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Gadget Guidance

Apps For Older People – Guide to Apps for Elderly

What do we know about Apps for Older People?

We’ve spent years working with older people; spreading the knowledge to understand and enjoy the benefits technology, smartphones, tablets and apps can offer. Seniors are sometimes the least likely to be confident using technology, but often problems encountered during later life can be improved or solved through apps for older people. We’ve sifted through thousands of apps for both Android and iOS (Apple) devices to compile the ultimate guide on apps for elderly people.

Not quite sure what apps are? Read our FREE ‘Ultimate Guide to Understanding Apps’

 

The world is changing…

As the populations of many Western countries age on an unprecedented scale, aging and our attitude towards it is changing. Over 18% of the UK are aged 65+ and Over 3% are 85+ (ONS), whilst in the USA there’s over 49m people aged 65+ (Census).

 

These aren’t just ‘apps for older people’

The traditional perception of being ‘old’ simply isn’t the same any more, as living longer has opened the doors to enjoy many more of life’s benefits. My grandfather is 92, very physically fit and uses his tablet computer daily. However some people can be in their early 60’s, suffer from chronic health problems and be very unlikely to use technology; which is more of a traditional stereotype of a senior. My point is that although the following apps may be useful for seniors, they’re certainly not restricted to a certain age group or are just ‘apps for older people’.

 

Reasons apps for the elderly may help

  • Enjoying the golden years through leisure and travel
  • Helping to stay entertained and occupied
  • Combating loneliness and isolation by keeping in touch with friends and family
  • Helping to manage health conditions and medication management
  • Keeping the brain active and staying intellectually challenged
  • Overcoming a lack of mobility or ability to leave the house
  • Saving money and getting the best deals

 

Isn’t using apps expensive?

In short, the answer is no, but it can be if you don’t know what you’re doing. Most apps for Android and Apple (iOS) devices are free, or have a nominal fee like 65p. ‘How do they make their money then?’ I hear you ask. Well often it’s through showing adverts around the edge of the app or before you open it. Other times it’s through something called the ‘freemium’ model, which means the basic version of the app is free, but you’ll need to pay to access all the ‘bells and whistles’, often known as ‘premium features’.

 

OK, so how do I avoid apps costing me money?

Well firstly you can ofcourse use the free versions of them instead of the premium ones, which is usually not much different if you can put up with the odd advert. However if you’re like my grandmother and absolutely loath adverts with a passion, then why not pay a little more for the premium version?

The other way using apps can end up costing you money is through excessive streaming using mobile data.

 

What is ‘streaming’ and why is it useful? 

Streaming is the process of consuming something (for example a TV show) by it being sent in little chunks as you watch it, instead of waiting for the entire thing to be sent to your device before being able to enjoy it. It’s like a restaurant being able to bring your courses out as you eat them, not having to wait for dessert to be made before tucking in to your starter.

Streaming means that you can enjoy things like radio, music, films, TV shows, videos and more whilst out and about using mobile data. Most entertainment apps use streaming to allow you to use them.

 

There’s two different ways to access the internet on your smartphone or tablet… 

Wi-Fi: You probably already know what this is, but it stands for ‘Wireless Fidelity’ and essentially means access to the internet within a certain area (like your home, a coffee shop or hotel etc.) It’s nearly always free to use and means you can stream as much music, TV etc. as you like without any additional charges

Mobile Data: This is accessing the internet through telephone masts, it’s also wireless like Wi-Fi but is not restricted to a specific geographic location. e.g. if you went for a walk across your town centre, you wouldn’t lose signal like you would with Wi-Fi.

 

So how would using apps for streaming with mobile data cost me money?

Mobile data costs money and you’ll usually have an allowance of mb [megabytes] (the unit that internet data is measured in), in your monthly mobile plan, or you’ll be charged a fixed amount for every mb if you’re on pay as you go. The real expense comes when you exceed your monthly allowance of mobile data, as many network providers (like Vodafone, O2, EE etc.) charge extortionate amounts for every mb used over and above this.

 

And how do I stop my mobile company charging me extra?

First of all, it’s worth seeing if you’re on the right mobile plan or contract. If you’re someone that would like to catch up with TV on the bus or use your smartphone to never get lost again, then you’ll need a fair amount of mobile data in your package…

  1. Discover current usage: Find out how much you’re currently using (if any). Either log in to your account online or call your provider and ask for your ‘data usage’ for the last few months
  2. Find the best deal: Shop around for a cheap plan with enough data, minutes for calling and texts. I recommend using comparison websites like Uswitch or MoneySavingExpert. (Remember you’re looking for a ‘SIM-only plan’, where you’re paying for using the phone, rather than the phone itself)
  3. Choose the right one for you: Choose a plan with enough mobile data for you. 2GB+ should be plenty for moderate mobile data use (a few hours of streaming a week). Remember you can always downgrade if you’re not using anywhere near your allowance.
  4. Set up alerts: Most mobile providers will send you a text message to warn you when you’re getting near your monthly allowance. If you’re really worried about going over you can always contact your mobile provider and ask them to put a cap on it. This will stop you using mobile data when you’ve hit your limit.

 

“Don’t let worries about data charges get in the way of benefiting from apps. By following the advice above, you’ll easily have an inexpensive and enjoyable app experience.”

Miles Waghorn, TechSilver Founder

 

Apps for Older People: The List 

As there’s so many to choose from, we’ve put these apps for older people in to categories

(click the links below and jump to that section)


Music & Radio: Apps for Older People 


TuneIn

Available on Android + Apple devices

With the invention and worldwide spread of the internet, radio has gone from a crackly reception and carefully turning dials, to almost endless choice from across the globe. TuneIn gives free access to over 100,000 radio stations in every corner of the planet. Moroccan Jazz? no problem, Ecuadorian folk? Why not, or even just your favourite BBC stations, wherever you are, in your pocket.

radio app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • A ridiculously large choice to suit every taste
  • Easily access ‘favourites’ with a list of the stations you love
  • Completely free to download and use, with a premium version offering zero ads

Click here for our high quality, simple to use internet radio from Roberts

 

Spotify

Available on Android + Apple devices

The days of needing to buy vinyl, cassettes and even CD’s are long behind us. Replacing their more expensive, physical older brothers are digital music files or ‘MP3’s. Thanks to streaming (explained above), you don’t even have to own the song or album to listen to it wherever and whenever you please.

For a monthly subscription of £9.99 you can listen to over 30 millions tracks on the move, you can search by artist, song name and more, whilst being able to create playlists, mixtapes with all your favourite tracks in e.g. I’ve got one called ‘Evening relaxation’. There’s also a free version with adverts and simply the ability to listen to randomly selected songs by a certain artist.

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Our Favourite Features

  • Listen to over 30m songs, anytime, anywhere
  • Much more cost effective than buying MP3’s or CDs 
  • Accessible across any digital device. (computer, smartphone, tablet + more)

TV & Film: Apps for Older People 


TV Catchup

Available on Android + Apple devices

This deceivingly named app for elderly actual allows you to watch 30 UK freeview TV channels live on your smartphone or tablet. So whether you’re in the kitchen, hotel or out and about, you’ll never miss your favourite show. We recommend connecting to wireless internet (Wi-Fi) where possible with this app, to avoid extra charges for mobile data.

tv app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Watch TV anywhere
  • Completely free to download and use
  • Only one advert is shown before you watch

 

Sky Go

Available on Android + Apple devices

Available to all Sky TV customers, it’s similar to TV catchup in that it lets you watch any of the channels in your package live, wherever you want. It even includes sports, movies and box sets.

