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IPhone and Android are fast becoming leaders in the enterprise smartphone / Tablet markets. Blackberry has traditionally dominated this sector with a well-established Enterprise Server delivering control to IT with proven integration through Microsoft Exchange. It also features a known set of policies.
"This is all about to change"
Android and IPhone are surging ahead when it comes to web applications development. The issue for BlackBerry is that users and, more importantly, corporate employees are personally choosing devices that support Android and IPhone such as IPhone 4, Nokia, RIM, Samsung and HTC.
Sadly many Australian companies have delayed integrating these new technologies into their daily business processes. Unsure how to move forward, the results have been catastrophic. Even if the organisation is lagging behind these current technology shifts, employees and consumers are not. They account for Smartphone sales topping 137 million units this year.
Websites IT provides full web application consultancy and integration services for Android, Apple and BlackBerry. We offer everything from enterprise web applications development to single purpose applications that reduce costs and streamline business processes.
If you are considering introducing these smartphone (mobile phone) web applications into your business structure you must consider the following:
How much are you willing to invest in a smartphone (mobile phone), IPad 2 or Tablet?
Web Application Development, New Tablets 2011, IPad 2, Galaxy 2
Apple has positioned itself as an upmarket device and if you track their sales history this trend will persist. In addition to this unreasonable cost Apple’s marketing department apparently believes that, by making the product artificially scarce, it will win the hearts of corporate Australia. Corporate clients are certainly not 15 - 20 year olds looking for the latest gimmick. This strategy only discourages firms as time is money and ease of availability is important.
Android, on the other hand, delivered the smartphone and tablet to the masses. This past quarter Android became the number one operating system over RIM and IPhone. Windows has always dominated the business environment, being able to deliver on price and availability.
Websites IT’s choice: Android
How important is it to have secure mail?
BlackBerry’s main strengths have always been its secure integration with enterprise email and policy enforcement. Android and IPhone have come a long way and are not far behind. Each smartphone and tablet integrates well with Microsoft Exchange. Included are numerous additional security features such as complex passwords, data encryption and remote wiping.
Websites IT’s choice: Photo finish
Who provides the best user experience?
Android features an open-source operating system second to none. Web applications developers can customise user interfaces, create custom features and deliver rich media types from numerous file formats. Manufacturers can position their products appropriately: Motorola has a business focus, HTC are media rich and Samsung design for social media. With Android there is literally a device for every demographic.
Apple offers one device – take it or leave it.
Android has experienced platform fragmentation resulting in a cohesive user experience. The root of this issue is the very thing that makes it such a powerful operating system, its versatility.
Apple’s user experience is consistent but offers little choice. They achieve this by releasing just one new device annually guaranteeing their customers a controlled and consistent user experience. When it comes to user interfaces Apple has dominated everything including MP3, Tablets and Smartphones.
Websites IT’s choice: Apple
You must consider Apps and App security
Apps security is an issue for Android because essentially they do not have an approval process. Android does not scrutinise web applications before releasing them on the market. This accelerates the speed with which a developer can create and launch a new app but can leave consumers vulnerable when it comes to downloading and utilising the app. Such was the case recently when malware showed up in an Android app.
Apple does not have this issue as they process the web applications prior to allowing them to be sold in their apps store. Apple controls the underlying hardware, carrier relationships, and the APIs to which third-party software has access. As a result, Apple easily limits its apps’ exposure to various security threats.
Websites IT’s choice: Apple
How the device integrates with existing back-end systems is essential
How easily the system integrates with expensive enterprise applications will determine its ultimate usefulness. If your company requires technologies such as CRM, SFA, billing systems or other back-end, Android’s openness provides the best experience with the least amount of friction.
Android is superior when it comes to enterprise systems integration, offering more API hooks than Apple’s iOS. With Android an enterprise can create powerful back-end apps. Apple is very limited in the real business world as it offers little advantage for developers.
Websites IT’s choice: Android
There is no easy answer as to which operating system you should focus on. Each has advantages and disadvantages depending on user choice and real world application. If you intend to integrate into an enterprise system Android is the only candidate, though if the user experience is more important obviously Apple dominates here.
Other considerations when choosing these devices are:
- Who are your clients and what are they currently using?
- Do employees already have smartphones and tablets and, if so, what operating systems do they utilise?
- What back-end technologies require integration?
- What deals are available with your local carriers (also check international requirements if this affects your firm)?
- How reliable is the coverage?
Remember it is essential that you develop these applications early so you can have a lead on your competition. The longer you delay the costlier it will be to win clients away from competitors.
Paul Dunshea is a Director of Websites IT and is a consultant to companies regarding online business development. Websites IT specialises in web applications developed both in Android and Apple OS. Contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
It can be very disheartening speaking to Australian business people who are working hard but failing because they cannot adapt to new technologies Paul Dunshea Websites IT - Director