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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    WebOS Refugee's Avatar

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    Default Tablet options for elderly folks?

    We're looking for options for my folks, both in their 90s, for whom the desktop computer in the back-bedroom office is getting to be less and less of an option. I'm researching tablet options to make Skype and E-mail portable throughout the house (which is pretty well covered by WiFi), and there appear to be some fairly promising approaches to adapting technology to their unique needs at this stage of life.

    I could use a bit of help from the software forum, though. I've been poking around in the Google Play store for some sort of slideshow program that would display pictures from a web repository to which all family members can upload. I see tons of programs that will do a slideshow of the pictures in the local Gallery, but nothing that is quite as generic as what we're trying to do: give every family member authentication info that will grant them access to upload pictures of the grandkids, family activities, etc., then have the slideshow program display those pictures for these folks who are no longer able to travel to see those people and places. Ideally this would be a widget that I could place on the home screen, thereby keeping things as simple as possible. The slideshow should default to completely passive viewing, pausing on each picture for a few seconds and then moving on without requiring any sort of screen-swipe or button-press.

    Any and all thoughts on both the front end (home-screen widget) and back end (web-based photo storage) are most welcome. Many thanks!
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Android does have some great options, but as always, you have to play with it for a bit.

    If I were going to give my grandparents a tablet, it would HAVE to be an OEM, with a PHYSICAL home key, no app-store custom rom, with reliable voice dictation and camera. I would set it up like this:

    One page for shortcuts to emailing their loved ones. i.e., put shortcuts for "mail steve" that has the picture contact there. I'd do that for all of the favorites, and then I'd put an address book on the page. I think that the voice dictation button on the keyboard is important, and either Dragon or something else for the dictation. I'd also put a big mail widget with ONLY ONE email account on it.

    One page for Skype/voice calling their loved ones. A big skype widget, and leave it set to be always on, and it can show them as idle after X hours

    Another page would be just for looking things up on the internet. Big google search widget with a voice icon, a favorites widget, and a Firefox icon. That's it.

    And a final page for photos and music, with an album that syncs to something that you control, like a web picture client (so you can send them photos that automatically pop up), and a simple music player widget for their tunes.

    That would be the extent of it. I think that iOS is not a good platform for this, since the widgets (especially scrollable ones) are a great way for them to see exactly what they are getting into.


    P.s. I'm still rocking the Touchpad, just left my palm pre for an android. SO awesome. The touchpad is not a good option for your folks, because the camera and voice dictation are busted.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  
    WebOS Refugee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Thanks, jrsharp70! I had forgotten the option of dictating voicemails -- I think they're past the point of typing anything (Mom used to be a touch typist, doesn't do so well these days; Dad has never touched a keyboard and isn't going to start now), but they might be willing to treat the machine like a dictation device.

    Not sure how I'd handle the "album that syncs to something that you control" bit -- can you point me in the right direction for that?
  4. #4  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    create a photobucket account (or any one of the million photo share apps). set their tab to sync it automatically. When you take pics on your phone, camera, etc, you upload them to the same account, and voila, it refreshes on their device, and the folks get to see new pictures of their family whenever you snap 'em.


    the gallery app that comes stock has a widget, and you can sync to the photos folder with the uploads. it is scrollable and large enough to use even if your hands are a bit shaky.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
    WebOS Refugee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Seems odd that there isn't an app that will simply display the contents of an online photo-storage account. Syncing to local and displaying from there isn't awful, I suppose, but seems superfluous.

    That said, most of what I see for synchronization runs the other way (phone to online service). I'll check out the Photobucket app; thanks for the tip!
  6. #6  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Hello webOS refugee - I just ordered 2 Touchpads which both have dual-booting operating systems so that I will be able to use android 3.0 also. This helps me a lot as there are certain functians that I love on both OS's. The second one is for a handicapped friend who beds to dictate due to wrist and hand disabilities.My question is: Does anyone know if Fox-fi app will tether to the webOS system and how? I prefer to use the wifi functions not Bluetooth. Looking forward to more posts from a fellow middle-ager!
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  
    WebOS Refugee's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    mmiele,

    Not sure I quite get all of your question, but I can verify firsthand that an Android system running FoxFi creates a hotspot that can be used by both PCs and Macs, so I can't imagine that a WebOS tablet would fail to function.

    Oh, and the more I run Android GB, the more I miss WebOS ...
  8. #8  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    I think the nexus 7 would be a good option, no bias here but I really like it. Seems like good hardware.

    Also look at clouds solutions for photos, photobucket, picasa. Not sure how they would do as far a slideshow though. You cold also always try g+ and its photo sync options.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    The biggest problem with the Nexus 7 for this application is that rear-facing speaker. These folks are hard of hearing, both use hearing aids, and they need that sound coming straight at them.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Quote Originally Posted by WebOS Refugee View Post
    The biggest problem with the Nexus 7 for this application is that rear-facing speaker. These folks are hard of hearing, both use hearing aids, and they need that sound coming straight at them.
    Good point, but what about using external speakers with a 3.5 jack.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  11. #11  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    sort of defeats the purpose then, huh?

