Test accessibility with VoiceOver or TalkBack

Restriction: The new TalkBack testing functionality is initially offered as a Technology Preview feature. Technology Preview features are features that are rolled out early for a trial period but that may not be functionally complete. These features are provided to the customer to solicit interest and feedback, with the goal of full support in future releases. Customers are encouraged to provide feedback and functionality suggestions for Technology Preview features before they become fully supported. When full support becomes available, these features may be offered under a separate license.

These days, every app needs to be usable by as many people as possible. This is not only fair and the right thing to do, it is also mandated by various regulations around the world, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in the US, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 in the UK, and the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) in Canada. For guidelines on making content on the web more accessible, you can also refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), an international standard.

To assist you with testing and improving the accessibility of your applications, Perfecto provides the option to enable the following screen readers during manual testing. Screen readers make it possible to use and interact with a mobile device even if you are visually impaired

  • On iOS: VoiceOver, Apple's mobile screen reader that is based on gestures. VoiceOver provides audible descriptions of the device screen to ensure that users with vision impairment can understand what is presented on the screen.

  • On Android: TalkBack, an accessibility service developed by Google that is installed on all Android devices. TalkBack describes user actions using spoken words and provides alerts and notifications through vibrations and other audible feedback.

Gestures allow a user to navigate and interact with screen elements. By letting you hear the VoiceOver or TalkBack audio and use VoiceOver or TalkBack commands, Perfecto helps you ensure that your application's UI elements are correct and identify potential usability issues for VoiceOver or TalkBack users.


VoiceOver testing requires the following:

  • A Perfecto Enterprise cloud configured with Appium 1.22.3

  • Mobile devices running iOS 15 or later

TalkBack testing requires the following:

  • A Perfecto Enterprise cloud configured with Appium 1.22.3

  • Mobile devices running Android 12 or later. Earlier versions may work as well but are not officially supported.

To have this functionality set up in your cloud, contact your Perfecto account representative. A separate license is required to access this feature.

Known issue

iOS: Due to an Apple bug, moving between objects on the SpringBoard (the Home screen) does not work properly on some iOS devices. This issue seems to be limited to the Calendar widget.

Perform accessibility testing with VoiceOver or TalkBack

Watch this short video to see how accessibility testing works with VoiceOver. Detailed steps follow.

To perform VoiceOver or TalkBack testing:

  1. On the device toolbar, click the accessibility icon .

  2. In the Accessibility dialog box, turn on Accessibility mode.

    This may take a few seconds. Do not interact with the open device during this time. When setup is complete, the word 'Available' will sound and the icon background on the toolbar changes to green .

  3. On the open device, start the application you want to test.

  4. In the Accessibility dialog box:

    • To test VoiceOver for all elements on the screen, use the Next , Previous , and First options.

      To test TalkBack for all elements on the screen, use the Next and Previous options.

      These options correspond to the following user gestures on the device: swipe right, swipe left, and four-finger tap at the top of the screen

      Alternatively, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts: Shift+Right arrow key, Shift+Left arrow key, and Shift+Up arrow key

      Each time you move to a new element, the respective screen reader reads the related description.

    • Use the Tap option to click an item, for example to open an app. This option corresponds to the following user gestures on the device: double-tap or split-tap (touching and holding an item with one finger while tapping the screen with another finger)

      Alternatively, you can use the following keyboard shortcut: Shift+Spacebar

  5. (Optional) When done, turn Accessibility mode off.

    This step is not required. Accessibility mode is automatically turned off when the device is released.