Android coordination game/musical instrument app
January 24, 2019 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an Android game, musical instrument player or other non-productivity app to teach touchscreen eye-hand coordination to my very elderly mother.

So the computer revolution completely bypassed my mother. Anything more complex than a microwave tends to baffle her. I managed to transition her to a cellular flip phone several years ago & more recently an Android, with which she struggles. I live too far away for a sustained in-person training regimen & she has nobody she trusts enough to help her out nearby.

I've been thinking of getting her some simple game or other non-productivity app (a musical instrument app would be great - card games are out, too complex) installed that can serve to help her develop the eye-hand coordination with the device that's a large part of her problem. Lack of ads would be a plus, naturally.
posted by scalefree to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
 
In general, are paid apps something you're open to?

Since you said no ads, I can recommend the following two simple apps off of F-Droid (not the Play store. If you're not familiar with F-Droid, it's a repository for open-source apps. You don't need to install it to install these apps, but it's recommended):

- Melodeon is an extremely basic musical instrument emulator, though you can pick among a large variety of sounds in the settings. Note that there is an app on the Play store with the same name, but it has ads and seems like something different.

- Candy Memory is a very basic but nice memory game (the kind where you flip cards over two at a time and try to find a match).

I tried both of those on a tablet, which might be easier than on a small phone.


It's really nice that you're trying to do this for your mother. That said, if it's not something she's interested in and if she is very elderly, maybe she could just keep using the flip phone? If you do want to stay with Android you might also investigate senior-friendly launchers and apps - there seem to be some, though I have no personal experience with them.
posted by trig at 3:51 PM on January 24, 2019


In general, are paid apps something you're open to?

Sure. What I don't want is ads on her screen confusing her.
posted by scalefree at 9:30 PM on January 24, 2019


It's really nice that you're trying to do this for your mother. That said, if it's not something she's interested in and if she is very elderly, maybe she could just keep using the flip phone?

She's definitely interested just deeply ignorant. I'd switch her back if that's what she wants.
posted by scalefree at 9:37 PM on January 24, 2019


If you do want to stay with Android you might also investigate senior-friendly launchers and apps - there seem to be some, though I have no personal experience with them.

"Senior friendly" is a whole category that just hadn't occurred to me.
posted by scalefree at 10:55 PM on January 24, 2019


What I don't want is ads on her screen confusing her.

You might have run into this already, but one thing I learned from my grandparents is that automatic updates can be very confusing to them - they get used to things being one way and then the interface goes and changes on them. I'd disable wherever possible.

Good luck!
posted by trig at 11:21 PM on January 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna leave this open until I can visit her & report back but I just wanted to say the part of trig's answer I really like best is the idea of "senior friendly" apps, especially alternate launchers. I looked at a few & I think they're exactly what she needs most.

Rather than focusing on training her up to meet the demands of the OS, I'm going to work on making the OS simpler for her. I'll also probably give her an app or two she'd find fun to play with but I think the best bang for the buck will be simplicity in the interface. Thanks trig!
posted by scalefree at 1:36 PM on January 26, 2019


My pleasure! I hope you get a chance to update about your impressions of the apps you try - I've been meaning to look into that for my grandparents, too.
posted by trig at 2:49 PM on January 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


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