Just give them a Tesco Hudl
Perhaps looking to open a new niche for tablets in the wake of stagnating sales, Intel is teaming up with the American Association for Retired People (AARP) to make a tablet for the elderly. Chipzilla said its Android KitKat (version 4.4) RealPad fogy-slab will sport a stripped-down user interface and troubleshooting software …
Just give them a Tesco Hudl
In the end we gave up and got them an ipad mini. At least support calls are few and far between, and they can't break it with some dodgy app. Not that they ever downloaded any apps. Turns out facetime and a browser is about all that was required. I put all the apps they were never going to use in a single folder, and left them with one page with around 6 apps on it. Job done. Expensive, obviously, but job done.
iPads work for older people because you can set them up to just do what you want pretty simply - but expensive as you point out (and someone has to do the setting up after purchase).
The AARP approach seems to be to take a cheaper piece of kit and do the set up pre-sale. Be nice if it works - no point in giving high price/spec kit to people who are not going to need much over the basic browsing and communications.
This will have a hard time competing with the new offerings from the other El Reg article.
Overpriced and underpowered.
However, it's good to see fondleslabs are finally coming down in price.
Except the target audience feel overwhelmed by such devices, the AARP tab is supposed to be "simple" to use for people who don't understand or use technology.
It is a bit like those OAP phones and mobiles, with the extra big buttons... It isn't about features, it is about breaking down the barriers to being able to use it at all.
Well yes, but surely 99% of what the "target audience" want could be handled by a custom UI that could be installed on any tablet (it could even just be an option when buying a tablet so they wouldn't need to install it themselves)? it doesn't need another half-arsed 'landfill' tablet for that.
Yes, except who will configure the tablet and install it for them?
Whether Intel do it, or whether the AARP joined up with Samsung, LG etc. to produce a special AARP edition doesn't make much difference. They just happened to sign up with Intel.
Wouldn't a simplified launcher be enough for the job?
Let's check in the play store...
"launcher for elderly" finds about 250 apps. Some of them looking quite good.
That said, it would be nice to have a out of the box solution with a pre-installed launcher, so perhaps there is a real market need...
This was my point as well, but the price of the tablet is the deal killer.
Some people forget the retired was the generation that invented digital computing. And that meant fondling machine code and thermionic valves. Assembler was for wimps. C was for cissys.
Yes some of us are frustrated and overwhelmed by the crap that modern manufacturers have put between the interface and the machine over the past half century. The reversal of the later concept of personal computing to lock out the user from the pc as IT teams had earlier locked them out of mainframes.
Is our only hope now full blown Linux? Is that an option on this device? Or would providing that be too difficult for the young?
What goes around, comes around. You "fondled the machine code and thermionic valves", but locked your users out of the mainframes? Well, ain't karma a bi***? You're a user now, deal with it. Or prove that you've still got it and get down and dirty with it yourself. ;)
Trouble is: it is so hard to get the butterflies
I'm still waiting for the pipeline to purge - the moment when there'll be no-one left alive who looks at a mouse or a file explorer or a matrix of icons with that insultingly lazy, dismissing "How do you use that? Oh, never mind, it's too complicated for me" attitude. Not being quite able to set up the WiFi or the VPN or whatever is one thing - you'll likely find someone to do it for you, once. But daily use, too complicated? Poking icons, too complex? Oh, go pull the other one...
See also: people who still double-click on hyperlinks, because that's how they were taught to use their computer. Change can be hard, for some.
Good luck with that, I think there may still be one or two people left who were born in the 1800s!
...the younger, 'I-want-it-now', 'I've got-to be- continually-entertained', 'I've-GOT-to-be-seen-with-the-latest-technology' generation scoffs at the acquired wisdom of maturity.
We've looked at tablets, phablets, CHROMEBOOKS, ultrabooks, INOT, 'wearable' (cough, cough) technology, and have told the idiots who dream up--andthese effete pieces of technological sh*t that "...you are totally, completely full of sh*t"...
Stagnating, falling sales, hmmm? Q.E.D.
I say balderdash to big buttons and simplified screens.
I'm 66. I want to say, "Computer, <command in native language>" and not have to touch anything, hold anything in my hand, wear funny glasses, or attach a Bluetooth dongle to my ear. I want this unseen, ever ready servant to be in my car, in my office, and in my home, with the nearest display, speaker, lock, machine, applicance or vehicle automatically activated. Siri, Galaxy, Cortana: you ladies are getting close, but more interfaces and AI services are yet to be created.
There is your roadmap kids. Get cracking.
I was out yesterday and heard the "door chime" sound as an SMS ringtone from STNG and was transported...
It'll be a while yet. It's a hard problem, even for a human being. You'd need an AI at least as intelligent as a dog. How often do your ears prick up because you thought you heard your name? How many times have you had to ask someone to repeat what they just said? And then understood no better than the first time they said it?
That third one, not often, but I did once ask in Glasgow which platform the London train went from. The reply could have been any of the platforms on the station. I missed the train.
Boss: "You're fired!"
Victim: "Computer: Format C Colon. YES!"
Generally, when tablets are too hard to swallow, the noise one make does sound like "AARP".