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Does iOS 7 Make You Feel Sick?
Does iOS 7 Make You Feel Sick?

By Barry Levine
September 30, 2013 10:03AM

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One analyst said Apple's iOS 7 is "snappy and slick." He didn't think the reports of people suffering from motion sickness using iOS 7 would significantly affect the acceptance of the new OS or the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. However, Apple doesn't want another mass uprising of customers that compels it to issue apologies and major fixes.
 



Countless iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c are claiming Apple's new iOS 7 is making them sick. The key culprits appear to be visual effects in the user interface that did not exist in previous versions of iOS 7, which is preinstalled on every new iPhone 5c and 5s.

The interaction between the user interface and the iPhone's gyroscope and accelerometer makes the interface appear to be floating over the background image, plus there is widespread use of zooming animations during transitions.

Some users are reporting that this combination of visual effects is causing them to feel dizzy or queasy -- an effect much like car sickness.

"Giving Me a Headache"

On the Apple Support Communities forum, for instance, a user named Ensorceled wrote earlier this month that "the zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache," and added that "it's exactly how I used to get car sick if I tried to read in the car."

Another user, ajax324: "I can't believe someone when testing iOS 7 didn't say, 'Hey, this animation makes me nauseous.'" A Luxembourg-based user, Guballu, points out that there's a setting that allows one to "reduce motion," while another notes this only removes the parallax effect of a plane of icons moving independently of the background, but does not alter the animations.

Others report employing such workarounds as putting app icons into folders, moving all apps to a page other than the main one, or even downgrading to iOS 6.x.

NBC News talked to a Montclair State University psychologist, Frederick Bonato, who said that, although he and his colleagues have not done any experiments with the new OS, the motion of the screen coupled with the "very sharp, clear" resolution is most likely central to the problem. This results, Bonato said, in "seeing a three-dimensional space," which the user knows "is flat," thus confusing the brain into thinking the user is in motion. He said this kind of conflicting information similarly causes dizziness or nausea in, say, IMAX movie theaters or flight simulators.

"Snappy and Slick"

Ramon Llamas, Research Analyst at IDC Mobility, said he found iOS 7 to be "snappy and slick," and added that he didn't think these reports would significantly affect the acceptance of the new OS or the new iPhone models.

At the moment, he said, it appears that there are not a "huge number" of users who are having this kind of reaction to the visuals. If the number of complaints keeps growing, however, Llamas said Apple could issue an update, such as one that allows all contributing factors to be turned off.

Of course, what Apple doesn't want is another mass uprising of customers that compels it to issue apologies and major fixes. Such an uprising occurred, for instance, in 2010 following reports of wavering radio signal strength in the iPhone 4 when a user's hand or finger was placed near one edge. Apple ended up offering a free bumper case to every iPhone 4 customer, as well as a refund.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Lillian:

Posted: 2013-10-22 @ 7:46am PT
The new system sent me to my eye care specialist. I can't see the screen and the colors are way to vivid. I hate this new version. I have a TBI. This is horrible for someone like me who have cognitive and short memory problems.

Sam C.:

Posted: 2013-10-18 @ 4:32am PT
You can sign the online petition here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/apple-inc-ios-7-is-making-me-sick-literally-please-provide-an-option-to-disable-animation-elements-of-ios-7

Casandra:

Posted: 2013-10-07 @ 10:06am PT
You know you can turn it off? Just go to your settings. It's not that hard.

Inhawaii:

Posted: 2013-10-01 @ 9:36pm PT
I wish I could downgrade! It makes me not want to use my phone!



Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) is a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information and analysis to the Internet, telecommunications, information services, financial services, retail, media and advertising sectors. Neustar applies its advanced, secure technologies in location, identification, and evaluation to help its customers promote and protect their businesses. More information is available at www.neustar.biz.


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