5 Reasons Why Apple's iPad Is a Great Gift for Grandma

Posted February 21 2011

When the iPad was first released, the majority of reviews had two things in common. One, they were for the most part positive. Pretty much everybody agrees the iPad is a great device, and tons of fun to use. Second, nearly all those reviews pointed out the big elephant in the room; the iPad doesn't really do anything better than an already available product.  

Think about it. You've got laptops with full keyboards, making them way better than the iPad at typing up long documents. And you've got desktops with big wide-screen monitors to watch movies and play games with. Even smart phones, with their increasingly speedy evolution in power, can do almost everything an iPad can. And they fit in your pocket. So, just who is this thing made for?


Well, grandma. Seriously. 

Not just your grandmother, of course. The iPad is a really cool device, so if you want one, go get one! And it's only going to get better as more and more developers head to the platform and start pumping out apps optimized for it. But, for senior citizens, the iPad has already arrived, so to speak. It doesn't need that proverbial “killer app”, because for many seniors, the iPad itself is the killer app. It makes so many things easier and puts the functions of multiple devices into one easy to use tablet. Don't believe it? Well read on for the top 5 reasons the iPad is a great gift idea for the seniors in your life.


1. It's a safe platform.

One of the big complaints many techies have with the iPad's operating system is actually a big plus for grandma. The iPad runs IOS, the same platform powering the iPhone 4 and current generation iPod touch. It's completely locked down. All apps are screened by Apple before they go to the app store. Apple's “walled garden” approach to their mobile software has been angering geeks for years. They say those walls keep out potentially innovative apps. And there's some truth in that. But those walls also keep out viruses, malware and scumware. They keep pollution from spoiling the pond. 

The last thing someone who's not tech-savvy wants to deal with is a locked up device flooded with malicious software. That can't happen with the iPad. It runs the software it's allowed to run, and it runs it just fine. No nasty sharks are getting in and eating the flounders. You can sleep well knowing when you hand grandma her new iPad, she's not at risk of downloading a nasty program that can wreck the whole machine. You can't say the same about any PC, no matter how well you think it's protected.


2. It's light weight and easy to use in any position.

You sit down to use your desktop. And you know how much your backs hurt when you spend a long time on a chair. You can move your laptop around, but using it in bed or lying on the couch isn't really comfortable. And have you ever tried using it on your lap for any amount of time? You have to hunch your back over to use it like that! But it doesn't matter how your body is positioned when you're using an iPad. It's a solid, light-weight piece of metal and glass. Smaller than a magazine, weighing in at around a hardcover novel. And you can hold it however you want, or don't hold it if you have an iPad stand

The screen's orientation automatically adjusts the display so it's always right side up. There's really no wrong way to hold it. And that makes it a truly portable device. Most seniors deal with aches and pains in one way or another. But the iPad is one device grandma doesn't have to get comfortable to use, because it's already comfortable being used by her. That means less strain on older bones.


3. Adjustable text size means less eye strain.

Most iPad apps incorporate adjustable text in one way or another. And unless you have poor eyesight yourself, you really have no idea how great this is. Being able to pinch to zoom, double tap to reformat, or click to enlarge what you're reading is a huge benefit to many grandmothers out there.

You put strain on your eyes day in and day out with things like reading small print and spending too much time in front of the computer and television. Over the years all that strain adds up, and your vision begins to fade. This is happening to younger and younger people because of the proliferation of computers, but it's still a bigger problem for seniors. Well, with the iPad it's not a problem. It doesn't matter if grandma left her glasses in the other room, or her vision is poor even with them. The iPad gives her an easy way to adjust the size of nearly everything she reads. Websites, email, text documents and so much more are always just the right size for tired eyes. And that leads right to the next point...


4. The iPad makes it easy to find, buy and read books.

Sure, the iPad is really popular with the young, hip crowd. Which is a little ironic, considering it really excels as an e-reader, and reading books is something many young people just don't seem that interested in these days. But many seniors still love to curl up with a good book. And the iPad makes it easy. First off, you get iTunes for books with Apple's new iBook e-reader / online book store. Thousands of titles you can read within seconds of downloading. And the bright 9.7 inch display makes reading easier than ever for all the grandmothers out there.

Now, there are a lot of great things about the Kindle's e-ink display, like how much it mimics the look and feel of paper. But the iPad is a better choice for someone with vision problems. The back-lit display makes it so much easier on the eyes then straining to get good light on the Kindle. And of course, grandma can change the font size for ultimate comfort.

And if iBooks doesn't happen to have the book your grandmother is looking for, she can just download the Kindle app. It put's Amazon.com's huge selection of books on the iPad's gorgeous display. Both the iBooks and Kindle apps are free.


5. The iPad makes watching her favorite TV shows and movies easy and convenient.

With the iPad, you're plugged into Apple's unique media ecosystem. And of course that includes iTunes, and all the great TV shows and movies that come along with it. Did your grandma miss her favorite show last night? No problem, she can just fire up her iPad and download it. Does she want a copy of the entire previous season? It's just a few clicks away. 

The iPad let's you buy and watch content on your own time, so it doesn't matter if you forgot to tune in last night. It also makes renting movies a whole lot easier than going to the video store. With iTunes, your iPad is the video store. You can rent and buy all your favorite films and watch them right on the iPad. Grandma won't have to jimmy-rig dozens of wires between her TV and computer. All it takes is the iPad. You should also let her know about Netflix.com, and how she can stream thousands of movies straight to her iPad for one low monthly price. 

The iPad is a great device for anyone to own, but for seniors getting an iPad can be absolutely life changing. It makes so many things they like doing easier than ever. Even if your grandmother is tech-phobic, the iPad is a joy to use. The IOS software is probably the most user-friendly operating system out there right now. Anyone can be up and running within minutes of picking up an iPad for the first time. And that's without even go into all the great casual games like Solitaire and Mahjong she can play. Plus the iPad can give a disabled senior a window to the world they might not otherwise have. 

It gives you many different ways to stay in touch with loved ones with things like email and apps like Skype. And it costs much less than the average laptop. So if you're having trouble finding a gift for grandma, consider the iPad and some iPad accessories. It just might change her life.

iPad 2 Cases

iPad 2 Accessories