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Make your iPhone easier with these hidden accessibility tools



Your iPhone or iPad has many features that make it easy to use, whether you want larger text or help wipe. You can also use your AirPods as hearing aids or turn your iPhone into a magnifying glass.

Enlarge text

You can magnify the text on your iPhone, making the screen easier to read. This feature does not work in every single app, but in many of them.

To find this option, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Larger Text. Drag the slider bar at the bottom of the screen to select a larger text size. You can also enable "Larger Accessibility Sizes" to select much larger text sizes.

Using AirPods as a hearing aid

If you are using AirPods, you can use it as an emergency aid. Just enable the Live Listen feature with your AirPods. Your iPhone's microphone picks up audio near you and sounds louder with the AirPods in your ears.

To do this, go to Settings> Control Center and then add the "Listen" key to your control center. This option only appears if you have AirPods or other compatible hardware connected to your iPhone.

You can open the Control Center and tap the ear-shaped audible icon to turn Live Listen on or off.

RELATED: Notes on Listening Live with Apple's AirPod

Zoom in on the screen

The Zoom feature lets you magnify everything on your iPhone screen.

How to find this go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Zoom. Activate the "Zoom" option at the top of the screen.

You can now tap with three fingers on the screen of your iPhone to open the zoom area. Tap again with three fingers to close it. Drag three fingers to move around the screen, or double-tap three fingers and drag to change the zoom level. This can help you see smaller things on your screen, even if an app does not normally let you zoom.

Use your iPhone as a magnifying glass

You can use your iPhone as a digital camera magnifying glass too. Your iPhone uses its camera and displays a magnified image on the screen so you can read the fine print more easily and see other details of the real world.

To enable this feature, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Magnifying glass and enable the magnifier feature. After triple-clicking the page key on an iPhone X or later, click the Start button on an iPhone 8 or earlier three times to instantly open the magnifying glass from anywhere.

RELATED: How to use your iPhone's camera as a loupe in iOS 10

Using a Screen Reader

If you are blind or have difficulty reading the screen, you can enable VoiceOver mode. In this mode, your iPhone reads the screen contents aloud.

To enable this option, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> VoiceOver and turn on the VoiceOver switch. This screen offers many more options for configuring VoiceOver behavior. For example, you can tap Voices> Speech to select your favorite voice.

You can also turn on this option the first time you set up an iPhone by clicking the side button of an iPhone X or later three times when you click the Home button on an iPhone 8 or earlier.

Enabling Color Filters

Your iPhone has "color filters" that can change the appearance of colors on your screen. This can be helpful if you are color blind. Turning on Invert Colors will increase the contrast and make the display of your iPhone more readable.

To find this option, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Show Accommodations. Tap Reverse Colors and choose a reverse option to reverse the colors on your screen. Tap Color Filter if you want to enable a color filter to help with different types of color blindness.

RELATED: How to Enable Color Filters on Your iPhone or iPad for Easy-on-the-Eyes Reading

Enable closed captioning

If you turn on captioning or other subtitle features while watching a video, you can always tell subtitles to tell your iPhone.

Go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Subtitles and Subtitles. Activate the function "Closed Captions + SDH". You can also select your preferred appearance for captions here.

This setting is not inherited from any app on your iPhone. Some apps have their own custom settings instead.

Listen to the text on your screen

If you want to give your eyes a break, you can have the contents of a screen read to you on your iPhone. Just select text in an app, tap "Speak," and your iPhone reads the text aloud. You can also have your phone read everything on screen.

To find this feature, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Language and turn on the "Language Selection" option. You can now select text, and tapping the Speak button will appear near the normal Copy and Lookup options.

For your iPhone to read the entire screen, enable the "Speak Screen" option. You can then swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers and your iPhone reads the entire screen. Touch "Voices" on this screen to select your preferred voice.

Disable Shake to Undo

By default, your iPhone uses "Shake" to undo the action. If you shake your phone, you will be prompted to undo the tapping. If you accidentally trigger this feature, you can disable it.

If you can not find this feature, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> Shake to undo and uncheck it.

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Replace Wipe with AssistiveTouch

If you have trouble wiping your iPhone screen, you can enable the AssistiveTouch option instead. This gives you a floating shortcut that you can tap to perform actions, such as: For example, to go home, display notifications, open the control center, and even press and double-tap.

To enable the link, go to Settings> General> Accessibility> AssistiveTouch.

Other Features That Help Make Your iPhone Easier to Use

The Settings> General> Accessibility Options screen has more options. You can make all text on your iPhone bold and activate "button shapes". This makes it easier to see what's on the screen, reduce transparency, increase contrast, and reduce the movement of animations. You can see button labels in apps so you can more easily see if they are on or off.

If you have an iPhone with face ID, you can tell your iPhone that it does not require physical attention, tell it when your face is there even if you are not looking at the screen. This may be necessary if you frequently wear sunglasses and the iPhone, for example, can not see your eyes.

The reachability option lets you drag everything down the screen of your iPhone so you can touch it without having to adjust the grip.

RELATED: The iPhone shortcut that allows you to accomplish anything with one hand

You can also configure how the iPhone taps on responds, or take more time with double or triple click on the side button.

Other options allow you to enable mono audio for use with mono headphones, for example, if you only carry one earphone and want to hear everything in one ear. You can enable "LED Flash for Alerts" and your iPhone will flash the LED LED on the camera as soon as you receive a notification. This can be helpful if you can not hear the notification sounds.

With the "Guided Access" option here, you can restrict your ad to iPhone or iPad for specific apps, which is convenient when you hand it over to a child.

The Quick Access feature lets you enable many of these features through a customizable menu that appears when you click on your page or home button after activation.

Picture credits: Nemanja Zotovic / Shutterstock.com.


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