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Google's handy Magnifier app is now available for Pixels

The app could be useful for that restaurant menu in the distance or that presentation in a packed room.

Published onOctober 6, 2023

Google Magnifier app resized
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
  • Google has launched the Magnifier app on Pixel phones.
  • This app allows you to easily read text in the distance, such as menus and airport signs.
  • Magnifier works on the Pixel 5 and newer.

Google had plenty to show off at its Pixel 8 series launch event, and one of the more practical features it announced was the Magnifier app. We didn’t have to wait long for a release as it’s now available for Pixel owners.

The Magnifier app has landed on the Play Store (h/t: Mishaal Rahman and Threads user @_better_be_me), allowing you to zoom in on faraway signs and text. Google specifically cites examples like street signs or restaurant menus behind the counter.

The app offers a number of handy features compared to just zooming in with your camera. This includes brightness and contrast adjustments, and a number of filters for improved legibility.

Magnifier app: What’s it like to use?

Google’s Play Store listing confirms that it works on the Pixel 5 or later. And the app worked just fine on my personal Pixel 7 Pro.

Using the Magnifier app is a pretty straightforward affair too, as you zoom in on the desired text and hit the shutter key to capture the image. From here, you can apply the aforementioned adjustments, zoom in even further, or use Google Lens (for copying the text, listening to it, and more).

In saying so, you can only zoom in fixed increments (namely 1x, 2x, 4x, 8x, 16x, 24x, 30x) rather than having complete control over the zoom range. Furthermore, our own testing suggests that the Pixel 7 Pro’s 5x telephoto camera only kicks in from 8x rather than being used at 4x. 

It’s worth noting that this captured image isn’t saved to your phone by default (unlike capturing a zoomed-in image via your camera app). However, you can choose to manually save or share it if you’d like.

We’re nevertheless happy to see Google bringing another neat accessibility feature to Android. This joins the likes of Live Caption, the Android Accessibility Suite, Live Transcribe, and more. You can download the Magnifier app via the button below.

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