Posts Tagged ‘Android’

Droid™ vs. Android – Examining The Nuances of SmartPhone Marketing

They are often used interchangeably when referring to ever-growing & increasingly popular line of smartphones that run on Google technology. The difference, for most purposes, is one of legal definitions and intellectual property. Android simply refers to the operating system and software that powers phones built by any of number manufacturers, including HTC or Motorola, and that run on any of the major carriers.

Droid, on the other hand, is a term coined and owned by LucasFilm Ltd., the licensing rights for which Verizon had to purchase in order to brand their specific line of Android Smartphones.

You’d think the difference ends there, but those two little letters have had a much bigger impact that one might predict.

Now, what this essentially boils down to is how Verizon markets Google smartphones versus how every other carrier does, might, would, or should.

Just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at the Sprint HTC EVO 4G & HTC Incredible TV spots and the new & Droid X teaser for good measure.

What’s the difference? In my eyes, Sprint is trying to say too much, and to the wrong audience: Tell a story, tout 4G, claim market primacy, compel viewers to think “what could I do with 4G,” with their multiple calls to action. Oh and the phone has a kickstand…

I wouldn’t say it’s a terrible spot. What is it then? A traditional broadcast commercial promoting a very nontraditional piece of technology to an anti-traditional audience.

The consumer they’re trying to reach (or should be) doesn’t care about narratives. The audience that buys first-to-market smartphones, that understands “4G,” either already knows the EVO basics or can read about them online. In that respect, the messaging is (potentially) redundant. They spent money on that air time and could have created something bigger, rather than list the features of their phone.

Verizon got that (or their agency did). The commercial is thus about creating a brand, one built around a single defining concept idea – DOING (or ‘does’). Because they know their audience and their audience doesn’t care how pretty an iPhone is that can’t multitask or support USB, or if EVO’s run on a new and almost nonexistent 4G network.

And Note – Verizon’s tactics transcend manufacturer. The execution for the HTC Incredible is strategically aligned with that of the Motorola Droid X. That’s what building a brand is all about people.

So, where does this leave the other carriers? Should they emulate Verizon and try to build their own proprietary brand around Google technology, or is it too late for that? Do you disagree and think their spot would have been more successful if the phone itself wasn’t such a dud?

Disclaimer:

I used to work for the agency that represented, until recently, Verizon Wireless. I won’t go into the gory details of the McCann – Verizon – McGarry-Bowen situation, mostly because I don’t know them and don’t care to. I did, however, out of respect for my former employer, refrain from posting this until after I left (today being my first day at Advertising Age).

Disclaimer 2:

Any Thoughts Contained In This Blog, In Any Post, Are My Own, And Do Not Reflect Any Employer, Current, Past, or Future.

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So, I recently upgraded from a crappy netbook and 2-year-old (read: ancient & completely defunct) Blackberry Curve to an iPad and HTC Droid Incredible.
While I love the iPad for what it is, I don’t think I need to delve into its shortcomings. Suffice it to say that this gorgeous, sleek, fun device, lacks Adobe/Flash support, is sans USB, and cannot multitask. Three. Serious. Failings. Which is why the Android-Running, Flash Supporting, Multitasking
Google Tablet, rumored to debut around holiday season, will dominate in functionality, if not aesthetics, as is usually the case with when comparing Google and Apple products.

But like I said, I do love the iPad for what it is – but IMO – if you’re going to shell out the cash for a tablet PC, you want something utilitarian, not pretty.

Anyway, I’m not here today to rant, I’m here to give you a breakdown of my experience with the HTC Incredible. As with the iPad, I don’t need to go into the technical specs, you can get that here, or on countless other sites.

Front View

Rear View

To start, I’m in love with this phone. It destroys all other phones in speed and sleekness, image and video quality, and sheer processing power. The 8 Megapixel camera w/flash is enough to send shockwaves through the photo industry; much like the free turn-by-turn, Google Maps navigation sent the GPS industry into collective shock and drove their stock in the same direction as the chills that ran through the executives’ spines.

Similar to the iPad vs Google Tablet debate – the HTC Incredible multitasks with ease – so you can listen to Pandora while pulling links and articles from your twitter feed and emailing them to coworkers.

The only qualm I have with the phone – and an issue shared by iPhone users as well, is the battery power, or lack thereof. All the amazing things this phone can do are worth nothing if the battery lasts only 3 hours.

And until Piezoelectric phones can be charged by harnessing the energy from our footsteps and movement, like the one Nokia recently patented, there are only 2 ways to effectively circumvent the battery drain problem:

1. Buy a second charger to keep with you at all times. Or
2. Use a combination of apps to intelligently manage the programs you’re running at any given time to maximize battery life and keep your phones memory as free as possible.

Since apps are free (these ones anyway) and a charger is not, I’ll show you how I do it.

