iPhones for [Sort of] Old People

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Fu Manchu, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Fu Manchu macrumors newbie

    Fu Manchu

    Feb 14, 2016
    Mum is getting an iPhone.

    She is sort of old.

    She has no computer.

    So we will need to create a new iTunes account for her.
    Maybe an email for her.

    •Can I create an iTunes Library for just her located on an external hard drive I can plug in when I update or make changes to her phone?

    We don't want it linked to our account, nor her music on our iTunes.
  2. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Actually the issue is not how old your mother is, it is how computer/device/internet-savvy she is.....and from the sound of this I would guess that she is not. That's fine. Then why get her an iPhone? Why not just buy a prepaid/pay-as-you-go kind of phone and be done with it? No complications for her and no complications for anyone else in the family either as far as trying to create an iTunes or an email account for her, whatever. If she just needs a cell phone to make calls, simply let her go with that.
  3. Fu Manchu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Fu Manchu

    Feb 14, 2016
    LOL, Was just having a laugh about the age of mum.
    Anyway, yes all great ideas.

    However the network in Australia is about to change and will no longer support the phone she has or type she likes.
    We have tried an android phone but that did all our heads in. She disliked it and went back to a feature phone.

    We have a spare iPhone so will make use. She will actually be able to see photos we send and thats something she wants to do.
    She does ok with the kids iPad so we know she'll pick up on the iPhone well enough.
  4. tl01 macrumors 68020

    Jun 20, 2010
    Don't know how old your mom is but my mom is in her early 70s and she has an iPhone 6s. She has an iPad and a computer and she does fine with all of them. Sometimes she calls to ask me how to do something but in general she does well. Good luck!
  5. Fu Manchu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Fu Manchu

    Feb 14, 2016
    Thanks tl01
    i think mum will take to it like a duck to water.

    Just have to figure out how to arrange her iTunes account.

    So the question is,

    If we have our iTunes library and apple accounts on say our iMac, could we set mums up on the iMac too, but store her iTunes library on an external drive?
  6. Longkeg macrumors 6502

    Jul 18, 2014
    S. Florida
    Why not set up Mum as a separate user on your iMac? That will give her her own home folder with her own iTunes library inside it. It will all be on the same hard drive but you won't notice it because you'll be logged into the your own account when she's not using it. And yes, you could set up her library on an external but unless space is an issue it's not necessary.
  7. Fu Manchu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Fu Manchu

    Feb 14, 2016
    It sounds like the only answer.
    I'll give it a go, but have it on an external drive.

    Open to more ideas folks.
  8. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Why bother? It sounds like there won't have to have any media in it. Right? If she ever does get around to buying a TV show on her phone, just don't download it on your computer. If the computer ever accidentally downloads apps she's bought, just throw them away.

    I'm on my work computer right now which doesn't use iTunes for anything. I just checked the library folder. It's under 2 GB. I don't think that's big enough to deal with external drives and moving libraries and keeping up with it to make sure it all stays linked.

    Just keep it on the internal drive but make sure it never has any media in it. Should be pretty easy. I doubt you'll actually need to plug the phone into the computer very often.
  9. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    iPhones are such that you don't even need a computer to manage them. You should just be able to set up her iCloud account on the phone (depending on how old it is, of course; this may not work with original or 3G iPhones). Then she can use that account as an email address (unless she has an email already or you sign up for gmail or something) and use it in the App Store and iTunes on the phone to buy apps and music. Those purchases can be downloaded directly to the phone from the stores. iCloud will store her contacts, calendar, and notes as well.

    Older people can navigate technology surprisingly well when they want to! My 90 year old grandpa has an iMac and had a PowerBook before that. Smartphones are beyond him though, so he has a basic cell phone for emergencies and still had a landline. And my parents who are 60 have iPhones, iPads, and a MacBook Pro, although my mom still asks me for help sometimes XD
  10. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    What do you mean older people? My 92 year old aunt uses an iPhone. I'm your parents age and I got bored so I wanted to learn how to develop iOS apps.
  11. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    My brother is 78 and uses a 6S+, iPad Pro and just bought a new 27" mac!

    He is loving it!
  12. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    There's no need to tie the iPhone to any iTunes library at all. Backup to iCloud, and if at some point she wants to purchase some media, that can be done through iTunes on the phone.
  13. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    My mother uses an iPad and an iPhone. She's 81. She syncs only to iCloud, although she knows how to copy her photos to her PC, should she need to.

    I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill.
  14. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    Some of us "old people" are the ones who developed the computers, software and internet that we are all using today. Back in the 1980's librarians were using computers not only to store the databases which were replacing the old card catalogs, but also were exploring the world "out there" by dialing up numbers for online databases in locations far from our own and also communicating with each other via email and on "bulletin boards." Librarians in public libraries were discovering that they could seriously enhance the services they provided to their patrons by tapping into the online database available at the National Library of Medicine, for instance, or the financial databases available through other sources.

    I was using computers at work in the mid-80's and bought my own for use at home in the very early '90's. I also was one of the people standing in line that day in June 2007 when the very first iPhone was launched. Yeah, I'll admit I was one of the older folks, but there were a few others of us "golden oldies" sprinkled among all the young people eagerly awaiting this new device.