TV App for Seniors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Included in your existing Sky TV package (at no extra cost)
  • Download shows to watch when there’s no internet (e.g. planes or trains)
  • Control your Sky box remotely on the move (e.g. setting something to record)

 

Most UK TV companies have their own catchup service, where you can watch live and/or catch up with your favourite shows…

  • BBC: BBC iPlayer
  • ITV: ITV Player
  • Channel 4: 4OD
  • Channel 5: My 5

 


Communication & Staying in touch: Apps for Older People 


As we live in an increasingly globalised world, it’s becoming far more likely that the people emotionally close to us, are physically further away. Technology and these apps for older people thankfully allow us to speak, see each other, share pictures and more, inexpensively and from anywhere in the world. 


Whatsapp:

Available on Android + Apple devices

Whatsapp has undoubtedly brought my family closer together. It’s the world’s largest messaging app with over 13bn active monthly users. It allows you to share messages, pictures, videos and more with either one person, or multiple people at once in a ‘group chat’. It also allows you to make free video or phone calls with anyone, all you need as an internet connection.

(Read this guide on what a video call is or this guide on how to do it)

It’s brought my family closer together by creating a space where 3 generations of us can share moments and keep in touch, without needing to pick up the phone and call eachother regularly. It enables everyone, no-matter how busy their lifestyle to stay in contact with the elderly people in their life, and vice versa. it’s especially useful if your family and friends live overseas, as you avoid making costly phone calls and can catch up for as long as you want with absolutely no cost.

messaging app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Send messages, pictures and more to anyone from anywhere, completely free!
  • Have unlimited video and audio calls without using up the minutes in your allowance
  • Whatsapp web enables you to use Whatsapp from your computer

 

Skype

Available on Android + Apple devices

Bringing face to face conversation to the masses, Skype has been the world’s leading video calling app for many years. Owned by Microsoft, this free app allows you to make unlimited voice or video calls to anyone in the world for absolutely nothing.

Unlike Whatsapp, Skype does not require a mobile phone number and sim card to function, therefore can be used on regular tablets and computers as well as smartphones and tablets with a sim card.

You can also have conversations with up to 9 other people at the same time, this is great if you want to catch up as a family or with multiple friends at the same time, whilst in different places.

skype app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Free and unlimited video and audio calling to anywhere in the world
  • Accessible on computers, tablets, smartphones and more
  • Have group chats with up to 9 other people at once

 

Facebook

Available on Android + Apple devices

If Facebook were a country, it would be the biggest on earth, with over 1.8 billion active monthly users. Facebook has developed from a way to keep in touch with friends and family, to be the ultimate information and communication hub. Not only does it enable you to reconnect with old friends in just a few clicks, but most public figures and organisations are represented, so visiting their page offers updates as well as pictures, reviews and more.

Facebook is a great app for older people to help stay updated with the lives of loved ones. If they live a long distance away or you don’t often speak on the phone, Facebook helps you stay in the loop with updates like holiday pictures, career progress and even their love life. 

Millions of local and international groups enable you to share information, experiences and advice with those that have a common interest. Just use the search bar to discover them e.g. ‘Cheltenham knitting’.

Events are easier thanks to Facebook. Create a public or private event page and invite your guests, then use the page to share information with them and receive updates e.g. RSVP, great for family events and organising social meet ups.  

facebook app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Keep updated on what friends and family are doing
  • Reconnect with old friends from school, work and more
  • Organise / attend events and share knowledge with like-minded people

 


Travel & Adventure: Apps for Older People 


For many people, their golden years are an opportunity to visit and explore the places they’d always dreamed of. Responsibilities like your career, family and financial restrictions can become less demanding during retirement, offering time to enjoy new people, places and cultures. This section is dedicated to apps for older people that want to see what the world has to offer!


Google Translate

Available on Android + Apple devices

We’ve all been there. Embarrassingly trying to explain something to your waiter or hotel receptionist in pigeon English, whilst they look at you with a bemused face. Well thankfully technology and apps allow us to overcome these language barriers. Google translate is by far the slickest and easiest to use translation app, and best of all it’s completely free!

With over 102 languages available, this app for adventurous older people allows you to type or talk in to your device and it will translate as you do so, so no need to awkwardly wait until the end of your sentence. it’s also got some incredible features like having 59 languages stored on the device that will translate, even when there’s no internet connection available.

You can even hold your device’s camera up to words in a foreign language and it will show you an automatic translation on the screen e.g. restaurant menus

 

translation apps for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Easily overcome language barriers whilst travelling
  • Conversation mode where it can listen and translate 2 languages simultaneously
  • Offline mode enabling written translation with no internet connection

 

Tripit

Available on Android + Apple devices

One of the most stressful things about travelling is having the right documents. Sifting through that A4 plastic wallet in your bag looking for the car hire reference number, realising you printed off an email that’s 14 pages long and you had to remortgage your house to afford the printing costs.

Tripit is a great app for older people that solves these issues in an ingeniously simple fashion. Just forward all the booking confirmation emails for your trip to an email address provided in the app, and it will organise all the information for you an an easy to digest and chronological order. Best of all, it’s all in the palm of your hand through your smartphone, so no need to kill those trees and print loads of paper out.

This could include airport parking, flights, airport lounges, car hire, transfers, hotels, event tickets, excursions and more.

travel app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Organise your travel itinerary in one place
  • Have all your booking references and codes to hand, instead of sifting through paperwork
  • Kind to the environment, no more unnecessary printing.

 

Uber

Available on Android + Apple devices

If you haven’t already heard about them in the news, Uber have transformed the way the world gets a taxi. Simply tell the app where you are (or use it’s inbuilt location finder to do it for you), and where you’re going. The app will give you an estimate of how much the fare will cost, before showing you exactly how long until your ride arrives, who’s driving, what car they’re driving and more. 

We’ve probably all been ripped off by taxi drivers abroad or failed to explain where we’re going. Uber is an ideal app for older people as it takes the hassle, confusion and danger out of getting a taxi whilst on holiday. It’s also usually cheaper than getting the local taxi’s too! Best of all, it’s all automatically charged to your credit or debit card, which is securely linked to your app, so no need to pay the driver in confusing foreign currency!

You’ll need mobile data connection to user Uber, however EU laws mean there’s no roaming charges whilst travelling in Europe, so you don’t have to worry about extortionate data charges!

taxi app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Easy, safe and cost effective way to hail taxis abroad
  • Know exactly when your rise is arriving and where it will be
  • Available in 84 countries and 737 cities worldwide

 


Games & Puzzles: Apps for Older People 


We all love a challenge, whether it be alone or against someone else. From digital versions of classics like scrabble and Sudoku, to multi-player thrill-filled action games, playing on your smartphone or tablet has never been easier. With thousands of games and apps for older people to choose from, here’s our pick of the bunch…


Words With friends

Available on Android + Apple devices

A modern twist on the classic Scrabble and currently the world’s most popular mobile word game, ‘Words With Friends’ is a fun and free way to test your literacy skills. You can play and chat with friends and family, or find a challenging opponent from the many players in the online community section

word game apps for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Brings out your competitive side!
  • Play against opponents from across the world
  • Free to play

 

Crossword Puzzle Free (Named ‘Crossword Puzzle – Redstone’ on iPhones/iPads)

Available on Android + Apple devices

Crossword puzzle free lets you take your favourite crossword with you wherever you go. With a beautifully designed interface and hints if you get stuck, it will even let you download crosswords to play offline when you don’t have an internet connection (e.g. on a plane).

