(USATODAY.com) - Question. I'm not so sold on some of the visual effects in iOS 7. Can I turn any of them off?
Answer. When Apple shipped this update to its mobile operating system, I thought most complaints would come from iPhone, iPad or iPod touch owners who had an iOS 7 install go wrong or break some older apps.
Instead, some people just don't like the way icons in iOS 7 zoom, bob and weave in response to your taps of the screen, or even just how you tilt it.
STORY: Apple's iOS 7 update making some users dizzy
The most serious objections come from users who report feeling nauseated by the way apps rush in and out at you as you open and close them or jump in and out of folders. A few others have voiced lesser gripes about the finer points of this jumpy behavior - for instance, the way app icons seem to tumble back into the desktop after you close an app with a pinch gesture.
But at the moment, you can't suspend those animations. Apple doesn't include a setting in iOS to turn them off.
You can, however, disable a less controversial iOS 7 feature: the "parallax effect" through which the home-screen background appears to move underneath app icons as you tilt the device left, right, forward or back.
(Wired contributor Rhett Allain calculated that parallax simulates a gap of .197 cm between apps and the background.)
If you find that gimmicky, you can shut it off in a non-obvious corner of the Settings app: Open that, select General and then Accessibility, then tap "Reduce Motion" and slide that button to the right.
Maybe Apple will add other settings to adjust iOS 7's visual effects, but I wouldn't bet too much money on that happening.
One of the things that Apple has historically done well is sacrificing flexibility for simplicity. For instance, Windows lets you adjust some 20 different visual effects, while OS X lets you adjust little beyond a few Dock animations.
Other companies may be taking note: Windows Phone and the Google-standard version of Android offer little more control over animated effects than iOS, although neither has apps appearing to fly in and out of the screen in the way they do on an iPhone or iPad running Apple's latest.
For whatever it's worth, I don't have any issues with iOS 7's effects; even if the parallax effect is not exactly functional, it still looks neat.
But what really sold me on iOS 7 was a less-discussed change: It allowed most phone-sized apps to run full-screen on my iPad mini without looking crudely bitmapped. If you've avoided some apps that only came in iPhone versions on your iPad 2 or mini because of their misfit appearances under iOS 6, try them again after upgrading.
TIP: YOU CAN JUDGE AN ANDROID APP BY ITS RELEASE NOTES
One of the less-understood differences between iOS and Android is how each system handles giving an app the keys to your data. In iOS, apps don't have to state upfront how much access they want, but they do have to ask permission every time they reach for such sensitive information as your location, your contacts or your photos.
In Android, however, apps have to state their intentions before you install them. Apermissions dialog specifies any of dozens of areas from where an app can get data; once you approve that list of requests by tapping an "Accept" button, you get no further notice of its activity.
But not all of these permission requests can be easy to read and understand. Some can look vague or worse: Why, for instance, would the Lookout security app want the ability to send text messages?
The answer is waiting in the "What's New" section of Lookout's release notes, displayed when you install or update the app, which feature an explanation of this change: "Requesting 'Send SMS' permission to enable carrier billing for users who purchase Premium in the United States."
Developers who take the time to explain to their users why their app's appetite for data increased -- or, better yet, note when they've been able to make an app simpler and safer by removing a permission request -- get a little extra credibility in my book. They should in yours, too.
Rob Pegoraro is a tech writer based out of Washington, D.C. To submit a tech question, e-mail Rob firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter attwitter.com/robpegoraro.
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