Setting text size inside Gaia app

Not planned

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51 comments

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    dgiller

    This is really important.  Even on my 12.9" iPad Pro, which has plenty of screen real-estate, the text size of the displayed maps is TINY, no matter what size I have set in the iOS prefs.

    And requiring the user to change the whole system font size (including what they will use while reading email) just to get the font size larger on the map that's supposed to be usable on the go, is just crazy.

    People aren't just using these maps sitting at a desk.  We use them on foot and in vehicles.  I can't use my reading glasses while driving, even off-road, and I don't want to have to wear my reading glasses while hiking.  Handheld GPS units don't use giant text and buttons because they have no sense of style.  They do it because most people need them that big when using the GPS outdoors.

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    Whoosh

    Spot on.

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    motech

    the size of waypoint text is a deal breaker for me. I cant read them when on my motorcycle. Compare that to guru maps. I really want to use Gaia, specifically for the folder sharing with friends, but i just cant.

    That and the track direction arrows. Those are crucial as well.

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    stoneroller

    Agree - I'm on the point of discontinuing my subscription because of this.  As much as I love the maps on a desktop monitor, I can't read them on my android devices while on the road and there are no settings within Gaia to fix the problem.  I really don't want to mess with the system-wide android settings, for all the reasons others have named. 

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    HermitWorkshop

    Illegible text scaling is nearly a deal-breaker for me too. The growing list of incomprehensible user interface issues is making me regret buying the premium membership.

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    Whoosh

    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. And for the record: this is mot an Android issdue but an issue touching all brands and flavours. I have now switched to iOS and it’s every bit the same.
    This is basic stuff.
    Somewhere else in this forum I made a remark about the colours of the vector base maps (Streets, Topo). Same issue: great maps, lousy visibility.
    _This is stuff that should be prioritized_.

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    theksmith

    On iOS, Gaia Topo will respond to changes in the system font size.  However, this is not available on Android.

    actually setting the font-size system wide in Android settings is possible and Gaia does not scale it's display appropriately for this, which is highly annoying. It's part of the Android development guidelines that apps anticipate and deal gracefully with this setting.

    my issue specifically is not the map text, but the rest of the UI. i am using a "larger" or "largest" setting in Android and Gaia then truncates or hides portions of important text - coordinates and other stats as well as messing up the layout in some menus/dialogs.

    please fix Gaia on Android so the UI will size/scale intelligently to deal with the Android font size/scale setting. 

    thanks!

     

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    Whoosh

    Well Gaia, one would say that the votes are in. People are consistently and persistently asking for a significant improvement in the visibility of the (vector) map information.

    Please note: people are taking the trouble to describe the issues they are having - a solid indication that they, we, are interested enough to not just walk away and go look somewhere else.

    So it would be, let's say, nice if you people out there at Gaia GPS would take the trouble to put this issue (high) on the agenda and get back to us here, right?

    Looking forward to your reaction!

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    jcdmail12

    Agree, hope the text size can be adjusted on Android devices in the near future. After all, probably at least half your users are android.

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    gv

    I cannot agree less. This is also on top of my wish list.

    One of the ways to solve this would be to allow choosing scale. This works quite nice in "MyTrails" app. They allow choosing ratio between "map pixel" and "screen pixel". From 1 to 1 to 1 to 3. There is also an auto mode suggested by the app, based on the display size and resolution. The result is that you can choose between seeing more area vs greater magnification. Everything is rendered bigger, lines, fonts, etc.

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    Olpo

    Disagree with GAIA feedback.

    This is the only app I am using on my IPhone which is difficult to read.

    Small font of waypoints, with white color text on green map. Struggling badly and all my folks have same troubles.

    I do not want to change all IPhone fonts, I am very much fine with all other apps including email.

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    Whoosh

    8 months later and under new ownership, these usability issues still seem unable to gain priority. Scaleable fonts & contrasting colours on those basic vector maps (which are great!) people, please?

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    Sele

    Maybe the code is such a mess that making changes is highly likely to break something else? 
    Or maybe the new owner plans to milk the current subscribers, without fixing the current issues and adding real value?

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    akmtnhiker

    Any status on the internal request for increasing the text size on Android? 


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    dgiller

    I'm glad you're happy (genuinely, despite the tone of this response).  

    I however am not happy with Gaia at all.  Perhaps your eyesight is better than mine.  Perhaps I am just pickier.

        "Thing is, you need to change the font size by using the iOS selective scaling feature..."

