The developers of a new Android tablet service say their aim is to keep seniors connected with their families. They’ve developed the grandPad senior tablet, a device targeted at those the makers call “super seniors” 75 and up. The company feels they may be overwhelmed by new technology. Since younger people depend more and more on devices like tablets and smartphones and increasingly use social media for communication, seniors can get left out of the loop. The idea behind this device is to make communication easier by focusing on basic tasks like video calls and e-mails.
The grandPad runs a highly-customized version of Android and limits apps to what the developers feel seniors need and want. For example, instead of seeing an entire Facebook feed, the grandPad would pull photos and videos a few at a time from the feeds of relatives and friends to show the user.
The tablet sticks to using just a few apps with big, bold icons to simplify things.
The service will also help users select music that it thinks you might want to hear and give you a selection of four approved games for playing. Currently is comes with Solitaire, Four in a Row, Memory and TicTacToe. So, if you’re a big Candy Crush fan, this tablet wouldn’t work for you.
It controls incoming video calls to permit only approved contacts from calling the owner. To contact a user on the grandPad, friends and family would need to download a special app on their devices.
The 7 inch tablet has no passwords to set up, either. Plus it comes with a built-in 4G LTE connection, so users are always online. You aren’t purchasing a tablet, you’re subscribing to a service with a monthly fee. That fee also comes with 24-hour customer support.
That fee is $60 a month. That can seem a little pricey since you can buy a 7 inch Android tablet for not much more than that and connect it to your current wireless Internet connection. Interestingly enough, this device does not include a web-browser. The thought behind that is that browsing the web can be too overwhelming for some people and they would prefer to have their content managed by someone else.
Whether or not this tablet would work for you would probably depend on how much control you want over you content. If you’d prefer to be able to browse around for your own music and check entire Facebook feeds and choose whatever games you want from the Google Play Store, you could find this tablet restrictive.
On the other hand, if you find yourself overwhelmed by the prospect of all that information, it might work.
I purchased an Android tablet for a “super-senior” relative, and while I think she would appreciate the simplicity of a tablet like this, I know she wants a tablet that allows her to play her favorite Facebook games, check out everyone’s Facebook feed and that she likes to explore the Internet on her own. And while I didn’t mind spending a little over $100 on a tablet with a keyboard, $720 a year for tablet, might be a little steep.
You can learn more about the grandPad here.