Be aware, you’ll need to pay if you want to remove the odd advertisement.

 

crossword apps for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Different difficulty levels to suit your ability
  • Play offline mode for when there’s not internet connection
  • Looks great on a smartphone

 

Sudoku Free

This free app means you’ll never be looking for a paper puzzle again. With over 6000 to choose from, it will even automatically save your progress as you play and allow you to create your own puzzles! So if the doorbell goes or you receive a call, you won’t lose your place!

sudoku app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Completely free to download and play
  • Keeps your game progress saved if you leave the app
  • Global leader-boards to rate your skills against friends + more

 

 


Handy & Useful: Apps for Older People 


The abundance of technology and more importantly, all the information that has now created, means tools that were unfathomable are now readily available, and often free! This section is packed with apps for older people that will help solve simple problems or save time on a day to day basis.


Shazam

Available on Android + Apple devices

Nope, despite the name this app has nothing to do with wizardry or sorcerers. Have you ever been listening to a song and wished you could find out what it’s called? Until now, you’re either frantically hushing everyone around you in the hope you’ll hear the radio presenter tell you what it’s called when it’s finished, or forever trying to hum it to someone in a desperate hope they’ll recognise the tune.  Well, no more! 

Shazam is an incredible free app that tells you which song you’re listening to at the touch of a button. It listens to up to 30 seconds of a track before comparing it with the millions in it’s database and identifying what it’s called and who it’s by. It’s mind-blowing how fast you’re presented with an answer and it’s amazingly accurate in it’s detection! You can even sing or hum a track and it can work out what it is (sometimes).

 

shazam app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Identifies almost any song on earth in seconds, free!
  • Keeps a log of the songs you’s ‘shazam’d’ and allows you to purchase or stream them from the app
  • Hum or sing a song and identify what it is without needing to play it

 

Google Maps

Available on Android + Apple devices

Although Google maps comes pre-installed on any Android smartphone or tablet (e.g. made by Samsung, Doro, HTC) etc, it’s so incredibly useful, we had to mention it in this list. It’s essentially a digital atlas in your pocket or bag, with information on every single location, public transport route, road, railway and more.

 

It allows you to navigate between A and B quickly and efficiently with step-by-step directions and live departures of buses, trains and more, whilst letting you see what’s nearby, opening hours, ratings and everything in-between.

Google Maps has a HUGE amount of incredible functionality, but essentially means you no longer need to buy or own a SatNav or (satellite navigation system). This free app does it all for you! (Make sure you say yes when prompted to turn on your location services, so Google knows where you are)

Examples of searches which could be typed (or spoken) in to Google Maps

  1. “Chinese food near me”
  2. “Navigate to margaret’s house by car (you can save friend’s addresses and Google will remember their name)”
  3. “When’s the next bus to Hyde Park corner”

google maps app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Navigate from anywhere to anywhere via car, public transport, foot and even bicycle
  • Download maps of a city and use them when you have no internet connection, e.g. for a holiday
  • Add via points during a journey e.g. a petrol station or a supermarket
  • See what’s nearby, ideal if you’re in an unfamiliar place

 

WeQ4U

Available on Android + Apple devices

We’ve all heard it before, “your call is important to us”,”you’re moving up the queue” or “we’re experiencing a higher than normal volume of calls”. It’s bad enough being patronised by a pre-recorded voice and waiting for ages, but often we’ll be charged up to 58p per minute to call big companies!

WeQ4U is an ideal app for the elderly, as like the title suggests, it waits in the call centre queue for you and connects you when someone answers. Even better than this, the calls are absolutely FREE! This means when you call big companies like Barclays, British Gas, Sky, Royal Mail and more, there’s no waiting in a queue and no premium rates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • No longer pay for many premium rate numbers
  • Stands in a queue on your behalf, so no more waiting to be connected
  • Can be used automatically when certain phone numbers are dialled

 

 

Speechnotes – Speech to Text

Only available on Android Devices

Although we now may have larger screens in our pockets, it can be very fiddly typing using a touch screen. As if it wasn’t already difficult enough, the slow down in our manual dexterity as we get older can make this even more difficult. My grandmother’s arthritis in her hands meant she would often struggle typing on her computer and doing other manual tasks.

This is an ideal app for elderly people, as it allows the user to speak in to their smartphone whilst it automatically transfers those words to text. It also uses punctuation correctly, for example capitalising the first letter in a new sentence.

TechSilver Top Tip: Try turning your phone horizontally in to landscape position whilst typing on your smartphone, this should make the letters larger, easier to see and press. You’ll need to have screen rotation enabled for this to work.

dictate app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Send longer messages or create notes without typing it by hand
  • The app has words you can say to start a new paragraph + more
  • Plugs in to other areas of your smartphone, for example writing a text message

 

FixMyStreet

Available on Android + Apple devices

If you live in the UK, FixMyStreet allows you to report problems like potholes, broken drains, graffiti, fly-tipping and much more directly to your local council. With the ability to add evidence as a photo from your phone’s camera or gallery, this is a great way to log a problem that’s either getting on your nerves or could be a danger to other members of the public. So if you’re keen to make where you live the best it can be, this is a great app for older people in your neighbourhood.

There’s also a website version so you don’t have to use the app! Click here to visit it

Please note: We’ve had reports that some councils in the UK have stopped accepting updates from FixMyStreet, although most still do. Either way, the problem will still be reported to the local community, so there’s still a chance to raise awareness! Contact to your council to find out whether they accept them in your area. 

council reporting app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • No more frustrating calls to your local council, report problems in minutes
  • Many UK councils actively use this as their man way to track and deal with issues in your area
  • Lets you report whilst offline (no internet connection), then sends it to the council when you’ve regained a connection

 

BBC Weather

Available on Android + Apple devices

Proudly our favourite topic of conversation here in the UK, the weather seems to change it’s mind more than ever before. With climate change meaning our summer’s are wetter and winter’s less predicable, it’s never been so important to know what’s coming. 

BBC weather allows you to add your favourite locations from Grimsby to Guatemala. Whether you want to know if the sun’s shining where your children are, or maybe you’ve got a holiday home abroad, you can add as many different locations as you wish. 

You can see a forecast hour by hour or day by day for the next 14 days, as well as what the temperature really feels like and the percentage chance of precipitation.

weather app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Free weather from anywhere in the world, in your pocket
  • Up to a 14 day hourly forecast
  • Beautiful design and images which represent the weather

 

 

 


Money & Shopping: Apps for Older People 


Some older people are in a fortunate financial position due to mortgages being paid off and good pensions, whilst many struggle with winter fuel bills and getting by. Whatever your monetaryposition, financial and shopping apps can help us manage our money more effectively and get more for less. 


Banking Apps 

Many seniors we work with wouldn’t dream of doing their banking online, let alone using an app on their smartphone or tablet. This is usually over concerns with security and people accessing their money that shouldn’t do. You may actually be surprised to know that one of the most common ways people get scammed in to handing over the bank details is over the phone.

Using internet and mobile banking means you’ll never need to tell anyone your sensitive information, just tap it in to your banking app.

 

3 Ways Banking Apps Are More Secure Than You Think

  1. Criminals would need more info to access your account than an ATM
    With an ATM, they’d only need to steal your card and look at your pin to access your money. With a banking app, they’d need to know your phone’s security code to unlock it, then they’d need to know your banking app security password (which on some smartphones can be your face or fingerprint). This means even if you lost your phone, your banking app is still secure.
  2. Your device never stores your info
    Instead, it connects to the Bank’s secure network in cyberspace
  3. Your bank account can only be accessed on your device
    Your banking app will be registered to your phone, preventing someone logging in to your account from a different device without verification.

