You may think Android isn’t for everyone. You sometimes hear others say “it’s too complicated”, or “It might be good for techies, but not for me”.
Yes, Android does have that image — a virus-prone system with too many options that can easily go wrong. Couple that with the fact that it looks different on every device, and you get something that can be hard for non-techies to deal with. But Android is actually a great operating system, and one that anyone can enjoy.
There are some great ways to configure an Android phone for older people, and when talking about senior citizens, there are some good dedicated devices for seniors to buy. But just because someone’s older or not really into tech doesn’t mean they can’t use Android in all of its glory. If you find your Android experience too complicated or not intuitive enough, you need Wiser launcher.
A Simple Android Launcher For Everyone
Wiser simplifies the Android experience and makes it accessible for everyone. It does so by introducing a bright and clear interface that feels friendly right off the bat.
The great thing about Wiser is that it’s not only easy to use, it’s also easy to set up. When first launched, Wiser gives you a clear explanation about setting it as the default launcher, so you no longer have to deal with the one that came with your phone. Once this is done, your home screen belongs to Wiser, and will feature 6 useful icons: Contacts, Dialer, Messaging, Camera, Gallery and Applications. These shortcuts cannot be changed.
Wiser doesn’t only take over your home screen, though. Your contacts app, dialer app and app drawer will also get a makeover. The Wiser dialer app, while lacking some useful native Android features, is as simple as these things get.
The numbers are big and clear, and it’s easy to access call history from here, or add a new contact. The call history itself is also easier to understand than the one you get on most Android devices, and the white background helps things pop out. The dialer does make somewhat annoying tones when pressing the buttons, and I couldn’t find a way to disable those.
The contacts app is just as simple, with prominent “Search” and “New Contact” buttons. The search feature is standard fare: start typing a name to get immediate results. Adding new contacts is also a breeze. Just enter first and last name, and the app will guide you the rest of the way, with a different section for every other detail you can add. This interface makes it almost impossible to add a contact without meaning to.
When viewing a single contact, it’s easy to browse between cell phone, home phone and email using the side buttons, or initiate either a call or a text to that contact. You also don’t have to worry about inadvertently deleting a contact — Wiser will make sure you don’t do this by mistake.
Shortcuts You Can Actually Use
Traditional Android home screens can get cluttered, fast. It can be hard finding your favorite apps or contacts. It’s not that Android doesn’t let you add icons and widgets to your home screen, but the process is not always intuitive, and icons have a tendency to hide on one of multiple home screens in your launcher. Here too, Wiser makes your life easier.
The launcher comes with one Favorite People screen and two App Shortcuts screens. Tap the plus icon to start adding contacts or applications for quick access through these screens. These shortcut screens are available at any time when you scroll right from your home screen, so you’re always a tap away from your most-used apps and contacts. By tapping the cogwheel icon on each of these screens, you can delete shortcuts and then replace them with others.
Notifications Made Easier
For many users, one of the most confusing things about Android is the notification center. The dark background, the tiny text, and its tendency to always fill up with unintelligible notifications makes the whole thing quite baffling. This can get to the point where people ignore the notification center entirely, thus missing things that are actually important to them. Wiser brings this confusion to an end.
The notice board is available by scrolling left from your Wiser home screen. When a new notification is available, the left arrow will blink to grab your attention.
You will need to give Wiser access to your notifications in order for the for notice board to work. Don’t worry, though, just like everything else, Wiser makes this easy.
It’s important to note that while Wiser is available for devices running Android 4.0 and up, the notice board feature is only available on Android 4.3 and up.
Wiser Companion App
Even with Wiser, users may run into snags with Android from time to time. Wiser also plans on releasing what they call the Companion app, which will let users support others remotely using their phones. The app is currently in closed beta, and I haven’t tried it myself, but if you’re intrigued, you can register for it on the Wiser website.
Android For Everyone!
There’s no reason for anyone not to get along with Android. If you’re new to the system, start with these 5 important actions on new Android phones, and continue with these 4 important apps. If Android still confuses you, Wiser is one great way to make things better.
Image credit: PlaceIt