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Remember that iPhone app called Say Anything? It basically lets you write anything in a huge typeface across your device’s screen, so you can just wave your phone around the bar instead of trying to shout and be heard about the din.
Well, if you’ve got an Android device, you’re not out in the cold! Just install Embiggen and you can enjoy the same sort of cutting-edge in-your-face typography action.
Embiggen In Action
When you first run Embiggen, it prompts you for a phrase:
Once you type your phrase and hit Go, it shows up all over your screen:
I could be making a great “that’s what she said” joke here, but I’ll refrain — keeping it classy!
But what if you’re feeling very verbose and have a lot to say? Worry not: Embiggen can slice up a long message using punctuation. So if you write several sentences, Embiggen will only show one sentence on the screen at a time, wait for you to tap the screen, and then show the next sentence.
When I was with a friend at an ear-splitting metal concert, this came in very handy: We could actually communicate without shouting, and without squinting at the device. The font is large enough so you can comfortably read it from a couple of meters away, especially if you don’t try to cram too many words into a single sentence.
Embiggen also lets you save sentences for quick access, so if there are phrases you want to be able to pull out in a moment’s notice without typing them, you can just put them into the phrase archive and they’ll always be just a couple of taps away.
There’s a Paid Version, Too
If you’re looking for more functionality, you can buy Embiggen Plus for a buck:
Embiggen Plus lets you change the text and background colors, as well as pick the animation style to use when bringing up a new phrase:
I personally think that None is the best choice: When trying to communicate in a rushed, busy place, you really don’t want fancy animations to take up any time. You probably just want your message to be displayed right away, so that the other person (or persons) don’t have to spend time staring at the text morphing into place, but just get the point right away.
Embiggen Pro also lets you save favorite phrases as shortcuts right in your phone’s home screen, so you can tap a single icon and display a phrase. This can be useful for driving, not that I would advise you to ever flash messages at fellow drivers using this app (especially not when you’re behind the wheel!).
Compared To The iOS Alternative
Unlike Say Anything, Embiggen won’t let you set a pattern as the background. Also, there is no way to change the font. That said, the core functionality is pretty much the same: Take a simple line of text and blow it up so that it’s large enough to read from across the room, or at least a few meters away, depending on your screen size and how high you can hold the device above the wild crowd.
Still, Embiggen is a great little app — a narrowly focused unitasker, but when you do need it, it sure saves the day.