Accessible Apple: The 12 Requests of Christmas, Day 11

The customizable VoiceOver rotor in iOS 10

The customizable VoiceOver rotor in iOS 10

Editor's note: Due to scheduling issues, Day 11 is running a day late! Please accept our apologies.

This is the eleventh post in our annual 12-part series covering the accessibility features we would like to see Apple bring to its products in the coming year.

This series is being put together by Accessibility Editor Alex Jurgensen, with the help of several contributors.

For the eleventh request of Christmas, we ask Apple to give to us:

11. A Customizable Rotor for VoiceOver Navigation in macOS

VoiceOver has a feature called a rotor gesture, which some have described as a virtual on-screen knob. There is also a keyboard equivalent. The purpose of the rotor in the macOS version of VoiceOver is to cycle between the modes used to navigate documents, webpages, and apps.

With the release of macOS Sierra, Apple removed the ability to navigate documents by paragraphs, lines, and sentences. This has made it difficult for Voiceover users to efficiently navigate documents. It also prompted the question of why Apple doesn’t allow users to select what options appear in the rotor.

In iOS, where the rotor contains options other than those used for navigation, the Settings app has a screen for customizing the rotor. We ask Apple to port this feature to the Mac and give the users who depend on paragraph, line, and sentence navigation an option to continue to use those modes, while allowing others to disable those options.

The Previous Posts:

10. Relay Support for Assistive Technology Peripherals

9. The Ability to Use the Enhanced Siri Voices in macOS with VoiceOver

8. A System-wide Spellchecker on iOS

7. An Enhanced Spellchecker for macOS

6. A Rewritten "Activities" System for VoiceOver on the Mac

5. A Reimplementation of the Classic Mac Startup Chime

4. Braille Display and Keyboard Support for the Apple TV

3. A Free USB Type C to USB Type A Dongle

2. 6-Key Braille Input for macOS

1. A New Speech Manager