With the launch of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, a new feature is getting the bad rap. Display Zoom. Tucked under Display & Brightness setting, the Display Zoom modifies the “view” of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus display.
The feature is intended for a small niche of people: folks who might need spectacles to read or use their iPhones but find the typical zoom feature too cumbersome (or ugly).
What's Display Zoom?
The image below shows how the homescreen looks with/without display zoom on iPhone 6. In the default state, the iPhone 6 has normal icons, well-spaced and smaller (normal) text. In the right image, where Display Zoom is turned on, you’ll notice that the icons and text are bigger, the padding between the icons is lesser.
Turning on/off Display Zoom
- Open Settings
- Tap on Display & Brightness
- Tap on View under the Display Zoom label
- You should see two tabs on top – Standard and Zoomed
- To turn on display zoom, tap on Zoomed.
- Standard turns off the display zoom feature.
You will also be shown how your iPhone’s screen looks when you have display zoom set to on/off.
What's Happening? – Pixels
What's really happening is simple.
When Display Zoom is turned on:
- The iPhone 6 Plus mimics the iPhone 6's screen.
- The iPhone 6 mimics the iPhone 5/5s screen.
What do I mean by “mimics”? When Display Zoom is enabled, the iPhone 6 Plus screen looks like the iPhone 6’s screen albeit zoomed to fit the display size of the iPhone 6 Plus.
In terms of resolution:
The iPhone 6 Plus's display resolution (1080x1920px in terms of pure pixels) is about (1.44)^2 times more than iPhone 6 (750x1334px). The ratio is quite the same but there are more pixels for clarity. The result is that the icons and text is supposedly even more sharper (but same size).
The iPhone 6's resolution, likewise, has (1.17^2)-times more pixels than the iPhone 5/5s.
By using Display Zoom, the iPhone 6 Plus tries to mimic the iPhone 6's resolution point and it does this by zooming in on an iPhone 6 screen. Ditto for iPhone 6 and iPhone 5/s too.
The result is that you have a partially “zoomed-in” view of the existing interface. Not exactly useful or likable for a majority of people but folks who can’t read small text (but are annoyed by the default zoom feature in iOS) will find it useful.