I use the combined power of two applications – a Task Manager and VizBattery. There are a bunch of free task managing apps that all do pretty much the same thing. Personally, I use the Rhythm Software Task Manager – it allows you to manually kill any application or program that’s draining battery and memory, you can add apps to an auto-kill list, you can even put apps on an ignore list so it doesn’t terminate them. Best of all, the app also function as a widget kills all running apps with one click. All in all, I think this one application has doubled (or at least it feels that way) the battery life.

The other app isn’t as necessary, but it does give you a breakdown of which programs you’re running are draining what percentage of your battery, a nice little knowledge nugget that can be useful for proactive management.

Give it a try – let me know if you find any other ways to help extend power and memory.

Battery Widget

I know I said that was my only qualm, but I do have one other issue. In a surprisingly Microsoft-esque move, there are certain native apps that drain battery and memory that cannot be removed. Peep, Footprints, City ID, and Friend Stream are all garbage programs that cannot be uninstalled (I haven’t figured out how yet, anyway), so I have a trip to the Verizon store in the near future to give them a piece of my mind and demand they get this crap off my phone.

Now, back to the good parts – here’s a list of my favorite applications – all free and available at your nearest Android Market (I’m not going to include the ones I’ve already discussed):

Pandora (Music)

Bump-It (Allows file exchange between droids by bumping your phones together)

Fetch It (If you misplace your phone and it’s on silent, this app lets you remotely turn up the volume so you can call it to find it by tracking the ring)

Twitter (The Official App – I don’t use it that much, but it’s useful for syncing contacts or when you want to tweet out an article you’re reading)
Twidroid (My favorite twitter application, but Seesmic’s is also amazing) Tech Time

Mashable (For all your social media news)

Tech Time (Amazing app that aggregates GigaOm, TechCrunch, Mashable, Engaget, Gizmodo, ReadWriteWeb and more. Has sharing and commenting built in)

Mablio Ringtones (One stop shop for all your favorite songs)

Foursquare (No explanation necessary…I hope)

Facebook (Ditto)

Google Goggles (Google It or check out this Mashable article)

Shape Writer(Have you seen the Swype Texting functionality on the Samsung Omnia? Well, it’s in Beta for android, but until it’s released this App brings swipe text to Droids – I absolutely love it. If you text and email from your phone a lot, as I do, this will triple your touch-screen typing speed)

Barcode Scanner (Self-Explanatory)

TV.com (Brought to you by the eponymous website under the auspices of CBS – you can access free TV shows – some in their entirety, some in clips – from CBS, Showtime, CNET, and other properties. You can even watch complete episodes of Star Trek The Original Series, if you were so inclined

Layars (Augmented Reality Application – again, here’s the latest from TechCrunch and Mashable)

And Finally –

App Remover – for some reason, the native method for uninstalling programs is a click-heavy and roundabout process. No longer so with App Remover.

Enjoy and Let Me Know If You Have Any Feedback or Thoughts from Your HTC Incredible Experience

Namaste & Merry Friday

Featured: TAT augmented ID [Video]


Google Escalates The Location War With Google Places – [TechCrunch]

Friends vs. Strangers: What’s Next for Foursquare? And ChatRoulette? – [TechCrunch]

Adgregate Markets’ ShopFans Brings Social Retail Storefronts To Facebook – [TechCrunch]

Nielsen: Facebook’s Ads Work Pretty Well – [Ad Age]

Measuring The Value Of Social Media Advertising – [TechCrunch]

2010 Social Media Marketing Industry Report – [Social Media Examiner]

Forrester Announces Peer Influence Analysis: An Analytical Framework to Inform Social Media Marketing Strategy – [MarketWatch]

Facebook Now Commands 41% of Social Media Traffic [STATS] – [Mashable]

The Formula for Effective Facebook Ads [REPORT] – [Mashable]

Revisit Lets You Create A Beautiful, Animated Twitter Wall – [Mashable]

Facebook May Launch Recommendation Service For Other Websites – [ReadWriteWeb]

Facebook E-Commerce App Payvment Allows Retailers To Use Coupons To Attract Fans – [TechCrunch]

Facebook Asks You To ‘Become A Fan’ Of All Your Interests – [TechCrunch]


Facebook Introduces Community Pages, Hopes To Make Them “Best Collections Of Shared Knowledge” – [TechCrunch]


6 experimental social media campaigns – [iMediaConnection]


Insert Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Tiger Woods Joke

OTHER RANDOMNESS

Barbie’s Unflattering Photos – She’s Not So Perfect After All! [Bit Rebels]


Ingenious: Free Music If You Talk About It on Facebook or Twitter [WIRED]

Steve Jobs Reiterates: “Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone” [TechCrunch]

AND…MY PERSONAL FAVORITE:

Satirical whizzes bringing Book of Mormon…

to Broadway