Grandma's first iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by iBlazed, May 13, 2014.

  1. iBlazed macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    So a few days ago, my grandma's crappy flip phone finally died. We were thinking about just buying her a new one when it dawned on me, I have an old 3GS sitting in a drawer that's perfectly functional. I restored and updated it to 6.1.6 and put my grandma's SIM card into it. My grandma is 80 and we were concerned it would be too big of a learning curve for her, being that she's never used any sort of a computing device before and has no concept of menus or touch screen buttons. After a couple of days of patiently teaching her and her practicing on her own, my grandma is finally able to text me all by herself. I never thought I would be able to text my 80 year old grandmother and have her reply to me. My mom is absolutely ecstatic. Little does my grandma know, she even has her own email address now! But I think that's a bit beyond her so I won't even bother teaching her about that.

    Apple is amazing for creating a sophisticated computing device that's so simple even an 80 year old who has never used a computer can pick it up and be comfortable with it in no time. Also, the quality and update support are second to none. The phone is 5 years old now and can still run most current apps and iOS 6 just received a security update recently. Simply astonishing.

    Please chime in with your stories of elderly relatives and their first iOS experience!
  2. TantalizedMind macrumors 6502a


    Feb 5, 2007
    I don't have any stories to share myself but your story was heart warming. My 55 year old mother and father can't or should I say, won't learn how to send text messages. Your grandma rocks. And I am happy Apple has made an easy to use OS so you can stay in constant contact with her. <3
  3. missygal Guest


    Jul 5, 2010
    I got my grandma an iPhone 5C when they came out. She loves to Google things and is on Facebook a lot! She's also been texting for past 4 years!!
  4. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Same here. My tech illiterate parents have been using their iPhones and iPads all day.
  5. Chris7811 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    I had never thought this

    My grandma is 80. She got her own iPhone but never told anyone. She got the 4 but she had an update and it killed the phone so the company gave her a 4s for free so she does everything we do on ours and her husband got an iPad 2 as a birthday gift. He just finished learning everything about it and now everyone can keep connected from the same company for years to come. we are happy to teach them new things. :D :apple: :)
  6. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    My 88 year old grandpa has a dumb phone for emergencies, but he did set up his own powerbook almost a decade ago and an iMac more recently thanks to a Mac class he took. He can email and comment on things on Facebook. Apple has always had an excellent learning curve. I remember having the Macintosh boxes in my elementary school in the mid-90s. They were my first introduction to the world of computers just before my family got a PC with Windows 95.
  7. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    My first experience was a disaster, because we tried teaching over long distance. Mistake. Everyone thinks this stuff is intuitive on its own, but it's not. You really need someone right there to demonstrate and help out.

    My father... who did use computers... died a few years ago, so I gave my 85 year old mother an iPad so she could get pictures of the family. Although a college graduate and very smart, she had never used a computer in her life.

    I set it all up ahead of time with accounts for Skype, GMail, Flickr, etc, and then mailed it to her.

    When she got it, she called me at the office, eager to try it out. Okay, so she gets it turned on. So far, so good. Then I tell her to touch one of the icons with the ball of a finger. Nothing. (We all have seen how hard it can be to teach people to tap correctly in person, much less remotely.)

    Anyway, nothing came up. We tried again and again. I then asked her what was happening when she touched the icon, and she replied that the "whole device was shaking". Hmm, I thought, is there a buzzer motor going? Finally it hit me that it had gone into Apple's wobbling icon-rearrangement mode... a hidden command which I've seen confuse plenty of other new users.

    Email was another disaster at first, because Apple decided that tiny little icons didn't need labels. Try explaining remotely which icon to tap to write a new email. It looks "like a tiny pencil on a piece of paper", doesn't work with 85 year old eyes.

    She eventually gave up trying. It was just too hard. Later, my teen nephews went over and helped her, but it's still hard for her.

    Our plan now is to set up an Android tablet with homescreen icon movement locked down, etc, using a more child / senior friendly launcher called Big Launcher, which has big buttons and large text for messages.
  8. rdy0329 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2012
    Grandma too!

    My grandma owns my super old iPhone 3G where I installed Skype and UnblockMe Game. Coupled with a basic internet subscription ($12/month) and a year's worth of unlimited Skype credit, she'll have the convenience of calling relatives abroad without breaking the bank (our international rates w/ telcos are expensive). She's 70 btw and the slow nature of the 3G is not as irritating for her as it was for me.
  9. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Really?...I'm not saying my age but I'm up there and tech savvy to the point I could write IOS apps, if I could bring myself to buy an apple computer. Even my father and mother could figure out a phone.
  10. goobot macrumors 603


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    Same, my dad can barley figure out how to turn on the computer, and it only has one button that has a power symbol on it.
  11. Tiger8 macrumors 68020

    May 23, 2011
    Don't give up on her! My parent resisted 'the internet' for years but in 2009 I forced them to learn it by buying them a laptop and distroying the receipt. I taught them both how to do some basic internet navigation and check their email.

    A year later... I get an email (!) from my mom that she wants her own laptop because my dad is 'impossible to share with' :D

    Now we are facing another battle with my dad, his laptop is heavy and starting to show its age, and an iPad is perfect for him, again he is saying he's not the age to learn something new, but he's getting an iPad, whether he likes it or not :D

    PS: My mom would kill me if I reveal her age but she's older than your mom... i said too much!
  12. Crichton333 macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2014
    Your grandma is a hipster :) mine cant even turn on the TV. The remote looks like an ancient criptic puzzle to her.
  13. carjakester macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    My mom never thought that she would have an iphone but today she is on her second one and has an ipad to go with it. I still get questions like "why wont suri talk to me?" And i have to try to explain to her which is the hard part.

    One of my grandmas got an lg phone i think but has lots of trouble using it, she wasn't able to send a picture to us the other day.
  14. Squid7085 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    I forced my mom in to the iPhone a few years back, ironically she probably uses hers more than I use mine during the day. It has become her primary computing device for Facebook, Email, Ect. Both my parents were pretty confused at first, my best advice was "You are thinking too much, just do what seems natural." That seems to be older users biggest problem, after years of complicated flip phones and desktop computers, they "expect" things to be so complicated.

    My grandparents are pretty tech savy for their age, I think it was out of necessity because they traveled so much and had to communicate over email. They just recently got their first iPad, I am hoping they will be convinced to get an iPhone in the near future.
  15. iBlazed thread starter macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2014
    New Jersey, United States
    Like a few of you said, they just expect things to be difficult. I also found that teaching her how to touch the screen properly has been a continuing issue. Sometimes she's not sure when to swipe or when to just tap.
  16. albertfallickwa macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2014
    My elderly stepfather uses an iPhone 3GS and it's for phone calls mainly.
  17. $M.H$ macrumors member

    Mar 20, 2014
  18. bbfc macrumors 68040


    Oct 22, 2011
    Newcastle, England.
    Same here.

    My dad has had an iPhone for a few years now, and they recently bought an iPad after mistakenly buying and Android tablet, thinking it was pretty much the same thing. How wrong he was! :D

    He also bought an Apple TV last year! For what reasons, I don't really know.

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