This is based on a similar kind of conversation I have had with at least 4-5 parents - their children are in the age group of 2-5.
What they tell me is, "Alok, when we come home from work, the first thing my kid does is grabs my iPhone and starts playing games. I have an android phone, but my kid never asks for it. She always wants to play on the iPhone."
The iPad is another story. Kids just take over it when the parents come home; however this is a discussion about an Android phone vs. an Apple iPhone.
This is my hypothesis:
- The child naturally understands how to use the iPhone. There is only one button to click and if the phone does not have a password, then it directly loads up and presents the screen to the child.
Android phones have a complicated screen that need a bit of intelligence to start up (of course these can be disabled).
- There is a mysterious charm about the iPhone that kids pick up - is it the retina display, the clarity or the smoothness of the device?
- Clearly, there are more apps (read games) that the iTunes ecosystem offers for kids. Is this the reason they relate to the iPhone better 'coz they already have content on it that they like?
- What is the reason?
Do you know of this phenomenon? Does it happen to you? It will be nice to get readers to share their point of view on why this does (or does not) happen!
From a business perspective, this is a very important and 'silent' endorsement of one product platform vs. the other.
As they say, "Kids know everything..."
Now, what is it that they know and are really telling us?
We have 3 kids in our home. One is 9 yrs old, another 4.5 yrs and 3rd one would be 2 yrs in 2 months. All the 3 can operate Apple video ipod and ipad easily. Youngest one is been using ipad from 3-4 months now and he unlocks the device, goes to the poem tab and listen to nursery rhyme. Even my Dad who is 63 yrs old can operate ipad with ease, but faces difficulty while operating a laptop.
Apple sure has made the interface easy for young and old people.
I have 2 years kid at home, and I am having Galaxy s2.. What he is doing is ask me to remove the password after taking my mobile. I have a habit to keep minimum buttons on home screen, so now he is able to click on application button. He usually runs two application one is mx player to listen and watch rhymes and second is fruitninja.
I have over 50 application on phones, but he is able to find that applications by sliding screens, i tested it by changing the positions of app icons. Plus if coincidentally opened any other app then he knows he has to click the home button which is bigger in size.. and how to go again in applications mode.
Once he opens a mx player app he ask me to lock the app, so he can touch anywhere and videocan still runs without interruption. He never ask me to anything with fruitninja. he know how to play with it.
He enve know the back button if fruitninja asks for sharing the scores and dispalyed any ads.
Now a days he is trying to take pictures but due to some odd reasons he is not able to find the click button.
So I think better display phones like s2, s3 or oneX with have 1 button at bottom (they have more two options on phone but they are touch bases) are likely to do as iphone.
Well I have noticed this with my cousin brothers too. They ask for ipad, ipod touch, android I guess android was initially targeted as a geeky device which users can hack and do stuff. The initial apps also used to look geeky and unattractive, ofcourse developers are making same for android phones too, but they still follow a first iphone approach.
I think the following points are responsible for this,
- The fact that Steve Jobs made sure that all Apple products do not require an Instructions Manual to operate, they have achieved it with such Perfection that even a Baby can operate it..
- The Interface is very Inviting and to the point, and doesn't distract with unnecessary detail, keeping the Focus intact.. Again this works well with Kids as they Focus 100% on one thing at a time.. :)
- Last but not the least, the outer body of the iOS devices are simply Gorgeous and feels very good in the hand.. And that's why babies can't let their hands off them..
This is a true phenomenon. I had to set up a password on my iPhone 4S to ensure my 2 year old son is unable to access it.
Since ours is an app development company, we always have a few devices lying around our house. iPhones, iPads, Galaxy S3, Blackberries,Nokia etc. My son is only and only interested in an iPhone or iPad. Blackberry is the least preferred device. He uses Android devices for some time, but gets bored and comes back to an iPhone/iPad
I am always amazed by how kids his age connect with the device, almost intuitively
1. He prefers my iPhone to me
2. He is able to swipe and unlock the device easily (and since the last 6-7 months) unless locked by a passcode
3. He is able to identify all apps via their icons and only opens up the games, music, education apps I have downloaded
4. Folders in iOS are very intuitive. He has learnt to remove an app from a folder, or put it back in a folder.
5. I am amazed how easily kids his age take to playing Angry Bird on the iPhone and iPad
6. He really enjoys watching the videos and photos via the photo app
Here are 2 observations that really amazed me, and in my mind is the ultimate compliment to Apple design
1. He loves the Koi Pond app (one of the first hugely successful app). I tried to hide it once in a folder. He has learnt to click the home button twice to reach search page. Through hit and trial he has learnt that when he presses the letter 'k' in the search screen, koi pond appears on the top and he is able to launch the app!
