Today’s mobile apps can help you connect with loved ones, stay on top of your finances, enjoy easy entertainment, and make life more manageable. But with over a million apps available, it can feel overwhelming to know which ones to download. We’ve put together a list of apps for seniors, to help you find new ways to connect, stay informed, learn, and play.
Connect and Communicate
FaceTime*, Zoom, Houseparty, and Skype: These well-known apps are all free ways to see your favorite faces while everyone’s staying at home.
*iPhone and iPad only
Tapestry: For seniors who may want to stay off Facebook, Tapestry offers an ad-free social media alternative for connecting with family and friends.
Get Vision, Memory, and Hearing Assistance
EarMachine: Funded by the National Institute of Health, EarMachine works with your headphones to pick up the sounds around you and enhance them in your ears. (Also something to note: most hearing aid manufacturers now design apps to go with the hearing aids.)
CaptionCall for iPhone: This app can help with understanding phone conversations by showing the words on screen as they’re spoken.
Magnifying Glass + Flashlight: For help reading tiny letters and numbers, this app offers easy-to-adjust zoom and brightness functions.
TapTapSee: This app offers help for identifying or remembering the names of objects when those names escape us. It uses your device’s camera and voice functionality to audibly list the name and show it on screen.
Access Health Aid and Information
GoodRx: To help keep prescription costs down, this app compares current prices and provides digital coupons and other ways to save.
MediSafe: This app can help track medications with reminders and schedules. It can also track the progress of your prescription and provide practical information on medicines and health conditions. (It’s recommended to always double-check all information with your doctor.)
Medicare “What’s Covered?”: For finding out any updates to your Medicare coverage, Medicare released this app with an easy search function.
When it comes to tracking your own patient information and schedule, check with your local doctor on the best way to use your phone. Some hospitals have their own app, and some doctors might go through the insurance provider or Medicare apps.
AARP Now: The app brings your AARP membership benefits to your phone screen and includes local events and daily news stories.
Inkl ($9.99/month after a free trial): This news app lets you see only the stories you want by filtering out ads and only showing your chosen topics. (The best part? Inkl also has a Good News section!)
Local news: Most local news stations now offer reports and updates on their accompanying apps available in the App Store or Google Play.
Weather Channel and Airvisual: Get news and alerts on weather and air quality conditions.
1Password: With so many apps requiring personal information, one pain point is the constant need for passwords. As one of the best-rated password managers, this app serves as a virtual vault for storing passwords and other sensitive information. It also works with mobile browsers to both remember logins and also create new passwords as needed. (1Password requires a monthly subscription.)
Listen, Learn, and Enjoy
Podcasts: The iPhone Podcast app, Overcast, Spotify, and Google Podcasts are all free ways to listen to shows on all topics from news and history to medical research and trivia. (Note that storing podcasts does take up a significant amount of device storage.)
Audible and Kindle: For audio and digital book purchases, these apps offer storage and allow adjustments for easier listening and reading.
Libby and Scribd: There are also subscription-based libraries of audio and digital books. Libby is free and borrows from your local library with your library card. With Libby, holds and reservations work the same way as if you were in the library in person. Scribd is a paid subscription that also works like a library, but with a large selection, no waits, and no reading limits.
Games: Finally, mobile apps offer great ways to both relax and grow some gray matter. Try brain teasers in colorful apps like Elevate and Lumosity (subscription-based with a few free games). Or enjoy classics like Scrabble and Sudoku. You can even try fun favorites like Monopoly! Mobile apps provide games as stimulating or entertaining as you want.
Era Living and 3rd Act Magazine are not associated with the apps mentioned here in any way. All apps listed are available for both iPhones and Android phones unless noted.