Guest Blog: Scott Epple, OnForce Product Manager
As many of you may know, we released our first Android beta app in February to a small group of OnForce Pros, and have been steadily iterating on the product and growing our beta group in the months since. Today, we’re pleased to announce the release of version one of the OnForce mobile app for Android smartphones to the Google Play store. If you’re in a hurry, you can grab the app here. If you have a minute to stick around though, I’d like to share a few of the learnings we’ve picked up along the way.
Android’s a jungle
We always knew our OnForce Pro community was a diverse crowd, now we know their choice in smartphones is just as varied. During the beta, the OnForce app was installed on 144 distinct devices running on 23 distinct flavors of the Android OS, not one of which holds more than 8% usage share among Pros. When people talk about fragmentation, this is what they mean. Developing for such a wide array of devices makes for an interesting challenge, but one that we know will be worth it as we expect the app to reach about two-thirds of our Pro base that use Android devices.
User feedback is invaluable
In the past four months, we’ve grown our beta group from a small handful to more than 500 Pros. One thing OnForce Pros have never been shy about is sharing their opinion – and we couldn’t be happier about that. It sounds obvious, but it bears repeating: user feedback is critical to the process of building great products and services, and great companies. Our beta Pros have given us feedback in spades and our whole team was able to see it and read it in real time. Feedback sparked many conversations and debates internally, it helped us discover issues faster, and it gave us data to prioritize what we work on. And it’s not just a beta thing: we’ll keep that line of communication open for all users of the mobile app. So, send us a thought, a question, a suggestion: it all helps us improve.
Powerful tools lead to powerful results
We’ve written before about the impact of mobile technology on field services. The results continue to confirm our belief that Pros in the field are able to be more responsive, more efficient, and more reliable when equipped with the proper tools. We see evidence of this in our data and in comments from our beta Pros. Today’s announcement means that these capabilities will now be available to thousands more OnForce Pros. In fact, we expect that around 85% of our community will now carry the OnForce app on their Android or iOS device. Our plan is to continue to arm this community with the features and information necessary to deliver great service efficiently.
Last, but certainly not least, the entire OnForce team would like to say a sincere thank you to all of the Pros who participated in the Android beta for your honest, thoughtful, and constructive feedback. We’re proud to have worked with you to get this app shipped, and we’re excited as ever for what’s to come!