Wednesday, April 25, 2012

LiveNurse Service for iPhone Now Available on iTunes

GreatCall has recently brought its senior-friendly applications to a wider audience by making in available on Apple's iTunes store. These apps are no longer just limited to its Jitterbug phones line-up as they are now available to iPhone users.

Now, the iPhone is not a good device for the elderly in my opinion. It is too expensive and lacks the proper hardware (large physical buttons, keypad, etc,..) to be a good fit for senior citizens. However, I try to avoid the assumption that all seniors cannot use the iPhone. I sure that there are a lot of tech-savvy folks who are 65 or older that are using Apple's smartphone. This handset has an easy-to-use interface and the elderly can learn its basic functions in a short time.

Now let's get back to the new GreatCall apps for iTunes. The LiveNurse Service is a health and wellness app that provides access to registered nurses. It can also provide users with valuable health information, medical advice and care options. We have already featured a version of this app as a service for the elderly.

So does this new app have any new features? Well, the LiveNurse Service for the iPhone comes with health information provided by the award-winning A.D.A.M. (a Division of Ebix, Inc (NASDAQ:EBIX) Medical Encyclopedia. It also comes with the Interactive Symptom Checker tool that allows users to identify symptoms and possible causes/ This useful tool also enables users to determine  when to self-treat and when to contact a medical professional.

This cell phone for seniors service also comes with the cool Shake for Help tool. It is designed to ensure that users always get an answer when they need one. They simple need to shake the phone at any time and information will appear via a help “bubble” on screen specific to the topic being read.

The  LiveNurse Service for iPhone is now variable at the iTunes store for $3.99 per month.

What do you think? Can this app help senior users of the iPhone?

Stay tuned as we feature more service on cell phones for seniors.

Monday, April 23, 2012

New Cell phone for Seniors: Samsung Gusto 2 From Verizon Wireless

It's been some time since we posted a senior-friendly phone from Verizon Wireless so I think it's time to feature a handset from the carrier's line-up. After all, it's the largest US carrier with a significant number of elderly subscribers and offers one of the best cell phone plans for seniors.

This time we will look at the Samsung Gusto 2, a new phone that is set to become available for $79.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement. This handset is also available with online retailers who may offer a more favorable price for seniors and other consumers.

This is not the first Gusto we have featured in this blog. The original Samsung Gusto was also featured here as a possible option for seniors.

The Gusto 2 is a sleek clam shell style cell phone with simple features. In fact, simplicity is being marketed as one of the strengths of this phone. Verizon's official press release for the device calls it as a device where "Simplicity Meets Style." Well, style is not a priority for a cell phone for senior citizens but simplicity certainly is one of the most important attributes. The elderly do not need a phone that can send emails or work as a 3G hotspot. They need a handset that can reliably make and receive calls or send a few text messages.Well, the Samsung Gusto 2 is a good device for consumers that only want to focus on making calls to friends and family. it's a basic device with a simple menu that can easily allow users to dial numbers.

Speaking of dialing numbers, this cell phone sports a contoured keypad with large buttons that make it easy to press numbers. The directional keys can be customized to provide quick access to contacts plus the one-touch shortcut keys can be programmed to quickly get in touch with emergency contacts.

It also offers a Sound Alert Mode, which changes the volume automatically to high and reads contact information aloud when a call or message is received. This features id useful for senior users with weak hearing.

A few images:

Here's a list of the features that contribute in making this phone suitable for seniors:
  • 2-inch main display
  • speakerphone
  • adjustable display font
  • voice-enabled menu and submenus

This phone also offers a few bonus features which are not really needed by seniors but are nice t have on your phone. It provides Bluetooth technology, 1.3-megapixel camera, mobile Web, and VZ Navigator.

What do you think of this device? Is it good enough to top the best cell phones for seniors in the market?

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is Nokia's Cheapest Cell Phone Ideal for Seniors?

Nokia recently announce a device that it declares as its "most affordable handset." The new Nokia 103 was announced with a price of only $21 (16 euro) before taxes making it one of the most affordable cell phones in the market and in history.

A low price is one of the traits that makes a cell phone suitable for the elderly and with its affordable price does the Nokia 103 make a good mobile phone for seniors?

Well, first let me explain why this handset is offered at a very cheap price. Well, one look at the Nokia 103 will tell you that it's an affordable device. The phone looks like it was introduced a decade ago. This device basically trims its features to the most essential that are needed by users who simply want to talk and send email messages.

This device fits the needs of seniors because it focuses on the basic and most important functions like making and taking calls. Senior citizens do not demand a lot from their phones so this device seems like a good fit. The elderly does not usually need features like Bluetooth, email, 4G, or a media player hat increases a phone's price.

Here's some images to give you a nice look at this super cheap phone:

The phone's display is a bit small but the buttons look nice and large. This phone also include a few modern touches especially on the hardware. The 103 sports a durable anti-scratch cover that should protect it from drop and bruises. It is also equipped with long-lasting battery with a talk time of up to 11 hours.

Here's a short list of the features for this phone:.
  • built-in flashlight
  • FM radio
  • speaking clock
  • MP3 grade ringtones

The Nokia 103 is clearly a good phone for seniors. However, I'm not sure if any US carrier will pick it up. Let's hope that US consumers can get it from online retailers.

