My take on in-store Mobile shopping

My wife and I usually take our older son to the library every Saturday for Story/Song time and then we take him out for lunch. We are always in a hurry to get him fed before his nap time as he gets a little cranky if he is late for his nap. So we usually go to Chick-Fil-A after the library and my wife does the ordering while I entertain the kid.

One time I noticed that Chick-Fil-A had a mobile app for ordering without going to the counter. You can select what you want and pay for it with a credit card and the food will be delivered to your table in a couple of minutes.

I am an early adopter and my wife is not, so naturally, she preferred walking up to the counter and ordering her food.

Then one Saturday, my wife had other plans and I took the kid for lunch and ordered using the app. It was sweet and easy, the only hiccup was a few errors during the checkout process (I think the platform is not robust enough yet), but it finally went through and worked great.

The next time we went there with my wife, there was a very long line ahead of us and it was easy to convince her to use the app, so I ordered our food and it went through perfectly.

I was taught the term “what is in it for me”, so when I design a product, I always think of what value does it add and what problem does it solve. In this case, this product brings convenience and time savings which is great when you have a kid or two with you.

Apple’s sticky cloud strategy

I have been fortunate to work with technology and devices throughout my career. I have used almost every mobile phone that has hit the market for the last 15 years.

All this luxury comes at a price though, customizing every device I used to my liking. That must be the most painful part of getting new devices all the time. But, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Android is supposed to have a backup solution for your account, but that only allows you to go and download the applications you have ever downloaded, not necessarily a restore function. You get to backup your contacts, which is cool but expected in today’s world.

Enter Apple’s iCloud, it allows customers to backup all settings, content and restore their phone to the same exact state it was in before you swapped devices.

Funny story is that I recently switched carriers and had a problem restoring my backup from iCloud. I contacted apple care via chat and the first agent suggested I re-download all the applications again, really? I just told you why I chose iPhone… Anyway, luckily his supervisor knew their products better and got the issue resolved painlessly.

Granted that iOS is a one OEM tightly knit package vs Android which is a multi OEM “open” solution, there are pros and cons to both, some people keep the same phone for at least two years which makes this a non issue for them.

So, while I appreciate and like all that Android does, I like not having to re-personalize every single phone I use. So this is why my primary phone is an iPhone.

When no notifications on your mobile phone is worse than getting too many notifications.

I remember a few years ago when I used a blackberry, that blinking red light was my jailor. I would wake up at night to see if it was blinking and check my emails. I eventually stopped taking my phone upstairs to bed. But that practice didn’t last long as I didn’t feel connected to any emergencies if I wasn’t reachable at night. So I went back to brining it upstairs but putting it in the drawer of my nightstand to avoid that red blinking light.

Fast forward a few years and now I am getting notifications on my Android or iOS device right on my standby screen. At least you could see who the email or alert was from and then decide whether to respond or not with less suspense.

This type of notification eventually also became tiring as I had a lot of emails I needed to attend to all day long, or so I thought. This behavior would get me into work mode when I should be resting or relaxing with my family.

So I took matters into my own hands, I turned off almost all notifications on my iPhone and I was free from my jailor. No more would I be prompted to give my attention to my device by that screen that lights up instead of that poor old red blinking light. Imagine the tormenting capability of a 5 inch display a that tiny red light on those poor Blackberry’s. PS- if you are reading this and do not know what Blackberry is, don’t worry, it doesn’t matter.

Months went by and this solution worked great. All I had to do was not open my mailbox, how hard could it be. Pretty hard.

It is hard to explain to my wife why I am checking my phone nonstop. There are other distractions of course, but I would say that 75% is me checking my emails and responding to potential clients and prospects.

So, I have decided to reinstate my email notifications so I can just check the lock screen discreetly without having to unlock and check my email app for new emails.

The end.