Seniors and technology: Which tablet is best?


This is one of the toughest questions to answer because nobody likes to hear “It depends.” Most tablets fall into one of three categories: iOS (Apple), Android or Windows. While there are many technical differences between these platforms they can all be used for the same things. In order for me to answer this question, I am going to break the cardinal rule and answer a question with a question. (Actually a few.) Your answers to these questions will help you make an informed decision:

What will you be using it for?

If all you want to do is browse the internet, watch movies and read/write an email then you can accomplish that with any of the major tablets. If you want to run certain apps or video-conference then some programs can only be used with one platform.

Do/have you owned a smartphone or tablet?

If you have already invested in certain products for your smartphone, many of your purchases can be reused on your tablet. For example, if you have purchased Music, Movies and/or Apps already, having to repurchase them may be a bitter pill.

What do your family and friends use?

As mentioned above some apps are proprietary (FaceTime only works between Apple devices iPads, iPhones and Macs) while others are cross-platform (Skype will work with iOS, Android and Windows.) If you want to video-conference then this should be considered. One of the main reasons you should ask this question is, if you have a similar device to your friends and family then you have people who can help you when you have questions.

Once you have decided on which platform best suits your needs (Congratulations! that is the hardest part for some people) then you need to consider size. Most tablets come in either a 7″ or 10″ form factor. Both sizes allow you to zoom in on content but if you have any concerns about your eyesight then you might find the larger the better.

The next decision that you will have to make is storage. Some tablets do not come with the ability to add storage later so if you store a lot of files on your device then you might want to opt for more storage. If you do exceed your capacity then you will have to save some files on another device or pay for cloud storage.

Whatever your decision, I would like to stress the importance of a case. A good case will have a rubberized bumper and back to absorb impact. Some will also have a screen cover as well. Because tablets are so useful and portable you will find them on your couch, on your bed etc. They can easily fall and the cost of a case is very small compared to a repair or replacement.

Good luck and have fun with your new tablet!


Contributor: Perry Angulo is the Information Services Manager for Seasons Retirement Communities.

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