Apple’s iOS 7 is Literally Making People Sick

by Matt Klassen on October 2, 2013

There are many who are unhappy with Apple’s recently released iOS 7 update, annoyed by the tweaks to the user interface, the changed look, the auto-zoom features, and the operating system’s new visual overlay. In reference to the latter two, however, it looks like some people are more than just annoyed, they’re sickened (quite literally in fact), as reports have begun to surface of users experiencing headaches and nausea due to the quickly changing visual dynamics of the screen.

The reports started almost immediately after Apple launched iOS 7 last month, with users complaining of feeling ‘car sick,’ dizzy, or wanting to vomit after only using their Apple products a short amount of time. While some complained of the auto-zoom feature users now see when apps are opened and closed, others are pointing to what Apple calls the ‘parallax effect,’ simply “a fancy way of referring to foreground and background motion as your line of sight changes.”

While there are no hard numbers regarding how many people are effected by the new animations and zoom features of Apple’s iOS 7, if such complaints aren’t quickly remedied it could balloon into a serious problem for theCupertinoCompany, as others will undoubtedly begin to draw false correlations between their unrelated maladies and the now infamous operating system update.

At this stage is actually difficult to determine what’s making some iOS 7 users ill, with some complaining that the auto-zoom is the culprit, while others point to Apple’s inclusion of the “parallax effect” as the real problem.

Briefly, the parallax effect refers to how things in the foreground and background seem to move as our line of sight changes, something Apple has tried to replicate by connecting the phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer to the visual overlay of the OS. As Time writer Matt Peckham explains, “If you twist or tilt the phone while viewing the screen, the interface appears to float slightly above whatever background image you’ve chosen.”

While there’s little question that iOS 7 induced nausea is a concern for some, it’s difficult to determine just how big of an issue it is. As Peckham says, “Even if iOS 7?s animations are making some feel sick, crowdsourcing can lead to groupthink (people drawing false correlations between feeling off for another unrelated reason), and the media piling onto the issue can lead to a skewed sense of said issue’s severity and/or impact.” [Italics mine]

Its becoming abundantly clear that even if this is a relatively non-issue, the media have been quick to jump on it, hungry for a mistake from Apple to splash across the headlines. But cutting through the sensationalism, I still have to admit that it seems Apple has screwed up, as while I can understand how such an issue might have escaped detection through beta testing phases, I simply can’t understand why Apple wouldn’t allow users to turn off these new visual features.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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