Accessibility Issues in Android Apps: State of Affairs, Sentiments, and Ways Forward.


Mobile apps are an integral component of our daily life. Ability touse mobile apps is important for everyone, but arguably even moreso for approximately 15% of the world population with disabili-ties. This paper presents the results of a large-scale empirical studyaimed at understanding accessibility of Android apps from threecomplementary perspectives. First, we analyze the prevalence ofaccessibility issues in over1,000Android apps. We find that almostall apps are riddled with accessibility issues, hindering their useby disabled people. We then investigate the developer sentimentsthrough a survey aimed at understanding the root causes of somany accessibility issues. We find that in large part developersare unaware of accessibility design principles and analysis tools,and the organizations in which they are employed do not place apremium on accessibility. We finally investigate user ratings andcomments on app stores. We find that due to the disproportion-ately small number of users with disabilities, user ratings and apppopularity are not indicative of the extent of accessibility issues inapps. We conclude the paper with several observations that formthe foundation for future research and development.

In ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering,ACM/IEEE.