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Smart Ways to Make Smartphone Use Elder-Friendly

24 May, 2019

, Elder-Friendly

There will always be a debate about devices and technology and whether these are a boon or a bane. But, in today’s time, when many of the older generations live away from their kids, considering safety aspect, using technology aided devices like Smartphones and voice assistants may be a real blessing in disguise. Apart from the help it provides, it is also a significant safety measure that can ensure that the people are reachable at all times. That they can reach out to someone in distress if needed, etc.

As such, the trend is seen that most seniors are slowly taking to smartphones, though they do find touch screens a bit difficult to use at times. Yes, they may be a bit uncomfortable; they may touch the wrong choices, and trigger something off. However, there are many ways to make Smartphone senior-friendly. Once we get this done, it may not be so bad for them to start using these phones comfortably. For the record, there are also exclusively senior-friendly phones in the market too.


Aged people have a problem reading small fonts on the small screen of a phone. Also, this results in them touching the wrong option, as their fingers too may be a bit clumsy picking the right option. Hence, an excellent solution to this problem is to ensure that the Fonts on the phones they use are kept to a slightly bigger size. Almost all smartphones have the option to increase the display Font size. This can be usually found in Settings->Display-Font Size. Try out what suits best for you and stick to the same. This will be easier to read and easy on the eyes as well.

Reading Options

You may also choose to increase contrast as that also helps to read better on the Smartphone. This can be done through the Settings->Display->Contrast and Colors->Increased Contrast. In the Display Settings, there is also an option called Reading Mode, which is usually set to Off. You may turn this on as well if you want to read better on the phone. There are some sub-options as well in this like this gets turned on only after sunset or at scheduled times. You may explore these to make reading on your smartphone a better experience.


If you find the regular keyboard Font as small, you could use the Google keyboard option to make sure that the Font of what you type out is also big and easily readable. This can be done through the following steps. Long press the comma symbol on the Google keyboard->Pick Gboard Keyboard Settings-> Preferences->Keyboard Height and move the scroll to taller as required. This will give you more space for the keyboard which makes it easier to type out.

Magnifier apps

One of the best parts of using a smartphone is the many wonderful apps that can prove to be a real helpline, especially for seniors. Did you know that there are many magnifying apps available in the Play store, that can help you magnify what you read even outside of your phone? It is quite possible you are filling out some form or got some material with fine print and would like to read it clearly. Your smartphone can come to your rescue through this app. This app comes with a magnifying used through your phone camera and magnifies the text, making it easy for you to read. Some of these apps also come with a flashlight as well.

Teamviewer App

There is another app called Teamviewer App, which, if installed on your phone allows you to control other devices, and vice versa also. It means that your kids or grandkids or some other close family member can if required to help you out in using your phone if you are stuck. Of course, there is a safety aspect linked here as you are giving control of your device, and hence there is a code attached. Unless you share the code to the concerned people as per your need, they cannot do so. So, many people living apart are keeping this option in their phone to use in case of emergencies.

Use Voice Assistant

Depending on which phone you are using, you can use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana, or Google Assistant to make its use easier. In Android phones, all you have to do is just hold the phone close and mention “Hey Google.” And the voice assistant will be activated. On Apple phones, you have first to enable it through the settings. Almost any command can be given, and you can get a response from the voice assistant. You can even make calls and more using this option.

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