February 3, 2023

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How to use Android’s new distraction-free reading mode

You can have the keyboard shortcut or the on-screen button, or both, so choose the options you’re most comfortable using. If you tap More options next to the accessibility button check box, you can customize what is displayed on the screen by setting the size and transparency of the button.

Reading mode can also be launched from quick settings: swipe down from the top of the screen with two fingers to reveal it. Tap on the pencil icon and you will see that there is a Reading Mode tile available that can be dragged onto the quick settings panel.

How to start using the reading mode

Font styles, colors and sizes can be customized.

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You can launch Reading mode anytime, anywhere in Android — just tap the Quick settings button or tile, or use the volume key shortcut. If the reading mode cannot process what is shown on the screen, a corresponding message is displayed.

Reading mode works best when viewing webpages with text rather than games or photos, for example. A new overlay will appear on your display, and at the top you’ll see an estimate of how long it’ll take you to read the current article – just scroll down to read it.

If you don’t like the text and colors, you can change them. Tap the text button (two Ts) in the bottom right corner and you can quickly increase or decrease the size of the text on the screen. Tap the gear button in the bottom left corner to get many more options covering text size, style, alignment, and color.

Tap the play button below the text to read it aloud. Navigation arrows appear: tap to skip a sentence, or tap and hold to skip a paragraph. You’ll also see other icons that you can use to change reading speed (the dial button on the right) and other options like reading voice (the gear icon on the left).

When you’re done with reading mode, swipe down on the arrow from the top of the screen and you’re back to regular Android. There aren’t too many advanced features, but it’s already a very handy utility to have at your disposal.