iOS 15 just brought back the magnifying glass for selecting text

iOS 15
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Tom's Guide)

Apple's iOS 15 beta has brought back the magnifying glass used for zooming in to text, which we haven't seen since iOS 12.

Despite being a popular feature users could utilize to help them pinpoint text and aim their cursor more precisely, Apple dropped the feature when it debuted iOS 13 in 2019. However, the magnifying glass is back, and it's officially namechecked on Apple's iOS 15 webpage.  

It's rare for Apple to backtrack on it's changes, with the exception of dropping the Butterfly keyboard in its MacBook range and returning to a scissor key mechanism. Though the magnifying tool isn't currently available to regular iPhone users just yet.  

For now, only developers can get their hands on the tool. And we have instructons on how to download the iOS 15 developer beta. Now, when one begins to shift the text cursor, a familiar bubble pops up above their finger magnifying what's shown on the screen below. 

The first iteration of iOS 15 shows the magnifying glass as shaped like a small capsule, appearing markedly smaller than the older version. As The Verge noted=s, if you can't remember what the larger magnifying loupe looked like in iOS 13 — and just how damn helpful it was — then here's a demo of it in action.

iOS 15 Magnifying glass text

(Image credit: Apple)

If you're someone who owns any of the models from our best iPhones list, then you'll have likely encountered a situation when you want to selecting text but end up concealing a specific letter or segment with your finger. 

This can be fiddly and is an example of text selection bugbears that first entered the fray in iOS 13, remained an issue in iOS 14, and should hopefully disappear by the final version of iOS 15.

We'll keep you posted as to when the tool will become fully available as we approach the public beta iOS 15, which will drop in July. The final release will come this fall. 

More: macOS Monterey: 5 new features that will make your life easier

Luke Wilson

Luke is a Trainee News Writer at T3 and contributor to Tom's Guide, having graduated from the DMU/Channel 4 Journalism School with an MA in Investigative Journalism. Before switching careers, he worked for Mindshare WW. When not indoors messing around with gadgets, he's a disc golf enthusiast, keen jogger, and fond of all things outdoors.