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How to Turn Off iOS 7′s Parallax Effect

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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.

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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.

2013-09-16 17.43.16Other 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.

14 Comments

  1. Liza

    09/18/2013 at 3:34 pm

    Hi, after installing IOS 7, I’m having some trouble seeing the photo I’ve selected in the lock screen. When I see it, it just looks extremely blurry like I’ve forgotten to put on glasses or something. Any idea why this is happening or how I can fix it??

  2. FFR

    09/18/2013 at 9:24 pm

    Scaling is completely FUBAR in iOS 7. It zooms the picture way in, and you can’t scale it down to fit your screen. Some people have reported that turning parallax off fixes it. But, for me, it’s still super jacked up. Hoping Crapple fixes it.

  3. Julie Johnston

    09/19/2013 at 3:05 am

    My daughter is deaf and is trying to enable the led flash on the alarm. Its not working and she is not happy. It worked on the previous software! What are we not doing?

  4. Maurice Smith

    09/20/2013 at 7:21 am

    I could not get LED on alert to work either. Surely they will fix it.

  5. Doug

    09/21/2013 at 6:33 am

    I also tried to get pics to fit the screen and I’ve tried turning “reduce motion” on and it has no effect on this process.

  6. Tony

    09/21/2013 at 1:15 pm

    IOS7 on Iphone 5- WTF???
    1. I could barely see the thin font on default settings.
    2. white background on a thin faded color font is crazy.. I am sure to lose my 20/20 vision.
    3. the password screen and the ‘slide to unlock screen’ both suck…. i could barely see them .
    4. ios6 never crashed and simply using ios7 within the first 10 minutes crashed an application, wtf?
    5. who decided to stash the airplay icon in that location, it nows takes multiple steps to activate airplay from start up- no good!
    6. i don’t need to be reminded that I have over 100,000 emails in my inbox, thanks but no thanks!
    7. the fade-in and fade-out feature of the platform makes me nauseous… literally, I get nauseous. I guarantee if you focus on that feature as it happens you will also get nauseous! timing is everything and the ios6 fade-in/out timing with just a simple-single icon was just right!!! I am not the type of person that gets fooled by ilusion over actual speed and effectiveness.
    The question is… DID APPLE FORGET WHAT ‘MOBILE’ MEANS? I feel like I have to be at my desk in order to use my MOBILE phone. WTF?
    8. Hey, I just found another flaw battery drainage is ridicolous, wtf?

    Don’t get me wrong, there are some advantages to the new version, but why touch the overall look, features sets, or in plain english, SHIT THAT IS NOT BROKEN!!!

    • Zxorgan

      09/22/2013 at 2:35 am

      I was just wondering why you downloaded it (for free) without reading up on it first. I feel sorry for you.

  7. Kaila

    09/21/2013 at 2:05 pm

    I don’t have reduce motion so how am I suppose to do this ????

  8. Jenny

    09/22/2013 at 8:49 am

    It worked for me! My wallpaper now fits my screen (ipad mini) Thanks!

  9. Rjonda

    09/23/2013 at 7:22 pm

    I do not have reduce motion option ?? Help

  10. Julie

    10/01/2013 at 7:02 pm

    Turning off there dice motion still won’t let me scale my background and I’m real upset about it. Why in the hell would Apple force a gimmicky feature on everyone without a simple way to disable it and NOT foresee an issue?

  11. Emily Christine

    10/20/2013 at 11:20 pm

    I also tried turning the “Reduce Motion” on. Nothing worked and this whole wallpaper crap is really ticking me off. Can anyone help?

  12. Len Zilkowsky (The Fish Whisperer)

    10/21/2013 at 11:15 am

    Try this for making your own wallpapers to work with the Parallax feature.
    http://www.cultofmac.com/245738/get-ready-for-ios-7-make-your-own-parallax-wallpapers-ios-7-tips/

    Turning on “Reduce Motion” worked for me with regular pics as well.

  13. Spank your monkey

    10/23/2013 at 8:19 pm

    IT DIDNT WORK!! Are you serious I spend a but load expecting this to be a better device and this is what I get ?

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