2. After playing with a number of apps his preferred method to relaunch an earlier app is by clicking the home button twice quickly and then sliding the apps in the tray. I am pretty sure this is something which is not used by many users, but is very intuitive to a child
I feel the reason that children love Apple devices over others is the way Apple does the small things better.
No other platform/device can match the scrolling. There are no jerks in vertical or horizontal scrolling
The superior ability of the iOS platform to detect false touches. This is really really important for kids.
Having only 1 button on the iOS devices. Lessens the number of permutations kids need to learn via repetition to do stuff
Amazing display quality of the devices, and the build quality. I also feel the size of the current iPhone is perfect for small kid hands. The iPad with its bevel sits easily on their lap or a flat surface. Phones like Samsung S3 are too big for kids to use effectively
Standardisation of controls. There is only one way to go back in an iOS app. Android has a back button also which confuses kids
Consistency of the experience, the accelerometer, gyroscope etc
Last but not the least, the device durability and ability to function with a lot of moisture. Small kids drool a lot and there is always a lot of saliva on the devices. I have seen many a Blackberry not wake up after a drool attack, iPhone always does
The difficulty with adults is that we need to unlearn all the bad experience we have had with electronics, things freezing up, rebooting (Can you believe it is a standard Blackberry practice to shut down the phone, remove the battery and then restart it!) , stuff not working etc.
These kids never saw all this and now they have the perfect device which is intuitive and consistent and their imagination is not restricted by the failure of the device to deliver this experience.
in my family and my sisters there are three kids>2 and <7 yrs old. All together there is an iPad, three Android phones, two iPod touches (which is equivalent to an iphone for what the kids do) and occasionally an iPhone. THe kids don't care - in fact if they fight it is for the larger screen android phones and the iPad.
I disagree that there are more apps on the iPhone - we have way more apps on our androids for kids, and to be honest they are far more easily discoverable, it seems (have struggled to get similar apps on the iPad/iPhone that I have on the droids)
The plural of anecdote is not fact so I think it depends on which owner you talk to. I believe android does far more justice for its price than iPhone, since I have three android phones for the price of one iPhone. At the time I bought it,the iPad was actually the cheapest 10 incher with reasonable performance (approx 22K to me) - but that changes often. In fact I might buy a 10 grand or less wala tab with android just because it's cheaper and an effective device for non-games (browsing, email and watching movies)
My kid is almost 3 years now. We have an iPad, iPod and Samsung S2 at home. If any of the devices has a game, he goes to it and drains the battery out. So, the S2 has only pictures remaining so he uses that to flip through photos and take pictures.
For games, he prefers the iPad over the iPod. He has favorite games (so he may drop the iPad to play a game on the iPod).
If I have a bunch of kids visiting at home (age group 3 to 10), the preference is iPad first, then the iPod than a Android device (even if it has games).
They know the iOS devices have more games on it to swipe through. And I think it's just a consistent interface - Home to start device, swipe to get to app, click icon to start game, click Home to end it, and you're back to the home screen.
This coupled with iTunes easy-to-the-eye interface to find and install applications, makes a difference. I think the Loading icon on the Home screen of iOS is more intuitive than a downloading mini-icon in the navigation bar of the Android.
I have seen my niece and nephews, all between 2 - 5 yr old, get amazingly comfortable with an iPhone or iPad. It is brilliant in the sense that these are some of the world's most advanced and sophisticated products & still so simple to use. I stayed up and saw the iPhone 5 launch event live & at the end of it, the one thing that struck me most was "Creating beautiful products which are simple to use is what motivates Apple employees and is part of the Apple DNA". It is not an easy thing to get usability right and one look at any Android or Nokia phone will show you why.
abey, thanks for these! I embedded the videos for our readers:-)
Ooooh brilliant!! :))
I wanted to comment more but was sneaking in rodinhood time in the middle of work yesterday. ;)
Apple should license iOS and allow others to build too. They've really got the UI right. In any case the future is tablets as the entry level education device. Imagine what would happen in India. :))