What you need to know
- Google’s new Magnifier app, released on the Pixel 8 series, is now being realized on older Pixel models.
- The app, addressing a key accessibility function, designed to increase the readability of text and images.
- Thought the Magnifier app is available on the Play Store, it’s limited to Pixel 5 phones or later. It’s unclear whether Google will expand it to the wider Android ecosystem.
Google’s latest Pixel smartphone lineup includes a valuable accessibility app. The company’s new Magnifier app — which is designed to make small, dimly lit, or distant text easier to read — is now released publicly on the Play Store.
Making its debut on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro this week, the app lets users “magnify small text, see object details, or zoom in on faraway text like street signs or restaurant menus behind a service counter.” Now, as noted by Android expert Mishaal Rahman on Telegram (thanks to a tip from Threads user _better_be_me), it looks like the Magnifier app has been made generally available to older Pixel models, specifically to Pixel 5 phones or later.
Pixel’s Magnifier app seems to have a pretty intuitive interface. The default screen features large + and – buttons — which are placed on either side of the app’s round shutter/zoom button — to control the feature’s zoom function. The app’s interface also includes the ability to enable or disable the camera’s flashlight.
Beyond these core functions, the app supports other features, such as adjustments for color contrast and brightness, as well as the ability to apply color filters to increase the readability of text on images. This last option can be found by selecting the settings button found in the lower left-hand corner of the app. The app also automatically adjusts the brightness of images taken in dimly lit environments.
Additional capabilities — once users snap a photo of magnified text using the app — include being able to copy the text, listen to it via text-to-speech functionality, or send the text to Google Lens so it can be further analyzed.
The company hasn’t confirmed as to whether the Magnifier app will be released to the general Android platform. However, since Apple offers a similar feature that supports iPhone users who face Presbyopia (the common condition among adults that necessitates the use of reading glasses), it would make sense for Google to expand the app’s availability to the wider Android ecosystem.
The Pixel 8 Pro is the best Pixel ever made, with an upgraded camera system and a flat 120Hz display, now with a matte glass on the back. The phone is capable of some powerful machine learning to power fun new AI features and improve camera quality, particularly with video capture.