Made to Measure

I love iOS because of the zoomability, it makes print accessible to me. With these eyes, I gotta zoom in, people. The simple gesture of a two fingered touch-and-part to activate it happens frequently on my device. These eyes need magnification. These eyes sometimes need the electronic serving of a Big Gulp in font size. I’m overdue for a case of extensor tendonitis.

But at times, using iOS sends me to the unreadable–to these eyes–mobile sites. I cringe at “responsive design” which recognizes the device accessing a webpage and automatically loads a sized-to-screen version as they say with optimal view AKA to me inaccessible view.  Conscientious web designers who adhere to accessibility principles include a View Desktop Site and font adjustment links to disrupt responsive design. Many web designers, sadly, do not.

I’ve written about other browser choices because they allow me to evade mobile sites. But, guess what. I discovered a little trick to override mobile sites within Safari. Here are some screenshots with description to show you the way.

Visit a webpage that defaults on iOS to Mobile Site View like


Screenshot of homepage

Press and hold the Refresh arrow on the top right until the menu bar appears.

Screenshot of Site Menu Bar overlaid on


Select Request Desktop Site. Notice how Desktop View happens.

Screenshot of Desktop Site View on

Enjoy the zoom.

Screenshot of a zoomed in section on


One drawback. After using this method perfectly for over a week with Safari, some websites started to ignore the desktop site request, keeping me stuck in Mobile Site Land. Luckily, we still have Atomic and Puffin and Chrome, the bespoke browsers, to cozy up with digital print.

Do you zoom in while using the web? Where have you been prevented from enlarging an image or text? What makes your digital media experience better? Tell me about it.


11 Comments Add yours

  1. Casee says:

    I hate mobile site! Even on my Android phone when I set it to override the font of the page many sites won’t allow it. On my iPad I usually have no problem with Safari getting me to the usual sites I look at on a regular. On my Android phone I am currently doing a 30 day free trial of an app named Claira Zoom which is made for low vision people. You can see a video of the app in action by looking for it on Youtube. It seems to me it would be great for a low vision first time smartphone user. It makes the font quite large and you have a choice of colors. It does try to make webpages easier to see with a sort of reader mode. They want $3.99 a month and promise more updates. I don’t think I will be paying for it after the trial. It is a work in progress but not for me, a smartphone power user. It would be great for someone who keeps a simple calendar and does texting and phone calls. It does have the ability to do voice and read your webpages and messages to you. It has OCR too. I don’t want to slam the app because for some people like a family member of mine, it will be transformative. I wrote all of that to say that webpages that don’t let me zoom the page as large as I want are evil! 🙂

    1. Great info for android, thanks for sharing it, Casee!

      1. Casee says:

        When I find something decent on Android I try to pass on the information because for a long time Android lagged very for behind iOS when it came to accessibility. Android is still behind iOS but if you get a phone with the latest software which is Marshmellow or even Lollipop there are some features that can be helpful to low vision and blind users. The app selection for low vision and blind users is so much better on iOS though. We need for Android to improve because not everyone can or wants to pay the premium price that an Apple product cost. I have an iPad and Apple TV but I use an Android phone.

      2. And andriod has superior software names, grin.

  2. Nivi says:

    Its funny how each of us react to things differently. I love responsive design because when I zoom it means wiggling the page around less than when I am in a full desktop page.
    What I do hate is those sites don’t allow you to pinch zoom sometimes. And that is the fault of the developer (im a web developer with wonky vision myself so I know the drill)
    On my ipad i tend to use zoom that comes with Apple. If you set it on accessibility settings all you have to do is tap 3 times on the screen and boom! All enlarged.
    On Android, if you go to Chrome > settings > accessibility, choose ‘force pinch zoom’ and you’ll be sorted.
    Also agree with the comments in this thread about Android being behind in accessibility. I wrote a post on some apps I’ve found extremely useful for Android. You can check it out here

    1. Thanks for the great info, Nivi! I’m a pinch-zoomer, I don’t want my iOS to page to already be zoomed in (like my desktop at work with zoomtext is), but not everyone is like me so thanks for sharing the tip about how to enable zoom to be activated at all times thru Settings>General>Accessibility>zoom.

      What I also wish was more prevalent is text wrapping when one zooms in to eliminate the need to scrool left/right. Ah, another post for another day, ha.

      1. Nivi Morales says:

        Yes! Im aiming for that too. Low vision is not very well understood. It’s good we are blogging. Raises awareness. 🙂

    2. Casee says:

      I have reinstalled the Shine On app and it seems so much better than when I tried it last year. I love the fact that it is so easy to dismiss when I don’t need it. It can read for me when I want it to or it will give me enlarged print when I prefer that. It is free but I would pay for such a good app! So nice to have something decent on Android.

  3. Nivi Morales says:

    Btw i also don’t want my screen to be zoomed in all the time. Iphone/ipad zoom is intuitive though. Its enabled / disabled by tapping 3 times on the screen. You can also set it up to zoom the whole screen or just part of it. Really recommend having a play with it. Much more clever than Zoomtext. Perhaps I need to blog about this 🙂

    1. Oh ok, the three finger tap to enable/disable is exactly how I would want to use the feature. Thanks for explaining it!I will be testing it out this weekend.

      1. Nivi Morales says:

        Hey! our chat gave me the idea to post about using zoom. Check it out 😀

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