SOSglasses has an intelligent focus mode for best performance: in bright light focus at whatever distance you prefer to your text with one tap on screen. With medium lighting focus within 10 to 30 cm from text. At candlelight focus at around 10 -15 cm from text.
Innovative, ultra-clear text mode
Zoom to factor 15 in Highest Resolution - FREE
Simplest use - two or one handed; left or right handed
Takes Photo - FREE
Smart, fixed, focus mode - FREE
Helping Viewfinder mode - FREE
Reading in style at candlelight - no iPhone torch needed
Eye soothing but crystal clear Sepia mode
Convenient colour inversion mode as choice
NO ADVERTS forced;
from iPhone 4S to latest iPhone models, with iOS 8.0 at minimum; just $0.99; £0.79; €0.99 or free sessions with Ad
Your latest photos & reviews from using SOSglasses - Thank you!
"A utility app is like a car. Every few years you should have a new one, one that has developed with time, is safer, or more exciting and uses latest technology. SOSglasses gives you exactly that in its category. It is now the best in class"
Uwe Huedepohl, Managing Director
Reflecting surfaces, like coins, are best looked at/ read with the coloured slider (AR slider) completely up (full reality mode).
However normal text that has just areas of light reflections on it, can be read with any preferred AR setting. Just tilt the phone a bit to change the angle of reflection into the iPhone camera if needed.
5 star average rating in App Store for our reading glasses app
Unbelievably but true, it was only ‘recently’ that the first iPhone was released in June 2007. I find it now hard to imagine a world without this beautiful and impressive smartphone (I know, a bit sad). Apple supplied with it a number of apps to support the user in day to day activities, like a photo taking camera app, a calendar app, a calculator app and many more. About a year later the App Store opened and independent developers started to provide thousands of apps to meet almost every possible need of us users, from colourful and slightly addictive gaming apps to apps that let us enjoy and learn about the stars in the sky. In 2015 Apple reported that there are more than 1.4 mio apps in its App Store available!(http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/01/08App-Store-Rings-in-2015-with-New-Records.html) Funny enough, the sheer number of apps available makes it harder now to quickly find what you are looking for - the agony of choice: searching for a particular need (rather than a particular app) in the App Store is likely to bring up hundreds of hits. Apple tries to support the process with, eg. providing user star ratings and comments but typically one still has to scroll through a 100 of offered apps to find the exact or closest fit to needs.
Our example to prove the case:
Early 2015 I was out for dinner with my wife in Cotto, a wonderful little restaurant in Cambridge, when I realised that I had forgotten my reading glasses (yes, I am that old already :p). Instinctively I opened the camera app, only to realise that the constant re-focusing does not let me scroll and read conveniently through the menu. Also the candlelight was too little for the camera and the last thing I wanted was to switch on the torch and attract unwanted attention (I guess I am slightly vain) or ruin the romantic mood for everybody. Finally the camera app would not let me magnify enough as it seemed to stop at the optical magnification factor. All features that made sense for a camera app but did not help me in my situation. I tried taking a photo of the menu to then enlarge and scroll over the photo, but again the camera insisted on using the flash/torch of the iPhone. Entering ‘reading glasses’ into the search field of the App Store brought up hundreds of hits but a quick search showed very few with high star ratings and none that offered reading at candlelight without the torch. I ended up begging my wife to read the menu out to me and decided to develop my own app - for my own needs.
Next day I systematically reviewed the available apps. The same search brought up around 600 apps, many of which had nothing to do with reading glasses apps but were picked because of the ‘glasses’ search word. There were about 60 individual apps looking like a closer hit but being so often rebranded in app bundles, that I ended up looking at about 200 apps in detail. Of those there was a large group of apps that were disappointingly really not much more than the Apple camera app, with little magnification and constant refocusing. Most of those were from the early days of the App Store and - as an aside - that taught me now to always look at the publishing date from the last version of an app, whenever I search for a new one. If the last version date is older than 2 years, I do not bother trying it out as it most likely is not profiting from the improved features of latest iPhones. Another big group had little space to actually read something, either because of adverts constantly popping up, the misguided attempt of a fancy design or an interface that was cluttered and too complex. I identified 5 apps though that had acceptable quality, did not crash all the time and showed enough of the screen. None of which though met my additional requirement to read in dim lighting conditions without the iPhone torch and none of them seemed to improve the readability of the text in comparision to just the camera picture.
Here you go, a short history and review of ‘reading glasses’ apps.
To make SOSglasses stand out and to meet the requirement of reading without the torch in candlelight, a lot of additional programming is used on top of exploiting the latest iPhone software capabilities. The highest resolution of each phone is used and new routines are actually enhancing the text features. These enhanced features overlaid to the camera picture in real time, delivering a live but improved composite and augmented reality picture. As the degree of overlay can be easily chosen by the user, up to the point to show more and more of the calculated features as the lighting gets less and less, reading is still easily possible without the torch at candlelight. Objective achieved :) ! As a side effect and in addition differentiating SOSglasses over all other reading glasses apps I am aware of, comes the improved readability of text in any lighting condition! I added a sepia mode to support users that are sensitive to visual stress and an invert mode that changes white text on black background, like a wine bottle label, to a more reader friendly black text on white background. I also added a smart viewfinder, a way to allow users to find the text or object of interest easily with even high magnification. That feature allows for some impressive photos of fast moving, small animals. Check out the ant picture above, 'smelling' a little bug. Another welcomed bonus.
Personally I now use SOSglasses daily, to the extent that I don’t bother taking my reading glasses outside of office or home. And maybe, just maybe, that is the reason why the strenght of my eyesight is the same as a year ago, as I use glasses less and train my eyes that little bit more every day.
In any case, SOSglasses helps me and its users (see the star ratings and comments) and has become ‘one of my 5 apps a day’ and that makes me happy.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour into the history of iPhone reading glasses apps and the development of SOSglasses.
Apple UK AppStore: 5 stars average rating; March 2016