Your mobile phone is not a phone anymore, it’s a digital camera, a gaming console, a GPS navigation device, a music player, an e-book read, a file storage device, an alarm clock and lot’s more all rolled into one convenient device.

That said, some people do no need all the bells and whistles that are now part of every phone. For instance, I cannot imagine my grandma using my Android phone because the device is just too complicated for her. She doesn’t have any interest in the apps and all she needs is basic mobile phone that can do phone calls and text messages.

Some mobile companies do offer cell phones optimized for seniors but if you want the best of both worlds, just buy a regular Android phone and install Phonotto. This is a free app that will convert any Android “smartphone” into a “simple phone” hiding all the complexities and apps from the user. The following screenshots will give you a better idea.

Phone Home Screen  Call Number
Compost SMS Text Message  Read SMS in big fonts

Once installed, the app basically add a new layer on your Android phone giving quick access to essential phone functions while keeping all the apps in the background. The app’s interface uses large buttons with big fonts thus making the design more accessible to seniors.

The app can be configured to auto-start at boot time so it is always available. And while there’s little need to use the physical buttons on your phone, one can press the “Home” button to hide the Phonotto app and switch to your regular Android screen.

App developer Edoardo Turelli says that they plan to add more features in the near future like the ability to capture or browse photos. The app would also be more useful if it integrated with the phone’s address book because people don’t remember phone numbers anymore.