How to get past Android's default tiny text size

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  1. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    Let's share info on how we who have poor eyesight can better use our Android phones, what do you say?

    Here's what little I know:

    1. A program called Spare Parts would allow you to increase font size for many apps. Does not work for the HTC Hero (OS 1.5). Unknown if it woks for any other OS or phone that is currently in existence.

    2. A program called Bettercut allows you to create a Display shortcut and use that to enlarge text on some apps. Does not work on the HTC Hero (1.5). Developer says it may be because of the special Home screen the Hero has. Unknown if it works for any other OS or phone.

    3. Browser allows you to zoom in out of the box (unless you searched google!)

    4. Do OS versions 1.6 and 2.0 allow one to enlarge text out of the box?

    1. OS 1.6+ seem to have some capability to read text on a screen. I don't know how well it works.

    2. Speechy claims to be able to read screen text

  2. ocean1

    ocean1 Well-Known Member

    NO help on 2.0 on this problem. Major bummer, many topics on this on other sites as well. Someone has got to send a note to the devs about this. We are all not 12 year old kids with 20/20 eyes lol after a few months of trying to use this 4 pt text we all gonna need glasses or Botox for the squinting haha . It is crazy in 2.0 still no help or app
  3. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    I know this doesn't help anything but Gmail, but that's probably an app that many of us use frequently. While you obviously can't increase font size in Gmail, here's what I finally started doing.

    As much as I wanted to use the native Gmail app, the font size was just too small. To remedy this I simply configured my Gmail (actually Google Apps) account as an IMAP account with the regular Android Mail app. Here, font size is fully scalable (about six selections) and they apply to both reading email to typing new email. This will have to do until someone fixes the dedicated Gmail app font size.

    On the positive side, this actually works better in receiving email sent to the phone as it was definitely NOT full push with the Gmail app as it's supposed to be. Having them both setup it's easy to see that mail arrives much faster with the regular IMAP mail app than with the Gmail, which is really odd.
    notims likes this.
  4. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    I was using the IMAP for gmail, but the extra IMAP labels that were created got annoying. I may have to go back to that!

    Bummer about 2.0. If you have a 2.0 install, can you try the Spare Parts and Better Cut hacks on that? Fingers crossed that would work...

    Some one on some forum said that 1.6+ had Spare Parts built into it!
  5. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    In your web-based Gmail you can select which labels will be duplicated in IMAP...cleans it up a bit. Biggest issue for me is not having sent messages in sent folder on desktop, etc.
  6. DigitalRapture

    DigitalRapture Active Member

    In the browser you can change the default to "close" (as opposed to far), which helped me out while browsing.
  7. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Doesn't change the font size in Gmail at all. The browser text font size has always been configurable...but not for Gmail or other things on the phone. Which is why everyone over the age of 20 has been complaining about it since it came out :) I can't carry a pair of glasses with me 24/7 just to read things on this phone.
  8. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    I've thought about using the voice functionality in some apps and in 1.6 and 2.0; anyone tried this? How good is it?

    But ideally they could just give us an option to increase the font size on things like gmail, google searches, and the market app descriptions. Can we organize in some way to let the developers know that this is something we want to see (so to speak)?
  9. beadlam

    beadlam Member

    Just adding my voice to this one - would love to see something done! I'm old enough to carry around my reading glasses everywhere - but even with them on - reading Google is uncomfortable -
  10. ocean1

    ocean1 Well-Known Member

    Its on almost every forum somewhere about the tiny text on the apps store,mail,SMS, reading phone numbers on contacts etc... big problem is they joke about it saying we are old and get the lasik app etc. Im not that old and even my 17 year old daughter last night could not read the comments on the app store so we didnt buy anything. I tried to give a phone number today and couldnt read it nor could the lady I was with. Most everything on the Android Os is like the fine print on a bad contract. This may be a deal breaker for me and a few others. Even BB has a place to increase the fonts and bold text etc. You know it almost seems like an incomplete OS that we have to add app after app to fix the short comings.......
    marklaing likes this.
  11. Ivanhead

    Ivanhead Well-Known Member

    Major problem, hope google and verizon will figure out 20 somethings don't buy all this shit. Updated software!
  12. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Hopefully if we keep whining, both here and on the developer forums, we'll eventually get something done. I'm going to start a thread (if there isn't one already) on the Google Mobile Help Forum (for Gmail)...they might see it there.

