Think of Smartphones and Apps as Tools

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Hear this discussion from our Longevity Explorers — circles of older adults who meet monthly to explore solutions to the challenges that come with aging.

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from: Longevity Explorers | Sequoias SF, SF Village

Discussion Summary

Explorer Jim sees a smartphone as a real benefit to older adults. The Explorers then discuss the range of uses and advantages offered by smartphones and apps.

  • One member says that there is no comparison to the benefit of computers for entertainment (i.e. movies and TV shows) , and for maintaining contact with family and friends. But with connection, spam calls and emails increase - bringing with them scams. "People respond and are stung - there is no such thing as a free lunch. AI takes much for granted, and can be intrusive with ads and frequent alerts."
  • Camera quality,  the calendar app,  Siri, and timer are seen as very helpful, as are apps for travel and ones for investments.
  • How to overcome one's fear of technology? Focus on a particular use case to draw a person in. Encouragement and support are especially helpful. To overcome resistance, think of an app as a 'tool' - a useful implement for a specific task.
  • Another member uses photos as reminders, to copy announcements or documents, or to capture an event for reporting purposes.

Some Explorers' favorite apps: Pay by Phone for parking meters, Get Human, Scanable, e-Banking, ApplePay, GooglePay, Pandora Music, Podcasts, and a variety of health and wellness apps. However, the group agrees that drawbacks for low income persons include the cost of hardware and subscriptions. 


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Key words: 
smartphones, smartphone apps, apps for seniors