The parallax effect in iOS 7 is a new feature that gives the home screen a neat 3D look, so when you move your phone around in your hand while keeping your head still, it looks like you’re looking “around” the app icons onto the wallpaper, almost like you’re looking through a windows out onto the iOS 7 world. But it’s really nothing more than the OS and the gyroscope/accelerometer working together to create such an illusion.
While it isn’t that impressive, I liked it at first, but I’ve since gotten over the wow factor and just find it annoying now. Plus, it’s even more annoying knowing that it’s probably hogging up processing resources, thus decreasing battery life. However, you can easily turn it off to save battery life, as well as your sanity.
Turning Off the Parallax Effect
To turn off the parallax effect, just navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Tapping on Reduce Motion will open up another screen with a toggle switch. By default, the circle will be placed on the left side of the oval. Just tap on the circle to switch it over to the right side, thus turning the oval green and reducing motion. This turns off the parallax effect.
It’s definitely hard to get to if you don’t know what you’re looking for, and as weird as it may seem, the setting isn’t under “Parallax Effect,” but rather “Reduce Motion,” which isn’t really the phrase you’ll be looking for if you’re scanning for the words “parallax effect.”
Regardless, once you know how to do it, it’s really easy to turn on and off, but if you despise the feature as much as I do, you won’t be visiting that setting ever again after you disable it.
Other Accessibility Features
The “Accessibility” section in iOS’s settings are aimed at users who suffer from different conditions, whether poor eyesight or people who are hard of hearing. However, normal users can still utilize these different features to make it easier to navigate around your iPhone. While you’re already in that section turning off the parallax effect, here are some features that you may find useful in iOS 7.
- Zoom: Even if you can see just fine, smartphone screens are still small, and sometimes text or images can be hard to read. You can enable zooming options here.
- Invert Colors: This will invert the colors of iOS, and since all the menus are white, this provides a good “night mode” when using iOS 7, providing a black theme instead.
- Speak Selection: This feature will read aloud any text you select using Siri’s voice. Great for reading aloud articles natively while you do some chores.
- Larger Type: It can be nice to have larger text on the iPhone. Even if your eyesight is good, larger text is always easier on the eyes.
- On/Off Labels: This feature adds the I/O letters to toggle switches, providing a neat little UI addition to iOS 7.
- LED Flash for Alerts: One thing Android users love is LED notifications, and iPhone users can enable these in iOS as well using this feature.
- Guided Access: This feature can restrict your iPhone to just one app, as well as disable parts of the screen or turn off any of the hardware buttons. This makes it great if you ever hand over your phone to a friend or child.
- AssistiveTouch: This is meant to help people who have problems navigating using the touch screen, but it can also be used for creating your own set of custom gestures.
- Home-click Speed: You can change the speed at which you double- and triple-click on the Home button to suit your needs.