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Apple Introduces iPad, but Is It Senior Friendly?

For about a decade, Apple has been working on a tablet-based Mac computer system. Today, January 27th, 2010, will go down in the annals of the history of technology as the date that Steve Jobs introduced the iPad tablet to the world. The iPad is a 9.7 inch touchscreen tablet computer. Think of it as the iPod touch on steroids. Depending on the model, the iPad ranges from $499 to $699; it should be available for purchase in about two months.

There might be some sort of assumption that the iPad tablet is too flashy and is not an elder friendly product. But we would like to dispute that. The truth is that not all seniors have the same technological needs or desires. If you are suffering from dementia, the iPad might be a bit too complicated. However, if you have a mild case of arthritis, loved the idea of iPhone but found the buttons too small, it is worth looking into the iPad tablet.

Elder friendly features: Nice Big Screen (a height of 9.5 inches and a width of 7.5 inches), Large Touchscreen Keypad, External Keyboard (so you don’t need to use a touchpad to compose a long e-mail or letter), Simple Interface, Stable and Lightweight (1.5 to 1.6 pounds, depending on the model), Bright Backlit LCD Display System (unlike the Kindle, it displays color).

Notable benefits: The battery lasts up to 10 hours, the cellular data plan with AT&T costs $15 a month for 250 MB of bandwidth and $30 a month for unlimited data, can hold anywhere from 16 to 64 GB of data, can run all 140,000 iPhone applications, Kindle-esque capabilities such as an iBook application, iTunes, iPod, Apple Store, internet access.

Price range: Medium

Just a note: we haven’t been able to physically play with the iPad yet, so consider this to be a preliminary discussion of the product. Look for additional ElderGadget posts on the subject within the upcoming months once we get our hand on it.

4 Responses to Apple Introduces iPad, but Is It Senior Friendly?

  1. Dan Cohen January 28, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    I have no doubt the iPad will be a game-changer for seniors, especially those who’ve always believed this computer stuff is not for them. Wow…to be rid of the mouse, confusing operating systems, and so many issues that the rest of us have gotten used to by necessity. I think this will prove liberating and irresistible for many of the uninitiated. My father-in-law lives at home alone. His computer, which was always difficult for him to grasp, has been gathering dust. The first iPad I get will be for him. I can’t wait.

  2. ElderGadget January 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Hi Dan. Nice to hear from you. How is your iPhone app doing? Will it be compatible with the iPad? For those of you who don’t remember our good friend Dan Cohen, take a look at the articles we wrote recently on his wonderful iPhone app, Healthful Apps, just released for the CES show this month. The link to our articles is http://eldergadget.com/health/10404. I heartily recommend reading the articles and going to the iTunes store to check them out. If we are lucky, perhaps Dan will review the iPad for ElderGadget from his expert perspective as a “app” inventor. How about it Dan? All the best, EJ from ElderGadget

  3. Dan Cohen January 29, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    EJ, Thanks for asking about Healthful Apps, which is off to a good start. I’m thrilled that iPhone users are finding it useful. It will run without modification on the iPad. And, yes, I’d be delighted to review the iPad. Dan

  4. ElderGadget January 29, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Great, I will be in touch.

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