The biggest problem with small (mobile) screens that I run into daily are based on poor design and small, thin font sizes. I own an Android-powered Samsung Galaxy S3, which I’m very happy with in most areas except one – news readers. I have to qualify this opinion: I am over 50 and I have experienced some change in my eyesight, as we all do in our 40’s-50’s. Reading small, thin text is harder for me now. I work on computers daily, and rely on my computers’ capabilities to manage font sizes to make my life easier, at least when it comes to reading and editing and graphic work.
Now, all news readers for my Android phone I’ve come across to-date, free and paid alike, have a fatal flaw – the article text font is too small for aging eyes to read on the phone screen, and there is no way to adjust them! Developers point to Google, who have made underlying changes to the OS that make font management OS-wide. However, these font changes don’t affect the article text font parameters set in the news readers. That just tells me that the developers are lazy and aren’t willing to go the extra mile to make their apps use a font mechanism internally that allows us old-eyed fogies to compensate by increasing the font size.
I know there are work-arounds. Most readers now have the added ability to launch the news article in a browser, which gives us pinch-zoom and font sizing options through the browser settings. And to that I ask, why bother to have a newsreader?
C’mon Google, not all of us have a 20-something’s eye-site. Practically everyone goes through some sort of eyesight change in there 40’s, I’m told. And aren’t we the people with the disposable income that are buying your products?
But seriously, isn’t a news reader is just that – a READER? If I can’t READ the article, what good is a news READER? Time for Google and developers alike to take a long, hard look at this issue – pun fully intended. Maybe talk to Amazon Kindle developers? 😉
(This article is set in a sans-serif font with a size of 16px, which I find works well on my S3 when I double-tap the text column to zoom in my browser. I don’t dare try to view it in a reader!)