What's with Apple's blur obsession?

Discussion in 'iOS 9' started by ashindnile, Mar 28, 2016.

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  1. ashindnile macrumors 6502

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    #1
    There's no denying performance has taken a severe beating since iOS 8, and even more so with iOS 9.
    Dynamic blurs are extremely taxing on processors. And I don't just mean phone processors.
    Microsoft removed almost all of their AeroBlur UI on their update to windows 8, and say what you will about W8, it was tremendously faster.
    There's definitely something they can choose to do instead, and make it all look better too, right?
    Off the top of my head, increasing shadows while decreasing opacity makes for quite a pleasant effect.
    The fundamental reason for general sluggishness with iOS 8+(apart from full disk encryption) is these gaussian blurs.
    Eg. Spotlight lag, Control Center, iOS 9 app switcher, folders, notification center, safari on iPad...
    For those designers out there, what else could be an alternative?
    Good day!
     
  2. BillyMatt87 macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I was really hoping the iOS 7 redesign wouldn't have been as radical as it was. It should've been more like OS X Mavericks: remove the excessive skeumorphic textures, icon gloss, etc. while retaining the familiar and distinctive Apple look that we came to know and love. That way, the people who complained about skeumorphism would've rejoiced while iOS (and OS X by extension) would've retained their character, thus providing a much less polarizing update than we actually got.
     
  3. I7guy macrumors G5

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    #3
    Can't really tell there is any hit on current phones with 9.3.
     
  4. LoveToMacRumors macrumors 68020

    LoveToMacRumors

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  5. Radon87000 macrumors 603

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    #5
    Enable RT and see the speed boost even the 6S gets
     
  6. zorinlynx macrumors 601

    zorinlynx

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    #6
    I think Reduce Transparency is a bone Apple threw to those of us who notice transparency-caused performance problems. I can't see reducing transparency in any way making the UI more accessible; the effect is subtle and not super-noticeable anyway.

    So yeah. Apple wanted to do neat transparency effects, realized there was a performance hit, and put that switch in to appease the worst of the complainers. Makes sense?
     
  7. teknikal90 macrumors 68030

    teknikal90

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    #7
    how can you really say that the effect of RT is not noticable... but then notice -5fps frame drops when dragging up control centre over half a second?
     
  8. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #8
    I'm still trying to figure out when Frames/Second (which was a performance gauge for Video games) suddenly became the performance gauge of UI?
     
  9. stooovie macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Blur can be optimized though. There are algorithms with various CPU/GPU utilization.
     
  10. tvbi macrumors member

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    #10
    RT is the first thing I turn on for every new iPhone I get (or after a restore).
     
  11. fullauto macrumors 6502a

    fullauto

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    #11
    I'm all for the blur, it's like frosted glass. If they pull of their wrap around design and go back to a glass housing, the blur effect will really shine IMO.

    Besides spotlight stutter (not sure if the stutter is due to blur effects, unlikely?) I don't notice any lag on my 6S+.

    I do miss the old folder effect. But that's about it.
     
  12. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a

    iOSUser7

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    #12
    I really like the blur effect aswell. It's coherent and blend really well with the new flat design introduced with iOS 7.

    I don't think it's that much demanding on the CPU or GPU. I think it create (sometimes) stutters in iOS 8/9 just because of poor optimization. iOS 7 had no trouble at all rendering those fancy effects except for the iPhone 4 and its ancient hardware and also in some areas on A5 devices.

    Today even the A9 chip sometimes have trouble rendering the blur with smooth 60 FPS so I can only think of bad optimization.
     
  13. saudor macrumors 6502

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    #13
    the blur in ios7 was simple though. Spotlight was essentially blurring the background and then using that as some kind of backdrop. In ios8, the blur seems to be done in real time. I am guessing this happens in other areas too.

    iPhone4 never got the blur except at the dock. (as with the iPad 2 in the final version). The iPad 2 could actually handle the blurs just fine (jailbreak)- even though there was a bit of a performance hit. The blurs in 8 and 9 are quite taxing even on an A6X/A7.
     
