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Rant: Stop Preventing iPad Zoom

This has gone from an occasional nuisance to an epidemic. Too many websites are deciding they know best and preventing the user from zooming in. While there may be legitimate reasons for some web applications to do this, none of the sites I’ve experienced this on actually are in that category.

To make matters worse, these sites tend to use a small font. While this might make the whole page look nice and balanced it also makes it a major squint zone for those of us with less than perfect vision.

While there are some things the user can do to mitigate the problem, they are workarounds that are quite awkward. Here are the two options I’m aware of:

You can enable zooming in the accessibility section of the Settings app. This lets you zoom into any app with a three finger double tap and zoom out the same way. The problem is that navigation is now awkward and the whole experience isn’t as clean as the normal double tap or unpinch to zoom.

The other option is to get a browser that allows you to specify the user agent. Then your iPad can pretend not to be an iPad and websites won’t prevent your zooming. The problem here is that any app that uses the default browser internally won’t get the benefit.

Ultimately, this is a decision by some designer thinking he knows best and foisting the choice on all of us. I, for one, am tired of the eyestrain headaches this is causing.

Just stop! Apple developed an elegant zooming system and unless you have a very good reason to prevent zooming then leave it alone!

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