Women over 60 today are more technologically savvy than any previous generation of women. We’ve seen a wide variety of technological advances during our lifetimes, from television to mobile phones to the Internet.
As technology keeps getting cheaper and more powerful and more intimately connected to our lives there are more ways than ever before for women over 60 to use technology to live healthier lives, save money and time, and connect to the people and ideas and entertainment that we value most.
One of the most promising and influential trends in technology of the past few years has been the rise of mobile apps. These mini-computer programs can help you use your smartphone or tablet to do specific tasks, play games or solve specific problems, find specific types of information, or create efficiencies in your daily life.
Useful info: It’s important to download from the right source and it depends on what phone you have. There are 2 types of phones – iPhones and Androids. If your phone is not from Apple, then it is most probably an Android. Apps are available on the Apps Store if you have an iPhone and on Google Play if you have an Android phone.
Here are a few recommendations for the best mobile apps for women over 60:
A lot of us have family and friends scattered all over the world. Being able to stay in touch with loved ones is one of the greatest advantages of this new technology. Expensive long-distance bills are a thing of the past.
Skype is one of the oldest communication apps and it has evolved! It’s an amazing free online service that you can use to talk with people via computer, smartphone, or tablet from anywhere in the world. Skype uses audio (voice) chat, webcam chat, or text chat so you can easily exchange photos and documents (if you’re using it for work) or just chat with your far-flung family members.
Facebook has been around for quite some time, and they are continuously improving and updating the user experience. With Messenger, we can now not only send written messages to our friends and family but have live audio and video calls as well.
WhatsApp is another popular messaging app that sends and receives messages through voice, video, and text. It works with WiFi so you don’t have to use your cell phone coverage plan.
Read more about the awesome power of messaging apps for older adults.
Many women over 60 live alone or have aging parents who are still living in their own homes. If you or a loved one is concerned about being able to quickly get help in case of an emergency, accident or illness, there are apps available that can quickly connect you to emergency help and communicate your medical information to first responders.
iPhone users can check out the 5Star Urgent Response Personal Safety & Emergency Help App (with GPS Locator). With one touch, you’ll be connected to an agent who is certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.
The One Scream app will notify your selected emergency contact people when you let out a scream even if your phone is not in your hands. A text message and an automated call with your location are sent to your nominated contact. They can then check up on you.
Flashlight is a simple, yet incredibly useful app. It allows you to use your phone as a flashlight. It’s easy to use and is great for those times that you need to dig around in your purse for your keys at night. Flashlight is available for free on your iPhone. If you are looking for a similar app for your Android phone, try Brightest LED Flashlight.
There are many apps that make it easier to stay in good shape, whether that means counting calories, tracking your latest running times, or keeping track of how far you’ve ridden your bike – MyFitnessPal, MapMyWalk, SIlverSneakersGO, and more.
Many fitness apps make it possible to share your progress via social media (for example, you can post your latest run times to Facebook to show people how well you’re doing – and including this social component can help motivate you to stick with your workout routine).
MyFitnessPal is a very popular fitness app that offers hundreds of exercise ideas, tracks your progress, and there is even a place to track your daily meals and calories.
This nifty app tracks your distance as you walk. MapMyWalk also tells you the elevation, your steps per minute, calories burned, and even your heart rate.
The SilverSneakersGO app lets you schedule your workouts, watch guided exercise programs through video or live online classes. You can track your fitness, find local classes, and even connect with other seniors.
If you’re looking to simplify your life, “there’s an app for that.” There are many apps that give you powerful tools for writing better to-do lists, taking notes, and remembering how/where/when you need to be at certain places or get certain things done.
One of the top-rated personal organizer apps is Awesome Note, which helps create well-organized notes and to-do lists combined – in a way that works with Google.
The RxmindMe app reminds you when to take your medications and vitamins. It allows you to enter all of your dosage information, set up reminders, and keep track of when you take them. The app is available for free on iPhones only.
MedCoach is another app that helps you remember to take your medications and pills at the right time and day. It can also connect to your pharmacy to refill your prescriptions. It is available for free on your iPhone or Android device.
Check is an award-winning app that helps you to keep track of your bills and money. The app can help you to avoid missing bills or getting hit with overdraft fees. It is available for free on your iPhone.
The Prism App automatically tracks your bills and sends you due date reminders. Check your account balances and monthly expenses all in one place.
We all know Google, the search engine. You type in your question and in a matter of seconds you get thousands of answers. With the Google Lens app you can use your mobile device to get answers to your questions using pictures without having to type anything in the search bar. It can recognize images simply by pointing your smartphone camera at an object.
Looking for the name of that plant in your garden? Point Google lens at it. See an outfit you love? Use Google Lens to find out where to buy it or other items like it. Scan a book cover to get quick access to reviews or information about the author. Put the lens on the name or logo of a store or restaurant and bring up reviews, menus, social media accounts, and other business information.
Are loud noises in public spaces an issue for you? Find quiet restaurants all over the world with the iHEARu app. The app was created by a Seattle audiologist. It’s an app that relies on its users to find quiet locations. iHEARu already has data for over 2000 restaurants and other public spaces all over the world, meaning that no matter where you travel, silence is only a click away! The app also allows users to leave reviews of places that they visit. So, for example, you might want to tell your fellow iHEARu friends what the quietest table is at a certain restaurant so that you can make a reservation.
I hesitated to include this on the list, because so often, “apps for women” are assumed to only be about shopping and cooking. And cooking is not just a woman’s responsibility! But after all, we do need to eat – and there are many great apps out there to help us cook better meals and have more organized shopping trips.
One of the best-rated cooking apps is Dinner Spinner, which helps you search for recipes online based on the ingredients that you already have in your kitchen. Save time, avoid wasting food, do more efficient grocery shopping, and enjoy healthier, more delicious meals all with this one app.
Tasty is a popular recipes app that provides step-by-step instructions and keeps your phone’s screen awake while it does so. Apply your personal filters so the app shows you the most suited recipes for your lifestyle.
This app, for iPhones only, is packed with thousands of tested and member-rated recipes. The app also allows you to manage your shopping lists and recipes and even perform voice-activated commands – great for hands-free cooking.
OK, fine – we’ll include a few shopping apps too. But not because “all women love to shop and that’s all that we like to do,” but because there are wonderful tools online to help save money and make your shopping trips more efficient, better organized and better informed.
One of the most popular shopping apps is Amazon Price Check (available for iPhone and Android).
If you don’t have this on your phone yet, you should really check it out. Amazon Price Check lets you easily compare the prices of almost any item you find at a retail store with the price of the item on Amazon. You can often find the best deals this way.
Don’t like shopping? Have someone else do your shopping for you and have your items delivered straight to your door. Place your order through the Instacart app and tell them when and where you want your delivery.
Mobile apps have transformed the way people communicate, eat, travel and shop. I hope these ideas can be useful to you in living a healthier, happier life.
Which mobile apps do you use most? How has the mobile app revolution changed your life? Let us know in the Comment section.
Join technology expert, Jennifer Cairns, and I as we discuss smartphones, tablets and great apps for Boomer women.