How to use iPhone and iPad as a magnifying glass

Apple has some fantastic functionality packed into iOS with its accessibility features. While some users rely on these features daily, some of them go overlooked by many. One of these useful features is the ability to use your iPhone or iPad as a magnifying glass.

Whether it’s looking up a tiny serial number on an electronic device or any number of other situations, it can be really handy have a magnifying feature.

You can use the standard iOS camera app and zoom in on items, but the iOS magnifying feature has some specific aspects that make it particularly useful. Two of which are the ability to zoom in further than 1ox and built-in filters to more easily read and capture text and details.

  1. Open Settings and tap on General
  2. Next tap Accessibility and then Magnifier
  3. Tap the toggle on the right to turn the feature on
  4. Now you can activate the magnifier by triple clicking the side button (previously sleep/wake button)

Another great way to quickly pull the magnifier is through a customized Control Center icon. Here’s how:

  1. Open Settings and tap on Control Center
  2. Tap Customize Controls
  3. Tap the + symbol next to Magnifier
  4. Adjust the position with the hamburger icon (three lines) on the right
  5. Open Control Center by swiping down from the top right corner of the display on iPhone X or swiping up from the bottom of the display on iPhone 8/8 Plus and older

Beyond the ability to magnify further than the standard camera app, the magnifier features some useful filters. Tap on the filter icon in bottom right corner.

You can choose between some default filters to help in your quest to scope things out like White/BlueYellow/Black, and Red/Black. 

The magnifier also allows you to adjust the light and B&W effect with sliders. You’ll also notice you can lock the autofocus and utilize the flash as needed.

With this handy feature all set up you should be able to see most anything you’d like, no matter how small it is.

For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following recent articles:

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  • How to protect your iPhone data with privacy controls built in to iOS 11
  • How to jump to the top of webpages, Twitter, Facebook, and apps with iPhone
  • How to check your iPhone’s warranty & repair coverage
  • How to use Podcasts stations to play episode playlists like ‘daily news shows’ on HomePod

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