been claims that the defect has been present since the first launch of iOS 9 back in September of 2015, and Apple chose not to remedy the problem until now.
A step behind
These inaccessibility issues are a common theme in today’s technology. Despite the fact that we see huge advancements in tech practically weekly, many users are being left behind. Disabled users often have to fend for themselves or find cumbersome solutions to make the technology they pay for work for them. Though things have improved some, like Facebook’s automatic dictation describing user photos, voice-over compatible technology still has a lot of catching up to do.