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10 Helpful Apps for Senior Citizens

10 Helpful Apps for Senior Citizens

Technology became an integral part of our lives and no one can deny it. The older people are usually not the first one to adjust, yet they too live with the times. Some see smartphones and tablets as something inevitable and only tolerate their gadgets in order to keep in touch with their friends and families, while others are absolutely thrilled with the new possibilities they discover each day.

Whichever camp you or your older family members are from, you will certainly find each one of these apps a great help and yet another reason to befriend technology.

  1. Senior Phone (Android)

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    This app is created to replace a standard screen on the Android-operated devices. Instead of multiple small icons of uncountable and unnecessary apps, a senior user will see large color-differentiated buttons with understandable icons and clear text, which lead to the essential functions of their phone. There is nothing superfluous, which is particularly good for a partially sighted person. Apart from handy “Call” and “Text” buttons, there is an option of sending a panic SMS with one click of an “SOS” button. It will also help you to identify your location if you got lost. There is a possibility of adding new modules, if necessary, such as calculator, music player and magnifier.

    1. Magnifying Glass with Flashlight (Android and iPhone)

    This simple app will help with reading a small print, whether it is a restaurant menu or a prescription bottle. Apart from easy-to-navigate digital zoom it also provides additional lighting (turning a flash from your camera into a torch) to make the text even more readable.

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    There are many digital magnifier apps out there; this one, however, is notable by combining magnifier with flashlight options.

    1. Kindle (Android and iPad)

    Although many of us are familiar with Kindle the gadget, there is also a mobile app that turns tablets into convenient e-readers enhancing them with Kindle functionality. Seniors will appreciate the possibility of enlarging the text, adjusting the brightness of the screen, built-in dictionary, text-to-speech function, and easy access to large selection of new books.

    For darker hours of the day, the app also provides an invert mode (white text on a black background) to keep reading without straining the eyes.

    1. LibriVox (Android and iPhone)

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      This app provides access to more than 15,000 free audiobooks read by the volunteers. You can either stream the books you are interested in or download them for later listening. This is perfect for older people, who find that reading becomes a more challenging task than it was.

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      New books are uploaded daily and the entire catalog includes all genres from the timeless classic fiction literature to non-fiction novelties.

      1. MedWatcher (Android and iPhone)

      This is a handy mobile reminder that will help to schedule medication and exercises. The app also gives access to drug descriptions, medical uses, and known side effects.

      It was developed in collaboration with FDA, and thus allows reporting a side effect of any drug directly to Food and Drug Administration, and it’s functionality is tested and approved.

      1. Evernote (iPhone, iPad, Android, desktop)

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        Even the best of us tend to forget some small, yet important things from time to time. Evernote is an ultimate replacement for all those recipe scrapbooks and shreds of paper lying all over the place. It will save grocery lists and grandchildren’s wish lists, store all kinds of reminders – written notes, voice memos, pictures, videos.

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        What is even more important: all the lists can always be reached through the variety of interfaces, which means, you can type a list on your desktop and then check it in your phone at the store.

        1. Silver Surf (iPad)

        This free iPad app was created to optimize web surfing for older users, who might struggle with reading small text and have trouble navigating. It has many customizable features like adjusting contrast and font size.

        Instead of “pinch-to-zoom” option, it offers simple zoom slider, which is much easier to perform for people suffering from arthritis.

        1. Clevermind (iPad)

        This app is created with the focus on people with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairment.

        It offers a treasure trove of quizzes, games, and brain-teasers for exercising one’s mind and special features to help navigation, like big buttons, voice command, robotic assistant MYIRA that can provide any information at a vocal request, and many others.

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        1. Prismatic

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          Prismatic is one news application for all the news on the Internet that can be tuned and adjusted to match your interests. It is easy to use and has a clear interface, which is very convenient for older adults.

          This newsreader shows you news you would like to see, but which you would not probably find without its help. The longer you use it, the more in tune it is with your demands for information.

          1. Yesterday USA (iPhone and iPad)

          This is an internet radio, broadcasting retro music and popular shows from the 1920s to 1950s. It is free and is operated by volunteers willing to preserve the history of radio. As it immerses the listeners into the peaceful old-time atmosphere, the app can be recommended not only for grandparents, but also for the entire family.

          Conclusion:

          Though this list is by no means full, for there are many other nice and handy apps for senior users, I am sure you will find here new favorites for you and your dear ones.

          Featured photo credit: Degan Walters/Flickr via flickr.com

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          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

          1. Zoho Notebook
            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
          2. Evernote
            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
          3. Net Notes
            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
          4. i-Lighter
            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
          5. Clipmarks
            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
          6. UberNote
            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
          7. iLeonardo
            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
          8. Zotero
            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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