iPad 2 apps for a grandmother?
June 4, 2012 6:22 PM   Subscribe

iPad 2 apps for 86yo grandmother? It's her birthday, and my dad got her an iPad 2 - what apps/set up would you suggest? She uses her computer primarily for email, but doesn't get back to the room it is in often anymore. My dad has already set up her email and downloaded a book for her - what apps would you suggest? We're hoping she can easily learn to use it, and it will help alleviate her boredom. She does not use Facebook, or any social networking.
posted by needlegrrl to Technology (15 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Flipboard is a really pleasant reading experience for RSS and other "social" sites.

You could preload it with some of the magazines or feeds she might like.

Possibly a game or two; my older friends like casual games.
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 6:36 PM on June 4, 2012

Does she enjoy birdwatching? Chirp! is fun and educational. She can take it outside and play the bird sounds to attract birds, too.
posted by Ostara at 6:38 PM on June 4, 2012

Of all the apps I got for my 60+ year old mom on her iPad, the one that blew her mind was TuneIn Radio. The fact that she could get radio stations from all over the world (and that there are so many 'oldies' stations) made her month.

She also really likes the fact the local (big-city) newspaper has an app where she can read the news in a really big font.
posted by cgg at 6:39 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Think she would be into podcasts? Downcast is a great podcast organizer. Set her home screen to a website you have control of, and periodically add links, and pictures, etc. that you think she'd be interested in, as well as permanent favourites.
posted by backwards guitar at 7:12 PM on June 4, 2012

would she enjoy playing games with you? Words with friends, or hanging with friends (which is easier, it seems to me). Load instapaper for her, and fill it up with things for her to read? For TV, the PBS app is great. What about music? Pandora is pretty easy.

Google Earth and Starwalk blow my parents' minds. Not sure they're useful for them, but they seem interested in it.
posted by dpx.mfx at 7:15 PM on June 4, 2012

Weather or weather radar apps -- very handy to have the info at hand sometimes.
posted by Ostara at 7:40 PM on June 4, 2012

My mom is 86, and I'm setting my old iPad for her. On her home screen I put:

The calendar app, a weather app, a sports app (ESPN Sportscenter XL, so she can follow the Phillies), apps for the local TV stations and newspapers, apps related to her religious faith, iBooks, FreeBooks, Maps, Google Earth, NatGeo Atlas (she used to subscribe to Nat Geo back in the day), and How Stuff Works.
posted by Rob Rockets at 8:17 PM on June 4, 2012

Seconding Google Earth.
posted by Wild_Eep at 8:41 PM on June 4, 2012

Can you download library books to an iPad? Id set that up if I could. Also a picture app that allows people to email her photos. We got those for the oldies and they love it.
posted by fshgrl at 9:35 PM on June 4, 2012

Guardian Eyewitness: One gorgeous photo a day.
posted by Joleta at 9:56 PM on June 4, 2012

If she has accessibility issues with communication a speech assistance app might be useful. My aunt has ataxia and these days pretty much only 'speaks' with her iPad app because only her other siblings can understand her now.

nthing Google Earth as well. I don't know if the iPad version supports it but if you can, make sure Google Moon and Google Mars are also in there!
posted by Heretical at 10:52 PM on June 4, 2012

Old-fashioned games like solitaire, crossword puzzles, etc. I'm half her age, but still a little bitter that solitaire has disappeared from all my computers.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 12:01 AM on June 5, 2012

Skype and FaceTime.

Reader's Digest app.

Word search.

The one that shows you which constellations are in visible.


If she is religious, a daily prayer book or something similar.
posted by barnone at 6:24 AM on June 5, 2012

Sorry, that should be the constellations which are VISIBLE. The Night Sky, GoSkyWatch, etc.
posted by barnone at 6:30 AM on June 5, 2012

I know you said she doesn't currently use Facebook, but would she want to? My uncle recently set up a Facebook account for my grandmother because she was complaining about not getting to see pictures of everyone. He made the account, friended most of the family members for her, and put a note on her page that he was administering it for her.
posted by Aquifer at 9:34 AM on June 5, 2012

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