Re­duce Mo­tion

While Ap­ple ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to ac­ces­si­bil­ity, it still ig­nores mo­tion and bal­ance is­sues

Mac Format - - BACK ISSUES -

Ap­ple ob­vi­ously cares an aw­ful lot about ac­ces­si­bil­ity. This is ev­i­dent when you delve into Sys­tem Pref­er­ences and ex­am­ine all the set­tings that are de­signed to aid peo­ple who need as­sis­tance when it comes to look­ing at, lis­ten­ing to or in­ter­act­ing with their Macs. It’s quite some­thing that en­tirely blind or deaf users can in­ter­act with OS X, as can peo­ple with mo­tor im­pair­ment. How­ever, one thing is con­spic­u­ous by its ab­sence: the means to help peo­ple who suf­fer from bal­ance/ mo­tion sick­ness.

This is a cu­ri­ous blind spot for Ap­ple on the Mac. Although the is­sue is not well un­der­stood in the tech in­dus­try as a whole, Ap­ple did re­spond to it when iOS 7 started mak­ing peo­ple dizzy and nau­se­ated due to fast slide and zoom tran­si­tions through­out the op­er­at­ing sys­tem. Quite a bit of bad press and a cou­ple of up­dates later, Re­duce Mo­tion was in­tro­duced, help­ing mil­lions of peo­ple who’d sud­denly found their de­vices un­us­able.

OS X has had sim­i­lar prob­lems since OS X Lion. There’s the slide tran­si­tion be­tween full-screen apps, and the ‘mor­ph­ing’ an­i­ma­tion that oc­curs to and from fullscreen. Slides ex­ist else­where, too, such as in Sa­fari and Pre­view. Three ma­jor ver­sions later and th­ese an­i­ma­tions persist, with no means of dis­abling them. We very much hope when Yosemite’s suc­ces­sor ar­rives, it will fi­nally in­clude Re­duce Mo­tion – not as a de­fault, but as an op­tion.

If our ex­pe­ri­ence is any­thing to go by, while some users rely on ac­ces­si­bil­ity set­tings to use their Macs, plenty of other peo­ple pick and choose the bits they like to boost their Mac ex­pe­ri­ences too. In other words, Re­duce Mo­tion would be­come an­other set­ting that could po­ten­tially ben­e­fit many peo­ple, de­spite be­ing in­tended for a rel­a­tive few.

Even Ap­ple Watch has a Re­duce Mo­tion set­ting, so there’s no ex­cuse for its omis­sion on the Mac, where an­i­ma­tions and tran­si­tions are hard to miss.

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