Apps for a stereotypical pensioner

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Richard 3 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #18646

    Tippon
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    @tippon
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    My wife’s grandfather is a great guy, but he’s a stereotypical technophobe pensioner. He’s had a mobile for years, but rarely uses it. He’s got a few great-grandkids now, and wants to join in with WhatsApp to see the photos. My wife’s giving him her OnePlus One, so I’ve wiped it, set up his contacts, and copied some photos over. I’ve put a few basic apps on, like Google Photos and WhatsApp, but I’m wondering if there’s anything that might benefit him.

    His eyesight isn’t great, so I doubt he’d want to read on the phone, so I haven’t bothered with news or Kindle etc. Any ideas guys?

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    #18705

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
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    Not the best Phone answer from me Ryan I know, but as another Senior with sight problems, I would recommend an 8″ Android tablet, Kindle and other e-books. With a Google account linked to the phone, your FIL can see the family photos much clearer, in larger format. I know that I find it much better to use emails, photos and apps on the tablet, than on the phone. Backup and Sync from Google keeps it all together and regularly updated. I have also put the BBC website, iPlayer, NOWTV, UKTV Play, ITV Hub and Oldies music on my Lenovo and Hudl (should get rid of one, but can’t bear to part!) He could take pics with either device and see them on each. My library book visits are less since I had Kindle on the tablet.

    What are his interests? Ask him what he would like to read or listen to. Maybe Audio books. If he’s a Senior Technophobe, be gentle with him! I still have problems, and I started with this stuff in my late fifties. Luckily I have grandkids that I can turn to. Strangely, in my case it’s my SIL who is the Technophobe and he turns to me first. (think he doesn’t like telling our 12 yo gdaughter he can’t handle it.)

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #18706

    blacklion1725
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    @blacklion1725
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    I think WhatsApp needs a SIM card and associated mobile number  – if so you would be limited to Phablet devices – probably 6″ screen max. I think you can still buy some giant phone/phablets from China – but for mainstream devices I think you will probably tap out around the 6″ point.

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    #18728

    Tippon
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    @tippon
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    Thanks both 🙂

    Bob: You’ve reminded me that he’s got a tablet floating around somewhere. I’ve got no idea what it is, or what size, but we can dig it out next time we’re there and set it up. I hadn’t thought about catch-up TV or radio, as I don’t tend to use them myself, so that’s a great idea, thanks. He’s really into his rugby, so I’ll see what’s out there for that, and get a link to the local paper’s sports section if it’s available.

     

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    #18733

    The Duke
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    @sgb101
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    If he is never going to leave the house with his tablet, put hang outs on it. And he can use that to call/video call and text you.

    Or better still, set up push bullet on his mobile, and on the tablet, and he will receive all text (sms) on his tablet, and/or PC. It’s seamless once set up. I use PB on all my devices.

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    #18735

    Tippon
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    @tippon
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    That’s how I’m hoping for him to use WhatsApp on the phone. It’s a shame it has to be tied to a mobile number. I thought about using another app, but then everyone else would have to install and use it too, and I can’t do tech support for all of them 😀

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    #18805

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
    Forumite Coins: 1,441

    You’re welcome Ryan, hope it works out for him.

    My Lenovo takes a SIM card if I needed it, but think it’s restricted to sending & receiving text messages only. I never did that, but it is possible with some tablets.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Bob Williams.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #18812

    The Duke
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    @sgb101
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    Of guess you lenovo s slot only does data (3 or 4g). I doubt it would have a normal sim function (phone number etc.) That is needed for WA. You would just buy (or sub) to a data only sim.gift gaff do them cheap, but umless you know need one,  you don’t need one. (If that make sense).

    If you install push bullet on your phone and tablet, that would give the tablet access to your text messages.  Also its great for ‘pushing’ or ‘pulling’ files out of all your connected devices. It’s a great bit of software. One of my staples.

     

    BL my girl has a wifi only tablet, she is 9, so she makes every one out hangouts on there phones, so she can get hold of everyone, text and phone. When im away, I get 100s of messages a day off her. Mostly girly type stickers, of emojis blowing kisses, or handing out roses.

    It was cute the first 10 times…. And you can’t say to a 9 year old girl stop sending me all this crap lol. Love her really.

     

    I have a good handfull of msg apps, as I have a load of different groups of people that use different apps to communicate. What would be nice is an old style aim messengers (i think that was its name) where you have one app but log into all your messaging apps via it. Making message management so much cleaner. One app to rule them all.

    If apple would of cross platformed I message in the early days as bbs was dying. Apples I message would be the one and only service we would be texting on now. They missed a huge boat there. All they would of had to do is make the android one work, bit not as well as on iOS, and it would of drove many more iPhone sales .

