Last month in our column, we discussed how Boomers and seniors are adapting popular mobile apps such as Lyft, Airbnb and TaskRabbit to meet their needs. While these apps may have been developed with the Millennial in mind, older adults are often getting as much, if not more, out of these services as their youthful counterparts. Indeed, just over the horizon are a slew of new apps and services that are perfect for Boomers and seniors, but you may not have heard of them yet. Here are our top picks for new apps that could make a big splash.
VRBO (Vacation Rentals by Owner)
Owned by HomeAway, an Expedia subsidiary, VRBO aims to connect homeowners with travelers looking for somewhere to stay on vacation. While somewhat similar to Airbnb, VRBO offers one key difference that makes it very appealing: it has the lowest cost when compared to similar apps. While some of these lower costs are absorbed by the property owner, the lower cost to the traveler generally means more bookings overall, providing a larger profit for an active property in the long run.
Not everyone wants to become a part-time chauffeur by driving for Lyft and Uber. But, at the same time, you look out your window and see a car that could be making you some extra money. Enter Drivy!
Drivy is a peer-to-peer car rental service that connects folks in need of a car with those who have one to rent. While this may raise a lot of red flags, Drivy has you covered. It ensures that all customers are licensed and insured. It also provides additional coverage for the owner of the vehicle in case of an accident. It’s very financially secure!
Imagine this: You winter in Florida but fly down each year. Instead of leaving your car in the driveway or even paying to store it, you can rent it out as needed. Now you’re making money while relaxing on the beach — that’s our kind of app!
Nexar aims to improve driver safety by turning your smartphone into a dash cam. Using your phone’s camera, it monitors driving conditions and alerts you to hazards on the road you might not otherwise see. The app alerts users to hard-braking cars in front of them, and in the event of an accident, automatically captures the dash cam footage, sending it straight to the cloud. This footage can then be retrieved for insurance and legal purposes. Oh, and if you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, it can act as an in-vehicle camera, recording your trip and reducing your liability.
We’ve previously talked about how aging services providers have been adopting travel apps, such as Lyft and Uber, to make life easier for their residents. This model has now jumped into a new space — hair care and cosmetology. Nashville-based Belle Cares was originally launched to provide hair care, nail care, massages and more to clients in their homes. However, the founders quickly discovered that a large part of their clientele was seniors who, through choice or circumstance, needed these services to occur at home.
Now the app is entirely focused on supporting seniors with its services. Belle Cares has a strict hiring and review regimen to vet its providers. It has also adopted the sharing economy model, so all financial transactions are done in the app, and no money changes hands. The company has been quite successful with its initial offerings and is looking to expand geographically in the near future — hopefully coming to a city near you.
The ever-changing world of smartphone applications continues to impress us as individuals find new ways to harness the technology we keep in our pocket every day. Boomers and seniors are one of the largest-growing demographics using these devices, so app developers are getting smart by creating services with this group in mind. What apps are indispensable to your life? Let us know in the comments.