New iOS 4 accessibility options great for Baby Boomers

The accessibility options now available on iOS 4 for the iPhone helps people read their screen more easily. Probably more important than the higher resolution on the new iPhone 4 device are the accessibility options in the upgraded OS that can be used on prior iPhone/iPod touch models. (As always, click on any thumbnail in this article to enlarge.)

Accessibility options iOS 4

As someone who needs reading glasses, it can be quite challenging seeing the information on my iPhone if I don’t have my reading glasses with me or just have contact lenses on because I’m working out. There are two important accessibility features along with a modification of a built-in and often used app found in iOS 4 for your iPhone or iPod touch that are very helpful.

Accessibility iOS 4 font sizes

The accessibility features allow you to adjust the font size globally for the built-in apps and a 3-fingered screen tap (called Zoom in accessibility settings) to enlarge everything on the screen. The simple change to 20pt font makes enough of a difference for me to avoid eye fatigue but you don’t have to stop there; if you need to you can make the font size much bigger. So, skiing with your contacts on, you can still read your address book entries to call your ski buddy after you took a wrong turn. The Zoom function of using your 3 fingers to tap on the screen is a bit awkward but really does a great job of zooming in everything on the screen similar to the option-scroll-up in Mac OS X.

The feature that can also be very helpful in a built-in app is the camera! This was possible before with third-party apps like GoMagnify but now with the camera, when you tap on the screen, not only can you control what object is being focused upon and light balanced as was introduced with 3.0 but control your zoom as well. So, that can be helpful if you are just trying to read a price-tag when shopping or your lock to open up your locker at the gym.

Settings—>General to find Accessibility iOS 4

To find your accessibility options, tap on Settings—>General—>then scroll way down to Accessibility. The features from the prior versions of the iOS such as VoiceOver, White on Black, Mono Audio are still there and another new one to Speak Auto-text so that you can be verbally warned of typos. Play with the settings and be sure to post any feedback such as useful tricks or omissions in the comments section below.