Testing aria-live support

What is the current support of aria-live regions, is it support by anything? Let’s find out!

For this test we’ll use these three testpages:

  1. Case 1: ARIA Live Region
  2. Case 2: ARIA Live Region: Atomic
  3. Case 3: ARIA Authoring Practices’ alert example

Table of contents

  1. Test results
  2. Test method
  3. Expected results
  4. Software versions used

Test Results

The results of the tests are listed in the test result table.

TL;DR: well supported in Chrome + JAWS, Narrator + Edge, and Orca + Firefox.

test result
AT Browser Case 1 Case 2 Case 3 Notes
VoiceOver
Safari (macOS) Pass Fail Pass Case 2: reads as Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox: 5, <atomic content>
Safari (iOS) Fail Pass Pass Case 1: current commands are interrupted by the polite live region, how rude.
Case 3: impressed that VoiceOver reads all five different languages correctly!
Chrome Fail Fail Pass Case 1: VoiceOver reads the live region in between paragraphs which is confusing.
Case 2: reads as Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox: 5, <atomic content>
Firefox Fail Fail Fail Firefox includes basic support for VoiceOver, very basic.
JAWS
Chrome Pass Pass Pass
Firefox Fail Fail Pass Having a hard time getting JAWS to work with Firefox. The first two cases aren’t read at all.
Edge Fail Fail Fail No text is read in any of the test cases.
Edge Chromium Pass Pass Fail Case 3: after the button is activated you hear Alert. But the content is not spoken.
NVDA
Chrome Fail Pass Pass Case 1: Current speech is interrupted to announce live region.
Firefox Fail Pass Pass Case 1: Sometimes the current speech is interrupted to announce live region.
Edge Fail Fail Fail No text is read in any of the test cases.
Edge Chromium Pass Pass Fail Case 3: NVDA has issues with this page. Results are random with the alert (not) being read.
Narrator
Chrome Pass Pass Fail Case 3: after the button is activated you hear Alert. But the content is not spoken.
Firefox Fail Fail Pass Case 1 & 2: No text is read.
Edge Pass Pass Pass Keeps reading live regions on pages in other tabs than the current one.
Edge Chromium Fail Fail Pass Case 1: When the live region updates the virtual cursor is placed at the top of the page. Narrator then starts reading the page from the top untill being reset again.
Case 2: When the live region updates Narrator announces group but nothing else.
Edge (Mobile) Pass Fail Pass Case 2: The live region content is read twice. Initially it’s announced as Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox 5. After that it’s announced correctly. Seems like Narrator takes the content as the live regions label.
Orca
Firefox Pass Pass Pass Keeps reading live regions on pages in other tabs than the current one.
Chromium Not supported
TalkBack
Chrome (Android) Pass Pass Pass

Test method

For consistent results this is how each test case was tested.

Case 1: polite live region

Load the page and use a command to read the entire page.

Case 2: atomic live region

Load the page, stop speech, and wait for the live region to be announced.

Case 3: alert

Navigated to the trigger alert button with either tab or swipes. Activated the button and waited for the screen reader to announce the alert.

Expected results

These are the expected results for each case. If these aren’t met the test is considered a fail.

Case 1: polite Live Region

The updated live region content is spoken after any other commands.

Case 2: Atomic

The changed text is read in the correct order. In the test case the score for the Tampa Bay Rays is updated. Therefore the expected result is: Tampa Bay Rays: <changed content> Boston Red Sox 5

Case 3: Alert

The alert is read as it appears. Note: Japanese and Korean text not being read isn’t counted as a fail. This depends on your installed language packs.

Software versions used

These tests were performed on Monday the 3rd of February of 2020. These software versions were used:

Operating Systems

  • macOS 10.14.6
  • iOS 13.3
  • Windows 10 1909 x64
  • Windows Phone 10 1706
  • Ubuntu 18.04.4
  • Android 10

Assistive Technologies

  • VoiceOver (whichever is included with their OS version)
  • JAWS 2020.1912.11 ILM
  • NVDA 2019.2.1
  • Narrator (whichever is included with the OS version)
  • Orca 3.28.0
  • TalkBack (whichever is included with the OS version)

Browsers

  • Firefox 72.0.2
  • Chrome/Chromium 79.0.3945.130
  • Safari 13.0.5 (macOS)
  • Safari whatever the version is that is installed on iOS 13.3
  • Edge 44.18362.449.0