Last week, my 72 year-old aunt who is living abroad visited me in Switzerland. Thanks to her I am finally starting to understand the power of Android.
It all started with her friend who saw a deal for a “free” Android tablet. He immediately jumped on it, not fully understanding that he just entered a two-year data plan. He told my aunt who rushed to the store to buy the same device. She understood the two-year contract and was a bit uneasy about it, but the recommendation of her friend was stronger.
Lesson #1: Manipulative promotions sell.
Lesson #2: Word-of-mouth is a massive driver of sales, and can even overwrite uneasy feelings towards the deal.
Now, after decades of buying daily newspapers, she stopped (!), and uses Google instead. She says that the cost-savings fully cover her data plan, so in the end she is not paying more than before.
Lesson #3: Newspapers are dead. Seriously.
When she thinks “Internet”, she thinks “Google”. The fact that it’s so prominently integrated into Android is Google’s secret weapon. She doesn’t have an email address and doesn’t care about apps (other than Camera and Gallery).
To download an app, I had to create an email address for her (not a great user experience by the way). She doesn’t even know her address and won’t use it.
Lesson #4: Email is not dead, but certainly needs to be complemented by Whatsapp, Messenger and similar apps. Businesses should start thinking about it.
Instead, I installed Facebook and Messenger, so we can stay in touch. Messenger is Facebook’s secret weapon, because it’s so deeply integrated. She doesn’t need any other communication app.
Lesson #5: Facebook, Messenger, Whatsapp, Twitter, Snapchat all don’t require an email address to sign up anymore. A phone number is enough. Businesses should start thinking about that.
Calls are now possible on Messenger and Whatsapp. Skype was absolutely gone from my top-of-mind. Never would I recommend Skype in such a circumstance. It’s been successfully disrupted from this segment!
The device only has 1 GB of space, so I had to delete many pre-installed apps to free up space. Pre-installed apps seem to be a solid business model on Android. And a great distribution channel for app owners.
Lesson #6: My aunt would have never figured all this out on her own. Don’t underestimate personal assistance and service! It unlocks a whole new user experience that would have not been possible without such help.
We just launched our Android app for Exsila, and I was using a Samsung Galaxy S5 for testing. For a long time I have been using a Galaxy S3 for testing and had trouble to get adjusted to Android.
Now with a solid device, and the experience with my aunt, I am slowly falling in love with Android. It’s a solid platform, especially for the low-end of the market. And of course I sold my old Galaxy S3 on Exsila — for in fact a much higher price than I would have gotten elsewhere. This is the secret power of Exsila!