Naturally, with the advent of new technology like smartphones and tablets, it can be more overwhelming for the older generation, and trickier for them to adjust to at first. Still, these apps are designed to be as accessible for any age, and as you might discover, this new technology can help open up new possibilities like never before.
While some apps are designed to entertain, others can help you communicate, connect with loved ones or keep in touch with current events. There are also a massive amount of functional and practical apps that can help provide essential life hacks and help improve everyday life for seniors.
So we’ve delved into the market and compiled a list of the best apps around today for the older generation. In fact, there may just be an app for just about everything. So check out these amazing reasons to embrace this new technology.
With the Eye-Reader app for iPhone, there’s no need for your parents to hold a giant magnifying glass anymore to read the newspaper, menu or favorite book. The savvy app turns the iPhone into a unique and innovative magnifying glass.
The app uses the LED light of the iPhone to offer the reading magnifier glass. So they just have to hold the smartphone over the small text, and the Eyereader will magnify and light everything up for them in the blink of an eye.
Life360 (iPhone and Android)
The Life 360 app promises to welcome you to your new worry-free life. Available for both iPhone and Android, the practical app offers a family locator and will let you know when your family members travel across town and when they made it home safely.
This genius app allows you to connect to your entire family at the click of a button. So you can message your parents whenever you need, communicate with your own family circle and instantly check to see if everyone is ok, eliminating any worries.
If you’re searching for the most practical way to help your mum remember to take her medication on the right day, then Pillboxie might be the magical med app you never knew you needed. It offers a medication reminder and a host of other useful features.
The app is designed to be less ‘complicated’ and ‘boring’ as other medical apps and offers a quick, easy and visual customized pillbox. This way you can help set visual reminders of which pills to take and keep her stay on track of her schedule.
As an extra incentive to help your whole family keep moving, Fitbit is designed as the ultimate activity tracker tool. The app offers a whole suite of useful ways to help make sure your parents get plenty of exercise, eat healthier and sleep better.
The Fitbit can help you and your entire family keep track of your daily activities. You can log in your daily meals, sleep, exercise and you can even stay connected with your parents to give each other some more motivation.
MedMinder (iPhone and Android)
While there are a few digital pillboxes on the market, this medical app offers a few more extra special features. It is designed as an elderly-friendly pill dispenser app and allows you to set up and organize your parents’ pills into a schedule for them.
This digital pillbox app also works with pharmacies to help your parents’ manage their medications, and will even email, text or phone them to remind them if they missed their medication.
Senior Phone (Android)
The Senior phone app is designed to transform your grandparents’ smartphone phone screen into a simple, elderly-friendly interface. The idea is to make the phone easier and more accessible for any grandparent to use.
The app will help remove any small and unnecessary icons on the standard smartphone screen and replace it with larger, color-coded buttons and understandable icons. The text will also be clearer and allow them to access basic functions, like calling, texting or identifying their locations.
Magnifying Glass with Flashlight (Android and iPhone)
Although there are a few magnifying glass apps on the market, this app one sets itself apart by offering a magnifying glass combined with a flashlight. Thanks to an easy-to-navigate digital zoom, this app can turn your camera flash into a torch to provide the additional lighting they need.
So whether your parents need help with reading the newspaper, a prescription bottle or a menu in a restaurant, this app provides an extra flashlight to help make the text easier to read.
Kindle (Android and iPad)
While most of us will be familiar with Kindle tablet, you may not know that there’s also a Kindle smartphone app designed to turn it into a convenient e-reader. Your parents can, therefore, enhance their phones with e-reading functionality.
So the next time your parents are squinting to read, this will allow them to read with enlarged text and adjust the brightness. There are also a whole host of features, like text-to-speech function, an in-built dictionary, and they can easily access a large selection of new books.
LibriVox (Android and iPhone)
If your parents love reading, but suffer from poor eyesight or find reading more challenging as they get older, then this app offers over 15,000 free audiobooks. The books are from a variety of genres and are read by a group of generous volunteers.
