Smartphones and older people, an increasingly well-matched pairing
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Smartphones and older people, an increasingly well-matched pairing

In these times, having a smartphone , that is, a smart mobile phone, is practically necessary for everyone. The infinite possibilities that they offer to the user make it an essential device for all of us regardless of our age: young and not so young.

Thus, the most veteran also want to receive photos, talk on WhatsApp, read emails or surf the Internet. Their ease of understanding and operating a smartphone , however, is usually not the same as that of their younger relatives; the problems they usually have with electronic devices, which offer too many functionalities, and the fear of screwing up causes many to not dare to take the leap.

Today, however, they no longer have an excuse. Currently, there is a very important boom in a mobile market focused on people who can handle this type of equipment uphill. In essence, what it is about is facilitating access to these terminals. Thus, an increasingly wide range of smartphones for the elderly is joined by the high possibilities of personalization : the available applications and tools that adapt the mobile make it possible to use these devices for any type of person.

Bigger keys, texts and icons

Smartphones and older people, an increasingly better pairing - big launcherIn most current terminals there is already the option to modify the font size , to make it more readable. Both phones with Android and iOS operating systems allow texts to acquire a dimension greater than normal. However, while in Android the option works for all menus and all tools (all Samsung Galaxy models offer the possibility of configuring them in ” easy mode “), in iOS this change of style only occurs in some of the applications .

If we do not have a smartphone that can change towards a simpler style, there are a series of tools called  launchers that serve precisely this. These launchers are ideal for those looking for a simple screen with large icons and bright colors . One of them is Big Launcher , an application that will completely modify the screen design and incorporate a multitude of new functionalities into the terminal : shortcuts, the time, date and status of the large battery, etc. Big Launcher is user friendly and intuitive.

Increased speaker power

There are also certain applications that boost the speaker of the mobile device above normal. One of them is Volume+ , a very simple tool, since you only have to install it, activate it and configure the maximum volume. There are two versions: with the free one you reach a limit level of 4 power, while with the paid version the limit is at level 10; the developer himself recommends not reaching this figure, as it could damage the speaker.

Applications for specific intentions

Smartphones and older people, an increasingly well-matched pairing - grandfatherFirstly, to say that there are many other details that can be managed to adapt the terminal to the needs of the older person. For example, it is also necessary to take into account the screen lock and the request for codes and passwords such as the PIN number, in order to increase security , prevent unwanted access and thus safeguard the information from possible accidental damage.

Having said that, there are also many specific applications that can help you, both for older people and for those closest to you.

– AppLock : Application to limit the elderly person’s access to certain services or tools. It can be used to block access to menus and features that may disorganize the settings made or even to prevent inadvertent purchases. It is free and available for Android .

– MediSafe : It is a very simple calendar that is used to keep up to date with the medication . By configuring an alarm at the indicated time, the terminal will make an audible warning to its user. It is available for Android and also for iOS .

– VoiceOver and TalkBack : The first is for iOS and the second is for Android . These applications name the icon that has been pressed out loud , that is, it communicates to the person which element of the screen has been selected.

– Whatsapp : Everyone knows it. With WhatsApp they can communicate with their loved ones and they will be able to receive all kinds of messages and photos without making any expenses and in a simple way. For Android and for iOS .

Older smartphone models

As we have previously said, there are 2 options: either we configure a “normal” smartphone through applications that adapt the terminal to the use of the elderly, or we directly buy a mobile model that has already been created for this purpose. If we focus now on this second option, we see that today there is a wide range of terminals.

Smartphones and older people, an increasingly better pairing - smphoneYezz Andy AZ4.5 : Its main characteristic is the large size of its icons (only 6 fit per screen). It has Android, is 4.5 inches and costs about € 180.

– Doro Liberto 810 : It is one of the most complete. On the screen, in addition to the large icons, 3 contacts always appear so that they can be called quickly. One of the differences that it has with respect to other models is that it includes a Cloud service that allows family members to add contacts, reminders or alerts of all kinds. Its price is € 150, it is 4.5 inches and it is Android.

– Samsung Galaxy Core Advance : The Samsung brand is also aware of the elderly and for this reason, a few months ago, it launched a smartphone with a series of advanced functions that help those who are visually impaired. In addition, it has several physical buttons (not everything is touch) and additional buttons on the sides for popular functions such as the camera. Finally, say that the Galaxy Core Advance case is reinforced to resist bumps and scratches. It works with Android, costs € 190 and has a 4.7-inch screen.

– Emporia Smart : This smartphone has an interface that has a few large icons. What sets it apart from the rest is that it includes a precision writing pen and has a speaker that amplifies the volume. It is 4.5 inches, is Android and costs about € 200.

With this series of tips and properly configuring the mobile phone of our grandparents, you will be able to facilitate their accessibility and user experience, and make this existing technological gap be drastically reduced in the coming years.

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