Using banking apps can make your financial life so much easier. Allowing you to do things that you’d previously need to visit your branch to do, from the palm of your hand.

Most major global banks have a banking app, in the UK this includes Natwest, Santander, Halifax, Lloyds, TSB, HSBC, Barclays, Metro Bank and more

 

Common Banking App Features 

  • Checking balances on any account
  • Moving money between your accounts (e.g. current to savings)
  • Sending money to someone (e.g. a family member for their birthday)
    Many banking apps have a limit on the amount you can send to someone unless they’re already set up as a ‘payee’. This is usually done using a ‘card reader’ which is sent in the post by your bank and proves it’s you.
  • Pay bills to established organisations (e.g. companies like ‘British Gas’ will have their bank details already saved within the app)
  • View direct debits and create standing orders
  • Search for transactions (e.g. showing every purchase from Tesco in the last month)
  • Rename your accounts (e.g. ‘Holiday Savings’)
  • Pay someone with just their phone number (if they have a banking app on their phone with ‘PayM’ enabled)
  • View information and apply for banking products (like credit cards)

 

Banking apps offer similar features with some slight differences, so below i’m going to focus on my favourite, NatWest

 

Natwest

Available on Android + Apple devices

Voted ‘Best Banking App’ in the British Bank Awards 2017, NatWest have an excellent app that makes it easy to move your money in a secure and beautifully designed way. Not only does it have the traditional features you’d expect from a banking app, but they’ve conjured some really useful extra ones too…

banking app for elderly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Getcash: Lost your bank card or left it at home? You can still get cash out of any NatWest or RBS ATM by entering a secret code which your banking app will give you.
  • Really easy and secure to pay people / companies in seconds
  • Beautiful design that’s a pleasure to use

 

Consumer Apps 

Vouchercodes

Available on Android + Apple devices

These days saving money does not mean you’re getting an inferior product or service. The internet age has meant companies must compete aggressively for our cash, with vouchers and discounts being one of the best ways to do it.

The UK’s number 1 voucher code company, vouchercodes can use your location to view deals nearby, for example 20% off your food bill at a nearby restaurant (handy if you’re in a new place). Simply show your smartphone or tablet to the cashier when making your purchase and voila!

This is a fantastic app for older people because during retirement, we have much more time to enjoy the finer things in life, like eating out and activities. Why pay more than you need to? With discounts on everything from restaurants to taxi fares and activities to electronics, this means you can have fun without hitting your pocket so hard!

There’s also a website version so you don’t have to use the app! Click here to visit it

discount apps for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Being able to see discounts nearby to your location e.g. restaurants
  • Alerts on new deals in your area (which can be turned off)
  • Can save you £000’s a year if you shop, eat out and travel a lot

 

Topcashback

Available on Android + Apple devices

Cashback has become big business in the last couple of years. With this app you get a % back on your purchase from thousands of retailers and companies, which builds up in your account until you wish to withdraw it.

Now obviously the companies make their money because people buy things just because the discount is there, but if you use the search function to search for items, services or companies that you were going to buy from anyway, it’s literally free money!

For example you’re about to buy something from Marks & Spencer, you’d simple tap them in to the app and if there’s a discount available, click on and shop as normal. The cashback will be added to your account automatically.

If like me, you don’t like shopping on your smartphone (the screen’s too small), you can use their website too which works in exactly the same way. 

Sometimes companies do crazy deals to get you in the door. Recently Superdrug offered 100% cashback up to £15. So I bought £15 worth of grooming products online and collected them free in-store, costing me a grand total of ZERO!

cashback apps for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Very simple to use, no codes or faff, just cashback!
  • Thousands of companies from Boots to Thomson Holidays
  • Withdraw via BACS, PayPal or Amazon voucher in under 24hours

 

Wallet – Money Budgeting App

Available on Android + Apple devices

Sometimes it’s difficult to know what our money’s going on, especially as many companies don’t have their brand name on your bank statement. It’s much easier to budget and cut back on spending in certain areas if you can see what it’s all going on!

This free app links in with your bank account and allows you to keep track of and categorise expenditure, you can even add receipts of manual transactions you’ve spent in cash.

 

budgeting apps for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Links in with your bank account, no need to manually add transactions
  • Displays spending in easy to digest graphics, diagrams & charts
  • Create a plan to save for something, like a grandchild’s birthday or family holiday

 

 


Health & Well-Being: Apps for Older People 


As we age, our health (and making sure we’re looking after it) becomes increasingly important. Unfortunately many unexpected health problems can arise in our more senior years, so making sure we manage them them can give us a happier and healthier lifestyle. Health and well-being technologies have created some fantastic apps for older people, helping to make our health one less thing to worry about!


Medisafe (Named ‘Pill Reminder’ on iPhones / iPads)

Available on Android + Apple devices

Not adhering to medication plans can have catastrophic effects on your health, and can be one of the most common causes of other associated problems like falls and UTI’s. This is not to mention the huge wastage in medications not taken, with an estimated value in the UK of over £300m.

Medisafe is one of the world’s best rated medication reminder apps. It helps track your healthcare plan so you don’t have to, so you take the right medication, at the right time in the right quantities. It’s got most medications already saved, so adding yours should only take a few moments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Reminders of what, how much and when to take to take medication
  • Track heath measurements like blood glucose or weight
  • Create free reports you can show your doctor

 

Symptomate Symptom Checker

Available on Android + Apple devices

When we’re not feeling well, having some instant advice before a doctors appointment or calling NHS 111 can be invaluable. Created by doctors, this app allows you enter your symptoms before asking you a series of questions e.g. “is the pain on both sides of your head?”. Based on your results and using intelligence from millions of other people, it will give you likely diagnoses with a percentage likelihood of each. 

This app is a good first reference. Only a qualified clinician can diagnose and treat illnesses

 

sympton checking app for old people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Favourite Features

  • Simple and fast advice when feeling unwell
  • Created by doctors with often accurate diagnoses
  • Free to download and use

 

Still not found what you’re looking for? try this article

How To Stay Safe Online 

How To Stay Safe Online 

From experience working alongside those new to technology, many people are reluctant to embrace gadgets over concerns about online safety. I will guide you through a few simple tips that mitigate risk and let you persevere with your tech-adventures, worry-free.

 

Shopping Online – How To Stay Safe Online 

Online shopping is booming, though unfortunately some sceptics are not yet enjoying its benefits. Paying online uses ‘encryption’; think a digital jigsaw that thieves would be unable to piece back together. You can check your connection is securely encrypted by looking for a green padlock to the left of the address (URL) bar.  

If you are unsure of a company’s legitimacy, try searching for their reviews and see what other people have said, e.g. search ‘TechSilver Reviews’. Free payment methods like ‘PayPal’ not only offer convenience by securely saving your card details and speeding up ordering, but offer protection if your goods don’t show up or are not as described. 

Want some advice on selling your things online? Read our guide

Avoiding Viruses – How To Stay Safe Online 

Many companies play on our paranoia, driving us to pay monthly fees for anti-virus programs that slow our computers and aren’t always necessary. Free solutions like Avast (.com) offer protection against viruses, whilst ‘Malwarebytes’ is useful if your computer is already infected. If it’s completely clogged and unusable, try ‘FixMeStick’. For a one-off fee, you just plug in and leave it to remove all known threats, hassle-free.

