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Help me help my elderly parents learn to use an iPad.
March 11, 2012 6:30 PM   Subscribe

Once my iPad 3 arrives this Friday, I'm planning on giving my 1st generation iPad to my parents. They're both in their 60s and fairly computer illiterate. I've tried to teach them the basics, but what apps or websites could I pre-install on the iPad when I give it to them to help them learn at their own pace? Bonus question; Dad likes soccer and I don't, so what's your recommendation for the best soccer apps to put on there?

As I said above the fold, I've tried teaching my parents the basics of using an iPad and surfing the internet over the course of the last few months so that when I did finally gift them my iPad, they'd know what to do with it. They seem to have gotten some of the info down; my dad was getting very friendly with Google Maps and using it to look at his old neighbourhood in Germany, but it's clear they'll need further tutelage. So my questions are as follows...

1. Is there a great app I could pre-install or interactive website that they could visit to let them learn how to use the iPad at their own pace?

2. Being pensioners on a limited income, they'll only have 10GB of internet data to last the year. What's the best way to help them learn how to manage their bandwidth so they don't use it up quickly and incur extra charges?

3. Is there a good website or app that'll help them learn to be net-savvy (so they don't fall victim to scams, and so they know their Facebook from their Youtube etc).

4. Dad is a soccer nut... specifically the German Bundesliga. I don't know the first thing about soccer, so soccer fans... what's the best app to give him that will let him check out live scores and generally indulge his passion for the game (but not eat up a tonne of bandwidth with videos etc)?

5. I'm thinking of buying him FIFA 12 and pre-installing that on the iPad, but I see the user reviews for that app say it has some problems on 1st generation iPads. Any first hand experiences would be nice. Or is there a better soccer game you can recommend?

6. Any other apps you can think of that might be good for them to have, please recommend them!
posted by Effigy2000 to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You could get them the IPad For Seniors for Dummies book. Either as an ebook, or in paper format.

My dad loves weather apps and Flipboard and has a free magazine app he likes, but I forget the name.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:36 PM on March 11, 2012


2. Being pensioners on a limited income, they'll only have 10GB of internet data to last the year. What's the best way to help them learn how to manage their bandwidth so they don't use it up quickly and incur extra charges?

There is Usage data under General in the Options, you can see your Cellular usage. The counter doesn't reset monthly, so just reset it once they get it and then reset it again in the new year.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:47 PM on March 11, 2012


Another tip:

I've set up a simple Web site for my father's iPad. His Safari home screen is set to this page. If there's an app, I think he needs to download, I'll put the link on his Web site, so he'll see it when he logs in, and knows to download it. He's alright with using his password for this, and I've set him up with an iTunes gift card, so he's got credit on there, and no credit card is used.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:52 PM on March 11, 2012 [6 favorites]


"There is Usage data under General in the Options, you can see your Cellular usage. The counter doesn't reset monthly, so just reset it once they get it and then reset it again in the new year."
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:47 PM on March 12

Thanks, but to clarify, what I was asking here was how do I teach them that watching a Youtube video, or downloading a 150mb app from the App Store is going to eat up their bandwidth faster than just browsing the net? Put another way, how do I teach them to instinctively know how much data their activities on the net will eat up?

Also, this is a WiFi only iPad, so as far as I can tell there is no usage counter under General.
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:04 PM on March 11, 2012


60s isn't old. They're perfectly competent to figure this all on their own if they're in any sense "computer literate."
posted by ethnomethodologist at 7:22 PM on March 11, 2012 [5 favorites]


ESPN Soccernet has an app.

The iPad isn't really set up to deal with Australian-style metered home internet usage. Does their ISP keep stats?

I really like backwards guitar's idea of setting up a website to point to apps and links -- just a simple tumblr would do.
posted by holgate at 7:27 PM on March 11, 2012


If they learn well by reading a recipe-style book, I heartily recommend My New iPad.
posted by Wild_Eep at 7:46 PM on March 11, 2012


So dad, how do you like the iPad we got you?

I'm going to come down on the side of give it to them and back off until there are questions. Let them figure out what they want to do with it. Some suggested apps, a basic tutorial, here's where your settings are, let me configure your mail, now go! People who hover take the fun out of things and the iPad is meant to be fun!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:47 PM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


My husband gave his mum a first gen iPad, and she had absolutely no problems, other than figuring out updating the OS. She's in her 70s and uses Windows as a desktop OS, and she is not someone I'd call technically inclined. Give your dad a ten minute walk-through of Safari, Mail, and the App Store, and I'll bet he'll be just fine. An iPad really is a marvel of design engineering, with respect to usability. No need to be a sys admin.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:28 PM on March 11, 2012


The iPad isn't really set up to deal with Australian-style metered home internet usage. Does their ISP keep stats?

If they do, I endorse Consume. The list of supported ISPs is here.
posted by dumbland at 8:05 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


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