On this page: Visual impairment apps • Pricing and reminder apps• Hospital locators • Optical illusions and fun • Color vision deficiency apps • Cosmetic and try-on apps • Quit smoking apps • Vision development apps
On this page we list apps for Android devices, as well as for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Some apps are free, while others cost a small amount. We haven't tried them all, so we recommend that you read the user reviews before you download.
We'll be adding more from time to time, so please visit again!
Visual Impairment Apps
EyeXam. The free EyeXam app for iPhone or iPod Touch lets you test your vision against the 20/20 benchmark and also includes tests for color perception, astigmatism and eye dominance.
Amsler Grid App. This app can help you test and monitor vision changes related to macular degeneration or other distortion in your vision field resulting from damage to the macula.
MaculaTester. If you're using an Amsler grid to keep track of vision changes related to macular degeneration or other eye diseases, this interactive version goes a couple of steps further: It will record the areas of distortion that you see on the grid, so you can show them to your eye doctor. It also reminds you when it's time to take the test.
Big Clock HD. Need a really big clock? This displays the time on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. It also displays the date in the region format and language that your device is set to.
Big Clock (iOS). This is similar to Big Clock HD, but it also has a programmable timer-based alarm.
Giant Clock. The display is customizable, so you can change the font and background colors as desired.
Braille. This features a Braille table and a simple quiz for reading and writing. It supports both English and Korean Brailles.
Braille Driller. You can learn the Braille alphabet with this app, which features proficiency tests that can be taken timed or untimed.
Braille Writer. This app translates your text into Braille and is a great tool for learning or teaching.
BrailleTouch. This app provides a fast and easy way for the blind community to type in Braille using the touch screen on iPhones.
Be My Eyes. Help blind people with important, everyday tasks like reading labels or receipts. You can choose to be a helper or sign up to be assisted if you are vision impaired.
iRead. This magnifier app was designed by an ophthalmologist and includes the ability to light your reading material, such as a menu in a dim restaurant.
LookTel Money Reader. For the blind or visually impaired, this app uses the iPhone's camera to recognize currency, telling you the denomination in real time, without the need for an Internet connection. It helps make sure you're paying the proper amount at the register and can also check that you receive the right amount of change. Last time we checked, the app supported 21 currencies. English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and several other languages are available for the voice-over feature.
Magnifying Glass. Just launch the program and point your phone to the object you are viewing, and this will magnify it. The application has a light as well, which activates only if your phone or tablet has a flash. It can also freeze-frame what you're viewing, so you don't have to keep holding the device steady while you read.
Magnifying Glass With Light. Much like the Magnifying Glass app for Android phones, this app for Apple devices is very handy. Great for magnifying small font on menus, medicine bottles, receipts and more, the app has an adjustable flashlight option, too.
Pocket Braille. You can learn Braille with this, including the alphabet, numbers, contractions and one- and two-cell word signs.
VisionSim. The Braille Institute developed this app to let people with healthy vision see what the world looks like to someone with macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts. It uses the camera in your device and applies special filters to the scene to simulate the symptoms of the disease.
Pricing & Reminder Apps
AnyTimer Pill Reminder. This handy reminder for recurrent events can help you keep on top of your glaucoma medication doses, prescription eye drops for dry eyes and other medications you take throughout the day. You can use it to schedule other activities, too.
Contact Lens Tracker. This is a contact lens replacement app that helps you keep track of expiration and replacement dates for contact lenses. It seems simple and straightforward and the main screen has very large font, which can help with readability if you haven't put your new lenses in yet.
Medi Reminder. This medication reminder allows you to set updates and alerts for you, your family members and even your pets.
MedMinder. This is another medication reminder that works for eye drops, glaucoma drug doses and other medicines you're taking. It includes prescription refill reminders, too. Take the time to read the full description of this app, to avoid conflicts with other alarms you may have set on your smartphone.
Polaroid UV Alert. During bright days, UV light can reflect off sand, water or snow and cause serious damage to your eyes. This app from Polaroid Eyewear alerts you of the UV index in your current area reminding you to make sure you and your family members are wearing sunglasses.
RxmindMe Prescription Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker. If you're using glaucoma drops, eye drops for dry eyes, blood pressure medicine or indeed any other medication, this reminder app is designed to help you remember every dose throughout the day and evening. It has lots of great features, including access to the entire FDA Drug Database.
WeRx. At WeRx.com you can compare prices charged at local pharmacies for your prescribed medications, so you'll never be stuck with paying the highest price again. This app is the mobile version, so you can check prices from anywhere your doctor's office, while traveling or shopping, etc. You just enter your medication and your city or zip code. The app also offers instant savings on your mobile device.