    My mother, in her late 80's and early 90's, used a computer and had no problem figuring things out, only once in a while asking me about something. She died a couple of years before the iPhone came out, so never got to experience the amazement we all felt as we gazed at the "computer in our pockets."
  15. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    People are getting to hung up on the thread title. The OP has made it pretty clear his mother is computer illiterate. She even tried android and apparently hated it so...

    Set up an Apple ID (this can be her email if she chooses since you mentioned setting one up), set up iCloud backup, and she can enjoy iTunes to he heart's content from there. I don't think I've plugged in to a PC in over two years outside of backing up photos.
  16. JulesJam Suspended


    Sep 20, 2014
    More powerful computer in our pockets than the computers on board the first manned space flight to the moon. By a lot.
  17. ABC5S Suspended


    Sep 10, 2013
    Will your mother use this very expensive phone to its full potential or just use one for calls, some texting ? Maybe you should let her try your phone on for size for a bit to see if she really needs one. One older person is different than the next for needing a smartphone.

    I'm 70, and sent my iPhone 6s+ back since it was way more money than I should have paid for some thing I don't use to its fullest, and settled for a 5S instead, since all I use it for is calls, photos, a few texting, weather information, and some SIRI stuff
  18. lordhamster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 23, 2008
    My Non-Tech savvy Mother and Aunt both took to the iPad in record time. It just takes Patience and some babysitting from your end in teaching your mother. The most important thing is to re-assure her that she can't "mess up" the iPad or iPhone... be there for her when it goes wrong.

    Get her an unlimited data plan and then you won't have to worry about any rogue apps or explaining differences in Wifi/Mobile.

    PS. Would it kill you to facetime your mother every once in a while? :)
  19. GeekyGrannie macrumors member


    May 15, 2015
    It is certainly possible to have multiple iTunes libraries on your hard drive. You could set her up with her own library on your computer and switch to it when you want to connect her phone. Or as you suggest you could have her library on a separate external hard drive, but that is not necessary.
  20. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Problem is, OP is from Australia, and it appears their network of choice (Telstra) is completely shutting down 2G and pushing all postpaid accounts to smartphones. They aren't even selling basic phones anymore, unless you're on a prepaid account.

    That said, if she doesn't take to to the iPhone, going prepaid might be the only option.
  21. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    I'm 24, so most everyone over 45 is "old" to me still. Regardless, some people prefer not to constantly adapt to changing technology. While Apple products are easy to use, smartphones and tablets aren't for everyone. My parents use them but don't know everything about them.
  22. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    I don't know everything about an iphone either. I don't know everything about windows, or linux. But I'm not a techno-phobe as you are implying some of the "older" generations might be. :)
  23. Ladybug macrumors 68000


    Apr 13, 2006
    My sister is much older than myself and was not computer savy at all. I found the best approach with her was to take it in baby steps. First I showed her to make calls, text, and checking her email. I had her practice these things while I was there. I recieved many text that first week.

    After about a week I showed her how to run game apps, save pictures, check Facetime etc...the trick is to not overwhelm her at first. Tell her to stay out of settings for the time being until you can walk her through the things she needs to know. Before you know it she will become a pro at using her phone.

    Old doesn't mean someone is incapable of learning.
  24. Fu Manchu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Fu Manchu

    Feb 14, 2016
    Thanks for some of the replies.

    Yes, I think many are missing the joke in the title and taking things a little to literal, however some good stories have stemmed from it. :)

    It is an iPhone 5S.
    She has it working enough to send text and unlike the android she has previously owned has taken to the iPhone well so far.

    Yes in Australia the feature phone 2G network is about to get the flick and is what has led us to making this post.

    The phone has only got 10G of storage (so must be a 16G 5S). We will need to off load a fair bit in the near future as us "kids" (or young whipper snappers as we are better known as) send her photos and video she'll no doubt want to keep.

    I have a bunch of her photos already that I will transfer to her new iPhoto account.

    As for using an apple email as an apple ID, I was under the impression this was not possible and would like to know more because it makes sense that apple would want their emails used for their accounts.

    I don't wish to have any of her data on my macbook, in fact I don't have much of mine on it either and I'd like to keep it that way.
    My Macs are clean, well organised and not full of junk or with messy file structures, I'd like her iTunes, iPhoto etc on an external drive for more flexibility of use.

    Oh iCloud. Yeah. Well for us, we have to sell body parts to afford to access the data on 4G. She doesn't have an internet connection.
    On top of that, it is a PrePaid account and her prepaid credit will get destroyed by the phone carrier Telstra if she so much as thinks of accessing the cloud. In Australia we think about vegemite a lot because of this.
    Using iCloud for storage is out of the question.
    10G of free storage is not going to stretch far either.

    I like the seperate user account.
    I like the external drive.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2016 ---
    Mum, is that you?

    The 5S is a freebie hand me down, so no matter what the usage, that's the phone she has. The old network won't support her old phone.
    She is taking to it really well.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2016 ---
    Unlimited data. Ahhh the dream.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 3, 2016 ---
    iCloud is out of reach for her. There is not an affordable prepaid option that is data friendly. Plans are out of the question.
  25. rugmankc Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    One final thought for the young ones on us "old" ones--

    Unless we have an illness, we don't think any different then we did 40/50/60 years ago. We only realize we are old when we look in the mirror. :)

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