The smartphone revolution has meant that we’ve all adapted without much difficulty to somewhat complicated interfaces featured on these devices, and we’ve started using them almost more like a computer than a telephone. Was this just as easy for everyone? No, the truth is that the digital breach leaves an especially large gap where the elderly are concerned. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t make the most of the advantages top smartphones have to offer. These days, various solutions to make them a little simpler and more user-friendly exist.
On some occasions, the main stumbling blocks older people face is the size of the icons and typeface. This might not be so serious on devices which feature a large screen, but in any case both big and small alike can solve this problem by properly setting up the mobile’s options. Android and iOS both have an “accessibility” option on the settings menu, where you can increase interface size, activate high contrast and even set to voice control. Often (although not always), some changes of this kind are enough for a satisfactory experience.
The second option is using apps which help you simplify controls. Thanks to increased flexibility, this is much better developed on Android than other operating systems.
Despite its simplicity (or precisely because of it) Phonotto and Seniors are some of the most interesting apps. The first gives rapid access to the main functions the telephone offers, while the second goes one step further and basically only shows direct accesses (with names) for several preselected contacts.
From here on, you can find a wide range of apps with a greater or lesser level of complexity and a variety of visual styles. Choosing between them is a purely personal decision. BIG Launcher Senior Phone, Simple Senior Phone, Large Launcher Senior Phone and Wise Phone are the most obvious, but there’s many more.
What happens if an older person wants to use Facebook? Social networks aren’t just for young people, so thankfully there are several apps specially dedicated to an audience less familiar with technology. Easy Facebook for seniors and TWStock for old people are two small examples, but it should be hoped that little by little we’ll see many more, and that the oldest members of the household won’t feel as estranged from the world of mobile devices as a result.