What is WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging and video calling apps available for free. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook. It is easy to use, and has end-to-end encryption, meaning it is very secure, and cannot be read by anyone other than the intended receiver.
WhatsApp uses your phone’s cellular or Wi-Fi connection to make and receive messages and calls, reachable from nearly everywhere on the planet! WhatsApp is a nice app for families to communicate, share pictures and video call.
Unlike FaceTime, WhatsApp is available on practically any platform, whether that be iPhone, Android, Windows or Mac. This means no family members will be left out of the conversation due to the phone they have.
How to setup WhatsApp for the elderly
Its recommended that WhatsApp is set-up on a tablet or computer for an elderly person, because mobile phones are smaller than a tablet or computer, harder to read and use, and not as capable of loud volumes.
An active mobile phone service is required to set up WhatsApp, so if your parent doesn’t have an active service, they won’t be able to use WhatsApp. When you subsequently install WhatsApp on a tablet or computer, a verification code will be sent to the mobile device. Once the code is entered on the tablet or computer, it will be connected, and you will be able to use it for WhatsApp.
- Install WhatsApp onto your parent’s device using either the App Store or Google Play Store, or by visiting WhatsApp on the web – whatsapp.com
- Open WhatsApp, allow permission to access contacts and agree to all terms and conditions.
- Enter their mobile phone number into the provided field then enter the verification code sent to the phone.
- Set a name and optionally add a photo to the WhatsApp account.
- Find a contact you wish to videocall and click the small video icon in the top right corner of the screen.
- To end the videocall, simply hit the red End
Making the WhatsApp experience easier for a senior using a tablet
- Remove all other icons from the screen and simply place the app alone on a screen
- Turn off automatic updates to prevent pop-up reminders or anything your parent may be unfamiliar with
- Leave it permanently attached to a charger with a long cable
- Purchase a protective case to prevent the screen from cracking when it is dropped.
- Ensure that the Wi-Fi signal strength is strong in every corner of the house where they make take the device.
- Set the volume to required level
The WhatsApp interface may be quite difficult for a very old adult to use, so if your parent isn’t technologically savvy, they may struggle using WhatsApp
Alternatives to WhatsApp
WhatsApp only introduced video calls in November 2016. In their reviews, users claimed that the service is very unreliable. Users reported not being able to experience a call on WhatsApp that doesn’t drop out or stop working for no reason mid conversation. The video calling feature is the source many poor reviews, as most users report it never working on the first attempt, and when it does, it typically drops out.
Combined with the above issues, the interface is quite difficult for a very old adult to use, so if your parent isn’t technologically savvy, they may struggle using WhatsApp.
Fortunately, there are other alternatives to WhatsApp that are easier to navigate, and present as a more reliable option. Apps including Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger and Viber are all other video-calling applications
Konnekt has reviewed, evaluated and analysed over 20 video-calling platforms. The best alternative, from our experience, is Skype.
Skype calling for seniors
Skype is a video chat and messaging app which allows people to connect with each other from anywhere with an Internet connection. Unlike WhatsApp, you do not need to first install Skype on a mobile phone with an active service.
Skype gives users:
- Calls to regular landline phones
- Options to create group calls that include some members on Skype and some members using their regular landline phone
- Great reliability, worldwide support and continued refinement, thanks to the investment of its new owner.
The Skype user interface is quite easy to use and proved to be reliable. However, the Skype app (like most video-calling apps) has in many features that older adults don’t need and may confuse them. Thankfully, there is a better way.
Konnekt Videophone – World’s Easiest Video Calling for Seniors
Konnekt Videophone comes with unbelievable service: Personalization. Setup and management of the Skype account. Contact invitations. Delivery. Best of all, IT Support: When Gran’s Internet or your device has a problem, we’ve got your back.
Need more buttons? Increase volume? Konnekt does it for you. Remotely.
Konnekt even helps relatives and friends get onto Skype, and tests with them. Imagine: Your whole family happily using Skype on their mobile and home gadgets, and you don’t have to convince them or show them how!
Konnekt makes Skype even easier for elderly to use. The Konnekt Videophone can be used to talk to anyone worldwide using Skype, but has the easiest interface, winning Best Consumer Friendly Product in the aged care sector.
Your parents will be able to easily communicate with their family and friends with no trouble at all. It’s easier to use than a traditional mobile phone, tablet or computer – no skills required!
Our simple interface gives seniors the capability to use Skype easily. It can also be used as a regular landline phone and is a lot easier than a traditional telephone.
With Videophone you will never see any pop-ups or update requests, and by default the user will not receive calls from anyone who is not an authorised contact.
- HIDDEN – Skype is hidden, making it super easy
- LOUD, Louder than a conventional tablet or phone speaker
- HUGE one press-buttons. No need for glasses
- UNLIMITED Calls to phones – no surprises
- AUTOMATIC answering from selected trusted contacts
- UNPACK – There is no technical setup required, just plug it in to power. That’s all
- LARGE screen, much bigger than fiddly tablets
- MANAGED – Account subscriptions and software are remotely managed
Note that Konnekt does not represent Apple, Skype or Microsoft.