The lowdown on how to use a smartphone

Need help understanding how to use your smartphone? Grab a tech savvy grandchild and ask them to help you with the tips below. By tweaking a few settings and exercising some patience, your device will soon feel more user friendly and enjoyable.

Whether you want to make calls, send messages, do Google searches or even just tell the time, knowing how to properly use your smartphone will make it a far more accessible, effective and fun tool! “Not understanding technology shouldn’t be a barrier to accessing the opportunities available online, especially when there are so many ways to teach the basics of using a smart device…” comments Lianne Williams, head of marketing for fibre company, Vuma. “Our goal is to make digital opportunities accessible to more South Africans, including the elderly, from the comfort of their homes.” Here are some of the ways Lianne suggests to become smarter with your smartphone.

  1. Increase the font and app icon size 

Sight tends to worsen with age, so make it easier to navigate your device by increasing the sizes of the font, app icon, and keyboard to a readable level. You can do this in both iOS and Android settings menus – it’ll be easier to read information as a result, type messages, and consume content without straining your eyes or requiring a new glasses prescription.

  1. Enable find my device 

We all lose our phones from time to time. It’s one thing to leave it lying around the house, but it can be a nightmare when it’s forgotten in a public space or gets stolen. By enabling Find My iPhone on an iOS device or activating Android’s Find My Device, you’ll be able to locate your phone more easily if it gets stolen or even lost under a seat cushion.

  1. Download senior-friendly apps 

Using a device that can download countless app is an entirely new concept for the older generation. Thankfully, you can download some senior-friendly apps that can help you stay connected to friends and family, manage your medication, or even play a game of Words with Friends.

  1. Connect your device to fast, high-speed fibre internet

After you’ve covered the basics, accessing fast, high-speed internet is the vital next step. Being connected to uncapped fibre internet means you’ll use WiFi instead of accidentally depleting your data. You can now set up a messaging and video calling app, like WhatsApp or Skype, to stay in touch with friends and family near and far, or even search for recipes using YouTube or the device browser, instead of paging through countless recipe books. You can also download a Netflix, DStv or Showmax app on your device if you enjoy sports, soaps, or a good action movie – then you can watch all your favourite content whenever you want, without worrying about data costs!  

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