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Sunday, April 7, 2013

1351. Text Magnification with a Mobile Device

I sure am getting old. I go to a restaurant and unless I have my glasses with me I can't read the menu. It seems like I should be able to somehow use the my phone to magnify the text for me. Is there an app that can do this?
Yes, that concept makes a lot of sense, and you’re not the first to think of it! There are quite a few apps that use your phone’s camera as a magnifier, presenting the live image it captures, magnified by the amount you specify. There are versions of the application for both iPhones and Android phones, so no one has to miss out on the opportunity to leave their reading glasses at home. Most of the apps we’ve seen take advantage of your phone’s camera flash, as well, to light up the text. If your phone doesn’t include a flash, the apps won’t work quite as well.
Ken just gives in and wears old-person glasses all the time, but Doug has resisted, and so found the app Magnifying Glass (by Falcon in Motion) to be a great free app for iPhone ( There are lots of other inexpensive or free options, as well. You can find other options by searching for “magnify” in the App Store or in Google Play (or other Android store).
If you find yourself in a dark restaurant, using one of these apps is far more dignified than either holding the menu four feet from your eyes in front of a dim candle, asking a friend to borrow their glasses, or worse yet, asking your child to read the menu to you (and we’ve succumbed to all three options, before finding the iPhone app).