     

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    #18845

    Tippon
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    @tippon
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    Trillian was the old program for that. I used to use it to log into MSN, AOL, ICQ, and half a dozen Yahoo! aliases. Never spoke to anyone though 😂

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    #18883

    Richard
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    @sawboman
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    I am still wondering after reading all of the responses if there is a stereotypical pensioner with stereotypical needs and interests. In a way this is the issue over social networking data mining, a tag can loosely assemble a group with some things in common, yet they will still not share essential parts of their interests, needs, hobbies or capabilities. I guess I think of the issue a bit like a help yourself buffet serving, unless ideas begin to match a person’s needs, or more especially can prime them into starting to think something is of use, it will probably not achieve ‘prime time’ acceptance. I’ve had a mobile telephone for over 20 years and had one for a while as far back as the mid 1980s, but it is still a life accessory rather than a life essential.

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    #18926

    Bob Williams
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    @bullstuff2
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    The issue for us is contact with family Richard. Before we had a mobile, there were occasions when a family emergency came up and we did not learn about it until coming home and taking recorded messages from the landline. Some of those events were important, one was actually potentially life-threatening. Another was the very stressfull period when my lad’s marriage broke up and our two grandchildren, 4 and 2 yo, were taken into care. By the time my daughter’s marriage went the same way and her ex decided to force his way into her house, she was able to contact the Police and myself. I beat the police to it by about 15 minutes and ejected the offending lunatic over her fence and into a bed of 3foot high nettles, which was highly satisfying to everyone but the ex: it was July, very warm and he was in shorts. 😆  The police arrived as he was threatening to hit me with a garden spade, just in time to see me take out his left kneecap and throw him back into the nettles. 😂

    He was charged with (best of my recollection) aggravated breaking and entering, threatening to kill, aggravated assault and criminal damage. I called him ‘lunatic’ because after this incident he self – admitted to an Institution, on the advice of his lawyer. He has been locked-up since, for drugs, Porn and Fraud offences. I have no idea where he is now, but I hope it is hot for him.

    Point is, he would probably have hurt my daughter very badly, had she not been able to contact me via the mobile. This idiot did all this in front of his toddler son, who is now 24 and wants no contact with him.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 2 weeks ago by Bob Williams.

    “If you think this Universe is bad, you should see some of the others.”
    ― Philip K. Dick, legendary SF writer.

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    #18929

    Richard
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    @sawboman
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    I might have phrased my description a little off when I called it an accessory. My mobile is used for family emergency calls though not quite the same scale and type as yours. I have written of the need for hands free as for example driving along on a fast dual carriageway with a passenger who has started to have a seizure, or heading off to pick them up from one point only to get a message to pick them from a hospital in another direction makes the mobile telephone more than an accessory. Voice is essential as it is real time, text is not real time and cannot be processed when your hands are full. I understand the phone’s value to you and though a different form to me as well. Most of the time the rest is close to fluff for me.

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    #18931

    Tippon
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    @tippon
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    From some of your posts, it sounds like you’re in a similar position to me Richard – essentially housebound, or limited to a small area. Although we’re restricted for different reasons, neither of us have much use for a lot of the ‘staples’ of mobile phones, like needing maps to go to hospitals, or finding friends on a night out. Our circumstances and Bob’s other thread praising the internet have given me an idea for Ellen’s grandfather that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of though, so thank you both for that 🙂

    He usually stays within a relatively small area when he’s out and about, but does go on holidays to Benidorm, for example. Now that he’s got a half decent phone, I can make sure that it’s set up with Google Maps and Assistant etc. so that it will give him suggestions of places to go when he’s away, or be able to share his location if he does take a wrong turn along the way.

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    #18934

    Richard
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    @sawboman
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    Well Tippon you are not far off in that assessment. We did manage a holiday in 2009…

    Hospital visits don’t normally need the map function the cars go there so often they could almost get there without a driver, just follow their wheel ruts, except when a route round an obstruction is needed. I have a trip to another different hospital in April, but I know the route there. It is not the first visit though this time it is for me not to retrieve someone from an unfortunate self inflicted injury. Most times I only travel up to 30 miles in a day though that can be made up from 8 or more local trips, though on many days I do not get out of the house.

    My wife and I did once manage a drive round Europe, we picked up a new car from Fiat in Turin drove round the area almost into Yugoslavia, then through Switzerland Germany and France, but that was along time ago in 1975. It was all paper maps and guess and god for navigation back then. During the whole trip we were only stopped once, in Surrey at about 3:00 a.m. in a Police roadblock. I guess we looked a right pair, tired driving, an Italian registered car that was full to the gunnel’s. I had a choice of three licenses, UK, IDP, or one in Arabic and all the documentation for the car – in Italian. I think I still have the Italian log book somewhere. It was all part of a different life.

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