iOS 7 teaser (iPhone 5c ad 004)

Soon after Apple thoroughly revamped its mobile operating system back in September 2013, power users started to complain about iOS’s sleek visual effects standing in the way of usability. The main point of contention for many people seemed to be whether or not iOS ignores user input while the animation is running, resulting in the seemingly slower navigation.

Another common complaint was that those dizzying slam-cuts affected people with motion sickness. Addressing both complaints, Apple’s made it possible to disable motion by flipping the Reduce Motion switch to ON in Settings > Accessibility > Reduce Motion.

Today’s poll seeks to determine whether you navigate your iOS devices with full UI animations, as enabled by default, or with reduced motion effects in order to make the operating system seem more responsive.

By enabling the aforesaid Reduce Motion feature in Settings, iOS will reduce the motion of the user interface, including the parallax effect of wallpapers, icons and alerts. More importantly, the switch replaces fairly long animations such as slam-cuts and Springboard zooming effects with much faster fade-ins.

With Reduce Motion enabled, navigating iOS is a lot faster as opposed to having to wait for the Springboard zoom in and other UI effects to complete.

Speaking of which, user interface designer William Van Hecke has put together an interesting video that I’ve included below which shows the difference between iOS 7 and 8 and all prior versions of iOS.

iOS 7 (Settings, Reduce Motion 003)

Although Van Hecke incorrectly claims that older versions of iOS accepted touch events during system animations, that’s not really the case.

Dating back to the original iPhone, Apple’s software has always ignored touch events during system animations. The only exception was the Springboard, which in older iOS versions played an interruptible zoom effect after unlocking the device or pressing the Home button.

But that seemingly unimportant detail is a major contributor to the fact that for some people a seven-year-old original iPhone feels more responsive in terms of UI navigation than a brand spanking new iPhone 6, as John Gruber observed on his Daring Fireball blog.

Gruber correctly points out that the subjective feeling of unresponsiveness stems from the animations easing out slowly in iOS 7 and 8, whereas in prior iOS versions system animations ended quickly.

Indeed, the ease-out effect can fool some people into thinking that their iPhone is unresponsive because it doesn’t react to touch events whereas in reality the animation has not quite finished yet.

“The result, though, is what matters, and the result is that it feels slower,” Gruber summed it up nicely.

And that, my friends, is why I always use iOS with Reduce Motion set to ON.

How about you?

  • Jason Baroni

    I like the animations, but just turn off Parallax (even though I notice the wallpaper dancing sometimes, when it’s off).

  • Philip

    How about keep the animations and speed them up :p

    • mike

      200% agree.

      • Jonathan

        Nice pun.

    • Reximilian

      With jailbreaking I have them sped up to the speed that feels appropriate to me, but now when I use other iPhones the animations feel very slow and laggy.

      • Tommy

        Totally agree with u on this. Haha. I show them off to my friends sometimes telling them they’re slow af.

    • Tommy

      That’s where jailbreak comes in.

    • Falk M.

      This, the GUI on my iPhone constantly holds me up, it’s terrible and Apple should consider giving us a toggle at least for that, considering they have toggles for reduced motion and the like.

      Jesus Christ, come on.
      Also, I wish the app previews in the app switcher would snap in more visually, especially as they come to a halt so extreeeemely slow.
      Often times I tap an app that’s still moving at 2 meters a year and it doesn’t launch, because in iOS world anything that’s animated can’t be activated. (genius… *eyeroll*)

  • Juan Genao

    Yes. Also I hate on the iPhone 6+ that the screen keeps on flipping, they made it way to sensitive so now I have had to disable screen flipping.

    • diggitydang

      I agree. If you’re jailbroken, try the tweak called Notate, which disables springboard flips only.

      • mike

        The tweak “nupsidedown” by Ruslan Ardashev disables upside down springboard rotation. Does Notate disable upside down lockscreen rotation?

