No age limit to becoming Google-savvy

The saying “you’re never too old to learn” was brought to life when a few dozen seniors, mainly from YMCA KL, discovered how their smartphone can be a great life companion.

Hosted by Google Malaysia at the YMCA Kuala Lumpur premises recently, the seniors took part in a workshop that highlighted Google tools around the theme of Search, Plan, Travel and Photos for them to learn easy-to-pick-up tips and tricks that could prove handy in their daily lives.

After an overview presentation, the seniors -- the majority of whom were ladies aged 55 to 75 -- started their journey at the Search booth, where they sifted through apps, movies, books and games available for download from the Play Store. They easily took to conducting searches for recipes and the weather on the Goolge Search app, and reminisced about how good music was in the 70s and earlier with the Youtube app.

The next booth had them experimenting with Google Calendar to create reminders and events. Delighted with its Goals and scheduled Reminders features, they then moved on to Google Maps to discover the fastest routes to make their appointments on time, share their location and create curated destinations lists. The group also tinkered with the app’s GPS, real-time traffic and public transit information features.

Zeffri Yusof, Head of Communications and Public Affairs at Google Malaysia, guides seniors in using useful Google apps, like Google Calendar, to conveniently plan their day.

With many seniors taking advantage of their free time to travel the world, it was only fitting that that the group made a beeline to the Travel booth. Using Google Flights, they looked up cheap flights, explored destinations and even signed up for fare alerts. They also used Google Trips Travel Planner to obtain suggestions on day plans, nearby highlights and dining options.

Google Translate proved to be a resounding hit as well, with seniors taking turns to speak and hear different languages being translated in real-time as well as using the app’s instant translate camera feature called Word Lens.

The senior participants try out Google Trips Travel Planner and Google Translate at the Google Cafe “Travel” themed booth.

There were no instant photos at the Photos booth, but it did provide tips and tricks on digitally scanning old photos with Photoscan, the app that transforms smartphones into glare-free scanners. The seniors also learnt to easily store and categorize digital photos with Google Photos and tried their hands at its machine learning feature that can categorize and group people’s faces.

To close off the eventful day, the seniors participated in an interactive trivia session to test their understanding of the various Google apps on display and took part in a virtual-reality tour of the Seven Wonders of the World via Google Expeditions, the teaching tool that allows users to lead or join immersive virtual trips curated from all over the globe.

Team Cendol excitedly gave out high fives for getting the right answers in the quiz.

Throughout the workshop, the seniors were highly eager to learn how to be more savvy with their devices. Some of them were limited only by outdated smartphones that could not cope with a lot of the latest apps. They solved this predicament simply by sharing devices among themselves.  

“Today’s event shows you’re never too old to learn about useful technology, and it’s never too late to acquaint oneself with the apps and tools on your smart devices to make your day smoother, more productive and fun!” said Zeffri Yusof, head of communications at Google Malaysia.

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