Android smartphones battle with BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Apple iPhone for acceptance in the workplace.
attending a series of mobile-oriented conferences, it's clear that
Android-based handsets and tablets are next up on the
consumer-to-enterprise conveyor belt.
with the Verizon Wireless large-scale launch of its data-oriented,
high-speed LTE (Long Term Evolution) 4G network in 38 mobile markets
across the United States-with scheduled coverage comparable to the company's
existing 3G network slated for 2013-the fat pipes needed for a host of
mobile handsets are being put in place.
Android operating system and the handsets on which it runs is fast
changing in ways that make it more appealing to both consumers-who will
then likely carry the devices into the workplace-and
managers. On the enterprise front, the Motorola-built, Verizon
Wireless-supported Droid Pro is among the first Android devices to
IPsec VPN connectivity. At the other end of the spectrum, the
Kyocera-built Zio that runs on the Sprint network, among others, is a
price-busting Android handset that will likely increase the number of
consumers carrying Android smartphones.
In Motion and its BlackBerry devices continue to be among the most popular
enterprise-issued smartphones and communication devices. At both the
conference and the CTIA
expo-both held in the last
month in San Francisco-provided tracks focused on RIM products and the
BlackBerry Enterprise Server infrastructure. But that wasn't driving the
buzz at either event.
Windows Phone 7, launched in New York this week and being previewed
nearly everywhere I looked, is certainly a contender for a successful
push into the enterprise. Microsoft's effort to build a developer base
and the strategy of providing handset and carrier choice set the stage
for enterprise uptake.
my interest over the next year is going to be focused on the Android
OS, marketplace, handsets, carriers and enterprise-class features. In
the battle royale with Apple and the iPhone and iPad, along with
BlackBerry, with its nearly ubiquitous handsets and recently announced
PlayBook tablet, Android-based systems stand a fighting chance. As the
fast-changing OS continues to morph to meet consumer and enterprise
needs, and as the handsets continue to shape-shift to accommodate and
balance more cameras, microphones and connection ports while still
maintaining decent battery life.
Android apps will be a key part of my ongoing evaluation process.
O'Reilly just released Building Android Apps, and the growing interest in the app developer community for the Android
OS was clear at the confabs I attended. Here, Apple sets the gold
standard for app compatibility and stability but falls short in
providing enterprises the ability to create custom apps for competitive
advantage accompanied by deployment choices outside of Apple's App
course, integration with corporate messaging and security systems will
be at the top of my watch list for Android devices. Aside from Microsoft
Exchange mailbox support, which is table stakes for any mobile handset
that hopes to be accepted in the enterprise, I'll be looking at the fit
and finish of e-mail, contacts and calendar integration. Exchange
policies that enforce password complexity requirements will also be
among the first features I look at in Android handsets to judge the
suitability of these devices for use in the enterprise.