 

Downloading Apps – How To Stay Safe Online 

Apps offer solutions from navigation to translation, but can be a security risk. If in the official app market (e.g. ‘Play Store’ or ‘App Store’), it’s a good sign of legitimacy, as they are regularly vetted. When installing, it will display the permissions the app is asking for e.g, access to your camera. Although this may seem risky, apps require these in order to function. E.g. if you are installing a ‘Boot Sale’ app that lets you sell things online, it requires access to your camera so you can take pictures of the things you’re selling.

 

Email Scams – How To Stay Safe Online 

Phishing (without a rod) is a common method for online criminals, sending emails posing as companies like your bank, requesting information. The first way to spot them is legitimate emails will always use your real name. The ‘from’ address should not have numbers to replace letters (e.g. ‘@natwe5t.com’) and should replicate their official website address. Scammers often get you to act quickly in order to circumnavigate natural suspicions, take a moment to ponder legitimacy and if in doubt, call the company they’re claiming to be.  

Don’t let security concerns get in the way of enjoying technology. Use your common sense and follow the advice above; the chances are you’ll be worry free. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is… So unless you recently entered the Zambian lottery, the chances are you haven’t won!  


Easy to use Technology

Manufacturers have woken up to the demand for devices that don’t drive you crazy trying to work out how to use them. We specialise in easy to use technology products that are simple and intuitive, allowing you to enjoy gadgets without the fuss.

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Smartphone

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Tablet Computer


Click Here to Receive FREE Weekly Technology Advice

 

 

Checking Your Sleeping Habits Online

sleeping advice

Did you know that sleeping habits can vary? That’s right, with over 7 billion people around the world, not everyone sleeps the same. There are several factors that can affect how a person sleeps, from where they live, to their busy schedules and even specific health conditions they may have. Everyone knows falling asleep is no easy feat, so it’s understandable if some people find it more difficult than others.

So how do you go about discovering what type of sleeping habit you have? And how can you possibly remedy it in line with your lifestyle? If you don’t have the time and means to consult a medical expert… there’s always the internet.

In recent years, the medical industry has discovered the value of the internet as a new means to treat their patients. Doctors and nurses have shared all that they know about sleeping with various medical websites and health forums. A treasure trove of information is now at our fingertips. A few clicks and you can have all your questions on sleep answered. Below is just some of the information and answers from the most reliable sleep and health websites you will discover when you check your sleep habits online.


Sleeping Habits In Different Parts of The World

Different cultures across the globe require different sleeping habits. Time Zones and climates play a huge part in how people sleep. Mutesnoring shares on their website different surveys and studies that support the idea of diverse sleeping habits around the world.

According to their post, Australians wake up the earliest, with 12% already up before 5:00am. In contrast, the Japanese sleep much later, with 25% getting up at 1:00pm on weekends. A difference between Americans and British people can also be found in their reactions towards snoring. The studies showed that 22% of British people are annoyed by their partner’s snoring while 37% of Americans view it as comic relief.


Sleeping Patterns

Unbeknown to many, there are three distinct types of sleeping patterns. Sleep Habits shares that there are three common sleeping patterns: Monophasic, Biphasic, and Polyphasic. These patterns are based on two vital factors, how long a person is awake and the regular timing of your sleeping.

Monophasic sleeping is what most people consider the most normal of the three sleeping patterns. This pattern consists of having one 8-hour sleep per day. On the other hand, Biphasic sleeping consists of sleeping two times a day, one long rest at night and a quick nap in the middle of the day. This pattern is most common in Spain, Latin America, and other Spanish-colonised countries with their concept of “siesta,” a nap after lunch.

Finally, the most complex of the three sleeping patterns is Polyphasic sleeping. A person who has this pattern sleeps about 4-6 times a day. The pattern is classified into three degrees: Everyman, Uberman, and Dymaxion. Everyman consists of a core sleep that is longer than other naps, while Uberman makes use of 6 naps a day taking 30 minutes or less for each. Comparatively, Dymaxion consists of taking a 30-minute nap every 6 hours per day.


Tips to Fall Asleep Better

Leesa lists down 25 tips you can follow to fall asleep faster and avoid insomnia. A number of important tidbits make up the list, from changing your diet, fixing your schedules, and even how you decorate your bedroom to fit your own sleeping habits. Some of their tips even require physical and mental exercises to relax your brain, making it easier for you to fall asleep.


Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Education defines Sleep Hygiene as a series of healthy sleep habits that can improve your ability to fall asleep. They state that Sleep Hygiene is a vital part of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy (CBT), one of the most effective treatments in curing insomnia. Proper Sleep Hygiene counters the various thoughts and behaviours you have that prevent your from falling asleep faster.

Sleep Education also lists down a few tips to perfect your Sleep Hygiene. A lot of their tips consist of activities that can be achieved in the bedroom, such as keeping a consistent sleeping schedule and limiting activities in bed to just sleeping. Diet changes are also heavily advised like avoiding coffee and alcohol and consuming more water and milk.

How Technology Can Make Travel And Adventure Stress Free

Travel and Adventure Stress Free

Make Travel and Adventure Stress Free

As a wise person once said, “travel is the only thing you buy which makes you richer”. Whether it’s a swift city break or a lengthy adventure, technology has revolutionised it’s every aspect.  

 

Researching, Planning & Booking 
 

From meticulous planners to the more spontaneous, technology provides many ways to get the most from your trip. Travel blogs and guides are a great place to start when seeking inspiration. Many people have already experienced what you’re looking for, so why not utilise their knowledge? Try searching online e.g. ‘Italy travel blog’ or ‘South America trekking guide’. 

 

Finding the ideal mix of hotel and flights can be laborious. When travelling Indonesia, ‘Booking.com’ was an easy method of finding where we next wanted to stay, with its simple interface and helpful rating system. If you’re a fan of luxury boutique hotels, then ‘MrandMrsSmith.com’ is ideal for finding those unique international getaways. Flights can make or break a holiday, Skyscanner.com helps find the cheapest available, or if budget isn’t an issue, Privatefly.com compares private jet charters for the perfect aviation combination. 

 

Dining & Activities 
 

Ever find yourself walking aimlessly looking for ‘the right’ restaurant? Unfortunately this often ends in disappointment, as appearances can be deceiving. Why not use websites like tripadvisor.com or Google to discover the best eateries in your area or read a restaurant’s reviews before sitting down? Trip advisor is also a great way to learn about the local activities, from museums to mountain biking.  

 

Navigation & Communication 

Finding your way can be difficult enough at home, let alone in foreign countries with unfamiliar roads and sometimes confusing signs. Luckily technology is there to help out… 

 

Available both online and as an app, ‘Google Maps’ allows you to mark points of interest before you travel, plan routes and navigate public transport. You can pre-download an area’s digital map before travelling, avoiding pricey ‘roaming’ fees for international data. If you’re planning to use your smartphone abroad, then make sure you check data charges with your network provider or only use Wi-Fi and turn mobile data off.   

 

Google translate (available via the free app or online), translates from or to over 100 languages; very handy when hand signals will not suffice.  

 

Useful Gadgets 

 

Ereaders are a great way to enjoy your favourite books without weighing down your suitcase. They have ink-like screens so the sun’s glare won’t interfere with your reading. A portable power bank is a light device filled with electricity, useful if you run out of juice in the middle of nowhere and want to snap that sunset. ‘Anker’ are a good quality manufacturer. Gadgets are ideal to make Travel and Adventure Stress Free.

 

Travelling will always be about switching off from everyday life and enjoying the moment, although technology can help discover those moments and ensure your trip is the best it can be!  