    I have been doing exactly this.  What was new to me (and welcome) was the ability to change it on a per-application basis. Seems this is new as of IOS/iPadOS 15.  Thanks Apple.  I don't think Gaia gets any credit for this.

        "Mmm, let's look at this closer. Start by looking at this quote..."

    Since you were so sure (not to mention a little condescending, although I'll assume that was not intentional), I again tried all that you described (even though I had done it before).  Yes including stopping and restarting Gaia using the multitasking screen, not just going to the home screen and straight back into the still-running app.

    Initially, the iPad would not scale the map labels, even after a restart.  But I went back and tried it again, I discovered that after changing the text size and restarting the app twice more on the iPad, it now will change scaling of the map labels -- now, even without restarting the app (so at first it didn't help, and later it wasn't necessary).  Keep in mind, fonts in the layers menu did scale even without a restart, even on my first attempt.  This is obviously just drawing or notification bugs, but hey, at least the iPhone and iPad work the same now after several restarts.  I'll accept being proven slightly wrong about that.

        "This will alter most map text labels in Gaia without altering the UI as a whole."

    No, it will not.  Again, exactly as I reported, in addition to scaling the map labels, it also inconsistently applies scaling to UI fonts (settings screens, menu items, etc) making many of them overlap or become cut off, and thus unreadable:  

    The layers menu, for instance, is effectively unreadable because text overflows the space it is drawn in and is either cut off or overlaps with other lines of text:

    Other UI elements that should be scaled are not.  The close button for that menu is 3x3mm, regardless of scale setting.  The compass is not scaled, but the text on the compass is scaled, so the bottom of the headings is cut off (not to mention still far too small to be useful while moving... the whole compass display is 3mm tall on the iPad):

    And so on.  Changing the scaling will scale the map fonts, but breaks the UI.

        "As for the top items on the map display: the values are scaled, bit the labels are not."

    I'm sorry, but again no.  On both my iPhone (running 15.5) and iPad Pro 12.9" (also 15.5), It does not scale either the information labels or the values of the items (apparently called the "stats bar"), exactly as I reported.  They simply don't change, no matter the scaling setting and no matter how many times I restart the app.  On the iPad, the data items are 3mm high, no matter the scaling setting.  The tap zones for controlling the app are 5mm high, again regardless of the scaling setting.  This is not an app that can be used effectively while traveling in a car (even by the passenger) or while mounted in a holder.  Perhaps while sitting still, holding with both hands, and devoting all attention to it, but I've no interest in that.

    And regarding the map labels, the original complaint here: even though they are scaled using this trick, they are scaled in a way that works very poorly for a mapping app to be used while active -- which is exactly what they advertise Gaia as being intended for.  On the iPad with maximum scaling, the very largest labels are just 4mm tall on the 12.9" (327mm) display.  There is just not enough scaling range on the full-size iPad because the defaults start off so small, and the OS-provided scaling setting caps out at 310%.  Here is an image from the iPad at maximum size font scaling of 310%:

    The name of the town Joliet is barely large enough.  Everything else is ridiculously small, still.  Worse, while the text over map icons such as interstate and state road icons is scaled, the icons themselves are not, making them unreadable (white text on mostly beige or light green background, covering up most of the icon).  See in the photo above, the labels for Interstate 55 and 57  Again, there is scaling, but because it's inconsistent, it breaks things.

    Gaia continues to be just a mess when it comes to scaling to fit different screen sizes and different use scenarios.  I've been using mapping GPSes and in-vehicle mapping apps for travel on and off of roads since the late 1990s, in cars, trucks, motorcycles, and to a lesser degree, on foot.  I've used a lot of both good and bad software and hardware. Gaia is visually very pretty at first glance, and on modern devices has the capability of displaying a lot of useful non-textual detail.  But when I've tried to actually use it away from a desk, it's a joke.

    Until they provide proper map label scaling settings on IOS -- that works properly, scaling symbols the same as text -- and also give effective UI scaling such as an option to scale the entire UI by an independently-controllable amount, Gaia will continue to be ridiculously clunky for active use in the outdoors compared to many other options even from decades before them.

    The potential is enormous.  But Gaia gets so many of the important implementation details just wrong.

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    Ken

    In my case just adding a little more contrast to the label text would be very helpful. Barring that, perhaps a magnifying glass mode would be helpful. Tap an icon on the menu. Then tap & hold on the map to have a small magnifying glass area zoom the map. Sort of how the android text editor works when moving the insertion indicator..

