All iPads iPad for people who never used a computer

Discussion in 'iPad' started by RJCP, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. RJCP macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    Hi guys. I'm thinking of buying my parents an ipad to see if I can finally bring them into using technology more efficiently.
    I have tried to teach them how to use a computer, but overall I felt like they just couldn't get used to peripherals like the mouse and stuff, and generally found a full OS too complicated for what they would like to do.

    I thought the ipad would address some (if not most) of their resistance to interacting with a machine. They're both fairly ok with using non-smart mobile phones (albeit not the type of trying to find out what they can do with the settings) and what I'd basically like to get them to do was to browse, Skype and YouTube.

    Has any of you had any experiences of introducing someone who was a complete computer zero to an ipad? How did it go?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If they're not interested in using technology, why try to convince them? Not everyone needs or wants to use computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. Just let them do what they want. They're adults, and capable of deciding what they do and don't want to learn.
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I agree with GGJstudios here. Do your folks have any desire to use a computer/tablet or technology? If not, there's no use in attempting to force it upon them.
  4. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Yup...I introduced someone (me) to someone with zero computer experience (me).

    About 3 years ago I was on the train to NY and the young lady sitting next to me had an iPad, which I thought was pretty cool. At that point, for all intents and purposes, I had never touched a computer.

    When I returned to Boston I went to an Apple Store and talked to them about getting an iPad. With no arm twisting, it was clear that what I wanted was a computer (iPad was really not a stand alone at that point). So I bought a 13" White MBP.

    With the help of a good friend, and MR, I've learned to use it adequately.:cool:

    For the record...I'm old now, and I was old when I bought the computer.:D
  5. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Yes, I went through this with my elderly mother. She had an iMac she rarely used as she found it somewhat daunting. I got her an iPad and she instantly took to it for email, Facetime, news consumption etc. I scanned in all her old family photos and put them on there and she spent hours browsing through them. I think part of the allure for her was the iPad was always right there on the table ready to use, as opposed to going in another room to use the computer.

    Protip: Go into settings and under restrictions lock down the accounts and also disable app deletion. This will prevent inadvertent changes.
  6. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    we bought my mom an iPad 2 almost 2 years ago

    She loves it. Between all the PC and Mac horror stories my sisters and I have complained about over the years, my mature mom just doesn't want to go near a computer.

    The iPad is a nice way to introduce computer-shy folks to a machine that doesn't require anything but the tablet itself.

    Mom doesn't use many of the features (just Safari and occasional Mail and YouTube usage) but she loves being able to research online. She just asked me about taking pictures too. I like teaching her how to use technology.

    I am glad there is a simpler option for computer-adverse folks like my mom.
  7. SR45 macrumors 65832


    Aug 17, 2011
    Asked my Dad if he wanted a computer or tablet and he reached over to pick up a piece of paper and a pen, said this is his computer. Enough said on that one.....

    My Aunt later on suggested to me that she might be interested in a computer, but knowing her, I would be spending weeks/months trying to teach her and driving me crazy.

    Leave the parents alone and if they find interest in one of these products, than assist. Other wise............;)
  8. RJCP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    Thanks for all your input guys. I had the idea when my parents came to visit me in London a few months back and I took them on a ride in the London Eye. The pods now have Galaxy Tabs explaining the sight seeing and I was quite surprised at how my dad (who was even worst with the computer than my mom) easily set the language to the one he wanted and browsed the features that the tourist application offered. I think I'll get them a mini hopefully before iOS7 comes out because even thought I'm in the group of people who really like it, I think the skeumorphism and obvious buttons will greatly decrease the learning curve for my parents.

    They have many times said that they'd like to learn how to use a computer and I have an old laptop at home which I formatted for them to use. They just find the interaction too complicated and artificial, plus the entire subject of having to follow an arrow on a screen controlled by something they're holding with their hand seem to be incredibly daunting for them. It's not that they're stupid because they're both very intelligent people, they just never had contact with a computer and the fact that it seems to them to be so difficult to work with a full on computer puts them off from carrying on trying.
  9. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the silver scream
    The Mini is a very good choice if their vision is excellent (mom just had glaucoma surgery so the larger screen of the iPad 2 is much better for her personally.) I think using an earlier iOS is a very smart call (not just for skewmorphism, but that there is still less multitasking and the like. That's wonderful about dad immediately responding to the Galaxy 7.

