According to Nielsen research, folks aged 55 – 64 represent the fastest growing segment of smartphone adoption (as us whipper snapper generations are somewhat saturated with technology at this point). And while I’m sorry to skew their results, we brought my 68 year old mother into the fold this past weekend.
After the last few visits with Mom, it became clear she would benefit from smartphone features – namely access to a digital rolodex and efficient web searching while on the go. But would she be comfortable with the tech? She had her doubts. But, as I reassured over the last few months, a much more capable and powerful iPhone would actually be simpler to use than her aging Nokia flip – which she had a tough time using for text messaging and routinely, but inadvertently, snapped pictures of her feet.
Of course I’m the family tech advisor and what moved this project forward was Apple opening up their Mobile Me tier by offering free email and address books under iCloud (because seniors have fixed incomes). I’m convinced Mom could have handled Yahoo Mail, but Gmail’s interface would have overwhelmed her when migrating from her
Mindspring Earthlink ISP. But Apple’s solution is even cleaner, featuring a streamlined, ad-free web UI… with seemless iOS integration. So shortly after iCloud went live, I created her email account and gave her two weeks to start populating the online address book from various lists and notebooks. Continue Reading…