Find Hospital. None of the find-a-hospital apps available right now are ideal, and this one is no exception. For example, the zip code search shows only hospitals that have the particular zip code that you enter. Using the city search will provide a longer list. And the "near me" button will find hospitals that are closest to your current location, which is what you'd want in an emergency anyway. While this app could be helpful, especially if you're out of town, be sure to call 911 first if you're having an eye emergency or other health crisis.
US Hospital Finder. The best thing to do before you have an eye emergency or other health crisis is to discuss with your eye doctor and physician where you should go for emergency care. And if an emergency does occur, be sure to dial 911. Still, this app may help if you're traveling and don't know where the nearest hospitals are. It was created in conjunction with USHospitalFinder.com, which contains information on more than 6,000 U.S. hospitals. Note: This app requires that your Android device have GPS capability and will allow the app to access your current location. Your device must also be able to connect to the Internet.
Optical Illusions & Fun
Night Vision Camera. This app was designed to enhance your device camera's ability to take photos in the dark. It has adjustable light sensitivity and lets you control the flash as well. Note that final image quality will depend on your phone's camera.
Optical Illusions. This is a collection of 98 different optical illusions, with a description of each one. You can also email them to friends and share them on Facebook.
Optical Illusions. Unlike the other optical illusion apps listed here, this wallpaper app doesn't provide descriptions. So you can figure out for yourself how each image is trying to fool your eyes. You can also send your favorites to your friends.
Optical Illusions 100+ (Book App). These illustrations use hidden images, apparent movement and other fun tricks. Each has a description so you can figure out how the image is fooling your eyes. You can also share the images on Facebook and Twitter.
iTint. This app measures how much visible light can pass through a transparent object. This is useful for sunglass shopping, because it helps you figure out whether a tint is too dark or too light for you. You can also make sure the tinted windows of your vehicle are legal in the state where you're located. The app includes U.S. state tint laws for automotive glass, for your reference.
Color Vision Deficiency
Color De Blind. This app is for people who are color deficient, as well as those who would like to see how color deficient people see the world. It uses the graphics processor within the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad to run advanced color manipulation algorithms, to help people distinguish colors better.
ColorBlind Helper. This app identifies colors for people with color deficiencies. You take a photo of an object or scene, then touch a point in the picture, and the app will display the color name of the point you touched. It will also show you the RGB and CMYK codes of the color, helpful for people who use PhotoShop or other graphics software.
Visolve. This app is helpful for color deficiencies. It makes certain colors in a photo taken by the camera (or saved in the photo album) brighter or darker, based on your criteria. For example, if you have trouble distinguishing between red and green, Visolve can make the redder colors brighter. Or it will darken all colors except the color you specify. Other options include drawing different hatch patterns on certain colors and increasing saturation of all the colors in the image.
Cosmetic & Try-On Apps
The Eye Browser. This try-on app is a fun, convenient way to see how various styles of eyeglasses and sunglasses look on you. Just upload your photo and try on the eyewear. You can save your picks to a "wardrobe" and also locate them at an optical store or other retailer near you. The app is free and works for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Recommended For You
Air Optix Colors - Color Studio. This application from Alcon allows you to virtually try on various Air Optix color contact lenses. You can upload your own photo or use a model photo to see the different colors.
Eye Color Booth. This photography app lets you change the eye color in a photo, to create fun, crazy or artistic effects. You can even change the eye color to rainbow or just see what you'd look like with a new eye color. One of the fun features is the ability to color the eyes, then render the rest of the photo in black and white.
Eye Color Studio. If you're thinking about getting colored contacts, or even theatrical contact lenses, this is a great app to try. You upload your photo, then click on different eye colors and effects to "try them on."
MakeUp. This app provides a virtual makeover, letting you apply various shades of eye makeup, as well as foundation, blush and lipstick to your photograph. The before-and-after photo feature is fun.
QuitNow! This app provides great motivation for quitting smoking. It keeps count of how many cigarettes you have avoided and how much money you have saved by quitting.
Quit Smoking Now with Max Kirsten. Smoking is a risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, which can destroy your vision. And if you have dry eyes, then smoking will just irritate them more. Consider this app that adapts Max Kirsten's well-known smoking cessation program for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. There are many methods for quitting smoking, so read the description before you buy and decide if this one could help you.
Baby Finger HD. For the iPad, this free app is for babies and toddlers. With every tap of a finger, colorful shapes and/or alphabetical letters appear, and future versions promise to include animals, household items and other images. (Caution: You may want to sit next to your child during Baby Finger sessions, to prevent possible damage to your expensive device in case playtime turns boisterous!)
BeeLine Reader. This app may help you increase your reading speed on the iPhone and iPad. It uses color gradients to tint the fonts in a book, article or other text to help draw your eye forward and reduce the chance of skipping lines or repeat-reading. The developers say that it could even help people with ADD, dyslexia or vision impairments, and they offer a reading challenge on their website so you can see if your reading speed really does increase. A desktop browser extension and PDF reader are also available.
[Page updated December 23, 2016]