Android N allows you to change your device’s display size [Diving into Android N]

by: Jimmy WestenbergMarch 9, 2016
Android N DPI-AA

Android users have been able to tweak the system font in the settings menu for quite awhile now, and there’s a new option in Android N that brings that feature to the next level.

Note: Be sure to check out our Diving Into Android N series for more coverage!

If you’ve ever had trouble viewing the content on your Android device’s screen, this new feature is for you. Android N includes the ability to set a different display size, which will magnify all elements on the screen to help improve device accessibility for users with low or impaired vision. And if you’re on the opposite end of that spectrum and would like things to be a bit smaller on your device, you can change that too. To access this new feature, head to Settings>Display>Display size.

Display size screenshot

When you get to this new menu, you’ll be able to use the slider at the bottom to either increase or decrease the display size. Up above that you can swipe through three different previews to help you decide which display size to choose. Once you exit out of this menu, you’re all set — your display size should now be changed.

Google says this new feature should not require developers to make any changes to the code in their apps. Just to be safe though, developers should review the feature to make sure it works properly. For more detailed information on this change, follow the Android Developers link attached below.

  • CreasingMass

    lmao nothing new, just a dpi on-the-go changer.

    • abqnm

      Nothing new? It’s a game changer. No longer do you have to root just to modify the dpi setting. And for people with low vision, it’s much better being able to increase the size of the whole OS rather than just being able to increase the font size, which when you get to large sizes tends to look pretty terrible. I hate how on my dad’s phone setting the font to HUGE causes words to be split into multiple lines in many apps and areas of the OS. This is such a better option.

      • CreasingMass

        I prefer rooting and flashing a custom rom rather than use any stock rom shit lol
        I have a moto g 2nd gen (with 6.0 stock released like a week ago) running 6.0.1 for the past 4 months with custom roms, all of them way better than stock with a ton of features you’ll never find in stock, and almost all features they’re adding to new android versions were already available in custom roms since the previos version. Also all custom roms gets you a dpi changer (NOT on-the-go) but you just have to hot-reboot to make the changes.
        So yea, nothing new, just faster, whatever.

        • Raphael Floriano


        • Shri

          Not everyone can root their phone. I can not because if I do, the Good App from work email stops working and I do not like to carry 2 phones :-o Also if the phone is rooted, it trips the warranty bit for my Note 5. Not to mention, Android Pay will not work either

        • Sere83

          Dont Think I’ve ever used a custom rom more stable than stock android. And iv’e used a lot, always more buggy, even cyanogen. Cyanogen on my Oneplus one doesnt run as good as stock andorid on my nexus 5.

      • talhamid

        LMAO – its a REVOLUTION. The feature is easy to use. I can go all snobbish and say I’d rather root but no – I won’t. Since years rooting and flashing custom ROMS simply does not deliver consistent results esp in performance and battery life. Its not worth compromising your device. Core android and the skinned versions have gotten really good and stable.

        So this gives power users a much needed feature thats baked in. Another win for stock Android (and hopefully skinned versions too) vs all those broken, pretentious, unstable, always a work-in-progress custom ROMs.

        Most users who work don’t have the time and energy to tinker with their devices all the time, they just want to use them. Amen, Google.

      • cwg999

        “No longer do you have to root just to modify the dpi setting.” … You don’t… not sure if its the case with all android versions but I used adb to change it without root. However changing it would cause certain bank apps or Android Pay to stop working, so I welcome this new change.

  • Sai Sreekantt M

    MIUI was having this since long…..I think google is ripping off everything from miui

    • Tim R.

      or from TouchWiz ^^ like Multi-Window..

    • Jairus

      The good thing about ripping is native support, native support means lesser bloatware.

      • Anon

        yeah but it really shows how biased people are. really lots of useful functions in there being ripped off from MIUI

      • Tribe

        This statement doesn’t make sense at all. Nexus fanboys are something else. Do you even know the meaning of the word bloatware?
        Your stupidity to think that everything introduced by the oems is bloatware has got you backed up in the corner, now it’s forcing you to come with sad excuses.

        • Jairus

          Oh really who’s the stupid person here? Where in my statement did I said “nexus”? Can you even think outside the box? When I said bloatware, of course I mean the OEM’s customized system, if Android have native support for a certain feature, there will be a high chance that OEM will not going to enforce their own implementation which can increase the disk space usage and bogging down the system performance, isn’t that the meaning of bloatware? Go pick up your brain, you might lost it somewhere.

          • Tribe

            Just stop it you’re embarrassing yourself. You can get away with such stupid reasoning on the internet. In the real world you’ll be laughed out of the room with that silly reasoning. It’s you who wasn’t thinking outside the box in the first place by dismissing these feature as bloatware when they were on MIUI, then now all of a sudden its a great features
            Now I know for sure that you don’t know the meaning of bloatware and the term ” thinking outside the box”

          • Jairus

            Yeah sure, I don’t know the meaning of “bloatware” /sarcasm

          • Tribe

            Who the fcuk is Vangie Beal?

    • eema

      MIUI exposed an android option that was already there..

      • Tribe

        So why do you guys s*!t on those skins when the utilize those options.

    • josuearisty

      Everybody rip off everything from elsewhere. Google doesnt talk sh*t like apple does, saying “this is innovation”.

    • Karis Abas

      would be cool if xiaomi made the next nexus phone at xiaomi prices

    • iamakii

      hi im new with miui. Where exactly can I find the display scaling in the options menu? Thanks!

  • Iceman89

    Can we have an option to actually change the resolution as well please? dropping down to 1080p on most non-phablet phones is barely noticeable.

    But provides more free memory and better performance.

    • abqnm

      You can already on most devices just fine. It may not work on all devices that have been modified from stock Android as some OEM apps are dependent on the resolution, but this will work on most all devices right now through adb.

      adb shell wm size 1080×1920

      And to restore:

      adb shell wm size reset

      Now without corresponding density support, this isn’t very useful without root, but it will be with N. According to a member of the framework team, custom densities can be set (properly) now using adb on N.

      adb shell wm density xxx

      Where xxx is the density you want. This is useful for densities that fall outside the slider range in the new Display Size setting.

  • Mrinmoy Patra

    common CyanogenMod has that too…. LCD Density .but a native support is always welcome .