4 Things I Learned at Engadget Live

As we mentioned here last week, the Speedify team was invited to Engadget Live Boston this past weekend to show off Speedify for Android & iOS. It was an awesome event, to say the least. Friday morning, we rolled up to Boston on the Amtrak planning to get a little bit of work done on the 5+ hour ride. Of course, we had to use Speedify to cobble together their infamously slow Wi-Fi with 4G to get a decently reliable connection on the train. In any case, between checking emails and enjoying the view as we dotted the New England coast, we arrived in Beantown with just enough time to get over to the venue. As you can see in the picture below, our booth at Engadget Live was the very first public event where users could see our upcoming Speedify for iOS & Android apps in real life.


Speedify’s booth at Engadget Live Boston, with iOS and Android apps running on a variety of devices.

By the time we had the booth all setup, the staff at the Royale nightclub was letting in hundreds of Engadget readers interested in checking out the latest in cutting-edge tech. Within minutes there was a line five-people-deep waiting to check out Speedify Mobile and join our Beta waitlist. For the next three hours, this flow of interested folks continued unabated. By night’s end, we had already spoken to hundreds of people about Speedify, and given out about as many Tastykakes to celebrate our Philadelphia roots.  I literally could not talk by the time the lights went up, and we were packing our gear.  But it was so cool to see how excited people were about the prospect of having Speedify technology on their phones.

We signed up over 500 people for the Speedify Mobile waitlist at Engadget Live, bringing us to over 32,000 users who will be receiving the free beta on Android and iOS. In return, I took away some important lessons after talking to scores of folks in person about the issues they have with their iOS and Android Internet connections, and how Speedify could help.

Here’s what I learned:

  1. Broken Connections Make a Broken Phone – The problem of, “turning off your Wi-Fi to get off a slow or unreliable hotspot, and then using up 4G data because you forget to turn the Wi-Fi back on” is far more universal than I ever imagined. Practically every time I brought up the fact that Speedify for Mobile seamlessly moves you between Wi-Fi and 4G without ever breaking your connectivity, people would groan and tell me just how often they deal with that very problem.
  2. Data Caps Are On Your Mind – Speedify for Android & iOS needs to support data caps from day one. So many of the folks that we talked to at Engadget Live really wanted to be able to combine Wi-Fi and 4G for faster speeds, but didn’t want to worry about blazing through their data plans. We heard them loud and clear, and support for setting data caps on your mobile broadband connection will be included in the first beta.
  3. Talking with Users IRL is Valuable – I need to get out more. It’s tempting to stay in our office and keep improving the software. But, I’ve realized that it’s just as important to get out there and talk face-to-face with users about how our apps can improve their lives.
  4. Tastykake is a Swag Win – People appreciate a good Tastykake more than any regular swag. Who needs another keychain or useless 500mb flash drive?  On the other hand, based on the snap we took below after all was said-and-done at Engadget Live, everyone needs a Tastykake.
Engadget users consumed 500 Tastykakes in less than 3 hours.

Engadget users consumed 500 Tastykakes in less than 3 hours.

We emailed the two winners from the Engadget Live giveaway, who got themselves a free year of Speedify for Mac & OS X by signing up for our Speedify Mobile beta. Check your inbox to see if you’re one of the lucky winners! We’ll be announcing upcoming events and news about the Speedify Beta for Android & iOS right here, so please continue to check in!