Apple silently updated the iOS 6 App Store today, adding more accessibility features to its VoiceOver interface for users who experience blindness and low vision. The new changes are in response to user complaints about accessibility in the iOS 6 App Store, and will help those users perform faster searches when interacting with the App Store via the VoiceOver system.
The original iOS 6 redesign took out VoiceOver functionality like reading the app rating aloud and being unable to quickly browse through the lists in Search of Genius views. The former problem had been fixed by the Apple Accessibility team before the release of iOS 6, notes AppleVis, a site dedicated to Apple users with visual disabilities. A final issue addressed today is the addition of clear labels for screenshots in the App Store, something that accessibility experts have encouraged on web pages for many years.
“It’s great to see that Apple are still actively working on accessibility improvements to the App Store and are rolling out fixes in double-quick time,” writes AppleViz
The current fixes went live today, and only required back-end server fixes on Apple’s part, so no app update push was needed. The new picker control presents listed apps as tabs instead of buttons, which is then interpreted by VoiceOver in a much easier-to-use manner for those using it to access their iOS device.
In my own testing today, I was unable to find any optimal screenshot labels, however. Each image that I previewed was labeled, “Screenshot 1: Image,” when I invoked the VoiceOver feature on my iPhone.