Smartphones for the elderly, simplified apps: what solutions to not leave the elderly on the sidelines?

Smartphones for the elderly, simplified apps: what solutions to not leave the elderly on the sidelines?

To remedy this, some manufacturers are developing smartphones designed and built especially for them. This is what you need to know.

1. What is a smartphone for the elderly?

Although there are already several mobile phones aimed at the elderly, with larger keys and basic functions, in recent years some smartphones have also appeared on the market. Touch, like the latest generation smartphones, are generally distinguished by larger icons and a simplified interface, but they allow access to more functions than a classic mobile, in particular instant messaging such as WhatsApp. With prices ranging from 150 euros to almost 300 euros, they are also cheaper than normal smartphones, with some of the latest models exceeding 1,000 euros.

The two main manufacturers are Doro and Emporia. But Huawei, Mobiho Essentiel or Swissvoice also offer them. They are mainly aimed at people over 75 years of age. “But they can also suit young people who are technophobic,” said Camille Gruhier, a reporter for UFC-Que Choisir. “Overall, they’re all pretty well made,” said the consumer association, which had several models tested by people ages 57 to 84.

two. What advantages and disadvantages?

The goal of these smartphones is to allow older people “to stay connected with their loved ones without fear of technology”, summarizes Camille Gruhier. In addition to the simplified interface and camera, they are more robust, have a battery that lasts longer than conventional smartphones, usually have a charging base that allows them to always be in the same place, and have an on-board “call” function. . emergency”, in which it is possible to configure the phone numbers of several contacts. “It has a calming side for families.”

In terms of operation, smartphones for the elderly are compatible with hearing aids and suitable for reduced sensation in the fingers or vision problems. App stores are also simplified. This does not prevent them from benefiting from a fairly wide choice, ranging from weather applications to games and messaging applications. The vast majority of models get the job done and “really have no downsides,” says Camille Gruhier.

3. Apps to simplify “real smartphones”

For those who are a bit in the middle and don’t really have the profile of a senior smartphone, classic smartphones still offer some features intended to make them easier to use. Grouped in the “accessibility” section of the settings, they allow, for example, to enlarge menu icons and text, increase screen contrast, set a light alert when the phone rings or display a magnifying glass on the screen to zoom in the content.

To go a little further, on smartphones running Android, it is also possible to download apps that apply a simplified “overlay”. There are dozens of these “great launchers” of their little name, free or paid. They allow you to hide the most obscure functions to leave only the essential in the form of large icons and simplified actions. We can, for example, cite: “Simple Launcher”, “Senior Homescreen” or “Simplified app launcher”. However, there is no equivalent from Apple, whose interface is, however, simpler.

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