Tag Archives: Computing for Seniors

Say Hello to a Good Buy: The Replacement for Granny’s Computer has finally arrived!

Apple 9.7” iPad

As a technology advisor to seniors, the most frequently asked question I get is: “My Grandmother (or Grandfather) needs a new computer which one should I get?”

My response is: “They no longer need a computer they need a tablet computing device. If you surveyed seniors that use computers (desktop or laptop) and ask them what they actually use their computer for, the responses would undoubtedly include:

  1. Getting, reading, replying to eMail.
  2. Reading and responding to Facebook.
  3. Playing a game that might include Solitaire, Scrabble, or Wheel of Fortune.
  4. Reading a good ebook or magazine.
  5. Surfing the web for news, weather, and funny stuff.
  6. Seeing photos of my adult children and younger grandchildren.
  7. Maybe shopping online.

All of the seven above can be done on grandma’s lap while she is sitting on her couch or lying in bed using a lightweight tablet. Not so with desktop computers, and not easy with so-called laptops.

There are hundreds of different tablet computers that range in price from $49.99 (Barnes & Noble Nook 7″ Tablet) to over a $1,000 (Apple 12.5″ iPad Pro Tablet). In my humble (but well experienced) opinion, the BEST choice for doing the seven items above is the new $329 9.7″ Apple iPad Click here for more info

Here are ten reasons why this is the one to buy:

1. This is the most current version of the iPad that Apple has honed to perfection over the past six years.

2. The screen is bright, easy to read, and the exactly the right size to read ebooks and magazines with ease.

3. It comes with the A10 Fusion processor chip that is incredibly fast – great for videos, games, and going from one app to another.

4. The main camera on this iPad is 8MP takes stunning photos and can record in HD video. Plus use it for FaceTime calls with family and friends.

5. Use it to connect to almost any Bluetooth keyboard.

6. Get FREE ebooks, music, audiobooks, and movies from your local library using the Libby and Hoopla apps.

7. Weighs just a tad over 1 pound.

8. Thousands of cases, covers, keyboards, stands, screen protectors, styli, and headphones are available for this model iPad. Apple’s sensational electronic Pencil also works with this model.

9. Secure Touch ID, stereo speakers, 32GB of storage (more available), a cellular option is available, your choice of three different finishes.

10. Over 1,000,000 apps in Apple’s App Store.

Want to make your parents and/or grandparents happy? Get them an iPad, not a replacement desktop or laptop.

“Say Hello To A Good Buy!” Is Apple Music right for Seniors?

 

Apple Music
Apple Music
 

What! Seniors spending money on a music subscription?

No way!  Just a few years ago I worked at Barnes & Noble in what was then called “the music department.”  Seniors would come in and look over the bins of CD’s for the musical genre they liked and then grumble as the paid $14.99 each for the two or three CD’s that they would purchase and take home.  In the three years that I worked in “the music department,” I noticed that the number of bins containing CD’s was dramatically shrinking as more and more people were turning to digital music.

A lot of seniors love music, but are limited in what available funds they can spend on entertainment like books, magazines, movies – and of course music.  Many times while working at B&N I heard seniors express that they really wanted that new release, or that fourth CD but they “better not.” 

Along comes iTunes…

Apple’s iTunes software, which runs on Mac’s and Windows PC’s, has been around for several years.  It’s a great way to organize your digital music and videos.  Of course you could “RIP” the music CD’s you already owned to iTunes – all perfectly legal – and enjoy them on your computer with a good stereo sound system or “SYNC” them to a mobile device.  That is if you understood how to “RIP” and “SYNC.”  A lot of seniors didn’t “get it.”  

Along comes Pandora….

For seniors, who really embraced digital e-readers (like the Barnes & Noble “Nook,” or the Amazon “Kindle,” they migrated to more advanced digital devices like iPhones, iPads, Samsung/Nooks, and Kindle Fires that include the ability not only to read digital books, but also to listen to digital music and watch digital movies.  One of the first, and still one of the most successful music apps is Pandora.  It has that magic senior word “FREE!” and gives the listener the ability to pick a performer, song, or album and create a “station.”  For example I could have a Moody Blues “station.”  Pandora will play a Moody Blues track every third or fourth song – plus then fill in artists that are very similiar to the Moody Blues.  All for “FREE!” if you don’t mind an advertisement every quarter-hour or so.  I could have dozens of stations to accomodate my eclectic taste in music!

The come and they go…

Over the last five years there have been well over a dozen music services that have come and gone.  Some free, some paid.  All of them trying to find the magic formula that would attract millions of music lovers world wide to come to their mecca of music.  Some of them came from pretty big name brands you know, and some brands you never heard of before – or after.  Undoubtedly the most successful to-date has been an app and music service called Spotify.  There is a free version (ad supported) and a paid version (no ads) of Spotify.

  

Now comes Apple Music…

A few months ago Apple introduced a new music subscription called (naturally) Apple Music.  The service provides access to over 43,000,000 music tracks – and also music videos – all for just $14.99 per month. The monthly charge allows you to share the service with up to six family members (spouses, kids and grandkids included!). It’s just $9.99 per month for an individual subscription.

Here is the good news…

  • Millions of music songs and albums to choose from.  All your favorite artists, and all your loved genres! Easy to create playlists.
  • Music can be streamed over WiFi or cellular and also downloaded for off-line listening.
  • Each family member can have their own music library.
  • Apple Music works on MOST newer iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Mac’s and Windows PC’s.  It does not currently work on Android devices but Apple has announced that it will with a forthcoming App.
  • It also works (like magic!) on the latest Apple TV streaming devices (version 4).  The advantages of working on Apple TV is that you can watch music videos on that big new 75″ 4K Ultra High Definition flat panel TV that Santa will try to stuff down your chimney. 

Of course there is a little bad news…

  • If you cancel your subscription all the music goes away (remember you are only renting it).
  • No you cannot “burn” the music to a CD.
  • The Apple Music software is a little clumsy to use for the first few days – until you find your way around the icons.

But it’s $14.99 per month you say…

It amazes me how many people (not only seniors) grumble that they don’t want to pay $14.99 per month (or just $9.99 if you don’t want to share) for a music subscription, but they paid hundreds or even thousands of dollars for the best smartphone, best tablet, best computer or best flat panel TV that money can buy.  They think nothing of spending $7.99 – $14.99 (and up) per month for NetFlix, Hulu or HBO Now.  They will still spend $14.99 each for CD’s – but are reluctant to purchase a music subscription – which can be easily cancelled.

“Just Do it!”…

As Nike would say “Just Do It!” – the first 3 – months are FREE (and is easy to cancel).  Learn more by going to CLICK Here…

A final note…

As a senior (almost 70) and a tech weenie and geezer I think I speak with authority and experience on personal technology for seniors.  I’ve been messing with personal computers since 1978.  Comments – both pro and con are aways welcome.  Thanks for reading my blog.