Our iPhones may be getting bigger, but it seems like the print is getting smaller. As we all stare at our screens for work, fun, and everything in between, we may need to employ Apple’s Zoom feature to get a little clarity.
Apple introduced a lot of accessibility features with the release of iOS 15 which brought attention to some existing features that weren’t well known. Zoom has been around for a while but received some accessibility upgrades and is now getting a closer look by everyone.
Available on iPhone and iPad, Zoom allows you to enlarge whole pages (Full Screen Zoom) or just certain sections of your screen (Window Zoom). You can customize Zoom with shortcuts and by turning on features you want to use.
Here’s how you can take some of the strain off your eyes. First, you need to make sure the feature is turned on.
Step 1. Open the Settings app.
Step 2. Scroll down to the Accessibility menu.
Step 3. Open the Zoom options menu.
Step 4. Toggle Zoom to the on position.
Once on, Zoom will automatically magnify your screen. To toggle in and out of the feature, double-tap three fingers on your iPhone or iPad screen. To move around the screen, use three fingers and drag to move. The list of actions is also on the Zoom menu screen so you can refer to it at any time.
There are a lot of options to choose from with this feature. Let’s start at the top.
This moves the Zoom window to where you are typing, and it will follow your typing. When you toggle this feature on it will automatically enable the next feature.
When Zoom is enabled and a keyboard pops up, a Window Zoom will appear and magnify the text but not the keyboard.
This menu lets you set how you would like to interact with the Zoom feature when using an external keyboard. If it is not already, toggle Keyboard Shortcuts to On to see how you can customize the feature for your use.
When you toggle Show Controller to On, a small round controller will be placed on the screen. You can set the controller actions here, like setting a single tap to show a mini menu of Zoom options. Or press and hold to move the Zoom window around as needed.
A straightforward option here, you can select Full Screen Zoom or Window Zoom.
This gives you control over the coloring of the Zoomed section. Choose Inverted to give the Zoom Window a color contrast or Grayscale to slightly define the area.
Slide the level up and down to adjust the percentage of Zoom you would like to enable. For iPhones you don’t want to go as high as you would for an iPad because of screen size, so you may need to experiment with which level works best for you and your device.
If you really like the Zoom feature and think you are going to use it a lot, you can set it as an Accessibility Shortcut. Go back to the Accessibility main menu and scroll down to Accessibility Shortcut. Find Zoom on the menu and tap it to add it. Now, when you triple-click the side button, Zoom will show on the popup menu.
There are so many ways the Zoom feature can give your eyes a little break from all the work they are doing. How will you use it?
Note: The Zoom feature can be confused with the Magnify app that uses your iPhone camera to enlarge objects in the field of view. That feature is covered in a separate article.
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