iCanSee is both a useful and functional application that allows you to magnify any image or text you would like to see larger. By using the iPhone’s built-in camera, you can enlarge images up to four times. It’s a great application for those who have a hard time seeing things up close, but is only truly useful with the iPhone 3GS.
Once opened, the app automatically uses the iPhone’s camera to display the image in a virtual magnifying glass. You start off with the magnification slider at the bottom of the screen. Sliding all the way to the right will utilize full magnification up to four times. Alternatively, you can tap the plus sign to magnify in increments. You can view your images using the virtual magnifying glass, or you can choose the full screen option and utilize the entire iPhone screen.
At first, iCanSee seems like just another fun novelty app, but after using it for a while, you’ll begin to discover how useful it can be for some people. The app simply does what it says it does. It will make whatever is in the iPhone’s camera view larger. Just like a real magnifying glass, there is a certain distance from the image that is ideal. Too far away and the magnification doesn’t do much.
If you’re too close to the image, it appears blurry. Most of the time, the app worked well and I would feel confident that it would help me see small print if I had a vision problem. The app is only really useful if you’ve forgotten your reading glasses, or if you usually have difficulty seeing small images or text. It is also only useful if you have the iPhone 3GS. The iPhone 3G does not have autofocus like the 3GS does, so it will not display images as clearly.
Do not expect this app to display images in crystal clarity when magnified up to four times. The image does get blurry. However, it’s just clear enough that the app is definitely a functional piece of equipment. The only issue I see is the lack of user customization. It would be nice to have the option to change the magnifying glass style or colors to make it your own. Other than that, the app works well. If you are someone with vision problems, or an avid crossword puzzle enthusiast, then this app is definitely for you. Otherwise, I don’t foresee many users excited for this one.