    I think they will really enjoy whatever tablet you get for them. :)
  10. virginblue4 macrumors 68000


    Apr 15, 2012
    United Kingdom
    I introduced my nan to the iPad in 2011. I'm not going to say she had zero experince with computers, but it was very limited. My granddad is great with technology, however isn't the best teacher, so my nan never learnt anything from him.

    Throughout the week my nan would have her notepad and write little bits of information that she wanted to look up online. Each Tuesday, she would go into the back room and research this information. Being able to get on the internet and use google and the occasional email checking was pretty much the extent of her computer skills.

    I suggested she buy an iPad. Although she had heard of them, she didn't really know what they were, however, she seemed very keen to learn. A week later we went to an Apple Store and an employee tried showing her all these different things and I could see it completely going over her head. I told her not to be flustered by what she had been told and that I would teach her from scratch in her own time.

    She's had the iPad 2 since November 2011 and she commonly says to me that she couldn't live without it. She spends 2-3 hours (sometimes even longer) a day on it. She checks her emails, used Facebook, used Youtube, has about a million different apps installed, she loves exploring the world in maps etc. Considering she barely had any computer skills, she pretty much knows how to use the iPad inside out. She is now waiting for the release of the iPad 5 as she wants the retina display and feels the mini is too small for her and is going to pass the iPad 2 down to someone else.

    Believe it or not, she is now also the owner of an iPhone. She loves that too! I showed her iOS 7 and she also really likes that.

    Honestly, I've never seen a product change someones life so considerably, it has opened up a whole new world for her.
  11. RJCP thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 8, 2011
    That's a really cool story! :)
  12. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    very nice stories you all had with old parents….very interesting. I know my mother and sister doesn't have computer at home but I think my mother knows some basic computer skills from her old job. My sister, I have no idea but she knows about Facebook but never tried it. :apple:
  13. bagelmaker macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Between my two siblings and I, we have spent a ton of wasted money buying tech things for my parents. They have the best digital cameras, two nice laptops, several hand me down iPhones and a $400 brand new iPod touch and they don't know what to do with any of them. The problem is they keep acting interested and swearing they really need the latest gadget. Then when one of their adult kids gets it for them we are saddled with having to "teach" them how to use the item every time we see them for the next year or so until they just abandon the item. I don't even own a nice laptop, and my digital camera is 10 years old, but they've got top rack stuff and don't touch it. (But of course won't part with them, because they just "haven't gotten around to it yet") My father did play Angry Birds on the iPod Touch I bought him. He saw me with mine and claimed to think it would finally be his gateway into computers. Well Angry Birds is all he did even after 5 "lessons" from me on how to use it. Then after about a year he called me up and said it was broken. Seems strange to me since I have a 2nd gen iPod touch that still works and his is much newer. He refuses to go to tht Apple store 5 miles from his home to have them look at it. And I am officially DONE trying to help those luddites.
  14. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    This could turn out to be a huge waste of money. I helped my Father-in-Law spec out a sweet iMac a few years back. Now it mostly gathers dust in his basement. The other problem is, you'll become Mr. Helpdesk for all the stuff you're assuming everyone knows -- and no ticket is ever closed. You'll answer the same questions endlessly.
  15. BrennerM macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2010
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
    My 60-something Mom never ever used computers. Her idea of email was for my Dad to print out an email, she would write out a response, and he would type it in for her. About 2 years ago we gave her an iPad. Now she sends emails regularly and even looks at some websites. She is not using the iPad to its full potential but it is a good start.
  16. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    Luddites? They are your folks, they just need some more low tech help, is there an Apple club, (MUG) with folks their own age with a little more patience?:rolleyes: You know the kind of patience they had with you growing up??
  17. bagelmaker macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2012
    Luddite isn't such a bad word it just means "A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology." I think that sums my parents up pretty well. Just yesterday during a Happy Father's Day phone call (I live a few hours away from my parents) my father told me he was "angry at Apple" because he can't just remove the battery from his iPod and replace it like he can with his portable radio. I tried to explain how current tech takes more power than some triple A batteries can provide and he just insisted that it was the fault of "greedy" Apple. He said he heard about a $75 tablet and was thinking of getting that now. I tried to explain how that would be just one more gadget that would confuse and anger him and that it likely won't have an easily removable battery either.

