[iPhone] Determine the dimensions of an object using your camera and Size That Up Free

mzl.pesruvbu.320x480-75You know, I have both rulers and a tape measure kicking around my apartment, but I’ll be darned if I can actually find the darn things when I need them. Just a few weeks ago, I was listing an item on eBay. I wanted to include the dimensions of the item, but I couldn’t find a ruler anywhere. I mentioned that the width of the item was equal to a ballpoint pen, because that was the best I could do. If I had only downloaded Size That Up Free, I might have been able to get more precise measurements…without using a ruler.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Size That Up Free is an iPhone app that uses your camera to ascertain how big an object is, simply by snapping a photo.


  • Free app that helps you when you can’t find a ruler or a tape measure
  • 2x zoom (higher zoom available in the paid version
  • Fairly accurate way to estimate an object’s dimensions
  • Final size readout can easily be converted to inches, cm, feet, or meters


  • Annoying animated banner ads
  • You have to keep tapping “back” multiple times to start the “sizing up” process from scratch
  • User error can easily throw off your measurements
  • Sliders can be a bit tricky to operate
  • Not ideal for things that need to be precisely measured
  • You can’t measure length and width at the same time


Using this app is pretty simple. You simply take a photo of the item you want to measure alongside a “base” item, which allows the camera to calculate the difference in sizes between the two items. Next, you slide a set of two sliders on either side to mark the edges of the base object, and then do the same thing for the item you’re trying to measure.

You can use several different types of “base items” to make size comparisons, including credit cards (in either vertical or horizontal orientations), a ruler, or sheets of A4 paper or “Letter” paper (8.5 x 11 inches.)

The sliders are a bit fidgety: the line is kind of on the thick side, so it can be a little hard to tell if you’re lined up precisely with the edge of the object or not. Complicating matters is the fact that the sliders themselves are kind of fiddly, and it really takes some finesse to get them lined up just right.

What Size That Up Free does is ultimately pretty cool. However, it isn’t quite precise enough for certain tasks. To be fair, the dimensions aren’t too far off. As a test, I used a credit card as the base to measure an Apple TV remote. The factory specs for an Apple TV remote say that it’s 4.7 inches long: the app estimated it at 4.89. Factoring in my user error, of which I’m certain there was some, that’s still pretty darn close.

Conclusion and download link

Between the tricky slider mechanisms and the somewhat imprecise nature of this measurement tool, I can’t recommend Size That Up Free for use in projects where very precise, meticulous measurements are needed. That being said, if you need an approximate measurement in a hurry and can’t find your tape measure, Size That Up Free is actually a pretty remarkable measuring tool.

Price: Free

Version reviewed: 1.6

Supported OS: Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Download size: 14.9 MB

Size That Up Free on Apple App Store

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