Android 15’s new screen zoom gesture makes zooming in easier

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority


  • Android 15 is adding a two-finger double-tap screen gesture that magnifies the screen.
  • The built-in zoom feature of operating systems can now be launched using an on-screen button, pressing the volume key, or triple-tapping the screen.
  • The other options take longer to invoke, take up screen space, or, in the case of the three-tap gesture, slow down the device.

Android is used by billions of people around the world, so it’s no wonder that accessibility is a key concern for Google. The company has developed several accessibility tools for its mobile operating system, including the Android Accessibility Suite, which offers a built-in select-to-speak feature, a screen reader tool, additional navigation options, and more month. Google also built several accessibility features directly into the operating system, such as text and screen scaling, color correction, and screen magnification. Screen magnification can currently be enabled in one of three ways, though a fourth option is being added in the upcoming Android 15 update.

Screen Magnification Not to be confused with the Pixel-exclusive Magnifier app, which lets you use the camera to see real-world objects that are small or far away, is a native feature of the Android operating system that makes zoom on the screen to make items easier to see. It is located below Settings > Accessibility > Extension (at least on Pixel devices) and can be set to magnify the entire screen or a specific area of ‚Äč‚Äčinterest. It’s a particularly nifty tool for anyone who has trouble seeing, which is why Android offers a couple of methods to enable it on demand.

These activation methods, which can be found in the zoom shortcut submenu, currently include an on-screen accessibility button, a gesture that involves pressing and holding both volume keys, and a gesture that involves quickly tapping the screen three times. The first method is the most convenient but takes up part of the screen and always increases the center. The second method takes up no screen space, but has the longest activation time. The third method is very convenient and also allows you to magnify the exact part of the screen you want to magnify, but it also slows down your device as Android has to add a delay to each screen tap.

The new, fourth activation method for screen zoom currently in development for Android 15 will allow users to quickly double-tap the screen with two fingers to zoom in. This new two-finger double-tap screen zoom shortcut is not yet visible in the latest Android 15. Beta version 1.2, but we managed to get the toggle out manually, as shown below. This toggle is displayed above the default collapsed advanced dropdown, which currently contains the three-tap screen shortcut. The likely reason Google hid the three-tap screen shortcut under a drop-down menu is that it slows down other tap inputs, as mentioned before. Its description even warns that this shortcut can slow down your device.

Interestingly, this text is missing from the description of the two-finger double-tap screen shortcut, suggesting that it won’t slow down the device. However, in our brief tests, we noticed that there is still a slight lag in screen touches when it’s on. This could be because the feature isn’t finished, or because it actually works as intended, and Google hasn’t updated the description to reflect the behavior. Either way, users who rely on Android’s screen zoom feature should look forward to the Android 15 update and its many accessibility improvements.

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