GrandPad feedback? (simple ipad-ish device for elderly)

Has anybody researched this?

It is small and pricey ($79/month), but no wifi needed. Setup would be done remotely by family Admin. Also Help available.

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It was cheaper for us to use an iPad. We loaded the apps they used on the main page and then put the other apps that we couldn’t delete in folders on the next “page”.

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$79/month is crazy expensive for this. Get an iPad or tablet version of Android. Then ask what they are going to do. My 91 year old mother will do some video chat. She will check her email when I send pictures to her.

I helped a neighbor of mine last year around the same age and put the apps he would like, like a few games etc on the main page.

I would try to bypass any logins/passwords /pins if possible. That just becomes a pain for this purpose.


just yesterday i was searching for something like this for my mom, who’s losing her vision.

she likes to text, but has to use a magnifying glass for her phone set on largest font already.
$79 a month is a lot.

I was thinking about getting a tablet that has a sim card, and can get cell service anywhere - so she can text on her tablet while out and about (although she just lost driving rights). i think**** (not positive) you can port a cell phone number to the sim card in the tablet to maintain that text number.

I’m going to best buy today to research; i’ll report back.

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We researched a little for my mom. Decided the price was outrageous - you can buy a basic iPad for the price of a few months of GrandPad. Plus it would be harder for us to troubleshoot a device we don’t know from a distance.

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Dad is 93 and has only very basic computer skills (but is good on the keyboard, at least the keys that were existed when he tool his 1940 high school typing class). But it has become almost impossible to coach him long distance on his Windows 10 laptop loaned to him by a friend to replace his old familiar Win7 laptop. Once he gets to Gmail he does fairly well, but there are all sorts of windows he can’t seem to close etc to get there.

I am a little worried about switching to ipad, since he has never done Apple. The ipad could give bigger screen than grandpad, but neither would be great for responding to emails. His wife, younger but previously opposed to all computers, had asked about grandpad. With grandpad possibly they could drop his internet service, but then maybe it would be too slow(?).

I also so something called Facebook Portal but have not researched yet.

i know - i’m with you. my mom can not do a computer. she doesnt understand windows and wont learn. she can google on her google chrome touchscreen, and get email. that’s it. IT"S hard, and you want them to feel comfortable. (no copy, paste, attach, open, print – nothing!)

i’m really hoping best buy will let me try out some things. they pay for wifi for her email on her laptop. the grandpad looks good but - dont need both wifi and the cell service with grandpad. i just chatted with them online, its not an option to get the pad without the service.

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Thanks for the feedback. I feel like the grandpad uses cell service for Help at away-from-home, but it probably gets its speed from wifi. The remote Admin (family member doing contact setup etc from afar) sounded appealing since we live 2000 miles away.

Originally I had been hunting for a Chromebook. (I am a retired tech worker, windows power user. But for home use my Chromebook works well enough that I have not replaced it). I think Dad would like the touchscreen. Based on family feedback I’m trying to research all the options.

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A friend of mine sent his mother (99) in an assisted living an iPad. It took a little time to get the nurses to set up the wifi during covid. But, after that the family face times her regularly. She learned how to answer the iPad. They call her first and tell her they are bout to face time with her.

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The ipad definitely has advantage of easy Facetime. Dad would never be able to do the wifi setup, but we could hae a neighbor try it now that they are vaccinated. Most likely we will wait until we visit in May (will be there 2x… on the way out/back to visit son) Whatever I pick, we could get at Best Buy in NY and then return if needed (15 days return policy).

A large ipad + keyboard gets pricey. I’m willing to pay almost any cost for a solution that works well. Just want to make sure it is something that he can and will use. Maybe we should start with a small ipad and see how it goes.

So it seems we favor the iPad over the Grand Pad!! We keep talking about the iPad!

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I feel like ipad could be ideal for the Facetime part of what we need. Has anybody successfully used Facetime via wifi, with no associated iphone phone line?

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@Colorado_mom you can take control of a distant computer with minimal help from that person. I have to do it all of the time for my 91 yr old aunt. In Windows 10 there is a Window Accessory called Quick Assist. The hardest part is coaching her by phone to access that feature. Then we move through getting the connection pretty easily. Once she gives me permission in the app I have control of the computer and can fix what’s vexing her, for the most part. It’s pretty easy to use.

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Thanks for the tip about Quick Assist. We no longer have any Windows workstations at my house, but perhaps I could find a way to run from Macbook or Chromebook.

One challenge to doing any remote debug or setup with Dad is that he needs a new hearing aid. (Hopefully we can solve that soon since he had 2nd vaccination and should be able to safely visit the audiologist in a few weeks.)

Another challenge is that we have literally never seen his Win10 laptop setup, loaned to him from a friend. So there is an almost comical scene as we try to guide him by phone based on novice descriptions of what he sees in front of him. We’ve learned a few key phrases - “Do you see an X in the upper right corner of the panel?”, “try pressing the esc “Escape” key at upper left corner of your keyboard”, “try using control-minus (or the 3 dots at top right” to adjust your text size" etc etc. Happily a cousin visited last weekend. She was able to easily help him because most of his issues are easy to resolve if you can see the symptoms.

My iPad does not have a phone number…just wifi.

I use it for FaceTime calls at least once a week.

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I think both computers have to be running Windows 10 for Quick Assist to work.

Thanks for the answer, thumper. I assume you mean your ipad does not synch with an iphone either. Looking quickly on google, it seems like the ipad-wifi Facetime would work via AppleID setup… true?

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My iPad can only use my iPhone if it’s set up as a hot spot. I just turned my phone off to make sure…and tried a FaceTime call. It rang through just fine.

My Apple ID is not used to make FaceTime calls. But yes…it was used to set up my iPad.

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i spent several hours looking at this all yesterday. I talked with a gal from apple support in the accessibility area. She spent a long time talking things over with me - and very easy to get ahold of. Call them if you have questions.

we will probably get my mom - who’s losing vision - an ipad for texting. with huge large letters. Maybe. (my idea above about using a tablet for texting while not at home with her current cell number ported in will NOT work btw).

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Thanks for the info, @bgbg4us . Does your mother already have an iphone?