iPads for elderly
by cedarail - 5/1/12 3:03 PM
I've always been a proponent of Macs but in trying to get an iPad for my wife who is having declining vision I thought the iPad would be as intuitive as previous Macs have been for us. It's a nice device but it's so intuitive that one needs a kid to help him/her get started. There was not even a "quickstart guide" !! The "instructions" are contained in an obscure icon available only when one accesses Safari. Even bought iPad For Dummies only to find that all of the finger control movements are described in a chapter 1/4 of the way into the book.
Once our son in law helped us and a student at a local school showed my wife that by changing the screen from black on white to white on black she began to see the text clearly but it took some effort. Another plus is the capability of enlarging the text to a clear phenomenal degree of visibility but that has the drawback of losing the field of view of the page so that the user must constantly be in motion moving the text from side to side and top to bottom. You lose context that way. I think that there can be too much intuition needed. Also the user must get used to the "left to right pull across" menu rather than pull down which has been the conventional way.
Most users, I am sure, more capable at using this marvelous device than I. My wife is beginning to use it more effectively but if she asks me a question I can rarely help. The user must also adapt to a keyboard which must be tapped to change from ordinary text to numerals and symbols.
Personally, I would choose a large screen laptop Mac instead of the iPad. I'm disappointed with the product. If vision is an issue I'd get my dad to try one at an Apple Store or through an adult ed class before making this kind of investment. Way too "glitchy". Ron S.