 

Make sure you check out our homepage by clicking here to see all the easy to use technology products that could make Travel and Adventure Stress Free.

Guide To Selling Online

Guide to selling online

The TechSilver Guide to Selling Online

Whether it’s finally time to clean out a cluttered house and get rid of those things the charity shop won’t take or get some extra cash for weekends away. Trading your old things online is not only kinder to the environment than throwing them away, but often enjoyable and addictive! 

Ways to sell 

Which platform you choose to sell your item/s on and how you sell them depends on the answer to a few questions; is the item valuable? Are you bothered about getting the best possible price or do you just want rid? 

As a general rule, higher value items that require more images and a lengthier description (like classic cars or furniture) are better suited to websites like Ebay or Gumtree, whilst lower value items like bric-a-brac and some clothing may be better suited to selling apps like Schpock or Depop. Etsy is also great for selling home-made craft items.  

Tips for selling 

Pictures speak a thousand words, so make sure you take plenty. Ensure they’re light and bright with no clutter and from plenty of different angles, including any blemishes or scuffs so the buyer knows what to expect. Make sure you write an informative description that’s not too long-winded but covers all the key areas. Bullet points are a great way to make your listing easy to digest, make sure you include key info like dimensions to save unnecessary contact from prospective buyers. 

Use creative language without being deceptive, after all one women’s rubbish is another’s treasure. I recently sold a dresser / seat hybrid furniture monstrosity on Gumtree that was worthless, but due to my enthusiastic description, on arrival the prospective purchaser loved it! Use the old sales tactic of ‘features and benefits’. This isn’t an ‘old haggard chest of drawers’, it’s a ‘characterful mahogany storage dream that oozes Victorian charm with plenty of room for all your items’… see what I mean? 

Pricing 

Depending on the platform you use, sales can be a fixed price or via an auction. People will often try to bring fixed prices down when the contact you, so factor that in from the beginning. With an auction, ensure you set a high enough reserve price, as often people wait until the last hour to start bidding which hampers the winning bid. 

Security 

Problems are uncommon, however If it’s a large item that can’t be posted then it’s likely the person will be coming to your house. If you’re a bit unsure then speak to them on the phone and gauge how you feel before sending your address. 
 

Payment 

Many platforms like Ebay and Depop offer integrated payment systems, so no worries about receiving your money. If the person is paying in cash, be sure to check their notes are genuine. PayPal is a great way to receive money as the buyer has some protection (e.g.  if you didn’t provide the goods) and you only need their email address to send. 

 
Feel free to contact the TechSilver.co.uk team for more information on a Guide To Selling Online

What Illness do I have? – Guide to Online Symptom Checkers

what illness do I have

What Illness do I have? – Introduction

The huge amount of knowledge which is freely shared online now means that booking an appointment with your GP is no longer the only option should you have any health concerns. If you’re looking to find out ‘what illness do I have?’, from symptom-checking smartphone apps to online conversations with real doctors, the world of tech provides great advice when it comes to your well being.

Free Symptom Checkers 

As Brits I’m sure we’re all very grateful to have the NHS, but they don’t just offer physical interactions. Similar to the 111 advice line, the ‘Heath A-Z’ section on the ‘NHS Choices’ website has advice on common issues like Sciatica or Menopause to rare genetic conditions, as well as an interactive human body where you can select the problematic area for guidance.

‘WebMD’ symptom checker in partnership with Boots not only offers advice on symptoms, but has a section with questions to ask your doctor on certain conditions. This can be helpful after a diagnosis to better understand the condition and its effects.

Online Doctors

Don’t fancy the wait for an appointment or struggle leaving the house? Looking to find out ‘what illness do I have?’ There’s been a huge increase in on-demand online doctor services. Simply log on, book your slot and pay a small fee to speak face-to-face (through your computer, tablet or smartphone) to a real UK-based GP. Push Doctor can get you seen in as little as 6 minutes, issue prescriptions and give sick notes via email. A 10 minute session will cost you £20.

what illness do I have

 

Free Online Doctors

If you’d rather not fork out for advice, First Opinion offer you a direct dialogue with a doctor via text messaging, helping you find out ‘what illness do I have?’ Giving a guaranteed response from a clinician within 9 minutes 24 hours a day, and up to 100 texts per month costing nothing. You can upgrade for $9 per month (it’s a US company) for faster response times and unlimited messages.

Health Forums

Online forums are great for advice from others that are or have been in your position. Having a heath condition can sometimes be a lonely or scary place to be, but gaining the comfort of others who’ve been there can make all the difference, even if it’s a loved one that’s unwell. Try searching online for a related forum e.g. ‘breast cancer forum’ like the ‘Breast Cancer Care’ Forum.

Symptom Checking Apps

Symptomate Symptom-checking app will ask a series of questions like ‘is the pain on both sides of your head?’ To create a free report which you may wish to take to a healthcare professional.

Our increasingly online world has made expert medical advice much more accessible and available, especially by bringing it to wherever you may beat the time. If you’re in a remote area or abroad, this can be life-changing to get the advice you need. However, always bear in mind that if something seems serious, you should always seek further medical attention, no matter what the circumstances are.


Click to read our guide on staying fit and healthy online

Using Technology / The Internet for Health, Dieting & Fitness

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How Technology can help Health & Wellbeing

Whether you’re feeling a little a little guilty due to over indulgence recently, looking to make your lifestyle healthier or living with a health condition, wellbeing is no doubt at the top of many agendas. Luckily there’s plenty of useful tools out there in the world of technology to help you stay at your best, from exercise guidance to managing medication, and workout videos to nutrition advice.  

Exercise, Fitness and Healthy Lifestyle Videos

With the internet now accessible on a large range of devices (e.g. Smartphones and tablet computers), and readily available in most homes, it’s easier than ever to have the latest health and fitness information at your fingertips. Resources I’ve found very useful whilst looking for exercise advice with my mother, (who finds exertion difficult due to restricted movement), are fitness videos.  

Video sharing websites like YouTube (www.youtube.com) have over a billion videos to entertain, educate and inform you. Simply use the search bar at the top of the website or free dedicated app to type whatever you’re looking for. I discovered a great range of fitness videos where you can burn fat and build muscle, with easy to follow step by step exercises, all from your armchair! Benefits of these free exercise clips include being able to follow them at your own convenience, whether it’s in the privacy of your own home, a hotel room or on holiday. Regardless of your confidence, fitness level or knowledge about wellbeing, there will be a video to help offer advice. Simply try searching (e.g. ‘healthy breakfast recipes’ or ‘jogging for beginners’), browse the results and see for yourself. 

One of the greatest things about the internet is the huge amount of valuable information and interaction available. For example, on this particular chair exercise clip, there were links to accessing everything from a 30-day fitness program to a fat reducing meal plan, all completely free. In addition to this, whilst browsing videos online there is the option to interact and gain knowledge from experts and other viewers through the comments section, (e.g. the comments from viewers on this particular video all had responses from the video creators, offering advice and tips). Just leave a comment post below the video to share your question or opinion, or why not offer advice to someone else by commenting on their post? 

get fit using the internet

Smartphone & Tablet Apps

If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet there is a large range of applications or ‘apps’ to help keep you fit and healthy, below I’ve selected a few you may find useful…

Medisafe: Anyone taking medication for health conditions knows the inconvenience it can cause as well as the risks of forgetting to take the correct amount at the right times, luckily there’s a simple way to help avoid any unnecessary stresses. This free app allows you add as many medications as you wish, giving reminders when to take them that include the dosage and even the colour and appearance of the pill.

