How to use your iPhone as a magnifying glass

For many of us, our multitasking iPhones have replaced many other tools and gadgets, including our cameras, calculators, torches, notepads, GPS units, and even our compasses. There’s one more item your iPhone can replace — a magnifying glass.

We’re taking a look at the iPhone’s Magnifier app, a super useful free tool that allows you to magnify using your iPhone’s camera.  

The iPhone’s Magnifier app

With Magnifier, you can turn your iPhone or iPad into a magnifying glass so you can zoom in on objects or text near you. Magnifier uses your iPhone’s built-in camera to enlarge objects or text so you can view them more easily. 

the magnifier app iphone screen, featuring a hydrangea

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

The app allows you to increase the zoom level and turn on the flashlight to better display objects and text. You can also adjust the image brightness and contrast, and apply color filters. Plus, there’s the option to freeze one or more frames to review them. 

Getting the Magnifier app set up on your iPhone

The best place to access the Magnifier app is via your iPhone’s “Control Center.” This is the shortcut screen you see when you swipe down from the top right hand side of your iPhone screen. 

In order to add Magnifier to your Control Center, open your iPhone’s Settings app and scroll down to see “Control Center.” Tap this. 

directions on how to get to control centre in iPhone

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

In the next screen, you’ll see your current Control Center setup, which lists included controls at the top of the screen, and more controls you have the choice to add at the bottom. Look for the Magnifier option and tap on the green plus sign icon beside it. 

directions to get to Magnifier in iPhone

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

Magnifier will now appear in your Control Center options. 

Magnifier tool icon in iPhone control centre

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

To reorder your Control Center shortcut icons, go back into Settings, then Control Center, and tap on the three lines that appear next to each tool. Drag and drop to rearrange. 

Using the iPhone’s Magnifier app 

Now that you’ve got Magnifier set up in your iPhone’s Control Center, whenever you want to use it, simply swipe down on the right hand side of your iPhone’s screen and tap on the Magnifier shortcut icon. 

This will launch the app, and you’ll see your live view window at the top of the screen and Magnifier’s various controls at the bottom. 

The iPhone Magnifier’s controls are as follows: 

iPhone magnifier app controls

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

  • Adjust the zoom level: Drag the zoom control slider left or right.

  • Switch to the front or back camera: Tap the camera-with-arrows switch camera button, then tap front or back.

  • Adjust the brightness: Tap the sun-shaped brightness button.

  • Adjust the contrast: Tap the two-tone circle contrast button.

  • Apply color filters: Tap the Venn diagram filters button.

  • Turn on your iPhone’s flashlight: Tap the flashlight-shaped button.

  • Save a magnified object as an image: Tap the large central freeze-frame button. You can then share this via the share icon at the top right of your screen. 

How to customize your Magnifier app’s controls

The default setup of the Magnifier’s controls will be more than adequate for most iPhone owners; however, it is possible to customize how they appear on your screen. To do this, when in the Magnifier app, tap on the cog-shaped icon at the bottom left of your screen. 

Various ways to customize magnifier controls

Credit: Screenshot: Apple

In the next screen, you can drag and drop by tapping on the three lines icons to change the order of the controls. You can also choose to set two options as primary controls. 

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