Be Dad’s Favorite: Gift Him The Right Technology This Father’s Day
We’re all only getting older. And by now, you’ve probably established that your parents and grandparents are no exception to the rule (if you haven’t, start reading here). Father’s day brunch is certainly a time for celebration, but it comes with an asterisk. He’s at the breakfast table eating his favorite pancakes, sharing funny stories with the family, and you’re in the other room adjusting the brightness on his laptop and the ringer volume on his phone. I won’t even bring up the challenges you may have faced with the dumb Smart TV you gifted him last Father’s Day.
At Quincy we recommend getting dad a gift that fulfills his ‘connected’ needs while saving you an inevitable headache. There is technology out there that will make family time considerably more enjoyable — and prevent you from playing the role of IT. Whether you set-up your relatives with on-demand tech support tailored to adults 55+ like Quincy (GogoQuincy.com) or decide to play IT for them (at their beck and call), the first step is finding devices that have been created with older family members in mind.
Older adults aren’t typically consumed with needing the latest and greatest in terms of processing power, so you can get away with older models. Older isn’t necessarily just about affordability, it can often mean simpler too. If your older-family members are anything like mine, they’re comfortable with a “less is more” framework when it comes to technology. If they can use it for calls, texts (maybe), emails, ‘Googling,’ and most importantly photos, they’re going to be happy campers.
At the same time, you don’t have to sacrifice important aspects like a bright screen, support for remote-access services like TeamViewer.com, or clear audio. If you’re going to be the one to fix their devices, do yourself a favor and make sure they have systems that at least let you provide support from wherever you are. Take that weekend off and just reset Dad’s email password from the beach! Just don’t drop your phone in the water…we can’t help you there. Where we can help though is device recommendations.
Let’s start with smartphones. If you have family comfortably asking you for tech help, use this Father’s Day to give them one of the following devices that won’t age you unnecessarily. Now, you’ll notice that some of these devices have been around for a few years. Our suggestions revolve around the oldest model you can purchase (because saving money is certainly not a bad thing) that is both easiest to operate and runs an operating system supporting updated software. As an important note, in no case have we suggested a device originally released before 2017, so be careful of those refurbished models. There’s an option for each ecosystem (Mac vs. PC) below:
Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (2017)
- Allows remote access software to take control from a trusted source
- Large 6.3 inch display for easy viewing
- Hearing aid compatible
- 2 rear cameras
- Includes a stylus for note writing
- Featured among the 6 best smartphones for seniors at maketecheasier.com 
- Large screen makes the phone heavier
- Only a full day’s use between charges
Apple iPhone XR (2018)
- Large display for easy reading with 6.1 inch LCD retina display
- Lower price at $499 (compared to $999 for the new iPhone 12 Pro)
- Available in an array of vivid colors that make finding it in a couch cushion or car seat that much easier
- Does not allow remote access software to take control (this is a problem with all iOS devices)
- Single camera
Tablets are naturally the next class of device to consider. The bigger screen makes it easier to surf the web, watch movies, and read books. Of course, this must be balanced with portability. Grandpa doesn’t need a heavy tablet that strains his back when carrying it back and forth to book club.
Apple iPad Pro (2017)
- Decent sized 9.7 inch screen
- 10 hours of battery life
- Compatible with the Apple Pencil stylus (1st generation) 
- Smaller screen is approximately 1lbs
- Does not allow remote access from a trusted source
- Display is on the smaller-side of tablet options.
Microsoft Surface Go (2018)
- 10 inch screen
- Cost on Amazon: $400.00
- Great for more of a desktop computer experience but don’t want to spend a great deal of money and want convenience
- Fantastic screen and facial recognition for seniors that don’t want to repeatedly type or remember passwords
- No accessories included
- 9 hours of battery life
As far as laptops go, you can’t go wrong with any that run either Windows or MacOS, but there are a few considerations when choosing one for seniors. Most in this demographic do not require expensive graphics cards or lots of RAM (memory). They’re not college students, and they’re not trying to hack into the Pentagon. They merely require a simple user experience, good display for family photographs, and perhaps most importantly, ergonomic design. Below are a few laptop choices for any parent or grandparent not building algorithms:
Laptop: HP Stream 14 inch
- Allows remote access from a trusted source
- Great value starting at $310 on Amazon 
- Battery life up to 9 hours
- Light and portable, weighing under 5 lbs.
- Older processor (Intel i3), but will still get the job done
- 32GB Hard drive and 4GB RAM (4GB is still enough to run Windows 10 and a few basic applications at a time)
Laptop: MacBook Air (2019)
- Best keyboard: backlit, huge letters, great contrast, great tactile feedback, ultra responsive
- Best displays: huge resolutions, great brightness levels, sizes vary
- Battery life up to 11 hours
- Easy operating system
- 2.75 lbs. (1.25 kg)
- Unnecessarily expensive ($715.00 — for a model 2 years old)
So now you’ve purchased dad the right hardware. Great! Sit back and enjoy the first couple of weeks in which no issues occur after set-up. What? Back already? Don’t worry, these things are unavoidable. That’s why we have to talk about software next.
As mentioned earlier, TeamViewer is software that enables remote access into your parents device from your own. Why is this a game-changer? This software allows you to access your parents’ device to be their tech support. No Zoom or Facetime meeting to help Mom with her laptop; no Saturday afternoon ‘lunch and learn’ with dad. From the comforts of your home, you can remote access any of the above recommended devices and fix the issue for them. Abra-Kadabra. It’s about as close to magic as us mortals will ever see.
The same solution can work on most mobile devices with little effort. Again, if you’re doing it yourself, we recommend the TeamViewer app QuickSupport. It was made uniquely for IT support on any desktop (Windows, macOS) and mobile platform (Android, and iOS). On the smartphone, simply download the QuickSupport App from the App Store or Google Play. TeamViewer can be put on any Android or iOS tablet for easy IT access.
Now, if you read this and at any point your eyes glazed over, I’d recommend just letting Quincy take care of all the troubleshooting on your behalf (one final plug: gogoquincy.com). Whether it be a gift for dad (or even yourself), Quincy was designed to make technology fun again, removing all the tech support headaches. All you have to do is call (208)-55-QUINC (78462), tell us the problem, and your father’s designated tech concierge will fix the issue for him… sans headache for you.
There you have it–a blueprint for making sure those family gatherings avoid turning into endless digital help sessions. Maybe this year the Thanksgiving turkey won’t come with a side of stuffing and mind-numbing tech help.
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