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Six ways to make your iOS or Android phone easier on the eyes

Ben Patterson | March 2, 2015
These settings will make your screen a bit easier to read, from boosting the size of text to zooming your display with your fingertips.

4. Zoom the screen with magnification gestures (Android and iOS)

Sure, jumbo and bold text can be a big help when it comes to reading your email and text messages, and you can always pinch-to-zoom when it comes to tiny text on a webpage.

In some cases, though, the large- and bold-text settings won't do you much good. Many third-party apps, for example, ignore those settings completely.

That's why it's worth sinking a little time into magnification gestures--a specific set of swipes and taps that, once enabled, will let you zoom the entire screen, no matter which app you're using.

For Android:

Ï Tap Settings > Accessibility > Magnification gestures, then flip the switch.

Ï Now, let's give it a try. Go to your home screen and triple-tap the display; when you do, the screen will zoom in. Pinch the display to zoom in even more, or pan around the screen by swiping with two fingertips.

Ï Triple-tap the screen again to go back to normal viewing.

For iOS:

Ï Tap Settings > Accessibility > Zoom, then flip the Zoom switch to the "on" position.

Ï Head for the home screen, double-tap with three fingertips and keep your fingertips on the screen after that second tap. Now, drag your fingertips up to zoom in, down to zoom out. You can also drag around with three fingertips to pan around the zoomed-in screen.

Ï Ready to go back to normal zoom? Double-tap with three fingertips again.

Bonus tip: If you like, you can add an always-on controller to the screen that you can double-tap to zoom the display. Just go back to the Zoom settings and flip the switch next to "Show Controller." Double-tap the little controller that pops up, then nudge the virtual joystick to pan around the page. Double-tap the controller once more to go back to normal view.

5. Try inverted colors (Android "Lollipop" and iOS)

Do you prefer to read white text on a black background? Some reader apps like Kindle for mobile and iBooks for iOS can do the trick in their appearance settings, but it isn't so easy when it comes to, say, a webpage or a third-party app.

That's where "inverted" colors come in handy. By reversing the entire color scheme of your iOS or Android display, you can get the white-text-on-black-background look anytime, anywhere, using any app.

Of course, switching to inverted colors can make for some pretty funky images on your phone's display. For starters, just wait until you see what your groovy new home screen looks like.

For Android (Lollipop users only): Tap Settings > Accessibility, then flip the switch labeled Color inversion. You can also toggle the effect on and off from the flick-down Quick Settings panel.

 

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