Ask a few people for their thoughts about iOS 7 and you’re bound to get a range of responses. Some people absolutely love the changes, while for some it’s a mixed bag. Others are desperate to find a way to go back to iOS 6. The last group is in the most trouble, since Apple offers no way to revert from iOS 7 to iOS 6. The people who are unhappy with a product are always the most vocal and iOS 7 is no different. When changes are made to any beloved product, there will be dissenters, those who are happy with any change to the status quo. What’s difficult for Apple is to assess just how many customers fall into that last category.  iOS updates do not typically suffer from low adoption rates, so that becomes a meaningless metric. Some of this is due to the prompt to update and general acceptance amongst users that updates are a good thing. I’d submit that it could change with iOS 8, with some users being a bit gun shy after iOS 7. People have taken to message boards, social media and I wouldn’t be surprised if Apple Store representatives hear their share of complaints. After hearing about forthcoming changes in iOS 7.1 (currently in beta), it does appear Apple is listening, but the changes seem like half-hearted attempts to appease customers. Does it make sense that the most advanced operating system in the world is seeing a drastic uptick in users flocking to the accessibility settings?

iOS 7 accessibility

iOS 7 Typeface (too thin, too light)

A familiar complaint. The iOS 7 typeface is too thin or too light. The font makes it difficult to read. Some of the quotes from Apple’s support forums.

How did you downgrade back to IOS 6? I cant see anything and the apps are useless due to thin font and white backgrounds.

iOS 7 font is too light (grey). I can’t read it without my glasses, which I don’t normally wear.

The fix for this is to turn on ‘bold’ text. However, when you do this in iOS 7, it requires a restart of your iPhone. Not the worst thing in the world, but still a restart. With iOS 7.1, Apple is going to do away with the restart. Changing the typeface to bold is done through Settings > General > Accessibility.

Animations Causing Motion Sickness

iOS 7 motion sickness

One of the bigger features in iOS 7 were the animations and parallax effects. Opening apps had plenty of noticeable animated effects with apps zooming in and out. The new parallax effect creates a pseudo 3D-like with the icons seemingly floating a layer above your wallpaper. It created a look and feel that distinguishes iOS 7 from Android, Windows Phone or any other mobile OS. Trouble is that it created severe motion sickness problems for some people. And there were some who while not bothered by the effects, thought the animations were heavy handed.

They went too far in the way it zoom in and out this time. I don’t know if this is an error but it makes me so dizzy too. At the beginning I didn’t believe it but after a few days I don’t even want to use it.

I’ve experienced nausea and motion sickness and headaches since last week when I installed IOS 7, all due to the apps zooming in and out animation. I had zero problems with IOS 6.

Apple dialed down the animation and in iOS 7.0.3, they gave users an option to turn on Reduce Motion. Guess where you can find it? Settings > General > Accessibility. Sensing a pattern?

Type As Buttons

iOS 7 at times feels like an iOS 6 clearance sale. Everything must go, including things most folks need, like navigation buttons. Those were turned into blue typeface. When you have a screen dominated by whitespace and blue links, the new fangled buttons aren’t always so apparent.

iOS 7 shapes buttons

Apparently iOS 7.1 beta 2 includes a new ‘shapes’ option that creates gray buttons behind the blue links in an effort to make the more distinguishable. Granted this is a beta, but has does this get released in any public venue. iOS releases continue to be under NDA, but Apple does little nothing to prevent details from leaking. Guess where you can make this change?

Apple’s iOS 7 is a major rewrite with sweeping changes. Personally, it took some time to get accustomed to the new operating system. The changes are jarring at first, but after a settling in period, I could not imagine going back to iOS 6 as my daily driver. With any new operating system, there are going to be growing pains. Jony Ive and the developers got plenty right, but it’s difficult to develop in a vacuum. Moving forward, they now have the benefit of customer feedback and the changes being made seem to address some of the problems. My concern is the half-hearted approach, requiring users dig three levels into settings. For many, it will be their first time adjusting the Accessibility settings. These are quick fixes and by the looks of the ‘shapes’ option, a bit half-assed. With work underway on iOS 8, it makes for a perfect opportunity to address the concerns of the user base, coupled with the level of refinement we have come to expect from Apple. Then again, this might be the extent that Ive is willing to go, hoping that eventually we all assimilate.

Have you made changes to your accessibility settings in iOS 7? If so, which settings and why?

Image credit: iPhoneItalia