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There's a hidden iPhone camera mode that puts a magnifying glass in your pocket

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Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

No more squinting to read that fine print -- there is an app for that built right into iOS 10 and here is how to find it.

Hidden details, meet hidden camera mode. Every software update usually includes a handful of new controls that, without any sort of physical display, often goes unnoticed. One of those unnoticed updates on iOS 10, however, can help you notice a few fine details — a magnifier.

The feature uses the iPhone’s camera to magnify objects and reaches beyond what the zoom inside the native camera app is capable of for even more magnification. The native “app” includes a few other features for getting in close to the details, whether that is for reading the fine print or uncovering other details.

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The feature is actually pretty simple to access, you only have to press the home button three times. But, as Business Insider points out, you have to turn it on first. Users of iOS 10 can access the feature by heading into settings, then tapping General and Accessibility. Swipe next to “Magnifier” to turn the feature on.

Tapping the home button three times brings up the feature, even while inside an app. A slider adjusts the magnification effect and while the center button looks like the same one inside the native camera app, it only freezes the image until you press it again — nothing is actually saved. The familiar lightning bolt icon turns on the camera’s flash as a steady light source.

The icon on the lower right is familiar too but instead of adding photo filters, it adjusts the brightness and contrast and triggers multi-color modes, likely a feature added to assist with colorblindness.

The use of the iPhone’s camera to magnify objects may be relatively simple but it could be handy to have an easy way to read the fine print right in your pocket and accessible with three taps. Without an on-screen control or app screen, it is one of those iOS features that are often never noticed.