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What’s New to Zoom in iOS 8?

Until the recent iOS 8 update, the built-in Zoom accessibility feature consisted of the ability to magnify a device’s entire screen by double-tapping three fingers to zoom, dragging three fingers to move around the screen, and double-tapping three fingers and dragging to change zoom. (Check out the blog, 5 Great iPad Gestures for Low Vision to learn more!) This worked well for many individuals with low vision, making reading and seeing important information on their iPhone, iPod, or iPad possible. However, the newest Zoom update accommodates and open doors for a much larger low vision population. Check out its new features below!

New Controller!

The controller is a great feature that simplifies using Zoom by providing:

  • Easy access to change Zoom and filter settings. When users press the controller, it opens up the Zoom and filter options.
  • The ability to change the magnification without having to use a three finger gesture. Within the controller options is a magnification slide bar users can use to zoom in and out of either the full screen or lense.
  • The ability to navigate around the screen with a virtual joystick. The controller itself becomes a virtual joystick when users press and hold the controller and move up, down, left, or right to navigate around the screen.
  • The choice to not use the controller! You can still use Zoom the old fashioned way!

iPad zoom controller


New Lense Mode!

Before, Zoom magnified the entire screen. With lense mode, users can magnify a specific portion of the screen, while the rest of the screen remains unmagnified.

  • Resize Lense

Zoom users have the ability to resize the zoom lense to whatever size works best for them!

iPad resize lense

  • Full Screen Zoom

Full screen zoom is still available along with the ability to magnify the entire screen by double-tapping three fingers to zoom, dragging three fingers to move around the screen, and double-tapping three fingers and dragging to change zoom. Again, users can also use the controller to zoom in and out of the screen and navigate around the screen.

iPad with full screen magnification


New Screen and Lense Filters!

iOS8 integrated new screen filters to give low vision users more options to help them better see the screen.

  • None

iPad no filter

  • Inverted

  • Grayscale

iPad grayscale filter

  • Grayscale Inverted

iPad with grayscale inverted filter

  • Low Light

iPad with low light filter


Other New Features!

  • Follow focus is a setting that determines whether or not the Zoom lens will follow the text cursor. This helps individuals stay orientated on the page while typing.
  • Leave Keyboard Unzoomed keeps you content zoomed, while the keyboard stays the same size while typing.
  • Maximum Zoom Level can be changed from 1.25x to 15x.


For more questions or more information about iOS 8 Zoom or other assistive technology, contact IPAT! 


Further Reading

5 Great iPad Gestures for Low Vision!

  Here at IPAT, I've visited with countless individuals experiencing low vision caused by a wide variety of diseases including macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, cataracts, and glaucoma....

DIY Stylus to Take Advantage of iOS Zoom

If you are like many people using an iPad a stylus is your preferred method of interacting with the screen. For some a stylus allows for use because of arthritis or limited use of fingers. One assistive...

Apple iOS 10 Adds to Accessibility Features

  A new built in Magnifier is here!  iOS 10 launched officially to Apple users on September 13, 2016.  With iOS 10 there are new accessibility features noteworthy to highlight and recognize. ...

Speak Selection, Speak Screen, and VoiceOver – What’s the Difference?

  iOS built in accessibility features open doors of possibilities for individuals with low vision or blindness so that they can easily use their iPhone, iPod, or iPad. I've explored what the Zoom...

4 Comments on “What’s New to Zoom in iOS 8?”

  • Weekend Roundup for 28 September, 2014 | ATMac September 28th, 2014 7:51 am

    […] Whats New to Zoom in iOS 8? Lots new for low vision users […]

  • Top AT Links of 2014 | Adapted Innovation December 9th, 2014 11:04 pm

    […] What’s New In Zoom In iOS 8 […]

  • Tim February 22nd, 2015 2:44 am

    i hate the zoom feature . it pops up on my ipad screen and on full mag and now i can’t get it off my screen to access my icons.Why can’t apple leave things alone instead of screwing things up.Makes one consider microsoft for my next purchase!

  • iOS 8 Accessibility Roundup | ATMac March 9th, 2015 9:43 pm

    […] What’s new to zoom in iOS 8?, from IPAT ND Assistive Technology Blog. […]