TORONTO – Apple’s latest mobile operating system iOS 7 is so rich in graphics and moving features that it might make you sick – literally.
Some iOS 7 users have reported bouts of nausea, headaches and dizziness after using their iPhones or iPads, many comparing their symptoms to how they feel when they get motion sickness in the car.
“The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally 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,” wrote one user on Apple’s support page.
“I had severe vertigo the minute I started using my iPad with iOS 7,” noted one user.
Another user chimed in, “I’m now going on day 3 of total nausea. At first I didn’t want to believe it’s because of iOS 7, but I can’t stand even looking at non animation areas for more than a few minutes even typing this.”
Turns out these users are suffering from “cybersickness” – a condition quite similar to motion sickness that occurs in virtual-reality environments, such as 3D movies or video games, to people who are sensitive to moving graphics.
iOS 7 has many fancy features that are giving users weak stomachs, from the zooming in and out of apps, to the parallax effect on the home screen that makes the background image move. Combine that with a high-resolution screen and good graphics and you have a perfect recipe for nausea.
According to psychologist Frederick Bonato, who has done research on cybersickness, symptoms occur when the sense of sight doesn’t match the sense of balance – just like motion sickness.
“What your brain may be doing is reacting as if you have been poisoned; because that’s what some poisons will do – they will create these mismatching sensory inputs,” Bonato said in a YouTube video on cybersickness uploaded by the National Science Foundation.
This type of motion sickness may have earned its nickname from IMAX cinema screens, most commonly associated with cybersickness.
According to an article by Extreme Tech, Apple’s parallax effect causes cybersickness thanks to the way the icons on your home screen appear to move separately from the background image, which can cause 2D/3D disorientation.
Users can turn off the parallax effect by going to the “Settings” menu on their iPad or iPhone, tapping on “General” then “Accessibility” and choosing to turn on “Reduce Motion.”
However, there is no way that users can disable the zoom function that zooms in and out of apps – which is the most complained-about on Apple’s support page.
Users also noted on the support page that they didn’t feel that the “Reduce Motion” function was helping their cybersickness.
© Shaw Media, 2013