We’ve written extensively over the past year about senior friendly cell phones AND the ever evolving smartphone revolution. Dumb phones and smartphones alike have a a niche in the digital ecosystem when it comes to active older adults. For those seniors who have taken the plunge, and bought into the iPhone or iPad, we thought we’d focus on a few of our favorite iOS apps for 2012. Here are some of those that we love:
The Top 10 iPhone Apps for Seniors
1. NPR – This is a great (free) app that features current news stories that NPR is following. You can read stories, listen to them and even share them using the NPR app. One of the most popular features is the ability to listen to your favorite shows on-demand. You can catch the latest “Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me!”, “Talk of the Nation”, and “All Things Considered” right at your fingertips.
2. Facebook – More and more seniors are utilizing social media these days. Did you know that according to the PEW Internet and American Life Project 1/3 of seniors age 65 and older are using social media sites like Facebook, and 18% are using them daily! Older adults want to share just like young people want to share. They want to share experiences, photos, and interact with family and friends. This is a free app and fairly easy to use.
3. The Weather Channel – Another free app that is a must have. It’s on all of our iPhones, and is very easy to use. It’s extremely easy to program your favorite destination cities into the app so you can see how the weather is in Portland, Austin, Denver and Miami (all with the swipe of a finger).
4. Pandora – Pandora is an app that lets you listen to the music that you want to hear. This free app lets you create custom Pandora stations that play music in the same genre of the stations you create. Create a “Neil Young station” and you may get songs from Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Stephen Stills, and maybe a little Fleetwood Mac… You get the picture. This is one of our very favorites, and it has become a staple for internet streaming music. This app is to streaming music… what Skype is to video conferencing! The user interface (UI) is very easy to use.
5. Birthday Reminder Pro – Birthday Reminder Pro is a paid app ($.99) but it does what it says it’s going to do. It reminds you of friend’s and family member’s birthdays so you never miss them again! This app lets you import birthdays from facebook, or from your contacts. You can also program in birthday reminders for those that aren’t in your social networking circles yet. Provides notifications in advance of special days.
6. MedWatcher – “MedWatcher was created in collaboration with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Devices and Radiologic Health” (iTunes). This (free iOS) app pushes safety alerts for medical devices and for drugs to your Apple driven mobile device. It also allows the user to report adverse events (and side effects) directly to the FDA. This feature has the potential to make devices/drugs safer for everyone involved.
7. Magnifying Glass with Light – This (free) app is recommended for those that may need a little extra visual enhancement while reading a menu, or perusing a map. Acts like a magnifying glass and also has a light associated to help distinguish those little things even more.
8. CNN – As far as news apps go, this one is very good. CNN has a free news app that stays up to date and is easy to use. This app has a live TV option as well as “sharing” capabilities to email your friends or post articles of interest on social networking sites. We like apps that just work… and this is one of them.
9. My Medical - My Medical is a paid ($2.99) record keeping app that stores your pertinent medical information and history. My Medical doesn’t just keep one (1) medical record, it allows you to keep multiple records so the user can keep track of a spouse’s info, kids immunization records, and all kinds of medical records. This app would make sharing medical information with specialists, etc. very easy, and it would give emergency department personnel additional information should they need it. This app requires users to enter in private information, but we see real benefits to doing so if the app is secure/private. Interestingly, the data inputs are kept on the mobile device (phone) and not on a remote server (though The Senior List has not confirmed this at this time).
10. WebMD – A free app that helps with decision support tools that enables the user to obtain information on disease states, diagnose symptoms, and improve upon ones health. It’s an app with a very high rating on iTunes and can provide valuable information to the person that invests time in it.
If you have other favorites please let us know in the comments section. We’re very interested in sharing other apps that can make a difference in someone’s life!