The books are easily accessible by everyone and can either be streamed or downloaded for later. There are plenty of books to choose from, from classic fiction to non-fiction and new books are uploaded daily.
MedWatcher (Android and iPhone)
This is another clever medication reminder app that will allow your parents to help schedule their medication but offers some extra special features. The app also allows them to easily access their drug descriptions, and search for the medical uses, and track the side effects.
The savvy app was actually developed in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s designed as a way to engage with users, and help them check, track and report the side effects of these drugs, to help improve functionality the future.
Evernote (iPhone, Android, and desktop)
The Evernote app was created as the ultimate notepad to store all your important messages, reminders and lists. So if your grandparents tend to leave small notes, post-it reminders, grocery lists or recipes all over the house, then this useful app provides the place to organize everything.
The best part is that the app is available on desktops, iPhone and Android, making it easier for them to access their lists and reminders, both in the house or on the go.
Silver Surf (iPad)
The Silver Surf app has been designed to help surfing the web a breeze for seniors. So if your grandparents struggle with reading small text or have trouble navigating web pages, then there are a whole suite of features to help.
Some of the most useful customizable features include adjusting contrast and font size. There is also an option with a simple zoom slider instead of the usual pinch-to-zoom option, which is specially designed for people with arthritis.
This awesome app was developed by the son of an elderly father with Alzheimer’s. So the content is designed especially for those with Alzheimer’s and other cognitive impairments and offers plenty of resources to help keep their mind challenged.
Clevermind offers a treasure trove of games, quizzes, and brain-teasers, which are designed to help Alzheimer sufferers exercise the mind. What’s more, there are an array of special navigational features, like larger buttons, robotic assistant MYIRA and voice commands.
Prismatic offers a simple and convenient newsreader application. It allows you to adjust your news to suit your interests, and quickly scan all the news you want to read in one simple place.
The app is perfect and convenient for your parents, who might struggle to find the best places on the internet to read only the news or articles that interest them. It also offers a clear interface and is easy to use and navigate daily.
Yesterday USA (iPhone and iPad)
If your grandparents spend most of their time reminiscing about their youth, then this retro internet radio app might be perfect for them. Yesterday USA broadcasts popular shows and music 1920s to 1950s.
The radio app is free and is run by a group of volunteers who want to recreate the nostalgic and peaceful old-time radio atmosphere for older listeners. So this is the ideal app to allow your grandparents to take a trip down memory lane.
AARP (iPhone & Android)
This practical app was developed by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). It’s designed to help your grandparent’s stay connected with the latest AARP news, events, and keep track of their special senior benefits.
The app is designed to be easy for anyone to access and navigate and is available on iPhone and Android. It offers your grandparents a calendar of local events and informs them about the latest special AARP membership discounts.
Senior Savings (iPhone)
It can be hard to keep track of all the latest discount and sales, at any age. Still, if your parents aren’t the most internet savvy, then the Senior savings is one awesome discount app and can allow them to easily keep up to date with the latest deals.
Many stores, hotels, and restaurants offer special senior discounts. However, since it can be tricky and time-consuming to stay in touch with all the latest senior discounts, this app allows them to make the most of all the best deals.
If you and your family love cooking but are tired of the same old family recipes, then Epicurious cooking app offers thousands of recipes for you to try and experiment with. You can never get bored in the kitchen again!
When your parents retire, they might have more time to really enjoy cooking again. While most people relying on a few cookbooks their whole life, then this app will allow them to experiment with a whole host of new exciting recipes. The best part is the recipes are free and all in one app.
Find My iPhone (iPhone & Android)
Just like us, our grandparents can be forgetful with their smartphones from time to time. It’s easy to leave your phone in the living room, the car or a random shelf and forget where you left it. So this app is perfect for both them and the entire family.
With Find My iPhone, you can easily help your grandparents locate their phone if they ever lose it. You can also prevent anyone else from accessing the smartphone if it’s stolen at any point, making it useful for the whole family.
