26 Best Apps for Seniors to Make Life Easier

Published: October 14, 2017 - 12:01pm EDT

Older woman using a digital camera

It is a complete misconception that seniors can’t make use of technology – regardless of their previous exposure to it. If you’re an older adult and you have the means to get yourself a personal device such as an Android or Apple smart phone or tablet, you can make use of hundreds of apps that can not only make your life simpler and safer – but much more fun.

Though you may think you fall on the side of the digital divide that can’t figure out how to use apps, you can easily learn, and we want to help. In this article, we will give you the ultimate list of the best apps for seniors to use, and break them down into categories so you can choose the ones you need most in your life. The apps we recommend can help you with:

  • Improving your health – apps that assist with accessing medical information, and reminding you to keep up with your health.
  • For accessibility – apps that can magnify text, read text aloud, and help you hear and see things better on the small screen of your device.
  • For entertainment – don’t let life get dull; these apps can keep things interesting, and have you watching endless movies and TV shows, accessing all the music you love, and more.
  • For saving money – apps that can save you a few dollars in ways you might not have even known existed.
  • For helping with memory – don’t let it slip away! With these apps, you’ll improve your memory and cognition, and get help remembering everything you need to keep track of.
  • For keeping social – apps that help improve the reach of your communication, and help keep you connected with your loved ones.
  • For news and updates – these apps help you get real-time updates on all the information you like to keep tabs on in your daily life.

Hand holding a smart phone

Be sure to click on any of the link if you want to download them right away! But to begin, we want to make it obvious why you should download a few apps right away, and begin making use of them in your daily life. Here are a few examples:

7 reasons for seniors to make use of apps

  1. Save time – This is one of the best benefits of apps – they can save you a ton of time. Many apps can effectively replace the errands you run frequently, such as banking, grocery shopping, etc.
  2. Save money – Many apps out there can help you save money, find deals, and learn about new manufacturing and shipping practices that shave millions off of business overhead costs – bringing you the products you love to buy faster, and much cheaper.
  3. Stay in touch with friends and family – Increased communication is one of the absolute best results of the global Internet, and can help you connect with those that are far away from you.

    Holding a small child
     
  4. Memory and reminders – Not only are there apps our there that can improve your memory with games, tests, and fun interactive activities, but apps can send you notifications that appear on your device to remind you about anything you need: appointments, to take medication, to pay bills, to remember to buy that wedding gift – the possibilities are endless and you’ll never forget anything again!
  5. Access information faster – Be it news, sports, weather, medical information, or anything else you are interested in, apps help you find this information faster, and can even update you with information in real-time – as it’s happening.
  6. Keep the mind active and engaged – Plenty of apps exist for this exact reason! To stimulate your mind and help you continue learning and thinking, even into your later years.
  7. Increase safety – Though many people think that getting online exposes them to a whole new world of dangers and scams, there are actually plenty of ways that making use of apps and technology can increase your safety.

Now that you know why you should bother with the effort of finding great apps, we’re going to give you a list of the best apps you should download. We’d recommend trying out at least one app in each category as a starting point to improving your life, so don’t be afraid to start downloading today!

Apps for improving your health

Medication pills on a table

1. MediSafe

This app is one of the best for keeping track of all of your medical needs. Get reminders about pills, keep track of your health, and access need-to-know information – all in one easy-to-access place. Never miss a pill again!

Download It Now: Android | iOS

2. WebMD

This is your one-stop shop for everything you need to know about your health. Though it can’t replace the knowledge of a doctor, in an urgent situation or if you’re curious about something related to your health, you can look it up on WebMD. Just search for your symptoms and you might get some quick knowledge or advice.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

3. Pillboxie/My PillBox

Like MediSafe, these are additional apps for Android and iOS that help you to keep track of the meds you take, and send you notifications when you need to remember to take your pills.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

 

Apps that provide enhanced accessibility

Smart phone magnifying text

4. Magnifying Apps

Apps like these can really help you if you’re struggling with seeing things. It can magnify things such as text or things that you’re having difficulty reading, and make them much larger and easier to see.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

5. Big Font/Make It Big

These kinds of apps can increase the size of the font on your device screen, to make everything appear larger. It works for text messages, your settings, articles you read, your zoom ratio, and much more, often including magnifying tools as well.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

6. Google TalkBack

This app is great for people with visual impairments, and allows you to interact with your device easily. It adds spoken words, audible, and vibration to your device, and comes pre-installed on most Android devices.

Download It Now: Android | Comparable accessibility for iOS

 

For entertainment

Person playing video games

7. Netflix

When it comes to entertainment, Netflix is at the top of the list. For a low monthly subscription price, you can stream a huge library of movies and TV shows as much as you want, and get great suggestions for shows and movies you’d love based on what you watch.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

8. Spotify

Spotify is another app that’s great for entertainment if you like music. For a monthly subscription (or a free limited version), you can search for, listen to, and download all your favorite music by your favorite artists. Spotify has one of the largest music libraries to choose from, and does an amazing job of predicting music you’d like to listen to.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

9. YouTube

If you like watching videos, including music videos, instructional or education videos, or simple entertainment, you should check out YouTube. You can search for and find absolutely anything to watch, and get lost in hours and hours of endless entertaining videos made by real people just like you. You can even start your own channel!

