The 6 Best Simple Android Launchers for Parents and Grandparents
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A simpler launcher can solve most of the difficulties your grandparent or parent faces on their Android phone. The default one often promotes its fanciest functions, complicating essential actions like calling in the process.

Thankfully, you can choose from a range of third-party launchers that are designed with older users in mind. They’re easy to navigate and don’t have any extra features that just get in the way of basic usage.

Here are the best Android launchers for your parents and grandparents.

1. Simple Launcher

Simple Launcher, as its name suggests, has a straightforward, no-frills interface. On the home page, it places vital apps such as Phone, SMS, and Contacts. There are two widgets for the weather and time. It uses big, bold fonts and icons that are clearly visible to help prevent accidental touches.

Simple Launcher has an additional page on the left where you can put shortcuts for frequent contacts, apps, and settings. This section also houses a red SOS button for quick access to emergency contacts.

To ensure the user doesn’t accidentally mess up the layout, Simple Launcher includes an edit-lock switch. There’s also a similar option for the volume controls.

Download: Simple Launcher (Free)

2. Big Launcher

Big Launcher simplifies an Android phone’s home screen even further. It replaces the wallpaper with a plain background and enables a grid-based arrangement. The blocks are huge, with similarly sized icons.

The launcher doesn’t show any app names. Instead, the icons have unique, bright gradients that even someone with poor vision can easily identify. At the top, Big Launcher displays information like the battery level, network status, time, and date.

By default, the app only has a single page with six blocks, including Phone, SMS, Camera, Gallery, SOS, and All Apps. You have the option to edit these and add more. In addition to app and contact links, Big Launcher allows you to set actions like Wi-Fi toggles as shortcuts.

Big Launcher uses its own set of custom apps for phone calls and SMS. They follow the same design language as the launcher. If you prefer, you can swap them out for the ones already installed on the phone.

Big Launcher offers loads of personalization tools for nearly all of its elements. You can alter the icons, grid and font sizes, overall theme, orientation, and more. Some of these require you to purchase the in-app upgrade.

Download: Big Launcher (Free, premium version available)

3. Simple Mode

Simple Mode is another app that tries to strip out the common complexities of operating a smartphone. Like the rest, Simple Mode shows information and shortcuts in large blocks. In this app’s case, the blocks have a translucent background. This goes well with any backdrop and doesn’t hinder the user’s ability to read the text.

You’ll find that the app breaks down the home screen into separate panels for grouping quick settings, favorite contacts, and apps. From the preferences, you can also enable notification dots for the Phone and Messages icons.

Simple Mode’s small 2MB download size is great if your grandparent or parent has an entry-level Android phone.

Download: Simple Mode (Free)

4. Senior Safety Phone

Senior Safety Phone is similar to the other apps discussed here. It features a sort of old-school look that a lot of senior users may be familiar with.

At the bottom is a fixed row of items housing shortcuts for Phone, SMS, and All Apps. The remainder of the screen holds grids of apps and contacts. You can customize these based on what you use the most.

Senior Safety Phone lets you lock down the settings and volume levels. The developer also has a handful of add-on utilities for purposes like sending SOS and setting medication reminders.

Download: Senior Safety Phone (Free, premium version available)

5. Help Launcher Deluxe

Help Launcher Deluxe utilizes spacious buttons to form a more comfortable experience for elderly users. On the landing page, there are only a handful of buttons, plus a wide bar that displays the phone’s vitals (such as the battery level).

The app organizes similar apps and actions under those buttons. So for instance, in the Messaging icon, you’ll find WhatsApp, SMS, and Email. Help Launcher Deluxe allows you to switch wallpapers by swiping right or left on an empty space.

The app’s biggest highlight is that it applies a beginner-friendly theme to many system settings. When you tap the cog-wheel button, you’ll come across a Settings option. From there, Help Launcher Deluxe lets you easily adjust the screen brightness and audio.

Download: Help Launcher Deluxe (Free)

6. Square Home 3

Square Home 3 isn’t intentionally built for elderly phone users. But its Windows-style home screen nonetheless makes a good option for those who want a simple launcher.

The colorful square tiles provide a hassle-free way for grandparents and parents to distinguish and launch apps. You can place as many tiles as you’d like and customize them based on their priority.

On top of this, Square Home supports widgets and even bundles a few of its own. This enables you to add everything from music controls to WhatsApp chat shortcuts to the home screen. To ensure the user doesn’t accidentally adjust the setup, you can lock the arrangement.

Square Home has a multitude of personalization options. You can edit the look to match your preferences, and the app can sort tiles and apps depending on how often you interact with them. Lastly, the tiles can show the number of pending notifications from their respective apps.

Square Home 3 is mostly free, but you can unlock a few extra features with the paid version.

Download: Square Home 3 (Free)
Download: Square Home Key ($4.99)

The Best Cell Phones for Senior Citizens

With these third-party launchers, every user can navigate their Android phone without feeling intimidated. Give them a try to help elderly users or those who just want access to the basic functions of a cell phone.

However, Android launchers still can’t match the simplicity of feature phones. If your loved one continues to find smartphones difficult, check out the best cell phones made for senior citizens The 8 Best Cell Phones for Senior Citizens The 8 Best Cell Phones for Senior Citizens If you need a senior-friendly mobile device, here are some of the best cell phones for senior citizens. Read More .