Be My Eyes (iPhone)
Be My Eyes is an innovative app, designed especially for blind and low-sighted people, so it’s perfect if your grandparents find reading a challenge. The app provides extra light for their phone, to help people read more easily.
The added light can help both illuminate and magnify everything for your grandparents, from restaurant menus and magazines to newspapers or books. So you can help them be a little more independent when they’re out alone.
Good RX (iPhone & Android)
This is another clever free medical app that would perfect for your grandparents. Since so many of our grandparents are on prescription drugs, the developers of this app wanted to provide a way for people to compare and track the prices of their medication.
Since and the prices have skyrocketed in recent years, this app compares the prices of prescription drugs from over than 60,000 pharmacies. The idea is to help people find the lowest price, and the best part is that it can be downloaded for free.
Red Panic Button (iPhone & Android)
The Red Panic Button is an ingenious medical alert app for smartphones and is ideal if your parents live alone. This way, instead of just wearing a medical alert necklace, they can also press the button on their phone to get instant medical attention.
At just one click of the app, your parents can easily call the medical services. The app will also send their current location and automatically send out a message to a customized list of people to let them know they need help.
Mint (iPhone & Android)
Mint offers a practical personal finance app and is designed to sync all bank accounts into one easy place. If your grandparents have money laying around in different banks, then this app would be perfect for them.
The app can help your grandparents take control of their finances in an easy and accessible way. There are plenty of useful features, like setting alerts to let them know when they spend over their budgets. It can also segment their spending habits, help them manage their finances and save a little cash on the way.
Blood Pressure Monitor (iPhone)
As your parents get older, it becomes more and more essential to monitor their health, which includes keeping track of their blood pressure rate. So this Blood Pressure Monitor app is the ideal app for them to do it at home.
The app allows them to both keep track of your their blood pressure rate and offers an array of health-related features. So they can also monitor their weight and other health statistics. The best part is, they can easily share them with their doctor from the app.
iBooks (iPhone & Android)
When your parents retire, they often have more time to devote to their other passions, like reading. So while it might be more challenging to visit the library so often, iBooks can be the next best thing to help them read whenever they choose.
The iBooks app can be downloaded onto their smartphones for free and allow them to access thousands of books, from almost any genre. It also allows them to download just a few pages of the book to see if they like it, before downloading the whole book.
Wordbrain (iPhone & Android)
Many studies have shown that the best way to help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, is to keep your mind active with puzzles, and brainteasers. So you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an app for that.
If your grandparents love puzzles, then Wordbrain offers a whole host of word puzzles to keep them occupied all day. The quizzes and puzzles tend to start off easier and then become more challenging, so they won’t get tired easily either.
Luminosity (iPhone & Android)
While some apps focus just on a few quizzes, Luminosity offers a broader range of educational puzzles, quizzes, and interactive games. The app is designed to offer a ‘free brain and cognitive development program’, to help keep our minds sharp.
The app is hugely popular and was created especially to help improve ‘memory, critical thinking and problem-solving skills’. So while this brain-training app is ideal for any age, it would be great for your grandparents to help keep their minds active.
Netflix (iPhone and Android)
Most people, including our grandparents, might struggle to find the best secure site to stream and download their favorite shows. So Netflix offers a one-stop solution for all our entertainment needs and features a wealth of entertaining shows for the whole family.
For a small subscription fee, your grandparents can access hundreds of both classic and new TV shows, documentaries, and movies. The app is designed to be easily accessible at any age, so they can watch their favorite shows any time they want.
Words with Friends (iPhone & Android)
While Words with Friends might be popular with children and adults alike, this is another gaming app that can allow your grandparents to keep their minds active and alert. It’s also a social game that they can play with friends and loved ones.
The game is very similar to Scrabble and offers users the chance to interact with people all over the world and challenge each other with word puzzles. This fun, entertaining game is perfect to help sharpen word skills and will allow your grandparents to have another way to connect with your family.
