Maybe you have a junk drawer, possibly in the kitchen, full of various tools, implements, and odds and ends. One of the things we would expect to see in such a drawer is a magnifying glass, especially if there are other things we hope to see but can't without first magnifying the view. The same goes for Windows: not the glass kind but the software kind. With super-huge LCD screens displaying super-high-resolution images, sooner or later even eagle-eyed PC users have to squint; and if your vision isn't what it once was, the problem is worse. It's … Read more
When you have many, many friends on Facebook, it can sometimes be hard to get through your whole stream of "news." Photos are a great addition to your Timeline, simply because they can share an idea without needing a paragraph of explanation (unless it's one of those terrible "if this gets 1 million likes" chain posts). Unfortunately, when you see one that is too small to show off all the detail, you have to click to enlarge it.
Instead of clicking on each photo, you can view the enlarged version of a photo by simply … Read more
Hot on the heels of the Siri announcements coming out of 2012 WWDC, Android users get a little good news of their own. Software startup Magnifis released Robin, a voice-activated natural language mobile assistant for Android devices.
Robin is like a mashup of Siri and Waze. It's a voice-controlled mobile app designed for drivers to use in their cars. Like Waze, it's motion-activated rather than button-activated, which is easier for complying with distracted driving laws and using on the road, and it can proactively warn you about upcoming traffic or speed traps. It also remembers questions you ask, … Read more
Microsoft is enhancing some of the accessibility features in Windows 8 to make the new OS easier for people with disabilities.
Certain "assistive technologies" have long been a part of Windows. The built-in Narrator can read text aloud to people who are blind. The Magnifier can zoom in to display content for people who have trouble seeing. Speech recognition allows people who are unable to type to navigate via voice.
But as described in the latest Building Windows 8 blog by Jennifer Norberg, a senior program manager on Microsoft's Human Interaction Platform team, Windows 8 is taking those features a few steps further.… Read more
Google has a new feature it hopes will keep Music Beta users tuned in.
The Web giant today launched Google Magnifier, a new feature to help users of its online music-storage service discover and obtain new music. In addition to free music tracks, the site has videos of live performances, artist interviews, and a chance to explore music genres.
The move is an effort by Google to distinguish its Music Beta service from competitors such as Amazon's Cloud Music and Apple's forthcoming iCloud service, which is expected to launch in the fall. Google's music-storage service, which launched … Read more
Computer screens come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is clutter. Around the edges of any program window--even the Windows desktop itself--you'll see toolbars, sidebars, and other controls that take space away from the area reserved for your actual work.
The simplest way to remove the various information and shortcut bars from view is to press F11, which expands the currently open window to all four screen edges. Return to the standard view by pressing F11 again.
Likewise, the fastest way to enlarge content on the screen is by using Windows' built-in … Read more
OneLoupe from programmer Nenad Hrg is a free screen magnifier. It's compact, completely portable, and very easy to use. It's great for visually impaired users, but anyone who wants to zoom in on a part of their PC screen can enjoy it.
We love seeing old-school tools that pack a lot into a miniscule download, but at 19.5KB, OneLoupe is smaller than the ReadMe files for some applications and is probably the smallest program we've tested that boasts full Windows 7 64-bit compatibility. As portable freeware, OneLoupe requires no formal installation; just click the extracted program … Read more
Every now and then we find ourselves squinting at a tiny image or too-small text on our computer screen. When you need something to be just a little bit bigger, but don't want to go to the trouble of changing your screen resolution, use Moo0 Magnifier. This deceptively simple program is a useful tool for quickly and temporarily magnifying what's on your computer screen.
The program doesn't have an interface to speak of; it appears unobtrusively as an icon in the system tray. Users simply access the settings by right-clicking on the icon and select the key … Read more
ZoomMagic helps take a closer look at the computer screen with this digital magnifying glass tool. By quickly blowing things up and offering a surprising special feature, this is a great choice for anyone needing to zoom in.
The program's simplistic, onscreen directions welcomed us to start right away. We also appreciated how large all tools and texts were, and how accommodating they were to users with visual impairments. The program blew up anything behind its medium-size box that we ferried around the screen, acting as a digital magnifying glass. Also, the box had an option to stay stationary … Read more
Magic Lens Max offers visually impaired users a virtual screen magnifier. We found it very easy to navigate, but the numerous configuration options might be confusing to some.
When activated, the main user interface appears on your desktop, and it's packed with a number of settings to show or hide the magnifier, change the lens shape, pick the color mode, adjust the zoom percentage, color levels, and the lens size and border, among other things. Also from the interface, you can create hot-key combinations for zooming, rotating, and more. We certainly appreciate all of the options, but would have … Read more