How to choose the right device for your grandparents.

Keeping older generations up to date with technology can be a hustle, but also a great benefit for their security, entertainment or staying in contact with them. Our tips when choosing a new device for your grandparents.

When the elderly in a family invest in a smart device, the collective choice is made, keeping in mind, the huge change that lies in front of them. It inevitably becomes the younger members' responsibility to help them pick the best-suited gadgets. Ranging from a traditional desktop or laptop to a smartphone or a tablet, the choice needs to be made by analyzing the following factors: budget, the current level of comfort, required space, and specs.

Laptops.

Computing machines, traditionally laptops and desktops are now dedicated workstations for tasks that require higher skills and have a steeper learning curve. Starting with a Mac OS, the first steps often include several basic yet crucial steps. Since most users are comparatively familiar with that computing experience, they're an excellent choice for more experienced people who aren't looking to change how they work.

Listed below are some of those crucial Mac OS first steps to help you out:

· Disable the Guest Account and set-up Auto-Login in Security and Privacy under the System Preferences. Under 'Security and Privacy, uncheck the 'Require password for sleep and screen saver'. Uncheck 'Disable automatic login'. Select the proper user in 'Automatically log in as', enter their password, and press 'OK'.

· Make Everything Bigger. The cursor, font, icons and even reducing screen resolution help in compensating for sight-related age problems.

· Simplify. Disable multi-touch gestures, reduce scroll speeds, disable the machine's aesthetic features. Remove all the bells and whistles leaving only what is functional. Go to 'Dock'. Increase the Size and uncheck 'Automatically hide and show the Dock'. In 'Trackpad', uncheck all the ticks under 'Point & Click', 'Scroll & Zoom' and 'More Gestures', also turn off two-finger scrolling. Maximize and always show the Dock. Go to “Dock”. Drag the “Size” slider if required and uncheck “Automatically hide and show the Dock”.

· Remove all the extra applications and the menu bar. Most of the work can today be done through a web browser, hence walk them through a suitable browser and widgets. Log into all the services they plan on using and verify that they stay logged in. Allow Apps only from the App Store. While preventing accidental bloatware, it also adds to security.


Tablets.

The best choice for occasional and basic users, Android Tablet Setup is a one time fix for easy and hassle-free access to all the perks modern technology has to offer. Anyone who wants to avoid spending on a dedicated computer, with mostly repeatable tasks to complete daily can utilize tablets. Mobile operating systems are easier to learn, use, and with the proper accessories, the relatively low starting range with high customizability through apps make tablets a great choice for an aged computing user.

Android Tablet Setup is easily done for the elderly by replacing the stock home screen app with an "Easy Mode" launcher. While some devices have these built-in, you can explore many trusted free options on the Play Store.

The idea is simple, a clutter-free home screen with large and simple icons makes smartphones and tablets easier to use for senior citizens. Once installed, simply press the device's home button, select the new launcher, and press "Always" to set it as the default home screen app. If you'd prefer not to add a launcher, over the native UI, you can simplify usage by arranging only the used apps and clearing the clutter. Remove all but the most commonly-used apps from the home screen. The goal here is not to overwhelm your technologically-challenged relative, rather allow them to explore their phone and discover apps at their own pace.

Finally, one of the most frequent complaints from seniors regarding any modern device is that the text is too small. In Android Tablet Setup, go to the 'Display' category, then tap 'Font size' to change this to 'Large' or 'Huge'.