The popularity of Stickers was no surprise to us. What did surprise us was that these graphical elements are a hit with customers who have vision difficulties.
In retrospect, it makes sense. You want to let friends know that poo is hitting the fan even if you can’t see well. As always, Apple has thought about making their products accessible from day one, and the new features in Messages are no exception.
But it doesn’t work like you’d expect for the default apps created by Xcode. Take Parakeet’s excellent Snacks collection as an example. What would you expect to hear VoiceOver say with this configuration?
Congratulations if you said “Bacon P-N-G Accessibility Label”. Technically, that’s the “same” as the
Bacon.png file that was dragged into the Asset catalog, but it’s not what you or your customer expects. When you add “Bacon” in the Accessibility field as well, it’s read correctly and everyone wins. As you know, you can’t have too much bacon.
As for our own Sticker packs, we implemented custom view controllers and don’t suffer from this particular problem. We have identified some other small accessibility issues throughout our work and will be issuing updates soon. Parakeet will also be updating their release with improved labels.
If you’ve released Stickers for iMessage without Accessibility labels, we suggest that you do the same.