The increasing popularity of tablets is, in many ways, a very good thing. They provide a better visual experience than a Smartphone and are easier to use and transport compared to a laptop. Each of us can use them to quickly access the Internet, take a few pictures, check the email and use video conferencing services, such as Skype or Facetime. Unfortunately, for elderly people, the same devices may seem intimidatingly complex, with too many unnecessary and difficult to understand functions.
The apparent solution to this problem is to purchase one of the many models specially designed for seniors. They are not necessarily smart, but they have big buttons, some simple functions and also quite a lot of limitations.
However, thanks to the flexibility of the Android operating system, there is another very good solution. This involves using a free launcher that completely changes your tablet’s interface to make it friendlier for people who have eyesight problems or who simply do not get along with a regular tablet.
Android launchers – what do they offer and how can they make a tablet look friendlier to seniors?
One tip from nursing homes in Odessa Texas, is that to create your own device suitable for being used by seniors, you can choose one of the many Android launchers you can find for free, on Google Play. Recent devices include such functions in their configuration panel, precisely for simplifying people`s interaction with them, so there is no need to download them anymore. Installing a launcher is simple and involves just the same steps as installing any other application. Typically, it will turn on by default, after the installation. Optionally, you may need to enable the new launcher from the Settings – Launcher menu.
Such a launcher completely changes the device interface and includes simple applications for the most important functions of the tablet: camera, messages, photo gallery and calling. Thus, the user experience will be much more fluid and will not involve sudden transitions between different fonts and colors. You will get an ideal tablet for seniors, containing only a few options that need to be customized before giving the tablet to your parent or grandparent.
When you turn on your tablet and the OS starts with the new launcher, you will be greeted with large, suggestive icons and a clear and legible writing. Without accessing any additional menu, you can reach the Wi-Fi, the alarm or the flashlight. You should customize the list of favorite contacts and prioritize those that the user interacts with more often.
You can realize immediately how simple such an interface is, even without tapping too much. The calling procedure could not be easier, and the photo / video capture utility includes only two buttons (one of them triggers the capture and the other ensures the transition from photo to video mode and vice versa). The photo gallery does not include anything that requires further explanation.
The SOS button is another important feature in a tablet used by a senior. With one touch, it sends the exact location of the user to a favorite predefined contact. Two more buttons in the foreground help users quickly find their own phone number and exact location on a map.
In the list of installed applications, there is also the possibility of anchoring a program on the main screen.