iOS 7 Animations Causing Some People to Feel Nausea

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As with every iOS launch, the complaints are in. New design, new problem: the zooming and the parallax animations cause — alongside battery life issues, which I experienced myself in the first few days on my iPad 4 — motion sickness, some users report (via The Verge).

As Ensorceled, a user who started the discussion on Apple support communities, writes, the “zoom animations everywhere in the new iOS 7 are literarily making me nauseous and giving me a headache. It’s exactly how I used to get car sick if I tried to read in the car.”

His entry received lots of replies, with the majority complaining about headaches and nauseousness as a result of the animations built into iOS 7.

“I had severe vertigo the minute I started using my iPad with iOS 7,” says Apple forum user glassrabit. “Lost the rest of the day to it.” Another user, nybe, writes, “I had to go home ‘sick’ from work because of the intense nausea due to using my iPhone with iOS 7.”

Fact is, the latest mobile operating system includes a “Reduce Motion” option, but this is apparently for reducing the parallax effect – which, by the way, will save you precious minutes of battery life.

RJV Berlin, a commenter with alleged experience in the visually induced motion sickness and visual stress field, was surprised to see Apple implementing these animations, without identifying this as an issue:

What IS surprising is that Apple neither foresaw it nor identified the issue from beta tester feedback (or worse, failed to take that seriously). I can understand an industrial designer like Ive more used to working on physical objects could be unaware of the effects visual displays can have on people, especially if they move, but surely he must have had computer graphics experts in his team…

This is a health issue comparable to epileptic attacks caused by certain kinds of flicker, first observed on a large scale because of a now infamous episode on Japanese TV. I think it’s serious enough for Apple to provide EITHER a very rapid update that allows to disable animations or reduce their duration significantly (something I think should be configurable anyway, at least after an initial hour or so of having “admired” them …) OR a well documented way to downgrade back to 6.1x (and sign that release again, of course).

As a workaround, users have ended up downgrading to iOS 6, which didn’t have these animations.

What about you? Any iOS 7 side effects?

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • Off the Dial

    How can you downgrade to iOS 6? I thought Apple stopped signing it?

  • Supacon

    Where’s the evidence that enabling ‘reduce motion’ will improve battery life? This sounds like a specious claim to me unless you spend inordinate amounts of time moving the phone around with just the home screen on (which I’ll admit, you may want to do until the novelty wears off).

  • thebruce0

    This article has directly hit on my primary issue with iOS7. As a designer myself, I’m extremely surprised and disappointed that there’s no option to turn off all these OS ‘flare’ animations. It’s all sugar-coating that adds time to complete tasks, let alone the health issues described above. I really hope Apple addresses these concerns in a timely manner.

  • websnap

    My wife, who deals with rare but spontaneous bouts of vertigo due to a car accident hasn’t even mentioned it once… (I waited to see if she saw it before I mentioned it, so as not to draw attention if she hadn’t already noticed it). How much time do people spend on their home screen? Downgrading is overkill, just turn off the motion. Sounds like people complaining while they have an ear to complain to…

  • FragilityG4

    Sorry to hear about your wife. My friend has delt with vertigo and I know it’s not easy to do so.

  • Chrome262

    My Uncle has it as well, and I agree, this is all crap, All he said recently is that he loves the new OS. Come on, to get sick over it you would have to constantly move the phone around, like when you are driving or skating, things you shouldn’t be doing while on the phone.

  • Chrome262

    There is options to turn it off

  • Off the Dial

    There’s only options to turn off the paralax effect, not the zoom in/out animations when opening and closing apps.

  • A

    Where? Have you tried it? “Reduce motion” only disables the paralax effect.

  • websnap

    yeah it sucks. One day she’s totally fine, the next see wakes up with the room spinning and difficulty with depth perception. We do a few epley manoeuvres and she’s on the mend (sometimes). Impossible to plan for and you never know how long it will last.

  • FragilityG4

    All the best.

  • Chrome262

    I like the animation so I never really looked.