    Scalable fonts are already in the Android Mail app, so how can it be that difficult to put them in the Gmail app? They're also in the browser...come on, Google...give us a break. We've left our BlackBerries and other phones so at least let have the tools to read our email without a magnifying glass!
    marklaing likes this.
  13. ocean1

    ocean1 Well-Known Member

    Did you know that there are time stamps on the SMS? My daughter just saw it lol. Its the size of a pin head but its there lol. We never did figure out what time it said lol but its there in pin size print lol freaking crazy! why even bother stamping the time if its the size of the point of a needle?
  14. Comedie

    Comedie Member

    Didn't you know that myopia is a requirement to work at Google? In 10 years of so when the mgmt starts to get presbyopia, they will see the light. Maybe. I bet the developers all use 20" monitors to develop on tho.

    The small fixed fonts seem to be a decision they consciously made. Fixed perhaps for performance, so font rendering wouldn't eat CPU/memory? But my poking around this morning seems to tell me that both the OS and XML have font scaling capabilities.

    The font size is looking like a showstopper to me personally. The Droid seems great, but if I can't read it, it is nothing but a paperweight to me. The Storm2 may not have all the goodies the Droid has, but fonts and icons can be enlarged so I can actually read it.

    Maybe a bunch of folks wearing "Google is Myopic" t-shirts and marching around their HQ would help? :) Or maybe AARP can apply some pressure politically to them and to the major reviewers.
    marklaing likes this.
  15. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Has to be a bit o ironic truth in some of this :) We've been able to change the fonts in web Gmail ever since it's inception...but they've never been configurable to what the user wants.

    Everything I do is in the Google Cloud and really want to use the Android OS and VZW, so with the first of those two seemingly not do-able, I'm also left with the Storm 2.

    Another option is wait 3-5 weeks until the Passion comes out, but something tells me it will just be another phone with Android 2.0 on it and no changes to scalable fonts in Gmail.

    Or, I could just get the Droid and pray something sways Google to fix the small font issue...why do I think this won't happen for a very long time ;-)
  16. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    Would you please post links to other threads on this if you start them?

    So no one has tried the usual hacks on OS 1.6 or 2.0? Spare Parts and Bettercut, I mean?

    Do the larger screened models show the text any larger?
  17. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Nope. Just looked at both the Droid and Eris side by side at VZW and they're identical. There just seems to be more white space and real estate looking at a message on the Droid vs. Eris.

    I've read several posts that Spare Parts and Better Cut don't fix this problem on Eris or Droid. I'm hopeful some developer will tackle it. I would certainly pay for an app that fixes this problem.
  18. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Maybe everyone affected by this should start including the appropriate accessibility tags in their messages, Google might listen then (accessibility, low-vision, sight-impaired, etc.).
    marklaing likes this.
  19. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    Thanks for that info, Larry.

    Yes, let's see if we can work together!

    You can't do tags here, can you? I don't see an option for them.
  20. LarryMcJ

    LarryMcJ Well-Known Member

    Yes...this thread is already tagged with "accessibility, low vision, visually impaired". The tags are located at the bottom each message creation window when you reply or create a message. Any of these tags will show this thread (and likely others) when searched for in the forum.
    marklaing likes this.
  21. ceedee

    ceedee Well-Known Member

    Just another vote for system- and app-level textsize controls.
  22. Comedie

    Comedie Member

    Just read on that coming HTC Passion. Larger screen. If they kept the proportions to screen the same as the Droid, would get a little boost in size.

    I'd really like a phone with the AMOLED screen of Samsung, the openness of Android, and the user interface control (like fonts) of the Blackberry. Looks like Samsung is going Android, so will be interesting to see if they do all that AND get rid of their proprietary plug connections.

    My current phone is dying bit by bit, which was why I was looking at the new phones yesterday. Sounds like if I could get it to live awhile longer, some other options will be around to look at.
  23. ocean1

    ocean1 Well-Known Member

    Ya you may want to wait if you can. There is a bug fix coming but it doesnt look to include this. On every forum I have seen even a blog post on BGR there is a note about this issue on scalable fonts and them being so darn small and take a note from RIM lol. Even the notification bar at the top is tiny. With RIM I got little red x's on the apps with alerts be it voice, sms or IM even mail. Everything about Android is tiny lol makes the screens look bigger I guess...........
  24. ktb1381

    ktb1381 Active Member

    Seriously thinking about taking my Hero back before the 30 days is up... one of my eyes is a little strained from reading all the tiny print. :) Really a shame because it's a nice setup otherwise.
  25. TheGr81

    TheGr81 Well-Known Member

    I tried Spare Parts on my Droid and it did not increase the font sizes other than within the Spare Parts app itself. The font remained tiny everywhere else and the setting did not even save within the app once I exited it.

    I have a visual impairment and I actually have to use a magnifying glass to read any text on this thing. The text to speach doesn't read anything useful either. It just give the titles of the apps when you open them which is useless.

    I upgraded to the Droid from a Storm and now I am seriously considering returning this and getting a Storm 2.

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