Use These Apps To Make Android Easier for Senior Citizens

by Mrinal Saha

Senior Citizens weren’t born with smartphones like the rest of us and by the time smartphones arrived, they became old. Not to mention, the complicated UI and technology. How about we install fewer apps and increase the font size? But then, what is the point of having a smartphone, if it’s not smart enough. Right? A better solution is to install apps that are made especially for older people. These apps would help them use the smartphone effectively. So let’s take a look at some of the Android Apps for Senior Citizens.

I also did the second part of Android Apps for Senior Citizens which includes more general use apps that allow them to use the smartphone. It is best for old people who live alone.

Android apps for Senior Citizens

1. Big Launcher

A good place to start is by using Big Launcher. Install the app on your smartphone and grant all the permissions. Once done, open the app and set the default language and font size, etc. Now to set it up as your default launcher, press the Home button and select Big Launcher free.

It changes the layout of your phone to a minimal interface and replaces the icons with large ones. You can access all the apps in a list layout and easy to read large font.

However, the free version comes with some limitation. For instance – you can only see five recent entries in the call list and messages. So, if you would like to unlock these feature, buy the pro version of the app for $10.

If your elders find this Launcher too dumb (my father did), you can also use Nova launcher. It has the option to increase the icon and font size. Plus you can also hide unnecessary from the App drawer if you have the pro version.

Install Big Launcher (free)

2. Big Buttons Keyboard

The free version of ‘Big Launcher’ uses the default Android keyboard, which is not ideal for older people with poor vision and limited finger mobility. Big Buttons Keyboard. It’ll change the tiny keyboard buttons into bigger ones.

However, the app will not work, until you set it as your default keyboard. You can do from the app itself, simply open it and select the first option i.e. Installation and then follow the on-screen instruction.

Related: Quickly Turn ON flashlight with Volume Buttons 

The app is decent and doesn’t follow the standard QWERTY layout. It uses a custom layout which optimizes the screen space and fits largest possible keys. If your folks have grown used to the QWERTY format, they might have to spend some time just to get around the layout. The app is free on the Play Store.

Install Big Buttons Keyboard

3. EVA Facial Mouse

EVA Facial Mouse helps you to control your Android smartphone or tablet by tracking the user’s face using the front camera. And it works surprisingly well. It requires a few accessibility permissions to set up the app. I tried the app for a few days and I was able to do basic things like – open a web page, send a message and call a friend. It does take a while to get used to the interface but the app is practical.

The app also gives you a tutorial when you first use the app. It guides with gestures and head movements to track the cursor across the screen. You can operate around 80 percent of your Android functions with just the movements and for any special function, you have on-screen buttons. These buttons include hardware buttons like Home, back, etc and can be clicked just by hovering the cursor. The app is great for people with limited mobility and helps them use their smartphone more effectively. Eva Facial Mouse is free on the Play Store.

Install EVA

4. TeamViewer

This one is pretty common. Once you introduce new technology to your parents they keep coming back with new questions. And expect the same, when you gift them a new smartphone.

If your parents are facing trouble figuring out how to make a phone call, install a new app, or how to save a new contact, etc then you can use TeamViewer to gain remote access to your parent’s smartphone. Install a TeamViewer host app on your parent’s device and its remote client on yours and then you’ll be able to access your parent’s smartphone from any part of the world.

Related: How to Access your Computer Files From Anywhere With TeamViewer

In case you don’t want the other party to have physical access to your smartphone (like pressing a button or moving around etc) then try Ink wire. It’s the same as Teamviewer, but the other person can only show gestures on the screen. They can not press any buttons. Comes in handy if you don’t trust the other person enough.

Install TeamViewer

5. WebMD

There is no shortage of health app on the Internet. And one of the popular ones is WebMD. The app comes with several features like – WebMD Symptom Checker, Treatments, and a quick guide for medical emergencies.

This health apps also come with a side effect or more commonly known as self-diagnosis. Most doctors don’t recommend you use the Internet to treat disease or diagnostician. Always consult a doctor first. In fact, the app also recommends you consult an expert first if you face a more serious problem or you’re not entirely sure.

Install webMD

6. MediSafe Pill reminder

Senior citizens often forget to do things and it often includes necessary medication. So, if your loved ones often forget to take your meds on time, then  MediSafe Meds & Pill Reminder. The app keeps a log of measurements like blood pressure, you can keep notes, save appointments, doctor’s details, etc. It also reminds you of any upcoming refills along with daily pill reminders.

Install Medisafe Pill Reminder

7. Find My Device

If you worry about your parent’s safety while away for work then it’s better to install a location tracker on their smartphone. Using a location tracker app, you can find out the exact GPS location of the device. Though, this only works if the smartphone has an active Internet connection and GPS is ON.

Most Android have Find My Device pre-installed on the phone, even if it isn’t you can easily download it from the Play Store. Simply turn it on from the device’s settings.

To track your location, go to findmydevice home page on your computer and log in with the same Google Account which is logged in the phone. After authenticating the password, it will show you the exact position of the smartphone You can also ring it to get their attention.

If you need Advance features, try Cerberus. It’s a paid app but comes with tons of remote tracking features.

Install Find My Device

Best Android apps for Senior Citizens

These were some of my picks for the best Android apps for Senior Citizens. Eva is great for people who can’t use their hands to navigate through the smartphone. Big Launcher tones down the traditional UI and offers big icons and text. Find My Device is great to track the phone but some parents may not like sharing location all the time. In that case, you can use Google new – Trusted Contacts. It gives you the notification if you would like to share your location, which you can deny or agree. But if you don’t respond in 5 min (which means you got into some trouble) then the app will automatically send the last known location. These are not all the apps, you can check out the second part of Apps for old people and let us know if we missed any app that we should include in this list. Comment below.

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