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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.

ios tip screen magnification gesture 4

Even as the displays on our iPhones and Android phones get bigger and bigger, the type on our screens remains stubbornly small--so small, indeed, that you may find yourself squinting whenever you glance at your handset.

Give your aching eyes a break. Read on for six settings that'll make your iPhone or Android screen a bit easier to read, from boosting the size of text to zooming your display with your fingertips.

1. Boost the size of on-screen text (Android and iOS)

Let's jump right to the good stuff: a setting on both iOS and Android devices that'll nudge on-screen text fonts a bit larger--or all the way to jumbo size, if you so choose.

Unfortunately, the iOS and Android text-boosting settings won't work in every situation. Text on webpages may still be teeny-tiny (although there's nothing stopping you from zooming a page with a pinch gesture), and third-party apps may not respond to your text-boosting settings.

Still, if you want an easy way to super-size the text in your text messages and email, the names and numbers in your contacts app, and other core features on your iPhone or Android phone, the text-size settings is a great place to start.

For Android: Tap Settings > Display > Font Size, then choose one of the four settings--Small, Normal, Large, or Huge.

For iOS: Tap Settings > Display & Brightness > Text Size, then drag the slider to the left (for smaller text sizes) or right (to go large). Want to try a really big font size? Go back to the main Settings screen, then tap Accessibility > Larger Text. Flip on the Larger Accessibility Sizes switch, then drag the slider.

2. Bold your on-screen text (iOS)

You can add some extra punch to your on-screen text by adding a bold effect. In combination with a larger font, switching on the bold-text setting can make your iPhone or iPad screen far easier to read.

Tap Settings > Display & Brightness, then flip the switch next to the "Bold Text" setting. You'll need to restart your iPhone/iPad for the setting to take effect.

3. Try out high-contrast text (Android "Lollipop")

Unfortunately, there's no "bold" option for text on standard Android phones and tablets. That said, Android devices running on the new Android Lollipop update have an "experimental" setting called "high-contrast" text, which adds a distinctive outline around some (but not all) on-screen text.

High-contrast text is clearly still a work in progress, but if you're having trouble reading the text on your Android handset, it's worth a try.

Tap Settings, Accessibility, then tap the box next to "high-contrast text."


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