New iPhone making you nauseous? It might be the Camera app

What you need to know

  • Jay Freeman is well known in the jailbreaking community.
  • He's been testing his iPhone 11 Pro Max.
  • Its viewfinder is up to 66ms slower than an iPhone XS.

Infamous jailbreaker Jay Freeman has been suffering from motion sickness when using the Camera app on his iPhone 11 Pro Max. And he thinks it's all down to how much slower the preview is.

Freeman went about testing his theory by using multiple iPhones to capture a running timer on yet another iPhone. As that timer ran, he noticed that the timer was delayed when seen through the iPhones viewfinder. You'd expect that, but the difference between how far the iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro Max delayed things appears to be causing the motion sickness.

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As Freeman points out, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is anything up to 66ms slower than the iPhone XS which itself delays the feed by around 100ms. As it turns out, that's just enough to bring on motion sickness.

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It's important to note that the iPhone 11 Pro Max was running iOS 13 and the iPhone XS was running iOS 12.4, so it isn't clear whether this is down to the newer hardware of something software-related. Freeman did test multiple cameras, too.

This is the first time we've heard of an iPhone causing motion sickness in this way, but users of DSLR cameras have complained of similar things using electronic viewfinders in the past. The cause is believed to be the delay between what your eyes are seeing and your ears are hearing, but we're not doctors. We've never played one on TV, either.

Oliver Haslam
Contributor

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

2 Comments
  • I don’t know about motion sickness but the viewfinder is definitely slower and laggier than any previous iPhone. It’s been one of my complaints. Going back multiple generations of iPhones, the viewfinder has always been smooth and lag free, which made the camera experience better than so many android counterparts. But on the 11 Pro it’s flat out laggy and choppy at times. I’m going to assume it’s because there are three lenses working together and it’s trying to compute all that data on the go, especially when HDR is kicking in, or especially in lower light situations. But it’s definitely noticeable and makes it feel like a lesser experience, even if the photos turn out great most of the time.
  • Have you tried it on iOS 13.1? I'd be interested to know if that makes a difference