July 12, 2011

364 words 2 mins read

Woah, I should get Mom a Samsung Fascinate (Phones for the older folks?)

Nexus S CC-BY-SA-3.0 Luca Volpi
No, I don’t actually have any plans to get my mother a Samsung phone. For those living under a rock (or don’t have cable), that’s the recent tag line from a Verizon commercial. It’s a rather amusing commercial about a dude deciding that he should get his Mom a smart phone so he can send her pictures of his child… a child which doesn’t currently exist… but if it did he would name it Brian. A little odd, though amusing. It has set me to pondering about my own Mother’s need for a new phone and specifically how there are no good phones for the older generation.

Really, my mother

does need a new phone. Her current phone is old enough that it says Cingular on it. AT&T re-branded themselves in 2006, seriously dating that phone. Her battery is dying and it’s really starting to wear out in general. I know she needs to upgrade, but to what?

Take a quick look at the phones Verizon currently offers and you’ll find that they only have two types, i.e. “feature phones” and “smart phones”. Granted they’ve got a few “feature phones” that look fairly stripped down, but they’re still a long way from a simple device. I thought a smart phone (more specifically an Android) could work for her if there was some sort of “simple” interface — but so far I can’t find one.

My assumption is that there would be a fair market for cell phones that target the older generation. The easiest way to do this, without special hardware, is an interface overhaul for Android. The interface would need to provide: Simple phone dialing with EASY access to a simple contact list. Simple access to text messages. Simple access to the camera. Most importantly, it would need to do everything with a (variably) LARGE print. If I had the skill in modding Android, I would do this myself.

So, does anyone out there have any recommendations for my mom’s new phone? Something easy to use with decently large print? Or maybe you’ve found an interface for Android that would work. Please, let me know in the comments below.