Hidden Accessibility Features for Low Vision Users in iOS 11

By Travis Stevenson

“Some of the best features in iOS 11 are the ones that you find by accident”

while using my iPhone I stumbled upon a feature for low vision users. This feature has now become a staple in accessibility that I use everyday. While using my phone I find it increasingly hard to see the status bar icons on the top of the screen. The way I had to do it in the past was to tap the power button to show the lock screen to read the time. The other way I accomplished this was by using the Apple Zoom Controller. I would then Zoom in on the time at the top of the screen. Well now there is a new feature that makes this much simpler.

This feature was found totally by accident. One day while using my iPhone, I noticed something that came up on the screen while I was holding my phone. Granted this was found by holding my phone in my palm and accidentally touching the status bar with a finger. Well what happened next made my struggle of seeing the status bar much easier on my eyes. After some exploring, I noticed that if I did a long press with one finger on the time located in the status bar, the time was now displayed in middle of the screen in “large font”, My instant curiosity took over.. The great thing about this new feature in iOS 11 is that it also shows the wifi signal, battery level, battery percentage and also carrier information assuming that you first long press on each icon in the status bar.

I mentioned before the phrase “ large font “ would play a role in how this works. After some research and exploring in accessibility, I came to the conclusion that this hidden feature was in the large font section of the accessibility settings. Once you change the size of your font to a certain level, it enables this feature.

I hope you enjoy this hidden accessibility feature as much as I do. Let us know if you have any issues getting this feature to work, or tell us about any features that you have found and use everyday.

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