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Apple updates App Store with VoiceOver fixes in iOS

updated 07:46 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2012

Silent update responds to complaints from visually-impaired users

Following complaints made by visually-impaired users that the redesigned App Store in iOS 6 is something of a downgrade for them, Apple has quickly responded by rolling out more VoiceOver functionality to restore the usefulness of the store back to pre-iOS 6 levels. AppleVis, a website dedicated to low-vision and blind users that often presses Apple for more functionality, notes that the new changes actually now improve on what was there in iOS 5. The site was also quick to note that many changes to improve accessibility to the store had been made just prior to iOS 6's final release.

One of the main complaints with the store's redesign for visually-impaired users was that the rating of the app was no longer read out by VoiceOver, leaving them unaware of which apps were well-regarded. This was one of many major issues in the GM of iOS 6, most of which were addressed prior to the final release but with a few remaining.

The fixes, which were issued on the server side and thus did not require an OS update, also brought labels to app screenshots for VoiceOver users. An all-new picker control also now appears in the Search or Genius tabs, allowing users to move quickly through the listed apps. Reviews and other sections are now presented as tabs instead of buttons for VoiceOver, making them easier to access.

VoiceOver now works fully in the App Store, iBookstore and general iTunes Store. An AppleVis blogger named David said that it was "great to see Apple still actively working on accessibility improvements" following the redesign of the App Store, which has generally won praise for a cleaner and more efficient design. [via AppleVis]

by MacNN Staff



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