Smartphones are the latest trend but they aren’t actually made for seniors. But that doesn’t mean that seniors can’t enjoy the functionality and usefulness of a smartphone. You only need to make a few tweaks to make smartphones more accessible and fit the particular needs of seniors. Here are 6 tips to make smartphones easier to use for seniors. If you have a senior in your life who is always complaining about how operating a smartphone is complex and complicated or you might even be one, these smartphone tips will make it more friendly to use.
1. Use Senior-Friendly Launchers
The first tip to making smartphones friendlier for seniors is to install senior-friendly launchers. Senior-friendly launchers have an easy-to-use interface, control centre, large icons, the text size is big, and so on. Some of the best senior-friendly launchers are Simple Launcher, Square Phone, Help Launcher, Senior Safety Phone, and BIG Launcher – you can get quite a variety of them. Try any of them to see which one suits the senior best.
2. Enlarge the Keyboard Size
Aside from using senior-friendly launchers, another smartphone tip for seniors is enlarging the keyboard size for easy use. Some of the best keyboards for Android smartphones are Gboard and Microsoft’s SwiftKey Keyboard. You can download any of them from Google Play Store for free (SwiftKey Keyboard is available for iPhones).
You can customize these keyboards to fit the needs of seniors. For instance, you can enlarge the size of the keys, change the height, theme, layout, and so on.
3. Increase Text Size Across the System
The next tip is to increase the text size of the phone. Bigger text size is ideal for seniors. You can easily change the text size (as well as text style) in the Settings app. However, the exact steps to change the text size might vary depending on the type of smartphone.
4. Uninstall or Disable Unwanted Apps
Most smartphones usually come pre-installed with lots of apps and most of them are just unnecessary. Seniors need just the basic and daily apps on their smartphones. Lots of apps mean lots of icons. This will lead to lots of clutter and can be an issue for seniors. Hence, you should uninstall or disable (if uninstalling is not possible) unwanted apps for seniors as much as possible.
When uninstalling or disabling apps, be careful not to uninstall or disable critical apps necessary for the phone’s proper functioning. Also, reduce the number of icons on the home screen.
5. Turn Off the Gesture Navigation System
Gesture navigation is cool and friendlier for young adults and not for seniors. To make a smartphone friendlier for seniors, you can turn off gesture navigation and use the standard 3-button navigation system. You can change this in the Settings app but the exact steps to change the text size might vary depending on the type of smartphone. The 3-button navigation system includes a circular Home button, a square overview button, and a triangular back button.
6. Increase Contrast
Increasing the contrast will not only make the texts easier to read but would also make icons clearer by rendering colours more distinct.
The smartphone tips listed above will make a senior’s life a bit easier when dealing with a smartphone. In addition to that, it is a great idea to get a phone cover for the smartphone to avoid damage to the phone.