Simple Phone App for Seniors: Personalizing Mobile Phones for the Elderly 

Certified Senior Advisor®
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Simple Phone App for Seniors

Indeed, mobile devices provide many benefits to the elderly. And using a smartphone should be a simplified experience for them. In this article, we share several simple phone apps for seniors which might greatly help them in using their mobile devices.

Simple Phone App for Seniors
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Income Disclosure: Product recommendations are based on my personal experience working with seniors. I may earn a commission on items purchased from affiliate links in this guide. Learn More.

Let’s face it: technology has progressed at a breakneck speed. And as much as we hate to say it, most seniors are unable to keep up with the changes. Is this to say that we should deny them access to mobile devices? 

Certainly not! Mobile devices can provide a lot of benefits to elders: communication, recreation, medical reminders, name it!

That is why you should try one of these helpful communication apps for seniors to make it easier for them to use their phones.

Simple Phone Apps For Seniors

Samsung Easy Mode

The easiest solution of all is getting your loved one a Samsung phone. Why? It comes with a minimalist phone app mode that you don’t need to download! This is the built-in easy mode.

When you enable the Samsung Easy Mode, texts and icons are magnified. Moreover. homepages are simplified to be user-friendly. As if that’s not enough, all important icons such as time, settings, the magnifier app, and weather are placed on the home page.

The next page shows the most frequently used contacts, complete with huge images. Overall, this makes such a phone straightforward, easy to use, fast to access, and convenient: everything you’re looking for in a senior’s phone. 

Simple Mode App

When a developer chooses to name an app “Simple Mode,” much is expected, and luckily, this one did not disappoint. It’s a downloadable version of the easy mode found in Samsung phones. Better yet, the developers went the extra mile to make tiles not only big and simple to interpret but translucent as well.

What value does that add? It makes the icons visible no matter the chosen background. That said, whether your loved one is a fan of cars, their pet, or family, whatever wallpaper they choose, the icons will remain visible and clear. Furthermore, you can arrange related icons under one tile. 

You can also add your favorite contacts onto a specific tile with their photos. This makes it easy to pull out and call in case of an emergency. Lastly, the home page has the date and time indicated in large font while the apps appear as a list. 

Perhaps the best part about this app is that it’s accessible to everyone. Whatever phone you have, the file is only 2 MB and will be compatible with entry-level Android phones as well as later versions (available on the Google Play Store). 

simple phone app for seniors senior-friendly launchers
Make sure to install a senior-friendly Android launcher on your elderly’s phone.

Use Senior-Friendly Android Launchers

When it comes to configuring your elderly’s phone for them to use it easily, the first thing you should do is install a senior-friendly Android launcher.

Here are some versions:

BIG Launcher

This is a minimalist phone app that is a favorite for many. It is not only designed for seniors but also for those with impaired vision and motor skills. It’s also a terrific way to get younger kids used to using a smartphone interface.

BIG Launcher simplifies your Android phone by employing a grid-style design with a plain background as the wallpaper. It also comes with 3 modes to choose from, which are black, blue, and light.

The app’s design is straightforward, with only 6 sections—Apps, Gallery, Camera, SMS, phone, and SOS. The date, time, and battery level are displayed at the top. 

The dial pad is one of the biggest in the market, and it comes in bold. The app icons are also big, making app access straightforward. They are also color-coded and simple, which takes “easy” to the next level. 

One more thing: the launcher comes with an SOS button. Whenever your loved one is ailing or in a sticky situation, they’ll reach their emergency contact in a jiffy!

Note that the app comes in two versions: the basic and the full version. The basic one is free, but the full version costs $12.99, and we can assure you that it is well worth the money.

Help Launcher Deluxe

This is another simple phone app for elders that includes some useful functions. The default home screen contains general controls, contacts, Wi-Fi connections, an alarm clock, and the settings app. These are all standard large icons with large, easy-to-read text.

Help Launcher Deluxe also arranges program types in tiles, so your default messaging app, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp will all be under the Messaging tile.

Like other simple-to-use apps, it simplifies phone essentials like Settings. As such, when you or your loved one wants to adjust their screen brightness or volume, they can do it without any hassle. 

The icons are also vividly colored to make them easy to distinguish. Lastly, it also comes with an SOS button where you can add contacts to an SOS list to make emergency calls.

Simple Launcher

It is a free Android launcher with an easy-to-use UI for the elderly. Large fonts and icons are among the app’s features, which make it simple to read and use. It also contains a Control Center that allows you to quickly access general settings, weather settings, and app installation. 

Simple Launcher has a simple editable that comes with a lock. With the edit-lock feature turned on, you don’t have to worry about your grandparents moving or deleting apps. It also means they won’t have to worry about the layout or pocket dials being messed up.

The app makes it easy to make phone calls by allowing you to add contacts to your home screen. It also has a large red SOS button that can be used to make emergency calls. When you want a fully customizable app that is easy to use, this is the way to go (available on the Google Play Store). 

simple phone app for seniors Senior Safety Phone
The Senior Safety Phone launcher comes with additional icons for alarms and emergency calls.

Senior Safety Phone

This one is a popular Android launcher among seniors (available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). It has a classic design where the most used shortcuts, such as apps, SMS, and Phone, are located at the bottom of the screen. This makes navigation simple. 

Besides this, it comes with additional icons for things like alarms and emergency calls. The settings button is easily accessible, and to prevent any inadvertent modifications, you can lock the settings like the audio. 

Perhaps what makes the app so unique is its complementary features, such as medicine reminders and emergency calls. It also comes with a basic and full version. The free version, unfortunately, has innumerable adverts, which can be annoying. 

Minimalist Phone Apps for Seniors

Other notable apps include:

5 Easy Steps To Simplify Your Senior’s Smartphone 

To help your seniors use their smartphones, here are some key things you need to remember:

1. Increase the Font Size Across the System

When you go to settings then display, you’ll find a couple of customizable display options. You can change the font, size, brightness, and other features to make it readable to seniors who sometimes experience vision issues. 

2. Enlarge the Keyboard Buttons

The keyboard is one of the most used features on the phone. Enlarging the buttons will ease use for the elderly. 

3. Use Senior-Friendly Launchers

Such launchers will encompass large fonts, easy access to apps, concise icons, and other handy features that will make a smartphone simple to use. 

4. Uninstall and Disable Unwanted/Unused Apps

Too many apps often confuse your loved one. Unfortunately, most phones come with a lot of unnecessary pre-installed apps. By removing such apps, you can reduce clutter and make phone apps precise. 

5. Try to Keep the Ads Down – Use Apps Without Ads

This goes without saying; ads can confuse and agitate your loved one. 

Summary And Final Recommendations

Phones today have a plethora of apps, technicalities, and customization options that may appear difficult to those unfamiliar with them. Thankfully, Google Play has several Android launchers for elders.

These simplify the User Interface, enlarge Icons and come with additional features that make a smartphone straightforward for the elderly. 

For seniors who just want to message loved ones more easily, check out these texting apps for seniors that simplify this basic phone task. If they really want to up their communication game, there are also easy video chat apps that even the most elderly people can use with ease.

With their basic design, the aforementioned minimalist apps for seniors will assist the elderly in adjusting to new and unfamiliar technology. They will make your loved ones’ phones manageable, customizable, and readable for those with vision impairments.

Navigation will also be a walk in the park. Try them and experience the difference today!

Sources:

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Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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