Whether you’re squinting trying to read a menu in a dark restaurant, the warning label on your medication, or the fine print on a contract you probably shouldn’t be signing, a magnifying glass can come in very handy. One with a light would be even better.
Good news! That phone in your pocket is filled with handy tools, including a magnifying glass. No more squinting needed, see what you want when you want to.
iPhone Magnifying Glass Setting
Beginning with iOS 10, your iPhone has a very useful magnifying glass feature using the lens of the camera. You must enable this feature to be able to use it.
Turning on the Magnifying Glass on Your iPhone
To turn on the magnifying glass on your iPhone, go to:
Settings => General => Accessibility => Magnifier => On
You can also turn Auto-Brightness to On. Auto-Brightness adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the light in the room.
Using the Magnifying Glass on Your iPhone
To use the magnifying glass on your iPhone, called the Magnifier, triple-tap the Home button. That will open the magnifying glass screen.
Slide the yellow dot on the Magnifier to zoom in and out. Slide the dot right to zoom in and left to zoom out.
Tap the lightning bolt to turn on the light on your phone and brighten what you’re seeing.
Tap the lock to lock the focus level so the camera isn’t constantly adjusting the focus.
Tap the white circle button to freeze the image. The circle will have a yellow rim while the image is frozen. Tap the button again to unfreeze the image.
You can freeze the image on the Magnifier and then zoom in on it. This way the image is stable as you’re trying to see it. Move the image around with your finger to see different parts of the image.
Tap the triangular filter icon in the lower right corner of the screen to control the image you are seeing. The filter lets you adjust the brightness and color of the image.
You can also add colored filters to the image:
In the bottom left corner of the filter screen is an invert button. Tap that to invert (switch) the colors.
Some Android phones have a magnifying glass feature, depending on the version of Android they are using. To enable the magnifying glass feature, go to Settings => Accessibility => Vision => Magnification gesture, then turn it on.
When you need to use the magnifying glass, go to the camera app and tap the screen three times. To turn off the magnifying glass and see the normal view, tap the screen three times again.
Android phones do not come with a magnifying glass feature built in, though you can use zoom in the camera app if you need magnification.
Many magnifying apps are in the Google Play app store with different features. Many of these apps are free but have advertisements.
Magnifying Glass Flashlight
As of this writing, Magnifying Glass Flashlight has the highest rating (4.5****) of the magnifying apps in the Google Play store. This app has both magnification and a flashlight to shine a light on what you’re trying to see. Like the iPhone Magnifier, this app can freeze the image so you can zoom in and stabilize what you’re trying to see.
This app has small ads at the bottom of the screen. They do not flash or move so they are fairly easy to ignore.
After downloading and opening the app, you will see that the flashlight is on by default. You can turn this off if you do not need it, and want to save battery, by tapping the lightbulb in the lower right corner of the screen.
Tap the A button to add a blue filter and invert colors so light becomes dark and dark becomes light.
Tap the Red and Blue button to have the camera light flash like a strobe light.
Tap the camera icon to freeze the image and take a screenshot of the image. Pinch and spread your fingers to zoom in and out of the image.
Tap the photo icon on the left to see the screenshots you’ve taken and share them with others. Tap the back button on your phone to return to the magnifying glass.
You can check out other Magnifying Glass apps in the Google Play Store: Magnifying Glass Apps in Google Play.
Be sure to check for apps having a light, if that is important to you.
Have you ever needed a magnifying glass but didn’t have one handy? Do you like the idea of using your phone as a magnifying glass?
Share your thoughts in the Comments section below!
*Magnifying Glass image (edited) courtesy of Kate Ter Haar via Flickr and Creative Commons
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