1. Make use of an ‘Easy Mode’ launcherThis is one of the most convenient methods to make a smartphone elder-friendly. Some smartphones have the Easy Mode launcher installed so you can choose it during the initial setup. If yours does not have this launcher, there are third-party options. Necta and Wiser operate almost the same. They both have a clean interface with simple and large icons that makes phones easier to use for the elderly. After installing on of these applications, press the handset’s home button and select the launcher. Then press ‘Always’ to activate it as your default home screen application.
2. Deactivate unnecessary keyboard settingsUsing a virtual keyboard is one of the biggest challenges a senior will have to overcome. This is because the buttons are small hence it will at times be a challenge for seniors as they try to things. To minimize the challenges, disable advanced keyboard options like auto-correct and gesture-typing. This can be easily done by launching the keyboard application in the app drawer. Go through the advanced settings and then deactivate options like Voice input, Auto-correct, and Show suggestions.
3. Increase the font sizesYou will also hear seniors complaining that the texts are too small. To avoid such complaints, go to Setting > Display > Font size to change it. Changing the font size to Huge or Larger can help a senior who has eyesight issues.
4. Minimize applications on Home ScreenIn case you prefer to keep the default home screen application on a senior’s phone, you can activate one of the main options used in the ‘Easy Mode’ launcher. To simply the experience, get rid of the unnecessary application in the home screen. You can leave the SMS, app, a web browser, the camera app, and a phone app. The goal here is not overwhelming a senior with a lot of options. Let them explore their smartphones and discover applications and their own pace.
Source: Huffington Post
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May 15th, 2013
Updated on June 22nd, 2013