There are reports suggesting that almost three-quarters of iPhone users may have already upgraded to iOS 7. If you are one of the many who have made the switch, I suspect that you found the transition jarring for the first few days because everything looks so different, but once you get used to the change there is no denying that iOS 7 is far better than iOS 6. Even so, I've been surprised at the number of attorneys (and others) who have told me that even after they get used to the rest of iOS 7 they still don't like the smaller and thinner font size used. Frankly, I feel the same way. The new font used in iOS 7 — a version of Helvetica Neue — is beautiful, but if you don't have perfect eyesight, it can be harder to see because Apple chose a version of Helvetica Neue that does not have much weight. (Click here for a comprehensive look at Helvetica Neue and its different weights from Rani Molla of GigaOm.) Fortunately, there are two things that you can do in iOS 7 to increase the text size and make everything more legible — even if, perhaps, not quite as pretty. I've made both of these changes on my own iPhone and I prefer it this way.
Both of these changes can be made in the Settings app under General, and they are located in menus that are right next to each other: Text Size and Accessibility.
The first thing that you can adjust to make things easier to read is the text size. Tap General and then tap Text Size and you will see a slider that you can drag to make the standard text size larger or smaller. As you do so, the text at the top will adjust to give you a preview.
Here is an example of an email, first using the standard setting, and second using the largest Text Size setting.
Changes that you make to the Text Size work in most of the apps designed by Apple. They will also work in third party apps that are designed to support the iOS Dynamic Type feature.
Accessibility - Bold
Even at larger sizes, the font used in iOS 7 is still somewhat hard to read because it is so thin — not only in text in email messages, but everyone else. Each letter in iOS 7 has less weight than it did in iOS 6 and prior iPhone/iPad operating systems. If you want to adjust that, tap on the Accessibility menu under General and look for the Bold Text option. When you turn it on, you are warned that you need to restart your device for the change to take effect. Once you do so, however, the change is quite noticeable. For example, here is the Accessibility menu, first as it looks before Bold Text is turned on, and second as it looks after Bold Text is turned on and then an iPhone is reset.
Here is a comparision of an email with Bold Text turned off, and then with Bold Text turned on.
The bold option also makes a difference on your home screen. The following two images show my home screen with Bold Text turned off, followed by Bold Text turned on.
And I could go on. Suffice it to say that when you turn on Bold Text, the change is reflected in numerous places on your iPhone.
The two changes shown above can be combined. You can make the default Text Size larger, plus you can turn on bold text. For example:
There is also an option to supersize text. First, increase the Text Size as noted above. Second, go to General -> Accessibility -> Larger Type and adjust the text size even more. At the highest setting (shown bel0w), the text is so large that it is likely to be useful only to those with serious vision impairments. But even if you don't supersize text to the maximum possible size, you might find that a small adjustment is perfect for you.
You can make all of the adjustments noted above on the iPad as well. I prefer Bold Text on my iPhone, but for whatever reason it doesn't look right on my iPad, so I only increase the text size on my iPad.
If you take the time to try out different adjustments and figure out what is right for you, you'll find it easier to read text on your iPhone and iPad with iOS 7.