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    sm

    Can’t agree more - both on my ipad (setting routes at home) and iphone - following routes outdoors - I struggle to be able to actually read the text. While I love the program this is a daily frustration which sometimes gets to the point of having to switch to another map in order to get the information needed - please prioritize the ability to adjust text size / and or add a zoom / loop feature so you can zero in on details without the text scaling down.

    Thanks!

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    Sele

    > I still don't have an ETA for this feature, but since some of you have been asking about a zooming option,

    > I wanted to make sure everyone knows that this is available both within iOS and Android natively

    > as an accessibility feature

    Thank you for mentioning that, as it can be useful in a pinch. But having that is IN NO WAY a substitute for increasing the map label size for readability in the field while riding. The interface needs to be targeted not to the armchair traveler or only to hikers, but for use while moving, wearing gloves, and with it mounted on the handlebars.

    We don't want to have to turn on a floating icon, or enter some accessibility magnifier just to be able to read the map!

    It has been so long since an update, that it appears that no improvements are being made whatsoever.

    This could be a really great app with just a few changes to the UI.

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    Morrie Gasser

    I want to put my vote in for such a feature.  I just came back from a backcountry trip and, no matter how hard I tried, I could not read that tiny text with my iPad mounted on the dash of my jeep.  Accessibility works, but it's tedious to do that on an iPad on the dash.

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    leahwasser

    paying member here. +1 for this feature. While the phone accessibility settings work for some things they don't actually modify the label size on the map they do modify the gui and popups for waypoint info. Ideally, GAIA would consider two options which are typical for most GIS / spatial data mapping applications.

    The first would be to adjust the text size of waypoint labels on the map which really is an critical accessibility and usability issue. People who have vision problems will not be able to read that small font.

    The second feature should be to have a light color behind the text option that covers the underlying base map (as an option). This again is common in most gis tools in fact even CALTOPO which is a competitor for gaia has this. The "halo" color behind the text allows you to put the text on top of the base map without visual competition between the base map labels and the waypoint labels.

    These two features together would make the labels would then be infinitely eaiser to read. and for some of us who are considering other tools like caltopo it could be a feature that would convince us to stay with gaia! Please consider adding this!!

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    robjstone

    Hi - I think I have a fix for this. In iOS 15 and above you can set app specific font sizes. This is via control center. Enable text size controls in control center first (Settings>Control Center>More Controls>Text Size). Launch Gaia. Swipe down from top right of screen to pull up control center. Tap Aa to bring up font size. Select just Gaia, and scale the font size to your liking. Worked for me, I can now see the map labels much more easily, but keep the existing font sizes for other apps.

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    Ken

    In the Android version of Gaia go to Settings -> Map Controls -> Font Size Multiplier
    So far that setting has worked for me. Not sure if it's available in the IOS version.

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    j_willis

    Negative stars for Gaia GPS for this reason alone. Unreadable and unscalable map labels, namely, road numbers hidden behind route lines, cities and POIs are unreadable, even after performing all the tricks mentioned in this thread. The Gaia representative’s response above is another con in my decision to continue to pay for and use this app in the future. Let’s get it fixed. I typically don’t comment on apps and products, but know there is real potential here for a powerful tool if user feedback is acted upon.

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    Ken

    For me higher contrasting text for road and trail names would most likely solve the problem. But I wouldn't complain if I were able to adjust the text size. I still also like the idea of having a Zoom tool. Where you can press and hold a finger on the map and it shows a small magnifying glass view of the map so you can read bigger text.

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    Whoosh

    …in short: USABILITY!
    Font size, colours, contrast…

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    CoolTrails

    I wonder how On-X handles this?

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    Ken

    Mike, I just tried it on my Pixel 6 Pro, and it works great! Thanks for posting this.  I would have never thought to look at Accessibility. 

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    CoolTrails

    @Mike Ardagh, the tip is useful. But the reason most of us didn't know about it is that we are not visually impaired. We are able to use every other app on our phones without it. Gaia should be like that - usable without special accommodations.

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    Ken

    I agree with the other posts about using the accessibility zoom while driving or riding a bike. I don't use Gaia much while driving. Mostly when backcountry skiing or hiking/backpacking. When I do use it for driving I use Android Auto. And it is okay, not great, but okay. Needs a lot more zoom levels for one thing. But that is a different subject. 

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    chuck

    +1 on adding an ability to set/increase text size within the app, particularly waypoints. Having to use the accessibility features on my iPad is not feasible when off-roading. Waypoints can be marking hazards or mile markers that are critical to be able to read at a glance when traveling at speed over rough terrain.

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