My parents can't read the road names the Google maps app, and I can't find a way round it. (Should have gone to spec savers). I have tried using Google maps via Chrome and Firefox and their increase text size features but Google Maps ignores it.

Options are flexible as I have rooted the phone and am willing to load any reasonably well tested custom ROM.

I've tried countless map apps and they're all as hard to read, so I thought I'd ask as Google Maps has probably been hacked around with more than others

8 Answers 8


You can't change the text size in Google Maps, because the whole map, including the labels, is retrieved from Google's servers as an image. (In fact, they're lots of small images called tiles. For this reason, using a different app that embeds Google Maps won't help at all: they're all just displaying the same tiles.

If you want a map that looks different, you'll need to use an OpenStreetMap-based app. OpenStreetMap (OSM) is like the Wikipedia of maps: it's a free, open map of the world maintained and updated by volunteers. Since the raw map data are available for anyone to use, there are some OSM apps that generate the map image on your device, instead of downloading tiles from a central server. Such apps have more options for customizing the map to suit your needs, so while I don't know off-hand of one with text size options, this starting point might help you to find one.

  • I should probably ask this on stackoverflow, but could the tiles be enlarged? (i.e. accepting a pixelated image? simulating a lower resolution screen perhaps?)
    – Jodes
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 7:40
  • 2
    I am sorry but you are wrong. The latest version of Google Maps (7.7.0) does not use tile-images only. The street names in my version move while zooming which indicates that they are not part of the map image.
    – Robert
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 8:00
  • 1
    This answer is well out of date, maps are vector rendered - that means the lines and text are drawn to suit on the device.
    – O'Rooney
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 6:02
  • 1
    @O'Rooney This was four years ago. We don't typically delete old questions and answers, because some people may be stuck on the old versions. If you have a similar problem now, you're welcome to ask a new question specifying that it's for newer versions of Google Maps with vector rendering.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 8:31

Try going into Settings / My Device / Accessibility and turning on Magnification Gestures.

A triple tap on your scree will enlarge what is there including text and then another triple tap will take you back. While it is enlarged, you can scroll with one finger.

That's the best I've found so far.

  • This works. Not sure why Google maps does not have a font size. Commented Nov 3, 2018 at 16:10

I also suffer from this problem hence the reason for trying to find a solution. I have just compared the results of Google maps with an app I downloaded a while ago and keep forgetting about. The result is not massively bigger road names / numbers but much easier to read. Bonus is that the maps are used offline, just need a gps signal to show directions instructions. Check out MAPS.ME I think it's really good and definitely reduces eye strain. Enjoy. Osarchos

  • 1
    Just so you know, Maps.me is not using google maps but an alternative called Open Street Maps, which means it will typically not be as up-to-date or detailed (although occasionally it’s better!)
    – O'Rooney
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 6:03

In my Samsung Galaxy 6 (Android phone), I went into the settings, searched "FONT". Got 2 choices: type of fonts and size. I changed and applied.

Now can see the writings on Google Map.


There is a way to enlarge the map that a lot of people are forgetting. You can take a screen shot and then enlarge the shot just like you can zoom in on any photo. Some people don't realize that you can do a screen shot of your phone by holding down the power and home screen button at the same time. I know it isn't a "fix" but it does show you a copy of the map you can see.

  • @CarlosHathhock, That's all right, but that's not what the OP requires. Please try to help him and don't be patronizing in your answer. Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 17:46

I recognize the issue with Google Maps, l suggest this simple trick: When you find e.g. a road-name hard to read, just TEMPORARILY stretch out the map near the name with two fingers (but do not let go! ) , then easily read the name, and finally (even if just approximately ) draw your fingers back together to see the main map again.


This is an issue with the newer Maps (7 and above). You could try reverting to the version 6, such as 6.14.4


I solved this on my iPad by taking a screenshot and expanding the screenshot as much as I need to read the text and road numbers. Take fresh screenshots anytime, delete the old ones.

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