iPhone 7 Tips and Tricks for Seniors

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 has hit the market and Apple fans are flocking to the stores to get one. If you already have an iPhone, you understand why so many people love them.

iPhones are famous for being extremely user friendly. Not all things advertised as “user friendly” are easy for seniors to use though. iPhones are different. The iPhone has tools that are specifically designed for seniors. Such tools aid in visual and audio assistance. In fact, there are so many tools, it can be hard to find them all. Alert1’s here to help you discover the ones you need and how to use them for your benefit.

Getting Started

iPhone Sizes

If you don’t have an iPhone yet but are considering the purchase of the new iPhone 7, you’ll want to start by selecting the best model for you. The iPhone 7 has 2 sizes to choose from and 3 different gigabyte offerings to help create the best experience for each individual. There are benefits to each model, the key is to choose the one that will fit your needs best.

Large screen = Better visibility

If you are concerned about visibility, opt for the larger sized model. This model is called the iPhone 7 Plus. It has a larger screen to make the display easily visible. Though the Plus model is about $100 more expensive, it is worth it if it means you can see the text on your phone better.

More G’s = More photos of loved ones

Do you enjoy having pictures and videos of your grandkids at your fingertips? Or do you want to have lots of games and applications on your phone? If so, opting for one of the iPhone 7’s with more storage is a good choice. Apple offers 3 different gigabyte options with the new iPhone 7. As you go up in memory, so will the price of the phone. However, the additional cost may be worth it. Running out of room to hold new apps or picture is frustrating.

Now that you have your perfectly customized iPhone 7, it’s time to change the settings to fit your needs. If you purchase your phone at an Apple or mobile carrier store, they can help get you started. However, there is much to know about customizing your phone. Chances are you won’t have your iPhone perfectly programed until you are able to explore all of the accessibility options.

No matter if you need to enable visual assistance help or extra hearing settings, we’re here to break some of these processes down with you. The best place to start with your new phone is with Siri.



Siri is the personal assistant you never knew you needed. You can ask her just about anything and she will assist you. Siri can complete basic phone tasks for you:  she can send texts, place calls, search the internet and more. She is also capable of scheduling events on your calendar and setting reminders. All you have to do is say “Hey Siri” once she’s enabled.  

 To set-up and turn on Siri go into your iPhone and find:  Settings > General > Siri.  From here, you’ll be able to select on.

Once Siri’s turned on, here’s how to wake her up:

  1. Anytime you want her to do something: Press and hold the iPhone's physical “Home” button to open Siri.
  2. Once Siri has opened, ask a question or ask Siri to perform a task such as emailing or texting.

Voice Command

If you don’t have internet, Siri won’t be able to access the web, limiting her abilities. In this case, you will be able to use Voice Command. Simply hold the home button until it brings you to the Voice Command. You will be able to talk to it just like you talk to Siri.

Visual Assistance

Eye Chart

Now that Siri is up and running, you’ll want to make sure your phone is visually up to par. Your vision may not be what it once was. Don’t let that stop you from enjoying all that the iPhone 7 has to offer. There are many iPhone features Apple developed with those with poor eye sight in mind.


The iPhone’s magnifier is a go-to feature for reading small prints. An Alert1 staff member shared the story about her grandma when they were eating out together. Her grandma couldn’t read the menu, as the font was too small for her eyesight. So, she took out her iPhone and used the magnifier to solve the problem. A perfect solution!

To access the magnifier on your phone go:

Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier > and set it to on.

Anytime you need to view something, triple click the home button to open your magnifier.

Larger Text

Changing the displayed font size on your iPhone is an easy way to make it more user friendly.

To make screen text larger on your iPhone go to:

 General > Settings > Accessibility > Larger Text

Use the slider to choose the best size for you. If you need an even larger font size, slide the Larger Accessibility Sizes button on to have access to 5 larger sizes. 

Voice Texting

If physically typing out messages is not an easy task for you, try Voice Texting. You will still reap all the benefits of texting without typing. No more trying to fix any spelling errors— forgo them altogether with voice texting.  Be sure to speak clearly so your phone can capture exactly what you want to say. Then press send. It’s as simple as that.

To turn on voice text:

Open the desired text conversationClick on the text box to bring up your keyboard Click the microphone icon > Speak your message.

Hearing Help

hearing help

If your hearing isn’t what it once was, then you’ll want to take advantage of the iPhone 7’s hearing assistance tips and tricks. A great starting place is communication via FaceTime.


Your iPhone 7 has built-in iPhone to iPhone video chatting known as FaceTime. FaceTime has become a primary way of communicating with people all around the world. Seniors use it to enjoy connecting with their children and grandchildren. Video chatting is a nice way to stay in touch with loved ones who don’t live nearby.

FaceTime is also a good way to stay connected if you are hard of hearing. With video chat, you are able to see the person you are talking with. Hand gestures and facial expressions aid in understanding what your loved ones are saying, making communication much more enjoyable. This reduces the number of phone calls where you can’t hear the other person and will lead to happier conversations.

Closed Captioning

Did your grandchild send you a funny YouTube video? Use Closed Captioning on videos to better understand the content. You can change your settings to use closed captioning whenever it is available.

To turn on closed captioning go to:

General > Accessibility > Subtitle & Captioning. Slide on Closed Captions + SDH.

Now, you can read along as you enjoy your grandchild’s sense of humor.


Utilizing iMessage

Have a simple message to pass along to someone? The easiest way to send that information is via text. If the person on the other end is using an iPhone too, you can use iMessage. This way of communicating is nice because you can set it to use WiFi instead of data.

iPhones are for Seniors

Once you customize the iPhone 7 to fit your needs, you’ll better enjoy all it has to offer. Young people aren't the only ones who enjoy new technology. Now you too can be part of the new generation of technology. The best part? Your grandkids will be jealous of your new iPhone skills.