NPR One (iPhone & Android)
If you’re grandparents still prefer the experience of listening to the classic radio than watching TV, then the NPR app (National Public Radio) broadcasts entertainment and news straight to their smartphones.
With the NPR app, they can easily access their favorite entertainment shows as well as national and international news. There are plenty of other features and you can also set reminders on the app to make sure they don’t miss their favorite episodes.
Tapestry (iPhone & Android)
Created as a Facebook spin-off for seniors, the Tapestry social media app offers a more senior-friendly social site. The app will allow your grandparents to send messages to your family and share photos and videos whenever they wish.
If your grandparents are overwhelmed by Facebook, then this app is designed to help them stay in touch with loved ones and be entertained, in a spam-free, ad-free online environment. This is just another reason to help them love smartphones.
Park ‘n’ Forget (iPhone)
This Park ‘n’ Forget app sounds like a dream that the whole family could find useful, as well as our grandparents. So if you or your family have ever driven and forgot where you parked your car, this app can help.
While there are numerous GPS-based car finding apps on the market, this one is popular as it’s reliable, easy to use and offers an array of practical features. The app can show you the way back to your car and how long it will take you to get there, which is useful if you want to beat the parking ticket police!
Simple Social (Android)
Simple Social is another social app designed especially for the older generation. The app offers a classic, clean version of Facebook, which is less cluttered. Another bonus is that it also integrates with their Twitter feed.
So your grandparents will be able to easily browse and navigate their way through the app, and it should be much simpler to operate than Facebook. This way they can stay in touch with the latest family news and connect with family and friends with a simple social click.
This bespoke online music app will let your parents hear only the music they want. So if your parents prefer to mellow out to some old time classics, fire up their favorite bands or get inspired with some jazz, then they can create their own special personalized radio station.
The music app allows them to choose their favorite genre, artist, or a specific song, and create their own customizable playlist. They can also search for similar songs or suggested artists, and keep the content as classic or fresh as they wish.
The Weather Channel (iPhone)
Come rain or shine, the weather channel app is another popular and practical app that can help your parents plan our daily excursions. The weather channel offers a real-time weather radar service and provides live updates and alerts.
The weather app offers reliable, real-time weather updates and forecasts around the world. Your parents can even create their own personalized weather report on their most traveled routes. The app also provides the pollen rate, UV forecasts, rain alerts and more.
The WebMD app is another popular go-to medical app that is ideal if your parents want some healthy peace of mind. The app allows them to ask health-related questions and receive reliable, doctor-reviewed answers.
The app is designed to be easily accessible, and they can simply type in their symptoms or find a reliable home-remedy, while they are waiting to see a regular physician. The app offers a wealth of useful information and has a ‘healthy target’ feature where they can set healthy goals.
MediSafe Medication Reminder
MediSafe Medication Reminder is another medical app that’s regarded highly by healthcare experts. The savvy app will not only remind your grandparents when to take specific medications, but there are also a host of other functional features.
The app will set reminders and alerts when they need to refill their prescription. It also allows them to monitor their blood pressure, weight, pulse, and temperature blood glucose levels, and share the info with their doctor.
Goodreads app (iPhone)
If your parents love nothing but getting caught up in a good book on a lazy Sunday afternoon, then the Goodreads app offers a forum for them to discuss, review and rate books with other book lovers with similar interests.
The app will allow them to share opinions and write reviews on both classics and the latest book releases. They can also read reviews, ratings, and critiques of any new books on their wish-lists before they even buy it. So this is a popular and practical app for book lovers around the world.
Skype (iPhone and Android)
For the ultimate communications tool, many families love using Skype to catch up with their loved ones face-to-face across the country. So if your grandparents are stuck with their traditional house phones, then this free online app might just open up a new world for them.
Skype is designed to be accessible for everyone, no matter the age and easy to use. So your grandparents might be amazed that they can see your face on skype whenever they miss you and help keep your family a little closer.