Posted in: iOS, Mobile phones

Does the animation toggle in iOS 7.0.3 make a difference?

Apple changed around many things with the iOS 7 update, one of which was introducing a whole new set of animations for unlocking the phone and closing apps and folders .

But many users have complained that about the speed of the new animations is just too slow, and once the iOS 7.0.3. update allowed them, disabled them outright. When you do that the transitions are replaced by a fade in effect that many hoped will be much faster. But are they really? Armed with a high-speed camera and our iPhone 5S, we’re ready to find out!

While the cool animation effects in iOS 7 may have added a whole lot of eye candy, they can quickly lose their appeal as even an additional half second can seem like an eternity if it’s something you do all the time. This is particularly true when it comes to things like unlocking your phone or closing an app.

We’ve taken it upon ourselves to see exactly how much time the animations add compared to the fade-in effect, with the help of our camera and some 120fps video tests.

We tested two different use cases. One in which we unlocked the phone and opened an app with the animations enabled, and one where we did the same thing except turned them off (This is done by going to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and turning on Reduce Motion).

The numbers go something like this:

iOS 7 Animation Speed
Reduce Motion off Reduce Motion on
Closing an app 0.74s 0.63s
Unlocking the phone 1.61s 1.00s

While the time saved when closing an app is not very significant at just around a tenth of a second, the unlock animation takes a whopping 60% longer than the regular fade animation.

But does this mean that the animations take too long, or that disabling them doesn’t save you much time? Both. Waiting more than a second to perform an action like unlocking your phone can get very tiresome, especially if you do it all the time.

When it comes down to it, a quality UI is all about options, and simply replacing one animation for a slightly faster one doesn’t cater to everyone. Hopefully, Apple will let you make more tweaks to the animation settings in the next update.


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