Aside from all the wonderful improvements to grace smartphones year on year, it’s worth taking a look at the additional features not so often praised for their inclusion. Accessibility within the smartphone space is of increasing importance, enabling a greater proportion of potential customers to get the most from the latest smartphones.
Being able to see text and navigate a device is of paramount importance and when faced with the task of being able to resize key elements of the user experience, each manufacturer has found a different method to do so. We’re going to show you how to alter the font size on your Android, iOS or Windows Phone smartphone.
Depending on the version of Android your phone runs, the process to enlarge font size varies. If you need to check which version of Android your device runs, head to the Settings app, scroll to the bottom until you see ‘About Phone’ or ‘About Device’ and here you’ll be able to see ‘Android Version.’
‘2.3’ denotes Android Gingerbread and ‘3.0’ denotes Honeycomb if you’re using a tablet, if your device is running ‘4.0’ or ‘4.1’, then you’re device is running either Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean respectively.
Froyo/Gingerbread/Honeycomb – Unfortunately, there’s no native way to increase font size with the standard accessibility tools of any of these iterations of Android, however there is a popular third-party application that resolves the issue. Head to the Android Market or Google Play (depending on your device) and search for ‘Big Font’ (link here), the app, developed by Sam Lu is the one to download.
Once installed, this free application allows the user to change the font size for the majority of a smartphone’s applications and choose which applications it should ignore. Users have the ability to scale their smartphone’s general font size down to 50% and up to 180% of its original size.
Ice Cream Sandwich/Jelly Bean – If you’re sporting a newer Android handset, the process is far more streamlined. From the homescreen, pull down your notifications bar and press the ‘Settings’ icon at the top of the screen, then scroll down until you see the ‘Accessibility’ option. From this menu there should be an option to alter font size. Should this method not work, the previously mentioned Big Font app should suffice.
BlackBerry smartphones have a comprehensive selection of accessibility options. Go to the ‘Options’ menu, select ‘Display – Screen Display’ and there are options to adjust the ‘Font Family, Font Style, Font Smoothing’ and ‘Font Size’ from 7 to 14. Press the BlackBerry key and hit ‘Save.’
Head to the ‘Settings’ application on your iOS device and scroll down to the General option. From this menu again scroll until you see ‘Accessibility.’ One of the subsequent options under Accessibility is ‘Large Text.’ selecting this option lets you dictate incremental font sizes up to 56pt font for use in apps such as Calendar, Contacts, Mail, Messages and Notes.
Alternatively the accessibility menu also offers the option to ‘Zoom’ which once toggled on, allows a user to three-finger double-tap anywhere within the UI and zoom in on an element, you can then move around the UI with three fingers at once or three-finger double-tap again to zoom back out.
Presently there is no means of increasing the font size on Windows Phone devices, that being said we are yet to discover what accessibility improvements have been implemented with the forthcoming Windows Phone 8 OS update.