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10 Helpful Apps for Senior Citizens

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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:

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          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 November 25, 2021

          How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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          How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

          There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

          Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

            What Does Private Browsing Do?

            When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

            For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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            The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

            The Terminal Archive

            While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

            Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

            dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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            Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

            Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

            However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

            Clearing Your Tracks

            Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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            dscacheutil -flushcache

            As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

            Other Browsers and Private Browsing

            Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

            If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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            As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

            Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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