Accessibility: Screen magnification and friends


I only discovered Sailfish OS a little while ago and I was extremely mindblown when I learned about it. The interface looks so, SO good! This might just be the most matured “Linux on mobile distro” that I have seen so far. It looks very userfriendly and the porting guide was amazing - I read the whole 63 pages. It was a fantastic read.

Now, I have been looking for a way to get away from iOS. These days, I am trying out an Android phone (Razer Phone 2 - which is my porting target) and it’s accessibility features… well, they exist. But this is still farther than some of the feature sets in GNOME, Plasma and other Linux DEs that are being “ported” to mobile. Meanwhile, SFOS was never a desktop shell in the first place - from what I figured. But as such, it never really needed accessibility features.

So, I would love to request these.

In detail:

  • Screen Magnification
    • On iOS, this is a double-tap with three fingers.
    • On Android, this is a tripple tap with one finger (which conflicts with turning on developer settings. Derp…?)
  • Color Inversion
    • Some apps, but most specifically websites, use a bright theme. This can be very difficult for people that have issues with very bright light and can’t read black text on a white background. I have that issue - and trust me, especially during the iPhone 4S days, my retina felt like it was set ablaze more often than not…
    • On iOS, this can be turned on using a tripple-tab on the home- or side button.
    • On Android, this can be turned on by holding Vol+ and Vol-. Annoyingly, that also plays a notification sound…
  • Screen Reader
    • Plain simple: Since SFOS uses Qt, and almost that exclusively, NVDA or Orca should really just work. Some customization might be preferable though, but for most of the basics, it’ll do. Most of the customization would probably go into touch control (change reading language, “tab” between controls, reading labels, …)
    • On iOS, it can be turned on with either a tripple-press of the home or power button
    • On Android, it can be turned on with Vol+ and Vol-. It might also be triggered by other means, that I haven’t explored yet…
  • Color-Blind / Greyscale
    • This really is just a color-filtering shader.
    • There usually are no shortcuts for it.
  • Voice Control
    • Might become useful eventually, where simple voice commands (Open app …, select textbox …, call contact …)
  • Bigger (system wide) text
    • Explains itself.

For me, personally, the most important part is the screen magnification. But I thought I’d list the others just in case. :slight_smile:

Let’s see what becomes of this! In the meantime, I am going to try and port SFOS to the Razer Phone 2 so I have an actual “test device”.

Hope you found this useful!

Kind regards, Ingwie


This one is already available (under Display in settings).

Screen Magnification is available where you need it, I think. Browser, Office and Gallery that is, maybe more. Two fingers and drag them apart.

Well, since OP mentions Accessibility, i think the point is that some people need it more than others. You and i may do just fine with normal font size, and zoom only where it is an explicitly added feature. Others may need it system-wide… and i believe that is what’s being asked for.

Given that the UI zooms in when you are moving the cursor in text entry i suspect it wont be quite hard to make it zoom in other areas for accessibility purposes. No idea if someone can make a patch that does that.

I thought maybe OP don’t know about the zoom possibilities at all and besides that, I actually use font size Huge because I do not see very well.

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Yep, system-wide. I mean, I can’t exactly magnify the contents of the settings app, where there is a lot of not so unimportant text. :slight_smile:

Yeah, not wrong. I am still working on the device port… Didn’t find anything about running SFOS in a VM for testing purposes, and most youtube videos don’t really do a whole settings tour (and, to be fair, that would be boring content xD).

Install VirtualBox and the SDK, it does include a VM.

this sounds like a good topic for a community meeting.

oh! Good to know :slight_smile: Will have to figure out how to do this properly since I use Ubuntu via WSL2 + Windows 10 for my main maschine - where adb and fastboot are installed via Windows - since WSL has no USB access - and the other tools are all contained in WSL. Hopefuly I can strip the VBox image out and use it that way to test. Thanks for the hint though!

Neither adb nor fastboot are required (or even used) by the SDK.
Afaik the SDK is available for Windows and only requires VirtualBox, no WSL.