Here’s how to make Android devices senior-friendly

If your grandpa or grandma regularly complains about how complicated the new Android smartphone you gave them is, there are several ways you can make it friendlier.

This way, they not only save the precious time looking for you when they get stuck, but it also saves them your interactions with them about other important things than their inevitable navigation problems with the new smartphone.

Here are different ways to make any Android phone friendly to older users.

1. Use senior friendly Android launcher

A quick trick to making any Android smartphone senior-friendly is to install senior-friendly launchers. Yes, they do exist, and there are quite a number of them. A good example is Simple Launcher, one of the best senior-friendly Android launchers out there.

Simple Launcher lets you add up to nine important apps to the home screen. The icons are big and the text size is big.

The easy-to-use interface, paired with the available control center, enables seniors to easily operate their Android smartphones. The control center has an easy way to uninstall apps, a security lock to lock the home screen edit mode, and a way to lock the ringer and notification volume.

Simple Launcher also offers special folders for adding important contacts on the secondary home screen in two different folders: Family and Friends. And for emergencies there is a large SOS button on the secondary home screen.

Other senior-friendly Android launchers include BIG Launcher, Senior Safety Phone, Help Launcher, and Square Phone. You can try them out and see which one you are most comfortable with.

Download: Simple launcher (For free)

2. Enlarge the keyboard keys

Using senior-friendly Android launchers is only part of the puzzle. Next, you should enlarge the keys on the keyboard to make them easier to use. Most Android smartphones come with the Google Gboard keyboard preinstalled, so we’ll be using it in this case example.

If your Android smartphone doesn’t have it, you can install it for free from the Google Play Store using the download link below.

How to enlarge keyboard size on Android

Gboard offers a way to customize it to suit your specific needs. For example, you can change the theme, layout, height, and more. To make the keyboard bigger we need to change the height.

First, open any app and tap anywhere to enter text. The keyboard is displayed. Once the keyboard appears, you will be shown the usual layout including a gear icon. Tap the Gear icon. A settings page will appear where you can customize Gboard.

Choose Preferences> Layout> Keyboard Height. The keyboard height is set to “Normal” by default. Depending on your preference, choose medium high, high or extra high.

After the selection, the keyboard height is automatically saved. Gboard is now going to be a little bigger than it was before and a lot easier to use.

Download: Gboard (For free)

If you prefer Microsoft’s SwiftKey keyboard, you can adjust the size during setup or by opening the app and clicking. walk Layout & buttons > change size. Swift Keyboard can stretch a little further than Gboard. So if you’re not happy with the latter, switch.

Download: SwiftKey keyboard (For free)

3. Increase the text size throughout the system

Next, you need to increase the font size throughout the system. Android offers an easy way to change the font size through the Settings app. Before we get into the how, however, keep in mind that the exact steps to change the text size may vary depending on the type of device (the device used in this tutorial runs on Xiaomi’s MIUI software).

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Open the one on your Android phone settings App.

  2. Go to advertisement.

  3. Scroll down to System font and tap Text size.

  4. Adjust the text size to fit a larger alternative.

The font size settings are saved automatically. You will find that all of the text in the system is larger.

4. Uninstall or deactivate unwanted apps

Unless the Android device is a Google Pixel Smartphone or under Google’s Android One project, many apps will be preinstalled.

Most of the pre-installed apps are usually unnecessary. Third party Android phones come with many of them, which can be a problem for the elderly. They create a lot of clutter. It is important to disable most of these apps, or completely uninstall them if possible.

How to uninstall unnecessary apps on Android

Most of the preinstalled apps and games known as bloatware do not uninstall normally. However, some do.

To uninstall an app, open your phone’s settings and go to Apps > Manage apps. Again, your device may have a slightly different way of accessing this setting.

Select the app you want to uninstall and see if that option is available. If not, you might see an option to disable the app and select that instead. This will hide the app icon, among other things.

If that is also missing, then explore other ways to uninstall unwanted apps on Android. Before doing this, however, make sure that you are not disabling or uninstalling any critical apps that are necessary for them to function properly.

5. Disable gesture navigation

Gesture navigation is a cool way to navigate your Android smartphone, but it can be unintuitive for the elderly. To make a device more user-friendly for you, switch back to the classic 3-button navigation system.

The 3-button navigation includes a triangular back button, a square outline and a circular home button.

This can be a little easier to use compared to gesture navigation. From Android 10 and higher, you can use the classic buttons or gestures. Here’s how you can change the navigation style and take into account that your device may take a slightly different approach:

  1. Open your device’s Settings app and go to System> Gestures> System Navigation.

  2. Select the classic 3-button navigation style here.

6. Enable simple mode on Samsung devices

If you have a Samsung smartphone, you can turn it on Easy mode. The Easy Mode simplifies the user interface of the device and makes it easy for seniors to use.

To activate Easy Mode, go to Settings> Display> Simple mode, and then turn on the feature on the activation page.

If Easy Mode isn’t easy enough for you, use the senior-optimized Android launchers like Simple Launcher and BIG Launcher.

Simplify senior life on Android smartphones

We’ve covered several different ways to help you make any Android phone easier for seniors. To recap, first install a senior-friendly Android launcher. Alternatively, you can activate Easy Mode if you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. Next, increase the keyboard height and increase the font size throughout the system. Finally, return to the classic 3 button navigation style.

This makes it easier for your grandparents to use the latest Android smartphones. You should also find the best senior cell phone plans there.

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