The world’s gone mobile… or haven’t you heard? Consequently, it’s paramount we don’t leave older folks behind in the exciting path of mobile technology.
There are great apps that make accessibility and inclusiveness a reality. On key example is Android launchers.
Just in case you don’t know, launchers are home screen replacements that change the appearance and performance of your device. We Appszoom editors have curated a list of five excellent launchers that simplify Android’s phone layout and make them way more accessible for senior citizens. Let’s zoom in!
Let’s admit it. Technology can be complex. People who aren’t used to dealing with it may find it difficult to master (have you heard about the Digital Divide?). Smartphones are great tools for everyone, but some potential users can miss out on benefits because of that barrier of entry.
Necta Launcher comes to lower the walls, even doing away with them completely. It simplifies the appearance of any Android device, limiting its features to only those a low-profile user needs. Its grid layout with big buttons gives access to the time, network signal, battery, date and weather forecast, calls and favorite contacts, SMS, camera, gallery, SOS button, and flashlight. All the basic benefits of any connected device brought together in a user-friendly interface.
Big Launcher is pretty similar to Necta in terms of interface and performance. However, some may find its colored layout more senior-friendly (a color code makes it easier to explain each functionality). Its grid layout provides access to calls, messages, camera, gallery, and SOS right from the homescreen. Obviously, the grid can be personalized: add new buttons or change their position at whim.
Big Launcher comes with a bunch of senior-friendly customization features (icons, contacts widgets,…). However, some of them are restricted to the Pro version, which comes at a steep $9.86.
Large Launcher Senior Phone is a well-balanced and totally free senior-friendly launcher. The home screen layout may be busier than other options, but it includes everything a senior needs within hand’s reach: favorite contacts, date and hour, weather widget, phone, message, camera, SOS, gallery, and settings.
In addition, it comes with a preset “flashlight” widget that turns on the rear camera to provide a handy torch. Setup is easy, it’s highly customizable, and it even includes some themes.
Fontrillo‘s approach to userfriendliness is slightly different than the rest of launchers in this list. First off, the layout is different: instead of fitting everything into a single homescreen, it adds a streamlined swipable interface. Users just need to swipe left/right to access contacts, dial, messages, camera, gallery, call log, and favorite apps. Oh, and of course, a flashlight!
Frontillo is for older people that want to learn how mobile works: it introduces gestures and apps in a simplified way.
UIU’s Wiser is probably the best senior-friendly launcher in terms of design. It boasts a neat and polished interface that makes good use of a floating widgets-like layout.
Wiser is a hybrid that brings together some great features of the rest of launchers. First, there’s a main screen with shortcuts to the basic features: contacts, dialer, messaging, camera, gallery, and apps. In addition, there are a few more screens you can access by swiping left/right, just like Fontrillo. Quickly access favorite contacts, favorite apps, and a notification drawer from the adjacent screens.
The only catch: it falls shorter than the rest in personalization. Regardless, a well-designed and intuitive senior-friendly launcher.