Smartphone Accessibility Features for Older Adults

older adult with smartphone

More than half of older adults purchased a tech product within the past year, according to a recent AARP survey. Smartphones were the most-purchased item among those surveyed. 

However, the standard setup for nearly all smartphones is not configured with older adults’ special needs in mind, such as diminished vision and hearing.

In this post, we review some of the accessibility features available on iPhone and Android that enable older adults to modify text and display sizes and utilize spoken content and more efficiently use a smartphone. 

Increase Text Size

If you’re having trouble reading the text on your smartphone you can increase the text size to make content more legible. 

Android

  1. Go to your Android phone’s Setup
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Font size
  4. Use the slider at the bottom of the screen to make the text size larger or smaller
Android increase font size

iPhone

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Display & Text Size
  4. Tap Larger Text
  5. Tap the toggle switch to enable Larger Accessibility Sizes
  6. Use the slider to increase the text size
iPhone increase font size

Increase Display Size

This Android-only feature allows you to increase the size of app icons and other on-screen objects. 

Android

  1. Go to your Android phone’s Setup
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Display Size
  4. Use the slider at the bottom of the screen to make on-screen objects larger or smaller
Android increase display size

Spoken Content

The spoken content accessibility features will enable your smartphone to speak a highlighted section of text or speak all text on the screen.

Android

Setup Select to Speak

  1. Go to your Android phone’s Setup
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Select to Speak
  4. Tap the toggle switch to Use Service
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions for use
Android Select to Speak

Setup TalkBack

  1. Go to your Android phone’s Setup
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap TalkBack
  4. Tap the toggle switch to Use Service
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions for use
Android Talkback

iPhone

Setup Speak Selection

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Spoken Content
  4. Tap the toggle switch to enable Speak Selection
  5. Adjust the Speaking Rate using the slider
  6. Follow the instructions beneath the Speak Selection toggle switch for use

Setup Speak Screen

  1. Go to your iPhone’s Settings
  2. Tap Accessibility
  3. Tap Spoken Content
  4. Tap the toggle switch to enable Speak Screen
  5. Adjust the Speaking Rate using the slider
  6. Follow the instructions beneath the Speak Screen toggle switch for use
iPhone speech accessibility options

If you or a loved one need help configuring accessibility features for your iPhone or Android phone, please contact Prime of Life Tech or book an appointment online.