5 pieces of technology especially for Nona and Papa
No, grandpa, a smart phone is not a phone with a bow tie! It’s a small computer with calling and texting capabilities—but you were just pulling my leg like you always do…
If your grandparents are like mine, they were lined up at the Apple store for the newest 4S launch! I’m not kidding one bit, and it surprised me how open my elderly Nona and Papa were to technology—especially when I told them that I could make free long-distance calls and do the NY Times crossword puzzles on mine. It’s true; apps offer a lot for grandparents—be they designed for games, music, keeping in touch with loved ones, spoiling the grandkids, and even excelling at a hobby, like baking.
There are thousands of apps available for download, but don’t trust me, trust the experts! Here are my grandparent’s favorite smart phone apps:
1 My Convert Lite (Free – for iPhone)
If you grandma makes the meanest apple pie this side of the boarder like mine does, then she probably spends a lot of time baking goodies for the grandkids in her kitchen. As much as my grandma likes unveiling a trusted favorite—such as coconut cream pie or her famous caramel brownies—she also likes the challenge of making new desserts for special occasions and holidays. The trouble with baking a new recipe is that it’s not stored in the memory and she must rely on a recipe that often calls for measurement conversions for ingredients like flour, milk, sugar, baking soda, etc. That’s why she uses the myConvert Lite app for various cooking conversions (i.e., mass, weight, time and temperature).
2 NYTimes Crosswords (Free – for iPhone)
My grandfather does the NY Times every morning while he enjoys his coffee and toast with jam. The only difference from a few years ago is that he now does it using his mobile phone. This app features over 6,000 classic crossword puzzles from The New York Times archive, as well as the same daily puzzles that are printed in the print newspaper. He even competes with his friends using the online leader boards. All archived puzzles are free, and if you can’t live without the new, daily crossword, you can subscribe (after your one-week free trail expires) to keep receiving your daily puzzle on your smart phone. The coolest thing about this app is the settings—choose to write your answers using the pen or pencil tool (which both look genuine), and solve your puzzles on the grid or directly from the clue’s list. And if you’re really stuck, you can even get a little hint from the related clues.
3. TuneIn Radio (Free – for Android & iPhone)
If you’re jonesing for some Frank Sinatra or Louis Armstrong, you can always find the right tunes on TuneIn Radio. This app offers live feeds from over 50,000 radio stations from all over the world—including news, sports, talk radio, and your favorite classic music. This app even lets you pause, rewind, and fast forward mid-song within the last 30 minutes of streaming. And you can record the game to play back later if the grandkids come to visit mid-inning. That way you don’t miss a thing!
4. Skype (Free – for Android & iPhone)
Now when my grandfather found out that he could call me in Texas from New York for free—he almost fell off his recliner! Now he uses the Skype app to phone me for free every single Sunday afternoon. The Skype app is ideal for grandparents and elderly folks on a budget for free long-distance calling worldwide. Plus, if you separated by a great distance it’s great to use the video calling feature to see how big the grandkids are getting between visits. Just get a web cam for your computer or laptop and you’re good to go!
5. Baby Tips for Grandparents ($4.99 – for iPhone)
You might have done it once, twice, or even three times in your twenties…but caring for a baby in your senior years is a whole different story. The Baby Tips for Grandparents app helps grandparents support their children and grandchildren with loving guidance and tips. Sometimes sitting back and letting your son or daughter do it their way is difficult and it’s hard not to jump in and take over. However, the advice that this app provides will help you flourish in your new role as grandparent, providing support from a respectful distance as you welcome a new generation into your family fold.
Bio: Jane Johnson is a writer for GoingCellular, a popular site that provides cell phone related news and commentary. It also provides reviews on everything from the latest top Android phones, right down to the services offered by the popular cellphone service providers.