If you use a smartphone or tablet, especially if you’re an active senior, you’ve probably wondered, “What on earth did we do before mobile devices?” If you use yours to get directions or to check the weather, that’s a great start. But there’s so much more you can do with a smartphone, and developers have created many useful apps for seniors. There are two main smartphone operating systems — iOS for the iPhone and Android for just about everything else. Windows and Blackberry smartphones are lagging behind the two front-runners, but you can find Windows apps at the Windows store and Blackberry apps at Crackberry.
Car Parking Apps for Seniors
Goodness knows you don’t have to be a senior to lose your car in the parking lot. This can happen to anyone, at any age. How many hours have you wasted looking for your car? Mashable links to a collection of car parking apps for the iPhone and Android phones.
Dragon is synonymous with speech-to-text in the computer world, and now the same technology that costs $59 to $79 for computers is free for smartphone users. Dragon Mobile Assistant for Android apps is aptly named. Almost anything you can do with the keyboard, you can do with this app. iPhone users can download the free Dragon Dictation app.
Magnifiers and Flashlights
You don’t need “over-40 eyes” to benefit from magnifier and flashlight apps. They can be helpful to anyone, and they’re often bundled together. Think of the safety benefits of having a flashlight with you everywhere you go. And about that four-inch screen on your smartphone — can you really see anything on that screen without magnification? Two great apps are Magnifying Glass with Light for iOS devices and Magnificent Magnifier HD for Android.
Where’s My Smartphone?
There is nothing as frustrating as the panic that sets in when you’ve lost your mobile device. If you occasionally lose yours (and who doesn’t?), you’ll love Find My iPhone for iOS devices (it can also find your missing iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac) and Where’s My Droid for Android devices. Each app can find your device and offers a host of other features like locking your device when it’s lost. Features vary by app.
White Noise is a popular app available in both an iOS and an Android version. With 40 ambient sounds, digital time displays with dimmers, and the ability to modify the sounds, you’ll want to give White Noise a try if you have trouble sleeping.
Shopping Apps to Save Money
Everyone wants to save money, but seniors often live on fixed incomes, so saving money takes on a more important meaning. NBC rounded up five apps to cover your shopping needs — from barcode readers to RetailMeNot coupon codes, to apps for matching programs and store flyers. Don’t leave home without these apps, and don’t buy anything on the Internet without first checking with RetailMeNot.
GreatCall features a roundup of five must-have medical apps, covering everything from wellness to urgent care.
The senior digital market is growing rapidly. You’ll find new apps for seniors created every day — apps to make your life easier and improve your quality of life. Search the Internet often and check out your carrier’s app store for more.