  14. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a

    iOSUser7

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    #14
    The blur is exactly the same in iOS 7, I don't know what you're talking about. It was not used at the same areas as in iOS 8 or 9 but the effect is exactly the same.

    As for the iPhone 4, it did not only used the blur in the dock, it was also used in the passcode screen, the lockscreen when you received a notification and some minor areas that I can't remember.
     
  15. ashindnile thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Not used in as many areas. Unnecessary areas too. App switcher and spotlight to be specific.
     
  16. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #16
    Wondered the same. I don't play games, so this isn't even an issue for me. Don't know its effect on others.
     
  17. emilioestevez Suspended

    emilioestevez

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    #17
    They add blur to mask how awful the flat post-iOS 6 design is.
     
  18. saudor macrumors 6502

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    #18

    Pull down spotlight. In 8+, the blur happens in real time. (i.e. pull it down halfway, and you will notice that the blur isnt complete and you can still partially see the wallpaper) in iOS7, the whole background is blurred in one fell swoop WHEN you start typing. Otherwise the wallpaper just remains
    There used to be some weird glitch where the blur gets stuck and doesnt update even though the thing underneath has changed.


    IOS7

    As for CPU/GPU load, have notification centre down with a CPU widget. Play a video (or anything that moves) in the background. CPU usage hovers around 60-70% on A7. Disable the blur, and CPU usage drops down to 10-20%
     
  19. iOSUser7 macrumors 6502a

    iOSUser7

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    #19
    Ah, yeah I see what you mean now. That's true Apple sometimes use blur when it's not necessary, I think iOS 7.0 was a perfect example of how blur should be used.

    Though my point remain, I don't think the blur is that demanding on CPU/GPU because except the spotlight, all other areas are pretty similar yet iOS 7 had no trouble rendering the blur in 60 FPS compared to iOS 8/9.
     
  20. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #20
    How many frames/second a PC's video card can render determines if a game is smooth or sluggish and choppy.

    example 1: You are in a video game facing a wall and doing nothing else. Frame rates would most likely be high as the video card doesn't need to process or render too much information.

    example 2: You are in a video game and there are explosions taking place around you and filling up the screen with smoke, colors and lights. This scenario can be sluggish or choppy if your video card can't keep up with all the processing it has to do.

    Computer geeks tend to brag about the frame rates their PC's can render like how motorheads brag about their car's horsepower.

    What I don't understand is how iOS UI "performance" is being gauged in this manner. People keep talking about frame rates when bringing up the control center and yet there is no app that I'm aware of that actually tests these frame rates to confirm the claims.
     
  21. Qbnkelt macrumors 65816

    Qbnkelt

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    #21
    The motor head analogy is very on point.
     
  22. GalFieri macrumors regular

    GalFieri

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    #22
    You wouldn't be able to verify it with an app from the App Store; you'd have to use some external mechanism.

    Unless you're someone who can't tell the difference between frame rates, it is pretty noticeable when certain animations hitch or don't perform as smoothly in iOS.
     
  23. Armen macrumors 604

    Armen

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    #23
    Dunno what to tell you. I swipe up the CC and it comes up without stuttering or freezing. is it 15FPS or 60FPS? Does it matter?

    FWIW I can tell when FPS drops from playing FPS' and MMORPG's for over 15 years.
     
  24. Radon87000 macrumors 603

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    #24
    Xcode displays frame rates on the UI
     
  25. GalFieri macrumors regular

    GalFieri

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    #25
    Doesn't really hitch all that often for me either. There are just rare, random instances where I notice animations with dropped frames. Not all that a big deal and I'm not sure if reducing transparency would actually help.

    The only really reliably reproduceable thing is activating the quick action menus in landscape mode on the 6s Plus. Not sure what's up with that and why that's still a thing in iOS 9.3.
     

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