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6 Ways to Make an Android Smartphone User – Friendly for the Elderly

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People of all ages use smartphones today, and they are increasingly designed to be accessible and user-friendly, even for those who haven’t grown up with technology. For elderly parents or grandparents, adjusting certain settings on their Android smartphone can greatly enhance their experience.

Here are several ways to adjust key settings to simplify smartphone functions for seniors:


Adjust the Font and Display Size

Improving the readability of the text and navigation on the phone can make a significant difference for elderly users. To adjust the font size, follow these steps:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Search and select Font size.
  • Move the slider left or right to increase or decrease the font size.

To change the display size, do the following:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Search and select Display size.
  • Move the slider left or right to adjust the display size.

Under Settings > Accessibility, there are additional font-related settings that can be adjusted:

  • Under Display size and text, set Bold Fonts or enable High contrast text.
  • Under Colour and motion, configure Colour correction and Colour inversion.

Install a Simplified Android Launcher

For elderly users who prefer a simpler phone for basic functions like calls, texts, and WhatsApp, a simplified launcher can streamline their experience.

These launchers have fewer and bigger icons, making it easier for users to access essential functions without getting overwhelmed by a busy screen. Examples of such launchers include Simple Launcher and BIG Launcher.

Adjust Volume Settings

Ensuring that elderly users can hear calls and notifications clearly is crucial. To turn up or down the volume:

  • Press a volume button.
  • Tap Menu, then More.
  • Slide the volume levels for Media, Call, Ring and notification, and Alarm to the desired levels.

Users can also enable vibrate or mute from the volume button.

Declutter the Home Screen

Removing unnecessary apps and hiding icons that are seldom used can simplify the phone’s interface and make it more enjoyable to use. This way, users can quickly access important apps like online banking or WhatsApp from the home screen without navigating through clutter.

Set Up Find My Phone

Setting up Google Find My Device is essential for anyone who owns a smartphone, including elderly users. If a Google Account is linked to the device, Find My Device is automatically enabled, making it easier to locate the phone if it goes missing.

Enable Button Navigation

Gesture navigation is the default setting on most Android phones, but for older users who prefer a more familiar interface, button navigation can be enabled. Here’s how:

  • Open Settings.
  • Go to System > Gestures > System navigation.
  • Choose an option: Gesture navigation, 2-button navigation (Home and Back buttons), or 3-button navigation (Home, Back, and App overview buttons).

By adjusting these settings and customizing the smartphone to the user’s preferences, elderly individuals can have a more enjoyable and comfortable experience with their Android smartphones. These simple changes can make a significant difference in ensuring their technology adoption is smoother and more accessible.

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