Adapting A Smartphone For The Elderly


Technology is all around us, and a big part of that experience are smartphones. Pretty much everyone owns a smartphone these days, even though some people still prefer feature phones, mostly elderly people. Even though that statement is true, we're seeing less and less feature phones out in the market, and smartphone numbers are constantly rising. That being said, my mother is still using a feature phone, she was reluctant to make that switch even though I've suggested it a couple of times. Now, she's 63 years old, and is not exactly tech-savvy, as you'd expect, but she has become far more interested in it lately, and I've decided to surprise her for Christmas.

Now, my mother actually doesn't need that many smartphone features, but she could use the e-mail for work, and a video calling service in order to talk to her sister who doesn't live nearby. There are a couple of more apps I'm sure she'll get into (aside from the standard ones like SMS, dialer, etc.), but we'll see. Anyhow, considering my mother really doesn't know how to use a smartphone, I basically had to make some changes in order to make the switch easier for her, and it seemed like a good idea to share that with the rest of you, read on.


First and foremost, I've picked out a nice 5-inch device for her, a phone that is not too big nor too small. The first thing I knew I had to do is change the phone's launcher, why? Well, because she definitely needs far bigger icons and text in order to use the phone comfortably. Luckily, there are tons of options in the Google Play Store, and I've picked KK Easy Launcher, also known as 'Big Launcher', well, one of them. This launcher basically gave me an extremely simplistic layout with huge icons which are customizable. Both the desktop icons and the app drawer icons are quite big, and you can increase their size even more if needed.

So, after I've customized the icon size, I've decided to basically stack them on the homepage for her to use, and I might even remove the app drawer icon altogether because I'm certain she won't use any other apps than the ones I've listed for her. Now, considering this is not a finished product just yet, I'm also thinking of adding power toggles to the homepage. She has all the power toggles available in the notification tray, but I do think having them on the homepage is far more convenient. Installing an antivirus also crossed my mind, but I do think those apps are (still) not that necessary on Android devices, and I also doubt she'll go to any risky websites or anything like that.

Now, another step I've decided to make in this process is setting the display timeout to 10 minutes. Why? Well, I wanted to prevent the display from turning off in the middle of her reading something or what not, and will definitely point out that she should turn it off manually, I do think that's the safest way to do things, at least for now. You may also notice that the phone has a case on it, which is a must when it comes to my mother at least, she drops her feature phone quite frequently. That is pretty much it, I do have to say that I'm still thinking whether I should alter some other part of this launcher / phone or not, so I might still change some things. If you do happen to have any ideas you'll like to share, please use the comment section and share your ideas or even similar experiences, presuming you have some, of course.


KK Launcher (Big Launcher) AH_2

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Assistant Editor

Kristijan has been writing for Android Headlines since 2014 and is an editor for the site. He has worked as a writer for several outlets before joining Android Headlines, and has a background in writing about Android and technology in general. He is a smartphone enthusiast that specializes in Android applications, and that platform in general. Contact him at [email protected]

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