Tuesday, December 6

8 things to do before giving your elderly relative an iPhone or iPad | Digital Trends Spanish


One of the best gifts you can give someone, especially in today’s connected world, is a new iphone either iPad. After all, these are devices that come equipped with iOS or iPadOS, respectively, which are quite intuitive and easy to use for most people. For the most part, setting up an iPhone or iPad the way you want is a simple matter.

However, if you’re giving an older person in your family a new iPhone or iPad, it can be a bit more difficult, as they may not be fully tech literate. You know the drill: questions like, “what’s my email?” or “what is my password?” I’m sure many of us have been the tech support for our families, especially during the holidays. My mom is on the older side, and my siblings and I have to help her with almost everything, including her iPhone and iPad. Here are some things she should do before giving an iPhone or iPad to an elderly relative.

Set up an Apple ID for them

For all Apple devices, an Apple ID is required. It’s basically the key to everything in Apple’s walled garden. So if you’re gifting an iPhone or iPad to someone older and have never used an iPhone, iPad or Mac before, it helps if you set it up for them beforehand, both the associated email address and password. And if you do, be sure to keep that information handy in a password manager like 1Password or LastPass.

If your older relative already has an existing Apple ID, feel free to continue using that one for them, as all their data and downloads should be associated with it. I’d also recommend keeping this information handy if you haven’t already, just to help with any account troubleshooting that may be required in the future.

Prepare your Wi-Fi connections

A TP Link Archer AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 router on a desk

An iPhone or iPad is useless without some form of data connectivity. If you’re giving someone an iPhone, they should already have a data connection. But unless you turn to the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions, the iPad relies solely on Wi-Fi.

If the person you’re giving an iPhone or iPad to is usually at home, try setting up Wi-Fi for them there ahead of time. And if you also frequently go to someone else’s house or even a favorite coffee shop, try to connect the device to those networks if you can. It gives them one less thing to worry about, and probably saves a couple of future troubleshooting phone calls for you!

Increase text size and bold font

An iPhone 14 Pro showing the Larger Text option in Settings with Bold Text already enabled

The older you get, the harder it is to read small text, especially on most gadgets. Fortunately, Apple has a bunch of various tweaks in the Settings app, including accessibility options that can help make text easier for older eyes to read.

In the Settings app, just go to screen and brightness to find the switches text size Y Text bold. For the text size, you can choose from a total of seven sizes (the default is right in the middle), but more can be found in the settings accessibility. Accessibility has many other features too, including button shapes (this makes it easier to see which buttons are touchable), on/off labels, and more.

These tweaks to the text on the screen may seem small, but for older users, they can make all the difference in the world.

Clean home screen and add apps

Someone holding an iPhone 14 with the screen on, showing the home screen.

When you get a new iPhone or iPad, Apple includes its own list of native apps by default. These apps include Music, Stocks, Calendar, Mail, Weather, the entire iWork suite of apps, and more. Your family member may not need all of these apps, so you can reduce home screen clutter by deleting unnecessary apps, a feature that was added in iOS 10 in 2016.

But what if they want one of those native apps you removed? As long as they have an Apple ID, which I mentioned earlier, they can download whatever native app they want directly from the App Store.

Speaking of the App Store, if you know of any particular apps or games that your family member likes to use, such as Amazon or Candy Crush, it would be best to download them to the device before giving them to them.

enable magnifier

Magnifier iOS 14 feat image

Did you know that the iPhone and iPad can be used as a magnifying glass? If true! This is kind of a hidden feature, but it’s made possible by Apple’s accessibility settings.

With Magnifier, you can use the camera on your iPhone or iPad to zoom in on whatever your device is pointing at. Magnifier essentially makes small text easier to read by zooming in on it, but there are other cool things you can do to further increase readability, like adjusting contrast, increasing brightness, or applying a filter to invert colors.

Magnifier is a standalone app on iOS and iPadOS, but you can also set it as an accessibility shortcut (triple-click the side button) or pull it out of Control Center as well.

Increase screen contrast

iPhone 14 Pro screen with accessibility settings for text

Earlier, I mentioned how you can increase the text size and bold the text to make everything more readable for older eyes. Another recommendation is to increase the contrast, which is done through the Accessibility settings.

Self-explanatory, but enabling this will increase the color contrast between foreground and background colors system-wide in all apps, making it easier on the eyes. For those older relatives who may have a hard time reading if things are too light, this should help, along with increasing the font size and bolding the text.

Even better, increasing the contrast of the screen is very easy. open the app Settingselect Accessibilitychoose Screen size and text and turn on the switch next to Increase contrast.

Shareplay option in iOS 15 FaceTime

Whether you’re giving an iPhone or an iPad, they’re both devices that will help someone connect with others through voice, text, and video. With that in mind, adding important contacts to the address book on iPhone or iPad will save your elderly family member a lot of time.

With an Apple ID, you can set up iCloud to sync data, including contacts. Once you add those important contacts, they will be immediately synced with iCloud and saved across multiple Apple devices. In other words, if your older relative gets another Apple device later, all those contacts will go with them when they use that same Apple ID.

Also, if you get an iPhone or iPad that already has contact information for other family and friends, then you can chat directly with them through regular calls, FaceTime, and iMessage.

Turn on Find My iPhone/iPad and enable location sharing

How to turn off Find My iPhone

Apple has a handy little service called Find My that helps you locate your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, and even a Mac. When you set up a new device, enabling Find My should be one of the steps in the process, but you can also turn it on. or disable it manually.

To do this, open the app Settingtouch the apple id banner and then select Search my. When Find My is on, you can use the Find My network to locate a lost or stolen (or misplaced) device, and even ping it to play a sound to help you figure out it fell behind the couch.

Lastly, for older relatives, it would be a good idea to keep track of where they are, in case something happens. If you follow the steps above to turn on Find My, there’s also another setting that allows your Apple ID to share your current location with others through Messages and Find My (if you have Family Sharing enabled). When this is enabled, you will be able to see where that person is based on the GPS location of the iPhone or iPad. If they call or text you that they need help outside the home, you can quickly see where they are instead of wasting precious time.

Apple devices are simple, but maybe that’s not enough

In the tech community, people say that Apple’s operating systems are pretty simple: whether that’s good or bad is entirely up to the user. I like the simplicity because I can start using my device instead of messing around with many different settings. However, for older relatives and those who aren’t super tech-literate, even Apple’s iOS and iPadOS (Android even more so) can be a bit confusing, especially with all the hidden settings.

Gifting an iPhone or iPad to an older family member is still very popular, despite the fact that it will turn into free tech support. If you’re giving an older family member one of Apple’s best devices, setting it up first with these steps will make everyone’s life a lot easier.

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