I took the iPad to my parents’ house on Monday. I live about 100 miles away, so Dad and I worked together exploring the iPad while keeping in mind that we will be apart for a couple of weeks. Of course I will provide technical help by phone.
He is intrigued and interested and tried most of the features. It was great fun to work with him, and enjoyable to learn about this new technology together.
What He Liked Best
- Map. Yellow legal pad, iBooks
- NY Times, Bible and concordance, WGBH classical music
- YouTube videos
- Surfing the web (of course)
What I Noticed (though I’ve observed these with older adults other than my dad)
- People not familiar with touch features on the iPhones and iPads try to use the keyboarding hand positions on the iPad keyboard, because it is just large enough to activate a person’s touch typing memory cues. The QWERTY position does not work, because fingers are simultaneously touching the screen and funny things happen to the screen.
- Apple has rearranged key/letter locations, and this is frustrating for me, let alone for people who have been typing and computing for 65 years. Why this rearrangement?
- It was easy to forget to use an index finger for pointing. Senior citizens, especially, are not used to pointing (bad manners).
- Swishing the finger across the iPad sometimes causes the screens to move too quickly, but Dad will get used to it. I should have looked to see if there is a way to slow this down. In general it would be great to slow down the iPad response time just a bit.
- For now I will do the syncing.
Tips I Suggested
- When confused, push the little round button at the bottom to get back to the main screen.
- Select one place to charge it, and always put it in that place.
- If a program gets too confusing, we can just download it again. Don’t worry about it.
What We Did Not Do for this First iPad Phase.
- iTunes — for the moment this will be digitizing his CD’s.
- More classical music radio stations, if possible.