Symptomate Symptom Checker: We’re all aware on the increasing pressures on our national health service, with it being increasingly difficult to get a GP appointment that suits you, get some initial advice, designed by doctors, from the comfort of your home. The application will ask a series of questions like ‘is the pain on both sides of your head?’ To create a free report which you may wish to take to a healthcare professional. Always remember to consult a healthcare professional if you’re concerned.

 


Easy to use Technology

Manufacturers have woken up to the demand for devices that don’t drive you crazy trying to work out how to use them. We specialise in easy to use technology products that are simple and intuitive, allowing you to enjoy gadgets without the fuss.

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Smartphone

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Tablet Computer


Click Here to Receive FREE Weekly Technology Advice

How to Video Call: What is Video Calling?

what is video calling how to video call

Share moments from anywhere in the world: How to Video Call

Many families today don’t have the luxury of popping around to see each other, with relatives often living dotted around the country, sometimes elsewhere in the world. This may be common in modern life, although it needn’t mean we don’t get to see the smiles on their faces, whenever we please. Learning how to video call means that regardless of where your loved ones are, you can speak face to face, hearing and seeing them simultaneously, enabling you to share moments as if you’re together.

 

Getting Started: How to Video Call

The first thing you’ll need is a device to video call from, but the chances are you’ll already have one. A desktop computer with a webcam and microphone will do the trick, although a ‘smart’ phone (a mobile phone with computer-like capabilities), or a tablet computer, is an easier way to get set up, as you can use them when out and about or from the comfort of your own home.

You’ll need a connection to the internet in order to make a video call (and so will the person you’re calling). We recommend connecting to Wi-Fi to make a call, as calling using mobile data will use lots of your monthly allowance. As well as at home, Wi-Fi is freely available in most public places like coffee shops, hotels, shopping centres and even many trains, just ask!

Click here to watch our video on how to connect to Wi-Fi (Android devices only)

There are many applications or ‘apps’ available that allow you to video call others, all of them free to download (ie put on your device) and use. Their features differ slightly, but on the whole they enable the sending and receiving of messages, images, video clips and of course the ability to voice or video call. The best one for you depends on the device that you have and which app the people you wish to speak with use, however it makes sense to go with one which the majority of people have access to (listed below).

 

How to Video Call On a Smartphone

Whatsapp‘ is used by over 900 million people worldwide and is the most popular mobile phone messaging (and video calling) app in over 109 countries. You don’t need an account to use it, as it links up with your phone number and contact list, so you can instantly communicate with minimum fuss. Just open the app and select the contact you wish to video call from your address book, tap the phone icon in the top right, then select video (or if you have an Apple iPhone, tap the video camera icon). Unlike ‘Facetime’ where both people have to own an Apple device to call each other, Whatsapp works on Apple, Android (e.g. Doro or Samsung) and Windows devices. 

how to video call whatsapp

Once you’re in the call you can even swap between your front and rear facing camera (to share what’s in front of you!

 You need the most recent version of WhatsApp to video call, make sure both you and the person you’re calling have the latest update before calling. The app will tell you if the person you’re trying to video call does not have the latest version.

How to Video Call on a Tablet, Desktop or Laptop Computer

Skype‘ has been one of the most popular ways to video call on computers for many years, however their latest app is free and a great way to share moments and keep up to date with family or friends. One of its best features is group video chats, where it allows up to 10 people to speak simultaneously, (although I think any more than 4 would be a challenge). All you’ll need to download the app and create an account is an email address (if you don’t already have one, create one free with Hotmail or Gmail.), then simply add your friends and family to your Skype contacts and you’re ready to video chat. 


Easy to use Technology

Manufacturers have woken up to the demand for devices that don’t drive you crazy trying to work out how to use them. We specialise in easy to use technology products that are simple and intuitive, allowing you to enjoy gadgets without the fuss.

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Smartphone

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Tablet Computer


Click Here to Receive FREE Weekly Technology Advice

What is a Smartphone / Tablet? What is a Desktop / Laptop? – An Introduction to the Digital World

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What is a Tablet? / What is a Smartphone? / Laptop or Desktop?

Ever wondered the answers? Our resident tech expert Miles gives you an introduction to the digital world and what it all means…

Tablets to tethering , Wi-Fi to wearables, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the abundance of techy terms in use today. You may already be familiar with the benefits technology has to offer, but knowing where to start is often difficult. Whether looking to keep in touch with loved ones, type up your memoirs or research your next adventure, there’s a device suited to your needs and lifestyle. As an expert in helping people with technology, I’ll attempt to guide you through the digital world… 

Desktop vs Laptop  

What you’d traditionally associate with a computer, desktops are made up of separate parts. A tower (which houses the computer’s ‘brain’), a monitor (viewing screen), a keyboard and mouse. Having an external keyboard makes them more ergonomic for typing than laptops, whilst being able to interchange accessories (such as a more comfortable mouse or bigger screen), means they’re easier to be customised for a specific need e.g. sensory impairment. However, as desktops are fixed to one location, this makes them less convenient for quick tasks and so are better suited to jobs that will take longer to complete, (like typing up those memoirs).  

Sometimes called ‘Notepads’, laptops are computers that can be folded up and taken with you, made up from a screen on one half, and a mouse and keyboard on the other. Their portability allows you to carry out tasks wherever you please, making them more convenient than desktops for typing a quick email or booking a hotel room. Although portable, they’re often still too cumbersome for your handbag, so may be more than you require if rarely typing for long periods. 

Tablet vs Smartphone  

One of the differences between computers and portable ‘smart’ devices (like smartphones and tablets) is the ability to install ‘apps’. Short for applications, they’re downloadable computer programs ranging from travel and puzzles to news and music, providing information, communication and entertainment at your fingertips. Because smart gadgets rely on a touch-screen for interaction instead of a mouse and keyboard, millions of apps are available to simplify and enrich daily tasks.  

Tablet computers (often referred to as iPads from market leader Apple), have become popular in the digital world due to their thin and lightweight design. They’re perfect for curling up on the sofa or long travels, offering all the features of a computer with added convenience. Ideal for comfortable leisure use; looking up info online, ordering gifts for the family or unwinding with your favourite crossword is a breeze.   

The fact tablets have a camera on both the front and rear means that thanks to video calling, the faces of your loved ones are just a few taps away (which I’ll cover in more detail next week). The main downside of tablets is typing through a touch-screen, so writing long emails will take that much longer, (although you can easily pick up tablet accessories like a QWERTY keyboard).  

The days of mobile phones resembling a building brick are long gone, with smartphones offering transportable access to the digital world. Due to their screen usually not exceeding around 5″ (12cm) in diagonal width, they’re better suited to communication and navigation rather than admin or typing tasks. They’ve got near enough the same choice of apps as a tablet, although smartphone-only apps like ‘Whatsapp’ have brought my family closer together, with three generations sharing pictures, videos and messages from anywhere on earth.  

You may be asking ‘why would someone have a smartphone and a tablet’ as many people do. The answer is simply portability and the ability to call people. Furthermore, with excellent cameras, having a smartphone in your bag means you’ll never miss snapping that beautiful sunset or family moment.

Which one is best for me?  

With the lines between these devices blurring by the day, you can carry out most digital tasks with any of the above. The best for you depends on your lifestyle, budget and requirement for portability. With thousands to choose from, luckily there’s an increasing amount of devices designed specifically to be easy and intuitive. Technophobes fear not, access to the digital world may be simpler than you think…  

Easy to use Technology

Manufacturers have woken up to the demand for devices that don’t drive you crazy trying to work out how to use them. We specialise in easy to use technology products that are simple and intuitive, allowing you to enjoy gadgets without the fuss.

