How to set up an Android mobile for the elderly

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Everyone knows that when we reach a certain age we develop some deficiencies in many of our senses. Unfortunately, sooner or later we have to deal with vision problems, poor hearing or slower movements. All these circumstances can translate into greater difficulty when using a mobile device. Is there a way to adapt an Android phone for simple use by older people? The answer is a resounding yes. Therefore, we have prepared this guide in order to make the process simpler. In it we explain step by step how to set up an Android mobile for elderly people or with other limitations.

Change some settings on your device

The first step you must take to adjust an Android device to an elderly person is to open the system settings. There you will find some parameters that interest you. We talk about them in the following sections.

Screen preferences for seniors

Start by entering the section Screen.

Screen settingsScreen settings

It contains some fundamental options to improve the user experience in this specific case. For example, it is possible to deactivate the automatic brightness, increase it to the maximum, change the wallpaper to a simpler one or increase the screen timeout.

adjust brightness and other settingsadjust brightness and other settings

On the other hand, you will also see an option to expand the size of the font.

Modify font sizeModify font size

Adjust it to the maximum, if you think it is appropriate.

Larger fontLarger font

Also, the section Screen zoom it will also allow you to expand the different elements of the interface.

Change screen zoomChange screen zoom

Scroll the selector to choose the most suitable setting.

Larger zoomLarger zoom

As you may have noticed, the interface components have become larger and easier to read thanks to the maximized font size. But there are still other additional options, such as one-touch screen activation or double-tap lock on the status bar.

Other additional screen optionsOther additional screen options

To know which settings to activate, evaluate what the needs of the person are in each case.

Recommended sound parameters

The hearing impairments they are also common in the elderly. That is why we recommend that, after configuring the screen, you go to the section Sound.

Change sound settings for seniorsChange sound settings for seniors

First check that the levels are at maximum.

Volume levels at maximumVolume levels at maximum

Then enable touch screen response sounds, device charging notification, or vibration touch feedback. Again, each of these options will be effective depending on the limitations of each user.

Other useful soundsOther useful sounds

Another tip that we should give you is to change the ringtone for one that is forceful. In the same way, modify the sound for notifications.

Change the tone to a louder oneChange the tone to a louder one

With this you will have ready the sound of the phone for an older person.

Disable navigation gestures

The navigation gestures It can be a real torture for those who have limited movement. In that case, it is better to opt for the on-screen buttons. To change this setting, go to System.

System options on an Android terminalSystem options on an Android terminal

Tap on Gestures.

Navigation gesturesNavigation gestures

Then select three button navigation. If your device allows it, alter the order of the buttons to make the command more accessible Behind.

Use accessibility options on Android

In the phone settings there is a section for Accessibility.

Accessibility options on AndroidAccessibility options on Android

If you access it, you will see functions designed for people with visual, movement or hearing limitations. Take a look at them and activate the ones that are useful in each case.

Interaction controlsInteraction controls

Scroll to the bottom of the list of options and activate the dark theme, screen magnification or color correction, according to the user’s needs.

Interface settingsInterface settings

We recommend that you take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with these settings, as they make the device easier for older people to use.

Turn up the volume above the maximum

Up to this point you have not needed to install any application to adapt Android. But, if you want to go a little further, this step will be essential. For example, to increase the volume above what is allowed, download the tool Volume Booster.

Then, move the potentiometer that you will see on the screen to the desired level.

Increase the volume above the maximumIncrease the volume above the maximum

The sounds of your device will be reproduced, from that moment, much louder.

Activate simple mode on your terminal or use a launcher for seniors

Depending on the terminal you use, it may natively include a simple mode. Generally, this option is available in the sections of Screen or in the options on the home screen. If not, you can always use the launcher Simple Laucher. It is completely free and available for download on Malavida.

After installation, choose it from the list of options that will appear on the screen.

Choose Simple Launcher as the defaultChoose Simple Launcher as the default

Its appearance stands out for having a large text font and enlarged icons.

Simple mode appearanceSimple mode appearance

If you want to add an item to the screen, press empty space.

Add item to screenAdd item to screen

You have the options Contact or App.

Options for adding shortcutsOptions for adding shortcuts

As you can see, this is an ideal way to add all the necessary shortcuts for an older person to the home screen.

Use the camera as a magnifying glass

Another way that Android can help an elderly person, especially if they have visual impairments, is with the application Magnifying glass. Thanks to it, it is possible to enable the camera as if it were a magnifying glass.

After downloading it, all you have to do is use the slider to enlarge a text.

Magnifier on AndroidMagnifier on Android

Additionally, it includes support for activating the flash or taking pictures, among other things.

Expand the keyboard for ease of use

At this point, your Android will be ready to be used by an elderly person. But we will tell you, before finishing, how to expand the size of the keyboard. This will make it much easier for the user to type.

If it is installed Gboard, open the settings and tap on preferences.

List with Gboard optionsList with Gboard options

Then tap on Keyboard height.

Change keyboard heightChange keyboard height

In the list of options click on Very high.

Very tall heightVery tall height

As you can see, the appearance of the keyboard will have changed. Now it’s taller and the keys are bigger.

Appearance of Gboard with the modifications appliedAppearance of Gboard with the modifications applied

In the event that the device has another keyboard installed, download and install Gboard or locate a similar option in the settings section.

Other ideal apps for seniors

Throughout this guide you have been able to see different ways of adjusting the phone for the use of older people, but the list of apps available for this same purpose is much broader. If you want, take a look at our list of the best apps for the elderly to discover the complete offer available, with tools that could include more functions valid for specific and specific cases.