(Originally written on 27/03/18 as part of Hi Mum! Said Dad’s weekly newsletter, H! Lites.)

Dear Reader,

Rejoice! The long weekend and the oblong-shaped chocolate it promises is almost upon us.

The long weekend also sees the return of the Premier League after the international break so if you’re planning on catching some football, why not download Carling Tap from here (iOS) or here (Play Store) and give They Score You Score a go? It gives games an added edge (if games in our wonderful Premier League ever needed one).

Have a lovely Easter,

Hi Mum! Said Dad

Image credits: Catchword

Google research shows the older generation are voice power users

There is a tendency to believe the smart speakers are largely owned and used by early adopters and young, digital natives. However, the latest research from Google shows that baby boomers, and parents in particular, are gaining the most utility from the likes of Alexa and the Google Assistant. Parents find smart speakers to be liberating — it helps them to multitask, keep the kids entertained as well as helping them to help their kids with homework.

However, what is particularly interesting is the desire from this segment to see a greater business presence on these platforms. Parents want to find business information, call up customer service, discover new brands using their devices. Indeed, 72% of those surveyed indicated that they are likely to use their smart speaker to buy something in the next month. Google say their research suggests that the propensity to do the latter is likely to be higher if products are surfaced in the form of deals and promotions.

Whilst the research from Google is US-centric (and admittedly driven by a slight vested interest!), the trend towards purchasing on voice is one that is expected to take hold in the UK too. As we mentioned in one of our earlier issue of H! Lites, OC&C Strategy Consultants estimate that voice commerce is set to be worth £3.5bn in the UK by 2022. With the news that digital purchases are now available on Google Assistant too, it seems that we are at somewhat of an inflection point with voice set to move through another stage in its evolution this year.

By Jeevan Jayaprakash, Strategist

Intense telecom price wars in India makes owning a dual SIM phone a necessity. Image credits: PC Tech Magazine

The unique state of personal technology in India

In previous issues, we have talked about China being a mobile-first market, and the implications this has on tech. India is in a similar position — the mixture of the country’s economic climate, culture and consumer behaviour has created a unique digital ecosystem.

For example, cheap instant delivery was available in the country before the rise of delivery apps. When I lived in Mumbai back in 2015, I could call someone to deliver pet food to my apartment at 8pm on a Sunday night — it would take 30 min and cost next to nothing. It is because of such existing arrangements that Indian delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy have not disrupted the market in the same way that Deliveroo and Uber Eats have in the UK.

Some more interesting examples of the nuances of the Indian market — such as a quarter of all searches in India being done with voice — can be found in this interview with Vindu Goel, a New York Times Tech correspondent who is based in Mumbai.

By Oliver Iyer, Strategist

Facebook’s full page adverts that were placed in UK newspapers. Image credits: Vos Iz Neias

WIRED sits down with Zuckerberg

Following up on the article I posted about Facebook’s tumultuous couple of years in the middle of mounting scandals, Nicholas Thompson from WIRED has published the transcript from his interview with Mark Zuckerberg following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. If you have ten minutes to spare, it provides a very interesting insight into the measures that Facebook is thinking about taking to save erm… face.

With Tim Cook and co. deciding to pile on and turn the screw, Zuckerberg admits in his interview with WIRED that is it not a question of should but how with regards to regulation. Whilst the scandal is likely to have big implications for Facebook and the tech industry, the effect it will have on users, their mindset and the extent of scepticism, if any, is still unclear. We’ll probably have to wait for the dust to settle before any long-run effects become evident.

By Rob Pisacane, Strategy & Partnerships Lead

Image credits: WIRED

Unsure about APIs? Ask your developer (or continue reading).

Fifty years ago, computers used to be manufactured as a single entity: a mainframe. A single company, like IBM, would create everything from the screen, to the chips, to the software. These days, the picture looks a lot more fragmented. Software is comprised of apps, which in turn are comprised of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).

There is an API for almost everything: want your app to have a map? You can use Google Maps’ API. What about payment? You can use Stripe’s API. Are you sending out automatic text messages? Twillio’s API will take care of it. The list goes on…

The API management market was worth $609 million in 2016, and is predicted to grow 5 times bigger by 2022. APIs can be seen as trivial and somewhat taken for granted. However, this short video form this folks over at Andreessen Horowitz might just change the way you think about the lowly API.

By Oliver Iyer, Strategist

Originally written as part of Hi Mum! Said Dad’s weekly newsletter, H! Lites.

H! Lites hits you with a short, sharp, weekly dose of the latest and greatest across tech, business, design and other contemporary issues that we think would be of value to our readers.

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