iPhone App for 88 year old!  SMS messages from grand kids

Posted on 2012-03-26
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-15

An unusual one.  It may help you understand my requirement if you have experience of dealing with the elderly.
I have searched for an iPhone app. with the following functionality but cannot find one.

My father is 88 and has poor eyesight and is not good with technology.
He can read with the aid of a magnifier.

I want an app. that will facilitate him reading text messages from his grand children.

I need an app as follows;
1. Very very simple.
2. Very user friendly for the elderly
3. Simply displays a text message in a large font and allows scrolling up and down to see other messages.
4. The secret is simplicity.  I.e. no possibilty of pushing a button that will cause confusion.
5. There will be no need to write messages - only reading is required.

Again I emphasise simple, fool-proof, simple...

Question by:Patrick O'Dea
LVL 14

Assisted Solution

by:Michael Dyer
Michael Dyer earned 334 total points
ID: 37768710
you might look at the DriveSafe.ly app


It reads your text and email outload automatically.  It's targeted for driving, but it would be good for your situation too.

Assisted Solution

Lonbox earned 332 total points
ID: 37772743
No need for a third party application
You have 2 options built in two the iphone
-Large Text
by default it will be turned off switch it on an you can change the font size between 20pt and 56pt which should be more than large enough.
I would suggest using 40pt anything larger means you get less than 1 word per page.
A second option under the Acceessibility menu is zoom which performs a similar task

Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 37773037
Thanks for 2 responses so far.

However,  I feel I should stress a key point about my requirement.

It is much more than simply a large font.
Similarly, it is much more that a message being read aloud.

My father is 88.
He simply will not be comfortable using anything other than basic functionality.
For example, he is able to scroll through my photos on the phone.
That's as much as he could do - scroll.

So for instance, if he could scroll through texts by flicking back and forth , then this would be good.  However, ALL other functionality must NOT be available as it will cause confusion.  E.g. if he accidentally hit a button to "forward" a message this would result in confusion.

Think of it this way - 20 years ago this man struggled to use a calculator.
It is a generational thing, this man will be one hundred years old in 12 years.
His mind is sharp but he cannot handle anything other than very simple technology.

I need an app called "SMS for the very old".

Accepted Solution

AppleEngineer earned 334 total points
ID: 37838162
If you purchase an iPhone 4S, you can push the HOME button and then ask Siri to read any messages. There is no way of accidently scrolling, deleting, etc.

BUT If you need an app designed and developed, you can hire a company to create an app for you with your specific needs. Usually development companies will want money for their services but you can make arrangements so that you will "give them complete control" over your idea and will not take any profit from the idea. They may still ask for money but it will be less than their original amount.

Finally, consider Jailbreaking the device and mod the phone to read all messages aloud! (if you don't have the iPhone 4S)

Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 37849285
Thanks all.
Not quite what I need.

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