(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: Super-Size It!

Tablets have made it easier to stay online wherever you are and those bigger screens are a lot easier to read than squinting at a smartphone — or even a phablet. But even with the more expansive screen real estate, you may find the tablet type a little small for comfortable reading. And the thinner font in Apple’s new iOS 7 has irritated a lot of people, who find it too spindly to read comfortably.

If you find yourself wrestling with iOS 7 on your iPad — or even iPhone or iPod Touch — hit the Settings icon on the home screen and go right to the General line. Tap General, and then Accessibility. In the second section of settings on the screen, you have options for:

  • Larger Type. iOS 7 uses Dynamic Type technology that can resize on-screen text to your preferred default. Turn on Larger Dynamic Text here and move the slider to the size you want. Apps that uses Dynamic Type should pick up your chosen size automatically.
  • Bold Text. Back on the main Accessibility menu, you find an option called Bold Text. Flip it on, let your iPad restart itself and lo-and-behold, your system font is bold. You can reverse the setting by coming back here and turning off the Bold Text switch.
  • Lots of other stuff. The Accessibility menu has more options for general legibility, including an Increase Contrast option, a Reduce Motion control (in case those floating backgrounds make you queasy) and On/Off Labels that add little notches to the virtual switches in case you can’t see the green color that means the setting is turned on.

iOS 7 has many other accessibility tools, including a  screen-zoom magnifier, a spoken-word function called VoiceOver, the ability to invest the screen colors, closed captioning for videos, mono audio and many more assistive functions.

iOS7

As for Android, this may vary from version to version, but in Jelly Bean 4.3 on the Nexus 7, tap into your Settings and hit Accessibility. Here, you can turn on features like:

  • Large text
  • Magnification gestures
  • Spoken passwords
  • The TalkBack screen reader
  • Text-to-speech output
  • And more!

Android

Of course, if you’re reading ebooks on your tablet, you have controls within your book app’s settings to bump your font up to a happy size independently. So now you can sit back, give your eyes a little bit of a boost, and save all that peering-at-the-fine-print stuff for cellular-data contracts, social-media privacy policies and tax forms.

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