Nans aren’t generally known for their love of technology, but they’re not all jumper-knitting luddites either. Do a little bit of research to find the right gadgets and there’s no reason you can’t bring some useful tech into your Gran’s life this Christmas. All it takes is a keen eye and the patience of a saint.
We’ve already done some of the hard work for you, but you should be prepared to be on call until your tech gift has been mastered – which basically means forever if our Gran is anything to go by.
This is the perfect gift for readers, no matter what age they are. The Kindle is lighter and easier to hold than a book, it’s gentle on the eyes, and it can last for weeks between charges.
Load it up with some of your Nan’s favourite tomes, and you’re all set, as the 4GB memory can store thousands of books.
You can also change the font size to make it easier to read on. If you can stretch your budget, the backlit Kindle Paperwhite (£110) is even nicer and is better for tired eyes.
Doro Liberto 820
If your Nan has resisted the smartphone revolution so far, this could be the device to change all that. It’s an Android phone with a reasonably decent set of specs, including an 8-megapixel camera, and it features a really accessible interface with large icons.
It also has big buttons, a decent loudspeaker, is hearing aid compatible, and there’s an assistance button for emergencies.
Doro includes all sorts of easy-to-follow tutorials on everything from how to get online to how to take a photo. There’s even a handy charging dock, so they won’t need to fiddle with cables.
Amazon Fire TV Stick
As long as your Nan has Wi-Fi and a new-ish TV with an HDMI port, the Amazon Fire TV stick is a great way to bring her old TV up to date with some smart features.
Set up is easy, and you can install apps like BBC iPlayer and ITV Player, so she can catch up with her favourite programmes. It’s definitely a more attractive prospect if you invest in Amazon Prime (£79 per year) too, because it includes a wealth of extra TV shows and movies.
Google Chromecast (£25 – £30) is similar, but the TV stick comes with its own remote, making it much more Nan-friendly.
Pure Evoke D6
If your Nan still likes to listen to the radio, then this DAB device has plenty to choose from. It packs tactile volume and tuning knobs, a wee LCD display to show the station and the time, and five preset buttons for her favourite stations.
The oak veneer should blend in with most décor, and there’s a handle on top, just in case it needs to be moved.
There’s also a small remote control, Bluetooth streaming support and timer and alarm functions, but they won’t need to bother with any of that if they don’t want to.
NIX 8-inch Digital Photo Frame
This digital photo frame has a motion sensor, so it turns itself off when nobody is there. That means you can plug it in and forget it, which is perfect for Nan.
It’s an 8-inch LED backlit display with a decent resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, so your family photos should look pretty good on it.
Just stick some treasured snaps on an SD card, plug it in, and leave it to do its photo slideshow thing. You can also plug in USB drives and it can even play videos.
Amazon Fire Tablet
You can introduce your Nan to the world of tablets without breaking the bank if you opt for the basic Fire tablet from Amazon.
As long as she has Wi-Fi, you can set it up with some handy apps like BBC iPlayer, TuneIn Radio, and Facebook.
Maybe audiobooks through Audible (£8 per month) would prove to be a hit, or you could snag a Prime membership, for access to loads of TV shows, movies, and music. Fire OS is pretty easy to get to grips with too – a great upgrade if Grandma has had a Kindle before and ‘fancies one of them tablet things’.
Apple iPad Air
If you feel like pushing the boat out then consider an iPad Air. Your Nan will need Wi-Fi and you’ll probably want to load up some good apps for her, but for the more tech-savvy Grandmas this will be a real treat.
Thankfully, iOS is very accessible and there are loads of apps and even casual games that might appeal. She can also read the news, check out recipes, dip into social media, and watch movies on it.
Stir FaceTime into the mix for keeping in touch with the family, and you can see how this could be the perfect device. An iPad Air could easily be the only computing device your Nan needs, giving her simple access to a wealth of information.
Flipper Big Button Universal Remote
Does your Nan get frustrated with the remote control? Most remotes are packed with pointless buttons, and they can be confusing, even for tech fans.
This remote is simple, with big clear buttons for the essentials, and a slide down panel that reveals a standard number keypad.
You can program it with her favourite channels and lock it to prevent accidental reprogramming. It’s universal, too, so it can control the TV and a Sky box or another device. If she’s forgetful or arthritis is setting in, this could be prove to be a real winner.
Magicfly Key Finder
If your Gran is forgetful, and every trip to the shops is delayed by a search for keys or a purse, then this gadget could be just the ticket.
You get three different coloured fobs, with keyrings for easy attachment, and there’s a transmitter with three big buttons.
Press the coloured buttons and the corresponding fob will emit a beeping sound to help you find the missing keys, or whatever else it’s attached to. Batteries are included, and the fobs flash to warn you when a battery is getting low.
Fitbit Charge HR
OK – you might think no Nan would want a wearable, but staying fit is vital at every age. A fitness tracker can really help anyone stay mobile and in touch with how active they are, and that’s even more important for the aged.
The tricky part is teaching your Nan how to charge and sync it, but if she can get the hang, the Fitbit Charge HR could be a valuable gadget.
It tracks steps, distance, heart rate, sleep quality, and displays the time. It will sync with any computer or smartphone, so they don’t need a cutting edge device to get a picture of their health.
A fitness tracker specifically aimed at the older market would probably clean up, but for now, this is the best choice.