Not many people have a magnifying glass lying around the house nowadays, but your iPhone can serve the same purpose if you know how to use it. As CNBC discovered, the smartphone has a built-in magnifier that can help you read small print or tell the time when you’ve misplaced your glasses.
The feature, which also works for the iPad, has been around since iOS 10 was rolled out in 2016. It's disabled by default, though, so it's easy to overlook. It only takes a few steps to switch it on, and once it’s enabled, you won’t have to tamper with the settings again. After opening the Settings app, choose General, then Accessibility, then Magnifier. Toggle the Magnifier switch on, and you can now use it at the triple-tap of a button.
If you have an iPhone X or newer model (XS, XS Plus, or XR), simply triple-tap the button on the right side of the phone to call up the magnifier. For those with older iPhones, triple-tap the home button instead. Once it’s open, you can zoom in and out by using the sliding bar. Add light by tapping the lightning bolt icon, or press the three circles in the bottom right corner to apply different filters that may make it easier for you to read. You can also tap the screen to focus on a particular spot and use the lock button to freeze the focus.
The circle at the bottom even lets you snap a freeze frame. It functions much in the same way the zoom function on your camera does, except the images don’t automatically save to your phone, so you won’t have to clog up your memory to inspect objects more closely. It you do want to save it, though, just tap and hold the image and select save image.) The camera can serve many of these same functions, but the magnifier streamlines the process.
Looking for more iPhone tips and tricks? If you’re not already using your spacebar to move your cursor around, this simple iPhone hack will change the way you text.