    They are 90... they want to see pictures of their loved ones and read email letters. Actually, as my grandmother got close to dying, the thing she appreciated most was me sending her physical letters about nothing, just what was going on with my life... like they used to back in the day.

    just get a google account, DON'T sync that one, then make them a PRIVATE pop mail like grandmangrampa@gmail
    ; then put THAT email on a big *** email widget so they can see who it is from, (the stock one works best) and read the first few lines. don't let them use the address for anything but family.

    Then refrain from sending them crap mail, just send real letters.

    Do the same for photos.
    that's it. give them a way to see and hear their family, and maybe the skype option if they can figure it out. Use shortcuts on the page.
    It isn't really that much of a challenge. The truth is, that is all they want, to see their loved ones and know they are in your thoughts for the last few years of their lives.

    Actually, the nexus 7is perfect. It's. cheap, and gets good battery life, and old people's hands get tired. The only case for a large tablet is the font size.
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Just an update: I visited them this last weekend, and we had a chance to Skype with their great-grandchild from my BIONIC. It was a lot easier to do so from where they were than to have them go to the back of the house and sit in front of the computer, so the concept of bringing the technology to them seems to be validated. A bigger screen would make that a bit easier, but it worked fine with what we had.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Hi, here is a tablet app (android) called Tapestry (specifically designed for old folks) that does exactly what you are looking for. You can share family photos from devices you already use and push them to this application. It also has a secure online photo gallery that all the family can upload pics to.
    Here is the link: Tapestry
  14. #14  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Just what I need for my grandmom.
  15. #15  

    Lightbulb Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    think of obstacles
    hearing
    sight
    control input, shaking, arthritis,

    locate & setup so ready & waiting to go where they hangout is favorite chair, etc
    stabilized on convenient surface so no problem dropping, etc.
    train them to comfortably using tablet ie
    program as tv remote using same simple 1 step function
    set thermostat,
    answer phone, etc

    turn tablet into photo album where you can change & add items & simple messages using routine schedule,
    setup screen saver with familiar photos so they enjoy seeing & using it,
    maybe caller id with photos?
    such as who they would call
    introduce each function at a time,
    that are there using they can watch
    set them up with keyboard dock looking like laptop so keyboard & screen together & same focal length.
    no glare ie mat screen

    as above, simple one step icon to open functional apps
    think what they want to do,
    call Bubba,
    PHONE ICON opens limited name list with photo icons &
    simple control icons
    CALL, HANG UP, LEAVE MESSAGE, ask them what they want
    & test they can easily use it.

    large volume slide on screen

    one icon, sigle step functions

    HELP EMERGENCY ICON, program 911, local support, etc. & consider auto notifying you when they push it,
    Consider using camera feature to monitor them if sick, security feature,

    stop all distraction & confusion
    no pop-ups
    use real keyboard for tactile feedback vs confusing virtual keyboard,
    consider actual keyboard covering keys they will never use
    custom labeled keyboard caps & same as screen icons
    simple training you & them
    single feature at a time
    hope this helps
    rafdo
    Last edited by rafdo; 11-27-2012 at 04:50 PM. Reason: didn't finish writing
  16. #16  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Install android os, then you can play.
  17. Thread Author  Thread Author    #17  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Thanks, all! I had more or less given up on this thread, then had a moment today to come back and read all of your thoughts and suggestions. This is a great community ...
  18. #18  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    I'd check Perfect Tool for Picasa. I have all my family accounts linked, and we can view each others albums easily. https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...rfullife&hl=en

    The full license is also on sale for a limited time. Basically once you authenticate it notifies you of any updates to subscribed (ie family) albums!
  19. #19  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    I've gotten a Samsung Galaxy tablet and hope to be able to use it as a modern version of my old palm pilot address book. I had one for over a decade and lost use of it when my cpu was refreshed and the software was no longer support (i.e. not reinstalled). Any tried and true software and or methods to import the address book into the tablet. I've seen one app for $50 but the comments were mixed and $50 is a somewhat costly for that sort of program.
  20. #20  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    This is awesome advice
  21. #21  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Check out "BIG Launcher" http://goo.gl/JQwDK

    Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2
  22. #22  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    I think Amazon Kindle Fire would be my suggested product PC for the senior citizens for its sharp multi-touch shade show with a good quality and light-weight body. However, this does not come with a photographic camera or 3G connection choice. So if price is a significant issue, this is the product for you.

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    Last edited by Parrot23; 02-02-2013 at 01:02 PM.
  23. Thread Author  Thread Author    #23  
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    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Front-facing speakers are pretty much a requirement for this application: these folks won't be helped by sound that is going away from them, and they lack the dexterity to cup their hands behind the device to route sound to the front while holding the device. So far all that I've seen with front-facing speakers have been the Samsung Galaxy Tab series and the Google Nexus 10. Any others that I should be aware of?
  24. #24  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Trying to do exactly what you describe regarding using widgets for my parents. Which ones do you suggest?
  25. #25  

    Default Re: Tablet options for elderly folks?

    Nice, but how do I do all these things? Can someone give a list of widgets that can be used for these set ups?
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