Download It Now: Android | iOS

10. Kindle

Kindle allows you to read all your favorite books on-the-go, without needing to carry any books around. Find digital copies of books – new or old – and enjoy them whenever you want!

Download It Now: Android | iOS

11. Audible

Audible is similar to Kindle, except all of the books are narrated. You can listen to your books at your leisure, whenever you want, and enjoy e-books on your device at home, or on-the-go.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

12. TED Talks

TED Talks are short videos with succinct, informative lessons given by speakers with experience in a particular subject. They are entertaining, educational, motivational – and there are many to choose from.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

 

Apps for saving money

Dollar bills on a table

13. Amazon

On Amazon.com, you can find almost anything you would want to buy, and have it delivered to you for prices often much cheaper than what you can find in retail stores. You can also get great deals such as free shipping on order over a certain amount, and one-day shipping for things you need quickly!

Download It Now: Android | iOS

14. eBay

Like Amazon, eBay.com allows you to buy tons of things you can find in regular stores and have them shipped to you. One of the best features of eBay is its auction-style sales, which allow users to place a bid on items for a dedicated period of time, and then the highest bidder wins the item and pays a price often much below retail price.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

15. Groupon

Groupon is a coupon-finding app that allows you to search for coupons and deals on your favorite items, for use online, or in real stores. You can use it to find discounts on products you want to purchase, as well as get great deals on outings and activities in your local area.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

 

To help improve memory

Person studying

16. Lumosity

Lumosity is one of the best brain-testing apps out there. Do daily exercises to help improve your memory and cognition skills, test yourself, and keep track of your progress over time. This is great for keeping the mind sharp, and continuing your lifelong learning.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

17. Park N’ Forget

Can’t remember where you parked your car? This app helps you record it so you’re never trying to remember it again. Simple to use, and it makes a troubling task much easier.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

18. Evernote

If you need to get yourself organized, Evernote is the place to get started. You can keep your own notes and to-do lists, create notes and notebooks, store images, voice recordings, and even transpose your handwritten notes into text.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

19. Find My iPhone/Find My Device

Both of these apps (one for iOS, and another for Android) work in the same way: they allow you to locate your lost smartphone, and lock your device while you’re looking so others (including those who may have stolen it) cannot access it while you don’t posses it. It can also make a noise for you to find your device more easily while you’re looking if you know it’s near you.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

 

For staying social

Social media app

20. Facebook and Facebook Messenger

Facebook is the most popular online social networking site, and is a great way to connect with people you’ve known throughout your life, and keep up to date on what’s going on with them. With Facebook, you also get Facebook Messenger, which is an Internet-based instant messaging service that allows you to chat, video and voice call, send files, and more.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

21. Skype

Skype is an instant messaging, voice call, and video conferencing service that comes from Microsoft, and easily allows you to connect with people you want to talk to – all for free. You can use it to video chat with as many people as you want, anytime, and to talk as long as you want.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

22. WhatsApp

WhatsApp is another Internet-based messaging service like Facebook Messenger, but is better suited for those who travel a lot or have many contacts internationally. It allows you unlimited text messaging, voice calling, and video calling all for free – as long as you have a stable Internet connection.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

23. FaceTime

FaceTime is a video calling service from Apple that is compatible with Apple devices only. However, it is very popular among iOS users, so if your closest friends and family have iPhones or iPads, you’ll definitely want to enable FaceTime on your device. Don’t worry – it’s free with an Internet connection too.

Download It Now: iOS | FaceTime for Android?

 

For news and updates

The Economist app on a smart phone

24. Google News and Weather

Google News and Weather is a personalized news experience, that combines stories from over 75, 000 publications, so you can find the information you’re most interested in. You can search based on location, keyword and more, and have your news tailored to you the more you use it.
 
Download It Now: Android | iOS

25. Flipboard

Flipboard is a great app that customizes your news as you use it. You can choose publications to follow, stories to keep track of, and then view your Smart Magazine, which contains all of the stories you’d be most interested in based on your preferences.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

26. Smart News

Smart News is an app that takes its news-related content from publications you love, like NBC News, TIME, USA Today, TechCrunch, and others, and sorts them into tabs that are easy to look through. You can also opt-in for notifications for breaking news or stories you like to follow.

Download It Now: Android | iOS

 

We hope these recommendations help improve your daily life. If you’re interested in learning about how to use the most popular websites and apps on the market, be sure to check out the rest of our website where we have free step-by-step tutorials. We’ve also got a great resource on why it’s important to improve your digital literacy – no matter what age you are, so if you’re interested in taking some steps to learn more about technology and the digital world, be sure to check out our ultimate guide to digital literacy.

If you have any suggestions for apps that have helped you, be sure to leave us a suggestion in the comments below!

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