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Smartphone

Click here to browse our best-selling easy to use Tablet


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The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Apps: Part 2 – How to Browse, Compare and Obtain Apps

Click here to read Part 1 of this Ultimate Guide


 Introduction

From part one you should understand better about what an App actually is, what they can be used for and when they may come in useful…

In this chapter, we’ll explore where to find Apps, how to sift through them and what to look out for when you find one that looks good. We’ll clear up any concerns  about security issues when using apps, explaining how to avoid any unwanted use of your information.

Where do apps come from? We’ll show you how to add, purchase and remove them step-by-step, as well as discussing new versions of apps and what this means.


Where to find Apps

Broken down into easy to follow steps and jargon-free language

Every operating system (computer program which runs your smartphone or tablet) has it’s own market to browse, compare and acquire apps through. As we’re mainly focusing on the ‘Android’ operating system, the place to download apps is called the ‘Play Store’.

Note: Smartphones and tablet computers made by Doro, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Huawei, LG, Google and Sony are on nearly all on Android.

The ‘Play Store’ has thousands of movies, songs, books and most importantly, apps. There’s two main ways of finding the app you’re looking for, either browse the integrated categories or use the search function.


Browsing Apps

Our tips to help you find what you’re looking for

browsing apps

 

If you’re looking for something specific like ‘torch’ or ‘weather’ apps, then searching those terms is the best method, (as shown in the image above). The Play Store will rank the results, taking various things into account e.g. user ratings, number of downloads (people adding to their device), number of uninstalls (people removing from their device) etc.

Some results will have a small yellow badge next to them titled ‘Ad’. We advise you skip these sponsored apps, as they’ve paid to be at the top of the list and aren’t there due to popularity or quality.


Browsing Apps: Categories, Charts & More

Guiding you through the world of app markets

 

google play android

If you’re looking for some inspiration, maybe the latest travel or food apps, just select the ‘categories’ button (shown above) and browse the recommendations.

Once you’ve found an app of interest, touch the images to see if you like how it looks and feels, sometimes there’s videos to show you the app’s features too. Tap ‘READ MORE’ to view the app’s detailed description.

There’s plenty of different app charts, categories and collections to browse from the home page, just select the one that suits what you’re looking for best (e.g. TOP PAID).


Browsing Apps: Reviews & Comments

Help ensure it’s the best app to suit what you’re after

google play reviews

Apps will have comments from users, although we recommend you take the top comments ‘with a pinch of salt’, focusing on the overall star rating (out of 5) as a better indication of quality. This is because Google often to puts the most negative comments at the top, even if the app has 4.5/5 stars.

The people who make the app (developers) have the option to respond to user’s comments, handy in seeing if there’s an explanation for problems other app users might be experiencing. Remember you can always delete the app if you’re not a fan after use, we’ll show you how to do that further on…


App Security: Staying Safe 

Luckily using apps is pretty risk-free, these tips will help you stay that way

app permissions

 

The first way to verify an app’s safety is if it’s in the ‘Play Store’. Google performs routine scans to ensure they don’t include any malicious programs, so if it’s on there, it’s a good indication it’s probably safe.

When installing an app, you will be informed the permissions it’s asking for. This could be access to your location, connecting to the internet or use of your phone’s camera. Now don’t panic, this might seem like a risky invasion of privacy, but apps must ask permission before accessing bits of your phone they require.

For example, if you’re installing a ‘Boot Sale’ app that lets you sell things online, it requires access to your camera so you can take pictures of the things you’re selling, it’s unlikely to randomly start taking snaps without you knowing.

The best way to ensure security is to use your common sense. For example if a torch app has a poor star rating and it’s asking to ‘Send SMS’s’ from your device, it’s probably not legitimate. Bare in mind that some free apps may ask for slightly odd permissions, (like internet access), in order to show you the occasional advert.


 Adding New Apps

So you know where to find apps and what to look out for, but how do you get them on your device?

installing new apps

 

Adding (Installing) new apps is nice and simple on an Android device, saving you time and hassle.

Installing an App…
1) Open ‘Google Play’ store & select the app you want
2) Once you’ve decided, tap the green ‘Install’ button
NB. The install button might be a green price, this means the app isn’t free (we’ll explain more on the next page)
3) Check the permissions it’s asking for are reasonable and tap ‘Accept’


 How Much do They Cost?

Using apps is probably cheaper than you think!

buying apps

Most apps are free, especially on Android. This may seem too good to be true, but similar to watching commercial TV, you’ll get the occasional advert, (just tap a the small x on the screen to close them). Don’t panic if you loath adverts, many apps have the option to purchase the ad-free premium version for a small fee.

Buying apps can be a cost-effective way to do a variety of things, like learn the guitar, brush up on your foreign language skills or even track flights in real time… it’s up to you! (We’ll walk you through our recommendations, category by category, in later chapters of this guide).


 Updating Apps

What to look out for…

updating apps

How to update your apps…

 

Those who make apps often bring out new versions, normally with fresh features or to fix a ‘bug’ (problem) in their app. If there is an update available, the app will display the new features in a green banner titled ‘WHAT’S NEW’. If you’re experiencing problems with an app, the update has probably fixed them. Although it might seem like a ‘no-brainer’ to do, app updates can use up precious storage space, whilst updating them over the internet without being connected to Wi-Fi will use up your mobile data allowance, (which you only have a certain allowance of per month)…

As a result of this, we recommend you either set Google Play to not automatically update (leaving you to manually decide when to do it), or to only automatically update when you have a Wi-Fi connection, so you don’t use any unnecessary mobile data.

We’ll show you how, step by step below…
(there’s images to help you too)

1) Open the ‘Google Play’ store from your list of apps

2) Tap the menu button in the top left (three lines)

3) Scroll down the menu and select ‘Settings’

4) Tap ‘Auto-update apps’

5) Select your preference from what we’ve discussed.

auto-update-settingsauto-update-settings2


Removing Existing Apps

Sometimes you’ll want out with the old and in with the new

Removing (uninstalling) apps is useful to free up storage space and keep your device running smoothly, but differs slightly depending on your device, (we’ll show you how on the most popular operating systems).

Uninstalling an App on an Android Smartphone made by Doro

1) Select ‘My apps’ then tap ‘I want to’ in the top right hand corner and select ‘Uninstall Applications’

2) Tap the red bin icon on the app you want to remove, then confirm your selection by tapping ‘OK’

removing apps

Uninstalling an App on an Android Smartphone made by Doro.

 

Uninstalling an App on other Android Devices
(e.g. Samsung)

1) Hold your finger on the app’s icon until you’re able to drag it around the screen

2) Drag it over the bin icon marked ‘uninstall’ then let go with your finger.

3) Confirm your selection by tapping ‘OK’

 

 

Uninstalling an App on Apple Devices (like iPads and iPhones)

Apple devices require you to hold your finger on the app icon for a few seconds (long press) until the icons wiggle continuously, then tap the small grey ‘x’ icon, and confirm to uninstall.


Which Apps Should You Get?

We’ve sifted through the thousands of apps available, selected our favourites and categorised them, so you can pick and choose the ones that suit your lifestyle.

Throughout the following chapters of this guide, we’ll go through our grouped recommendations, with app categories like ‘Food & Drink’ or ‘Travel & Adventure’ . The link below will ensure you receive them!

Click here to automatically receive the next chapters…

 

easy to use simple basic smartphone older people old retired

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