iOS 7 Makes Me Sick–Literally (Motion Sickness) (Updated) (Fixed)

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Update 2: Apple released iOS 7.0.3 today (10/22/2013), and further enhanced the “Reduce Motion” option. Turning this on gets rid of most of the motion-based animations and switches a fade-in and –out effect. For me, at least, the issue is essentially resolved. I’m still finding iOS 7’s performance to be a bit choppy on my iPad 3, but at least I can use the thing for more than a few minutes without feeling ill.

Update: Okay, it seems like there’s definitely some lag in the UI that needs ironing out, and the parallax effect is without a doubt contributing to this issue for me. The good thing is, there’s a “Reduce Motion” option in Accessibility in the General section of settings that appears to help considerably. (Actually, after more usage, I’m going to say it helps a little. I still find it unpleasant.)

Reduce_Motion_Setting_iOS7

Give it a shot and let me know if it makes things better for you, too.

—–

I upgraded my iPad 3 to iOS 7 yesterday, and I’m rather ambivalent about it as an operating system in general. Some good things, probably, some bad things. I’m not terribly concerned, because at this point I only use the iPad for HBO Go (the Android app won’t install on 4.3) and for keeping myself in the loop on the goings-on in iOS land.

However, there’s something else I noticed. The animations in iOS, particularly in switching from an app to the home screen, opening and closing folders, etc., are all more aggressive (or slower, or with a lower frame rate, or something). It feels to me like the whole screen is moving, and it generates a sort of motion sickness. I feel dizzy and can feel the very beginnings of nausea kicking in.

This isn’t a new thing. Do a Google search on “FPS motion sickness” and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about. I suffer from this unfortunate malady as well—some first person shooter games where the perspective is just right (or just wrong, depending on how you want to look at it) make me intensely ill after I’ve played them for more than a few minutes. I get dizzy and feel like I could throw up without a moment’s notice, and this lasts for a few hours after. I don’t generally get motion sickness when riding in a car, but I have on a few occasions when a passenger on extremely twisted roads, and the feelings are exactly the same.

So, there you have it. iOS literally makes me sick. It might be that the frame rates are a little too low and need some optimization, it may be that I need to look at it differently (haven’t we heard that somewhere before?), it may be the parallax effect, or I may end up completely unable to use the iPad with iOS 7 installed on it.

I’m going to first try switching off the parallax effect, if that’s possible. Maybe there’s that just gives the GPU too much to do, which would surprise me—Apple’s usually pretty good about optimizing things—but not shock me. If that makes a difference, I’ll report back here.

So, anyone else having this problem? Or am I just a freak of nature? Let me know in the comments.

Speaking of comments, thanks to BK for providing a couple of forum links discussing the issue of iOS 7 and motion sickness. If you’re experiencing the problem as well, you’re not alone:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1638996
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1595925
https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5322295?start=0&tstart=0

Also, Marissa adds:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5322295?start=0&tstart=0

Apple doesn’t always seem to pay attention to their own forums, but maybe this time they’ll give a look and realize this is a real issue for many people.

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Comments

  1. I’m going to go with freak of nature. Well, not really, but you are definitely on the severe end of the spectrum. How much are you moving your iPad while you use it? I can’t see enough motion in parallax to cause nausea – in normal use, anyway.

    And this is from someone who has a constant supply of Gravol on hand.

    • mark.coppock says:

      I don’t think it’s the parallax effect, per se, that’s causing the issue. I think perhaps the parallax effect is causing frame rate issues with the animations, which I suspect contributes. At least, that’s my experience with some first-person shooter games–if the frame rate is too low, it seems to cause a disconnect between the apparent motion and what the eye is actually experiencing, if that makes any sense. Or, to put it another way, the more sudden the motion, the more motion sickness, whereas smoother motion causes less motion sickness. I’m guessing here, but I do know that reducing motion (which turns off or significantly reduces the parallax effect) does help a bit, although the same zooming in and out that BK mentions is still there.

      Whichever, yes, I think I’m on the severe end of the spectrum, but I’m apparently not alone.

  2. Yes, this constant zooming in and out of apps is making me nauseous. I have resorted to closing my eyes and/or looking away as I switch apps. And I’ve had a constant headache for the past two days while using iOS 7:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1638996

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1595925

  3. Jonny Drury says:

    I just tweeted yesterday how the icons zooming in and out were making me dizzy @enablecreation – someone RT’d and I found many people are now getting this debilitating issue. I’ve no history of this except a bit of seasickness.

  4. No, you’re not crazy!

    “you are definitely on the severe end of the spectrum. ” I’m on the severe side of the spectrum…I’m living with a disabling vestibular(balance) disorder. It would make sense why I’m reacting, I have a damaged balance system. A little unsure what’s causing the general public to react.

    I have spent the last two days reviewing blogs, Facebook comments and tweets… you’re NOT ALONE.

    Check this link…
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5322295?start=0&tstart=0

    Also, check out Twitter search https://twitter.com/search-home
    Enter keywords…. iOS7 vertigo…. iOS7 dizzy… and you won’t feel alone!:)

    Fingers crossed for change. PLEASE be sure to email Apple and voice your concern!

