Grey Power: Vodafone app looks to pull in senior smartphone users

Grey Power: Vodafone app looks to pull in senior smartphone users

Vodafone is carrying on its tradition of releasing apps designed to help more Kiwis use technology – this time it's one for senior smartphone newbies.

The latest local offering is Starting Blocks, a free Android app that offers help to over 50s unfamiliar with smartphones. The telco has already released it globally.

The app starts with a tutorial on things that come naturally to kids who use mobile devices – such as tapping and scrolling – then moves to lessons on gestures, power management, navigating using back and home buttons and inputting text.

Vodafone's head of mobile Zac Summers says the app is designed to give older Kiwis the confidence to use smartphones to their full potential.

"Although over 56 percent of Kiwis own a smartphone, this figure is much lower for the over 50s," Summers says. "With Starting Blocks, users learn at their own pace and repeat lessons until they're ready."

Among Vodafone's other apps are Blacklist, which allows customers to block unwanted text messages to reduce cyber-bullying; DriveSafe, which automatically replies to texts to let people know you’re driving; and Guardian, designed for safe use of smartphone by children.