Last week, I took a brief look at several of the helpful Accessibility features on Android smartphones, which let you customize settings to better suit your needs. Many of these same features are also found on your iPhone, but in a slightly different place. If you need a little extra help due to vision or hearing issues, these will help you get the most out of your phone. Here’s an overview of how to locate and use them.
You’ll find several key features in your Settings App, by selecting General, then Accessibility. The first option you may want to look at is Larger Text, which allows you to increase the general font size and make things easier to read. You can also tap Larger Dynamic Type, which will increase the text size across many different apps, and even make it bolder to be more legible.
You also have the ability to use your iPhone like a magnifying glass for menus, maps, brochures and more. Tap Magnifier, and then slide the switch to the “On” position. When you need to use it, triple press the home button, then slide the button on the screen from left to right to increase magnification. You can even use the flash from your camera to light up whatever you’re looking at by tapping the lightning bolt icon on the screen.
Scroll down to find VoiceOver. It’s a handy screen reader, and will say aloud any content on the screen when you touch it with your finger. I use VoiceOver to have my iPhone read to me when I’m in the car or making dinner, but want to catch up on email or hear what folks are doing on Twitter. To enable it, tap VoiceOver, and slide the switch to the On position. Then just tap anywhere on your screen and your iPhone will speak aloud the item you’ve tapped.
If you’d like things like text message bubbles and icons to be larger, go to Settings, and tap Display & Brightness, then View. You can choose between Standard view, and Zoomed. Swipe across the screen to see how much larger the icons and other features will look. Once you’ve found the size you like best, tap Set.
In this series, I’ve highlighted just a handful of what I consider the most important ways you can personalize your device. There are many other options available. Don’t be shy about exploring the Accessibility options on your Android smartphone or iPhone. They can really transform your user experience into something special!