No, but an Internet connection is required. If the elderly person doesn't have WiFi access, you will need a tablet with mobile broadband support (3G or 4G). The DodlTab has such support. You will also need a SIM card with a mobile data allowance.
In the UK, Three has an excellent free Data Reward SIM which gives you 200Mb of data per month absolutely free, no subscription or credit card required. That's enough data for most MyDodl uses. Should you need more, simply top up for just 1p/Mb (top-ups never expire). Check coverage here, and order your SIM here.
Once you've connected your tablet, you will get an email with an account confirmation link. Following this link will take you to the MyDodl web site where you can send messages.
Alternatively, go straight to www.mydodl.com/app.
Yes, the elderly person can easily record and send voice messages using a simple interface with just three buttons (for recording, playing and sending).
Any user, including the elderly person, can also "love" a message with a single click on a button. This can be used simply for expressing a reaction to a message, or for easily responding to yes/no queries. On the tablet, the elderly person can "love" a message by pressing the heart icon in the top-right of the screen.
Once you've signed in on your tablet, the software prevents access to standard tablet functionality (such as the home and back buttons) in order to avoid the elderly person accidentally getting lost.
You can access general tablet settings at any time by first swiping down from the top edge. A message will then appear, prompting you to press the back button 5 times until a dialog appears, which provides further options.
If you leave the tablet plugged in to mains power, the display remains darkly dimmed and a simple touch will wake it up. Otherwise, pressing the on/off button will wake up the display. In both cases, the arrival of a new message will automatically wake up the display.
If you already have a tablet running Android version 4.4 or above, this should work just fine with MyDodl. To find the version of Android running on your tablet, go to Apps → Settings → About phone. You will also need Internet access; see the "Is WiFi required?" section.
To install the MyDodl Android app on your tablet, you can either follow this link to go directly to the Play Store listing for MyDodl on your tablet, or you can open the Play Store from the list of apps on your tablet and search for "mydodl".
The MyDodl web site supports recent versions of mainstream browsers such as Chrome, FireFox, Safari and Internet Explorer. For the best experience, we recommend using Chrome which you can download here.
On Android phones, old versions of the stock browser don't display the web site properly. In these cases we recommend installing the Chrome app, which you can get from Play Store here.