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Updating your grandparent's phone: making Android super senior friendly *

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There’s a fair chance your grandparents have taken advantage of some of the latest technology by getting themselves a smartphone, but they might not be making the most of the features and apps that are now at their disposal.  Updating their phone on their behalf is a kind gesture, so here is a look at some ways to make their phone more “senior friendly” and add some apps and features they’ll find useful.

Make it easy to use their phone

Android recognises the fact that some people might be a bit baffled by the standard home screen that comes pre-loaded with the phone.  It’s not that user-friendly if you’re not up to speed with technology or have never used apps before.

A good idea is to replace their current home screen with “Easy Mode”. This setting is often already installed and ready to switch to, or it can easily be found in the Google Play store.

This move instantly makes their smartphone more attuned to their needs.  Hopefully it will give them the confidence to explore more features on their phone without feeling so intimidated about how to navigate their way around successfully.

Put an end to any parking confusion

A good example of an app that would be useful to have on your grandparent’s phone is Park ‘n’ Forget.

Car parks can be very generic and every level looks the same.  For a senior person it can be confusing and frustrating to come back from the shops and struggle to remember where you parked the car.  You don’t even have to be elderly for this to happen, I’m quite successful at it most weeks!

This app helps you to remember exactly where your car is located using a simple color or number technique.

User friendly keyboard

Once your grandparents start to get the hang of things they may want to start sending messages and use social media options to get into a conversation online.

You might want to help them by adjusting some settings to make them feel more at ease when using the keyboard.   The keyboard is highly responsive and can lead to a few embarrassing errors if you are not used to autocorrect!

It might be a good idea to disable most of the usual add-on features like auto-correction so they don’t end up inadvertently sending a garbled message.  Also, consider increasing the standard font size to make things easier still.

A bit of every day help

Once the phone is set up for ease of use, it’s time to start thinking about some apps they may want to use.

As an initial resource for guidance on medical symptoms or ailments the WebMD app is well worth considering and it can provide some useful insights on common treatments without attempting to take on the same role as a GP.

They may be quite excited to discover their favourite newspaper apps are available and they no longer have to spend money on a paper copy, which will also cut down on paper waste too.

Download a weather app for Android phones to give them all the latest live data so they can check the weather forecast wherever they are.