      • diggitydang

        Yeah… Springboard just doesn’t move – like an iPhone 5s.

      • mike

        Oh I see. I’m fine with landscape rotation – I just would like to disable upside down lockscreen rotation.

      • diggitydang

        Ahh, sorry, I misunderstood.

  • timoever

    I want an option with: No, I like the animations but I’ve sped them up about 2-3x with a Jailbreak tweak. 😛

  • Southgaia88

    this consumes much battery?

  • Aman kapoor

    A poll to find out if people use display zoom or not. I mean I think plus users have it enabled but 6 users don’t need it that much unless you’re a midget

    • mike

      Re-read the entire post before you comment. The poll is for “Reduce Motion”, not “Display Zoom”.

      • Aman kapoor

        I am requesting the iDB team to create another poll for display zoom.
        Excuse my English

    • QuarterSwede

      I bought the Plus for the extra screen real estate. There is no way I’m enabling display zoom.

  • Animations ftw

  • Kyle Warwick-Mathieu

    I only use it on ancient devices

  • Kyle

    Damn does it makes me aggressive watching his weird thumb tapping on the iPhones all the time …

    Btw I just disabled the animations and I’m kind of optimistic right now.

  • Jacob Rave

    I feel as if the RM animations are actually slower than not having RM on. Would be interestiby to see if I’m right or not.

  • NekoMichi

    The parallax effects aren’t too useful for me but I wanted to keep the UI animations. Since the reduce motion can only disable both at the same time, I ended up using NoMotion from Cydia instead.

    I often make videos from screen recordings of my device and seeing the UI elements float around due to parallax while viewing the video on a stationary TV screen is very distracting.

  • revivalstore

    Jailbreak sprintomize3 and speed set to max…

  • David Hvilivitzki

    And with no slow animations installed !! still too slow on my iphone 6

  • the guy in the video should cut his fingernails. after this everything should work fine 😉

  • Héctor Viveros

    I disabled it since I hade my old 4S with iOS7 in it. I have my 6+ and it’s still disabled.

  • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

    The animations just waste time, if you think about it. How many seconds you have to wait for the screen to transition just to check something, times that by how many minutes by the hour a day you use it. Cut off The animations and K.I.S.S.

  • fiiiiine

    I also like the animations at 2-3x, but disable them because I use HomescreenDesigner to do a 3×3 layout which matches folders (so icons are always in the same spots), and the animations cause issues with that layout (and probably others). It may be HomescreenDesigner’s fault – not sure. So I have to turn on Reduce Motion. I also increase the speed to instant.

  • rasiquiz

    First thing I enabled when I got my 6 Plus

  • Eli Montoya

    Go on flex. Create springboard patch. Look for this bool. Apply 0. No millisecond animations… Switch from apps back to back without any wait time. many other switches can be applied to save battery though. I guess I’m the only one that likes prefers performance rather than looks

  • Damian

    since day one, this is the first option i turn off. Useless, and it could have impact on battery.

  • I like those animations. That’s what makes iOS 7/8 more attractive. I personally love that experience.

  • Ariel

    I like the animations, but I like the subtle fade in better. On a 4s btw, doing everything I can to make it feel faster!

  • QuarterSwede

    I prefer the iOS 8 animations and in Android Lollipop it makes it paletable to use.

  • GadgetQueenn

    Not at all.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    I personally go back and forth all the time with reduce motion. I love the moving icons but also love the fade in app affect. Wish Apple would separate the two.

  • GuyBey0ndC00L

    We can hope someone releasing an updated version of Cydia’s DisplayCandy for iOS 8

  • alfonso hall

    I have in conjunction with tweaks to increase speed but I always change it back to normal

  • alfonso hall

    I love the animations just wish they were faster

  • Diego Milano

    I wonder if there is a way to actually disable the animations but keep the Parallax effect enabled? Also, I really like the switch from app to app, I wish I could keep THAT animation alone while removing all the others.