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Thread: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

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    Default Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    My 80 year-old mother needs some type of smartphone for basic stuff like calls and text, plus use of a ride sharing app to help her get out of the house. We're an Apple-centric family so my first thought was an iPhone SE, but from recent experience trying to teach her how to use a MacBook I suspect that it will be daunting to use.

    Do any of you have experience with the Jitterbug Smart 3 or other smartphone that's oriented towards users with basic needs? I like the Jitterbug's concept of scaling down functionality, large buttons, and the ability to *call* for a Lyft ride...but am a little wary of the care-and-feeing of an Android-based device given my zero experience.

    TIA for any advice or insights.

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    Default Re: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    Android devices are fine from a robustness standpoint. I'm currently on a 4.5 year-old Moto X4. It still chugs along.

    The cool thing about Android is that the phone manufacturer can customize the user experience. The bad thing about Android is that the phone company can customize the user experience.

    If you were buying a cheap Android phone there's a good chance that it'd come loaded with a bunch of bloatware. but the "flagship" and highly specialized phones tend to be pretty good on that front. Is there an electronics store handy where the two of you can go to try the jitterbug out?

    The only other stuff I'd be weary of would be to make sure she has reception and wifi at home, and consider locking down some of the extra functionality if needed. I know we worry about my 90 year-old grandmother doing any kind of banking online.

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    Default Re: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    Have you explored Accessibility (Text Size, Voice Control) and other settings (Display & Brightness > Display Zoom) on one of your current iPhones to see what might work? If you're already familiar with Apple phones that might be something easy for both of you to try out. Keep only the essential apps on the home screen (for testing, install only required/basics if going forward).

    My experience is with other kinds of hurdles, basically resistance or forgetfulness. Voice commands like "Get directions to Such-and-such high school" or "Call so-and-so" seems easy enough, especially if your mom is game.


    A couple of years ago I fielded a call from my parents-in-law, who got lost on their way to my daughter's soccer game.

    "How do we get there?"
    "Well, where are you now?"
    "I don't know."
    "Well, what's around you?"
    "Some houses."
    "The easiest thing is to ask your phone for directions to X."
    "Why won't you help me?"
    "..."


    Joel Danke

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    Default Re: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    Quote Originally Posted by jdanke View Post
    My experience is with other kinds of hurdles, basically resistance or forgetfulness. ....

    "Why won't you help me?"
    "..."
    This made me laugh...my situation entirely.

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    Default Re: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    My 90 year old mother in law started with a regular Jitterbug and swapped it for a Jitterbug smart phone so she can get rides from Uber, she uses the Uber app on it. Not too sure about the GPS on it, though, because it will have her location not exactly where she is now and then but that might not be the phone because she does start adjusting things. And I've overheard numerous Tech Support/ rescue calls with her daughter that went a lot like the one above.

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    Default Re: Smartphone for non-tech savvy senior

    What about a modern rotary phone?

    --
    T h o m a s

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