    In any case, he's made me promise to give him yet another "lesson" on how to use eBay when I see him for 4th of July.

    I agree with the post that said that its like working at a help desk where you never get to close the ticket.
  18. TacticalDesire macrumors 68020


    Mar 19, 2012
    I got my 80 something year old neighbor an iPad so he can keep in touch with his grandson who is in the marines currently deployed to Japan. It's been a slow process but he's learning. I set him up with an Airprint printer, skype an icloud email and taught him how to use safari and what each app is for. Downloaded a couple of useful apps such as weather and a word processor. He's even downloaded a couple apps himself. I think the iPad is a great device for someone who has never used a computer as long as you're willing to sit down for a few hours here and there to teach.
  19. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    I hear ya Son!
  20. henry72 macrumors 65816


    Jun 18, 2009
    New Zealand
    Cool story bro :apple:
  21. ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    I have bought, and retired, several computers for my elderly family members over the years. Most required significant technical support from me when they would inevitibly accidentally delete an application icon or shortcut. Then there were the countless all-weekend virus/adware clean ups. It was maddening for both of us.

    IPads changed all of that. With AirPrint and no longer requiring tethering to iTunes, they are self-sufficient computing devices. No viruses or adware, nothing else to buy other than apps (that self-install!) and really.....the users can't easily break an app. My tech support time is now minimal and they truly enjoy the FaceTime, Skype and "ooooh, print out that recipe/map!" Browsing capabilities.

    Highly recommended for neophytes.
  22. CallOfDuty macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2012
    Got the original iPhone back in 2007, loved it, got it again almost every year (Skipped the 3G though). My parents especially my mum always nagged at me, saying ''Staring at that phone will turn you into a moron''. Yes, she really said that. She thought it was some compulsive disorder.

    Then in 2010, the original iPad came out and being a Apple ENTHUSIAST (not fanboy, I don't think Apple is fully flawless), I bought it. Using it around the house checking email browsing the web, looking at family photos- In the beginning it was me who were hogging MY OWN iPad at first, then my mother started to drop hints like ''Hey can I borrow your iPad I want to see the photos of the trip to Canada last week'' Or something like that. Then it turned into ''Just want to ask but can your iPad check for recipes for Apple Crumble pies? Was thinking of baking it for the family this weekend'' Everytime i handed it to her she would fumble around the iPad as though its some heavy bowling ball and I had to do everything for her.

    Then in 2011, the iPad 2 came out. This time, to save myself all the trouble of lending her my iPad and having to do the tasks for her, I bought 2 iPad 2s for her and for myself. I told her that she could learn the iPad functions all by herself.

    Fast track to today in 2013. She's sitting right now on the sofa reading her novel on an iPad 3 (Think it was how to kill a mockingbird), her iPhone on the coffee table (My old 4S) with tons of notifications.

    Yep, iOS Devices are pretty much suited for all ages .
  23. Izzybeff, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    Izzybeff macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    We bought an iPad and a years worth of internet for my inlaws last fall. They are 80 and we got it mainly so they could Skype with the kids and grand kids.

    It has worked out really well. There definitely was a learning process, but I would say after the first 4-5 times of Skyping, they had that down pat. We've now moved on to emails and googling information. May seem basic, but it's opened up a whole new world for them. And there is very little they can do to break it, that is the best part. And they can call me on the phone and I can walk them through it so that has cut down on a visits. We definitely feel like we made the better decision than a laptop.

    My mom bought a mini iPad 2 months ago and while she has some computer experience, the mini iPad is far easier for her to use than her desk top. The thing she likes the best is sitting in her recliner watching tv and playing games on her iPad. I just went on a cruise with her and a friend of hers, both in their 60's and they brought their iPad's and played lots of games and read on them the entire cruise. They also used them to take pictures when we were on the boat so they didn't have to carry around their camera's too.

    I definitely think even if someone isn't into technology, the iPad is so user friendly that it can be a great addition for them.

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