That is it for this post on the cheapest cell phone as a handset for the elderly. stay tuned for more post on affordable mobile phones for seniors.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

AT&T's LG A340: Eco-conscious Cell phone for Seniors

The LG A340 recently became available at the AT&T website. It was a quiet launch with no press release or other fanfare that usually accompany high-end phones and devices. This is probably due to the fact that the A340 is a basic phone that does not come with the complex features that are to be expected within today's crop of modern cell phones.

Other tech sites might frown upon or disregard a phone that does not even merit an announcement or press release but not at this blog. This site focuses on simple handsets that provide features and functionality that favor the elderly so the simplest phones are often the best phone to blog about. Well, let's look at this new AT&T cell phone for seniors and see if it can make benefit folks who are 65 or older.

The is reasonably priced at just $19.99 with a contract. That's not a bad deal for a new flip phone. This handset sports a dual color display. The main screen measures 2.4-inches with 320 x 240 pixels. It has good size and sharpness for users with weak eyes. This phone also comes with TTY support and hearing aid compatible (M3/T3 rating) so its usable for folks who have hearing difficulty. The keypad for this phone is also user-friendly. The buttons are separated so it's not difficult to dial numbers or create text messages.

The  LG A340 is also targeted towards environment-conscious users. This cell phone for seniors has a body that is made from 17% recycled materials. it also ships with  an energy efficient charger that draws less power than traditional chargers

Here are some images of the AT&T LG A340:

 And here's a list of the features for this mobile phone for seniors:
  • 3G network
  • 1.3-megapixel camera with video capture
  • GPS-based navigation
  • Bluetooth 2.1
  • speakerphone
  • 900 mAh battery  with 3 hours of talk time, and up to 10 days of standby time
  • 20 Unique Ringtones + Vibrate and Silent Modes

That's it for this post. Stay tuned as we look at more phones that can  be used by seniors.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

How to Change Your Android Smartphone into a Cell phone for Seniors

We have blogged a few times on the possibilities of Android smartphones for seniors entering the US market. However,it was recently  brought to our attention that some existing Android phone can actually be transformed into a simple phone that can be easily used by the elderly.

This can be made possible via an application called Phonotto. Simple install this app on your Android phone and you will have a device that is suitable for the elderly.

This application  is being advertised as a "Simple Phone for Seniors Android App".

It's basically an application  that aims to convert a smartphone in the simplest phone for seniors. It provides an interface that features a chunky, simple design with large buttons for easy phoning and texting. Here's an image of the buttons that Phonotto provides:

But that's not all. This app also provides other ways to make an Android smartphone easier to use for consumers who have weak eyesight. For example, the large home screen is optimized for elderly people and people with weak vision.

Users will have no problem with learning how to use this app because it has a simple wizard for sending SMS  and it automatically loads on startup.

Here are more images of the  Phonotto app and its easy-to-use interface:

And here's a  video that illustrates how to install this app and how it can be used:

What do you think of this app? Do you think it can be useful? Well, I think this provides a way for old Android phones to be recycled by being handed down to seniors or donated to programs that provide phones for the elderly. Since the app makes a smartphone manageable for seniors, it widens the options of senior citizens who are looking for a phone.

Stay tuned for more post and features on the apps, services and mobile phones for seniors.

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Sprint's Kyocera DuraPlus: A good Rugged phone for Seniors?

The phones in Sprint's Direct Connect network provide a nice selection if you are looking for a mobile phone for a person who is 65 or older. The carrier's Direct Connect service provides instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide and other features that can benefit seniors. For example, we have featured the Kyocera DuraCore as a possible option for the elderly.

A new phone for Sprint's upgraded push-to-talk platform may also be a good choice for seniors. The new Kyocera DuraPlus feature simple and easy to use features in a rugged body that can stand up to dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, and humidity. It can even resist blowing rain and can be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for half an hour.

Can a phone that is certified to Military Standard 810G be suitable for seniors? I think that they can because durable devices are good for any consumers especially the elderly. A rugged phone can keep on working after being dropped several times and can keep on working for years. A cell phone get's broken easily will need to be replaced and getting replacements cost money. A device that stays working after being dropped by frail hands will be beneficial for folks who do not have a steady source of income for buying new phones and replacements to ones that break easily.

Since the Kyocera DuraPlus from Sprint is a rugged phone, it is built solidly. It is thick and heavy because it was built to withstand damage from a number of hazards. That being said one cannot describe it as an aesthetic phone. However, a fashionable look is not a priority for senior citizens since they do not use cell phones to show off during parties. The elderly use mobile phones to communicate with friends and family so the looks of the DuraPlus is not an essential factor when discussing it as a phone for grandparents.

This handset has a 2-inch screen with a resolution of 240x320 pixels. It's nothing special when compared to the ultra bright displays of premium smartphones but it works for the needs of seniors. It also offers a nice keypad with bulbous buttons that are easy to press and feel. However, the number keys are a bit small and it would be a lot more user-friendly if they were bigger.

Here are some images from the manufacturer website to give you an idea of how this device looks:

Some folks may criticize this phone for not having a camera or a slot for microSD expansion. Those are valid points for most handset but for a device that's to be used by a senior, those features are not the priority. It would be nice to have those but the Kyocera DuraPlus is designed to make phone calls not take great pictures or store thousands of media.

This phone is compatible with Call Alert with Text , a Direct Connect service that allows users to send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them and why. This feature is great for emergencies and other situations may a senior may need to contact someone immediately.

The call quality for this phone is good and the battery can last for days with normal use.

Here's a video that gives you another look at this cell phone for seniors:

Visit us again next week as we look at more phones, and services that are suitable for elderly users.

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