Apple goes above and beyond when it comes to helping the visually impaired. With brilliant accessibility tools across all of their product lines, they are looking out for most everyone. In fact one could even say the greatest accessibility tool is Siri. Having a personal assistant to help you perform tasks on your phone without the need of even looking at the screen is an advancement that will certainly help everyone, especially, the visually impaired.
It won’t be to long before you see a super-intelligent rendition of Siri implemented across OS X. However, even amazingly smart artificial intelligence has it’s limits. When it comes down to it, Siri has no way of helping you read the words on your screen. In the mean time, while we wait for Siri to be able to think and see for us, apps like Zoom It make zooming in on your Mac quick and easy.
Get the big picture from your menu bar
There are already so many tools in OS X for helping visually impaired users that we initially scratched our collective head at Zoom It, an application that lets you magnify parts of your screen with a customizable loupe. But although it’s no substitute for OS X’s built-in visual accessibility features, it’s a handy way to access some of them quickly.
When small text comes along, you must Zoom It.
Like the device it represents, Zoom It is nothing if not easy to use. Clicking its menu bar icon displays a brief menu that lets you show and hide the loupe, which looks right at home in OS X thanks to a 3D border and a slightly shaded view under its virtual glass. You can also change its size and zoom level, and switch from a round to a rectangular loupe. That’s useful when moving from images to text, but you can’t resize the loupe with a pinch the way you can Preview’s Magnifier tool. Each feature can be controlled with customizable keyboard commands, including shortcuts to temporarily show the loupe, and another that takes a screenshot of just the magnified area. True to its name, using Zoom It was speedy, and it didn’t affect keyboard commands, trackpad gestures, and other controls in our applications.