Google Chrome’s improved page zoom should help make the mobile web more accessible
Google Chrome’s giving its page zoom feature a boost, which should make it more helpful for people who have difficulty reading the smaller screen on a phone. With the improved feature, you can increase the size of text, images, videos, and interactive controls on mobile web pages by up to 300 percent while preserving their original formatting.
While the feature has not yet become available for all Chrome users, you can access it now if you download the Chrome beta on your phone or tablet. To enable the feature, tap the three dots icon in the top right corner of the browser, hit Settings > Accessibilityand then adjust the zoom level to your liking.
Google will save this preference for all the sites you browse so you won’t have to keep tweaking it, and will even bypass the ones that try to block zoom features. Previously, Google only allowed users to adjust text scaling options up to 200 percent.
Google’s rolling out a couple of other updates as well, including a new freehand annotation feature for Google Drive on Android. This lets you use your finger or stylus to write on top of PDFs or highlight important text. You can also hide, undo, delete, or save a copy of the PDF with the annotations, making it seem like a pretty handy note-taking feature. Google’s also bringing Meet’s noise cancellation feature to more Android devices (although it didn’t specify which ones), and is bringing some new spring- and basketball-themed emoji combinations to Gboard’s Emoji Kitchen.
Smaller features aside, it’s nice that Google’s keeping accessibility in mind when updating Chrome. Hopefully, other Chromium-based browsers, like Microsoft Edge and Firefox, will follow Chrome’s lead and adopt similar page zoom improvements.