    ~Marissa

    • mark.coppock says:

      Thanks for the link, I’ll add it to the post. And hopefully Apple will get the message and provide an option to turn off those ungodly animations. They’re entirely unnecessary.

  5. I found a similar problem after installing iOS 7 on my iPad mini and wondered. For me it is more “disconcerting” than “nauseating”, but I feel uneasy in using my iPad mini after the update. And for me it is primarily apps and folders “exploding” into my face that seem to trigger some sort of deeply ingrained reflex (some sort of wanting to duck away from the objects “flying my way” or “thrown at me”).

    No problem with my iPhone and iOS 7 so far. There it does not effect me. Can’t install iOS 7 on my “big” iPad, I fear it would drive me nuts …

    • mark.coppock says:

      I think there’s as wide a range of how this issue affects people as there are people. From zero effect to “Oh my God, I’m going to puke!” and screen size could definitely be part of the equation.

      • Yes, I see that. The funny thing is: Normally I have no problems in this regard (not that strong at least) and want to get to the root of it. This is a personal thing for everyone affected I’d guess. I think it is important to show that even people without known disorders can be affected.

        I will definetely follow the links that came up to get the “greater picture” of that issue. I’m surely one of the least affected and can imagine what this means to those with more severe problems …

  6. I tried someone else’s iPhone with iOS 7 — literally cannot use it; too much motion sickness. If they don’t address it, I’ll have to (NOOOOOO!!) get an Android or something. :(

    • mark.coppock says:

      Well, I’ve been using Android phones for over two years now, and I love it. So it wouldn’t be the _end_ of the world… :-)

  7. You are not a freak of nature. I am not on the severe end of the spectrum per se, but I do get motion sickness. I cannot use my ipad with iO7 because it makes me feel incredibly nauseated and makes my eyes hurt. (I reduced motion; it doesn’t help.) I emailed Apple with the feedback, hoping it will make a difference. I really hope that Apple fixes this issue before my new iphone arrives in about 3 weeks. An insane amount of money to spend on a phone that makes you feel ill. :(

  8. Lisa Fuellemann says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience: you are definitely not alone! I am having very similar issues with my iPad 2, despite having tried the “reduce motion” trick. I also enabled the bold text option as well. These have helped a small amount, but looking at the iPad is no longer a comfortable experience. I used to be able to use it for hours, but now just a few minutes makes me somewhat queasy and uncomfortable. Yes, I’ve let Apple know. I sincerely hope they address this issue! I was all set to take the plunge and get an iPhone (to replace my decade old Tracfone), but I am putting that off for now and sticking with my dumb phone for calling/texting and my old iPod (4th generation, running iOS6) for my calendar and contacts. It certainly is better for my pocketbook this way!

  9. I like iOS7 normally, but after a few beers I find it very alarming to use. My eyes start not being able to track things properly with all the zooming in and out.

    Perhaps it should dramatically reduce the zooming effects between 10pm and 7am.

  10. The apps zooming in and out when opening and closing gives me super dizziness and resulted in me having to downgrade to iOS6 until (if ever) Apple can add a solution to the problem. To be clear I love the new iOS7 design and features so I would LOVE to be using it but the zoom causes literally physical reactions similar to motion sickness.

  11. Hi there and cheers from Russia! I downloaded the new iOS7 for my devices today and now completely unable to use iPhone and iPad due to severe dizziness. I called Apple hotline and made a complaint. I spent my money for the things with their features that I can’t use now and I’m FURIOUS!!! You’re not alone, and I hope Apple CEOs will hear us and un-do those “wonderful” features.

  12. It’s called mass hysteria. A lot of bloggers with oxygen deficiency has very bad headache and writes about it.
    A few hypochondriacs read this and tell it other hypochondriacs.
    And surprise … The next gate is born.

    • mark.coppock says:

      I think you’re misusing the term “hypochondriac” here. Anyways, if you don’t suffer from the problem, more power to you. However, there are folks who do, and so your comment isn’t really all that helpful.

  13. It took me a while to figure out that the headaches I have lately have to do with the upgrade of my iPad Mini. I think it is due to the colors, the motion, the sharp and blurriness in one visual and all the moving bits, such as the flying apps.

    The reduce motion helps a little, but still I am soo sorry I said ‘okay’ to the update. My iPadMini was my beloved tool for everything: from navigator whilst trekking to movie screen. Now it is just a stupid device that can come handy now and then.

    I wish Apple offered the possibility of turning back to iOS 6. But none of the helps desks would help me out. Apparently I’d loose all my personal settings and apps, when downgrading: there seems to be no way back.

    Hopefully Apple comes with a solution, such as iOS 7 with the looks of iOS 6 or the possibility of changing colors and the other effects into less aggressive visuals.

  14. I got sick from the constant zoom in and out with ios7. I called apple and they don’t have a resolution, whatsoever. I’ve resorted to closing my eyes at times when zooming in and out on my phone. Dissapointing.

  15. No you are not crazy. The zooming in and out is making me so sick and headachy. And turning on reduce motion does not help. Apple, pleeeeez, for the love of God, fix this. You’ve gone way overboard. Keep it simple. I hate my phone now.

Trackbacks

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