Explore more about: Accessibility, Android Launcher, Assistive Technology, .

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  1. Bob Weeks
    August 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I am looking for an app or a way using an Android cellphone that I can put five or six icons of relatives phone numbers on only one page (home) and disable the dialer pad and other settings. I have a mother-in-law who wants a phone so she can speak to her daughters and sisters. We have tried everything but every once in a while dials 911 when fustrated and the police has stated they are going to start charging her a fee for making these calls. Her call to 911 are not emergencies . She is in a senior home and has a fab for emergency. My wife on visits will call each and everyone so she can talk to them but we are only once or twice a month due to the distance of the home. HELP....

    • Illy
      December 5, 2018 at 12:59 am

      I've been hearing great things about Alexa and it's usefulness for seniors specifically. I myself am considering the hub where they can video call family easily. No dialing buttons or chance of 911 calls. As long as they can say Alexa call .... It should be perfect. Plus u can visually see how they are doing. Otherwise Jethro dlip phone for seniors and kids might be a nice updated old school phone. I'm checking it for dad as he won't ever leave his flip. I believe it has a 6 contact auto call for emergency at push of button and simplified features.

  2. Best Android Launchers McGovern
    February 7, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Hello to every one, the contents existing at this site are really awesome for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

  3. Mario
    October 25, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Grand Launcher is the best for grandparents!

  4. Mark Deering
    October 18, 2016 at 2:01 am

    This is a great review, but Necta is not free. They give you a trial period and then charge you to continue. I would not have minded paying for this app, since I thought it worked well for my father. The problem I have is presentation in the app store made it appear free. I feel this was a Bait and Switch for senior citizens. This is abhorrent. I would not buy this app not for any price. I probably will pay $10 for Big Launcher. Money was not an issue. Honesty is.

    MD

  5. Gerald
    April 28, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Necta Launcher dangerous!!!!! Most people are setting Necta launcher up for there senior loved one. You give them their phone, days after you are not with them, it asks for money and worst has the rights to keep asking for money, who knows maybe every month or every day. It preys on the senior it claims to help. Calling this a trial is a cop out. As xda developers, you could easily put two versions of the app in the store, one a clearly labeled trial and one the paid version. In my opinion, this is intentional, deliberate and dangerous!!!!!! You should change your suggestion as you where the reason I choose it!!!

  6. Mr Gee
    April 28, 2016 at 8:29 am

    HELP! I have Necta Launcher with 8 contact and 2 WhatsApps icons each says "application is not installed on you phone" HOW DO I REMOVE THE EXTRA ICONS?

  7. Shay
    March 22, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I tried several and am really liking Phonotto for a person who's been limited all their life. This has lots of checkboxes for disabling features so I can simplify the interface more. This seems the most lacking feature of the several I've tried, being able to customize it for the particular user. I'll probably try a few more, but this one seems like it'll be the winner for this person I'm setting it up for.

  8. Anonymous
    August 31, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    Necta is no longer free - they changed to a trial version in Sept 2014, and now charge £4+ for the app. This isn't exactly obvious from the description in the Play Store ... as it only indicates in-app purchases.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 31, 2015 at 3:50 pm

      Thanks for the update, klamb!

      • Alan
        September 14, 2017 at 7:35 am

        The big problem with paid apps is my father in law I want to help doesn't have a credit card - so how can I buy it for him?

        I don't want to use my normal Gmail account, as he could end up installing and buying everything in sight, quite likely by accident!

        Whichever developer figures out how friends and relatives can buy an elderly user the app will have my custom. Until then I can only give them a free version.

        • anonMouse
          January 19, 2018 at 11:22 pm

          When you're next with him, just do the following to purchase apps for him while you're with him:
          1. Add your credit card to his account, under payment methods
          2.Purchase the app/apps that you want to
          3.Go back to payment methods, and remove your credit card as a payment method.

          It's kind of a pain in the butt process for a single app purchase, but the only method I've found to purchase an app for someone else. I do this for my kids tablet, as I rarely purchase new apps for their devices and they have their own accounts.

  9. msh
    May 2, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    big app is perfect for old people

  10. pat
    April 30, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    Just switched my 80 years old dad from flip to smart with Big Launcher. He loves it. He sent his first text to gKids.

    This app is awesome.

  11. Rob
    December 19, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Probably also have a look at the GoLivePhone: http://www.gociety.eu
    Beside a very easy and customized UI, also the menu structures are very consistent and easy and they offer also care applications as automatic fall detection and activity measurement etc
    Really good looking and well functioning product for elderly from all ages.

  12. Looca
    August 7, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    In my opinion, Wise is a step lower than others applications.
    In your place I would have used for other applications such as Phonotto

  13. Jayson
    July 7, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Has anyone tried if these launchers work with dual sim phones? My dad uses a dual sim non android phone so i cant test it out before buying.

    My other option is the nokia lumia 630 dual sim. I like how wp presents dual sim with a different colored sim and msg tile for each number and you can increase the tiles and font to a large size.

  14. SK Loh
    July 7, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    I don't think Necta Launcher is free. Once installed and using, I keep getting nagging reminders saying that the version I use is expiring and ask me to buy the product.