I've had an iPod touch for over 6 months now, and while I've gotten better at hitting buttons and icons with practice, some things remain virtually impossible to tap.

For example, the tiny circles (one above the line, one below the line) for selecting text are pretty much impossible to hit. Auto-complete options (like the "I" if I type "i") are similarly difficult.

I don't think I have poor motor skills: I'm a musician! And while my hands are big, I don't think my fingers are especially fat.

Is there anything I can do to make it possible to use these features? For example, is there some interaction I don't know about (the iPod touch manual is basically non-existent), or is there a setting to make the tiniest controls appear larger for me?

  • 1
    The OS uses an algorithm to try to guess what you think you are touching based on the size, shape, and location of the touch. You can use the free Touch Train app to practice hitting a specific point.
    – ughoavgfhw
    May 4 '11 at 20:54

One option is to use the Zoom function from the Accessibility options. From the Settings app, choose General > Accessibility > Zoom and turn Zoom on.

Zoom provides several features:

  1. Once Zoom is turned on, you can double tap with three fingers (assuming you can fit three of your fingers on the screen at once!) to zoom in or out.

  2. With three fingers you can drag your fingers around to change the area of the screen that is zoomed in.

  3. Tap with three fingers then tap again and drag your fingers up and down to zoom in and out more.

These should make the targets a bit easier to hit although it will probably slow you down a little.

This function was discovered by a friend who accidentally turned it on after a few drinks and couldn't work out hour to turn it off. An iPod touch is really hard to use when zoomed in if you don't know why it is zoomed in.

  • Why the Zoom is a great feature, it's not a solution to use the iPod.
    – cregox
    May 5 '11 at 12:44

I don't think there are settings that will enlarge controls, but you can try modifying your workflow in some ways. Also, I don't understand the "i" vs. "I" example. Doesn't the auto correct require zero interaction on your part? Or are you trying to reject the auto correction?

  • Press and hold on the keyboard to make letters bigger, and make sure you've selected the correct one

  • Rather than try to drag the little dots for selection, press select all. Later, after you paste, delete what you don't want

  • Get an iPad

  • Get an external keyboard for the iPhone (supported in iPod Touch 3+, iPhone 3GS+)

  • Use one of the many styluses (or styli) available for iPhones.

  • I'm not using the American keyboard -- I think autocorrect behavior is very different depending on the keyboard you're using. Typing is fine: my keys are twice as wide as the QWERTY keys (which is good, because I'm completely unable to use that!).
    – Ken
    May 4 '11 at 18:28
  • +1 for lovely suggestions - specially the ultimate "I give up my fingers" one: get a stylus. lol'able and valid. :)
    – cregox
    May 5 '11 at 12:52

Researchers have found that iOS registers your taps as further away from the center than they actually were. You could try tapping slightly inside where you think you need to, to get it to register properly.


I do have big fingers, though far from huge or fat, and my learning curve on using iPhone was quite steep - it took me some time to get used to hitting the right place. To me, I had to realize the exact position I had to press and nowadays I can even use the tiny circles for selecting text, even if I still miss it sometimes.

My recommendation? Practice. Play games! A good start is Catcha Mouse. I remember that one was a serious challenge for me in the beginning and now I can never miss a spot on it. ;)

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