How to Optimize iPhone Settings for Seniors

Posted by Mike McQuinn on January 12, 2016 | no comments

An iPhone can be a wonderful tool for individuals of all ages, even senior citizens. When looking for ways to keep in touch with elderly parents, grandparents, or other aging family members, the iPhone can be perceived as too complicated for senior citizen use.

But the reality is that the iPhone offers many options for creating an easy-to-use experience for our elderly loved ones. Here are some ways to optimize iPhone settings to meet senior citizens’ needs.

Make Text Easier to Read

elderly-using-iphoneThere are a few ways to make text easier to read on the iPhone, including increasing text size, bolding text, or increasing the contrast.

1. Increase Text Size

Increasing the text size through the iPhone’s settings will automatically set the text size for all apps with Dynamic Text, meaning you should only need to adjust the size once and it will reflect throughout the entire phone.

To adjust the text size settings, click Settings > Display & Brightness > Text Size.

Slide along the bar until the text is a size that is easy to read.

2. Bold Text

Bolding your text will make words thicker and easier to read. When combined with a larger text, there should be no problem reading text on the iPhone.

Bolding text is done through almost the same steps as increasing text size. Just click Settings > Display > Bold Text. Toggle the option ‘on’ and see the words on your screen turn thicker and easier to read.

3. Change the Contrast

Changing the contrast will change the brightness or darkness of the iPhone screen, which can make a huge difference when it comes to sensitive eyes or less than clear vision.

The iPhone gives you a number of contrast options, including reducing the transparency, darkening colors, or reducing white point. For senior citizens, reducing transparency, which promises to increase legibility, could provide the most benefit.

Change your contrast settings by following Settings > General > Accessibility > Increase Contrast.

Make Safari Easier to Read

Articles and websites should automatically open in a mobile version on the iPhone, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you will still find that the page displayed on your iPhone screen is similar to what you would find on a computer screen, meaning you need to zoom and scroll to read the content.

By simply clicking the group of four lines in the upper left corner of the screen, next to the URL, your iPhone sets the website into “Reader.” This takes the same content and formats it into a simple and easy to read article without the fancy formatting of the website. You’ll get the same information without the unnecessary fillers and distractions.

Use Siri

iphone-4s-siriSiri allows senior citizens to go hands-free when using their iPhone, which is great for any individual having trouble seeing the screen or clicking through the functions. With a press and hold of the home button, Siri is brought to attention asking how she can help. Just give her a command and she will follow through.

Set Nicknames for Siri

To avoid any confusion with Siri, especially if you have multiple contacts with the same name, you can set nicknames associated with your contacts. Set nicknames for your contacts by following these steps:

  1. Go to your Contacts application
  2. Find the individual you would like to give a nickname
  3. Click ‘Edit’
  4. Scroll down to ‘Add Related Name’
  5. Determine the relationship you would like to give them
  6. Tap ‘Done’

Now you should be able to give Siri commands like “call my daughter” or whatever relation you give them. While the iPhone does provide a limited list of relationships, you are able to add your own.

As our family members age, it’s important to utilize the technology that can make their lives a little easier. With so many things moving into a digital age and the importance of cellphones, ensuring our loved ones are just a phone call away is important for everyone. Although an iPhone may seem like too advanced or complicated, it comes with many options that make it quite simple.

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