Transmedia launches its Glide Engage microblogging and collaboration application for the T-Mobile G1 smartphone, based on Google's Android mobile operating system. Transmedia CEO Donald Leka said Apple's inconsistent iPhone App Store policies and the fact that Glide Engage will compete with Apple's MobileMe and iTunes store mean Transmedia has to be careful about what it launches on the iPhone.
Transmedia CEO and Chairman Donald Leka isn't buying the
about the Apple iPhone being superior to the T-Mobile G1 based on Google's
Android mobile operating system. Leka uses both the iPhone and the G1 and said
he finds the G1 superior for Web browsing.
Weighing that fact and Apple's unpredictable iPhone App
Store policies regarding competing applications, Transmedia Aug. 18 launched the first mobile version of its Glide
Engage social networking and mobile collaboration application for the G1 smartphone.
Glide Engage does a lot
, but most notably it enables microblogging up to 1,400 characters, a
stab at Twitter's 140-character cap for messaging.
Transmedia's choice of the G1 as the launch pad for Glide
Engage is significant because it flies in the face of some
that the G1 is an inferior device to the iPhone. Although
Apple has sold millions of iPhones, the device is supported by an App Store marred
by inconsistent policies that have led to the expulsion of some applications.
In the most high-profile case, Apple
some third-party Google Voice call management applications to run on
the iPhone, but yanked them from the App Store. Apple also rejected
Google's submission of a Google Voice application for the iPhone App
Transmedia has supported the iPhone since its
inception two years ago, letting iPhone users create Microsoft Word and
PDF documents, edit photos and other tasks from the Glide Operating
System. But business is business, and
Leka believes the best business is to go with the G1 first.
Leka told eWEEK the Google Voice issue, currently under investigation
by the Federal Communications Commission, the open-source nature
of Android, and the G1's nimble Web browsing were a few of the reasons he and
his staff chose to release Glide Engage for the G1 first.
"The Android phone is just a great Web phone," Leka told eWEEK. "I
carry an Android phone and I carry an iPhone, but for Web browsing I
just find the Android phone to be a better Web browsing phone."
However, he admitted another reason that proves more
pragmatic than philosophical. Glide Engage aims to compete with Apple's MobileMe
service, which pushes e-mail, contacts and calendar events over the air to all
Apple devices, and potentially down the road with Apple's iTunes store and
social networking plans.
"We're a small company, so we can't release something that Apple
arbitrarily rejects and then we've lost our development dollars," Leka
told eWEEK, adding that he wants to establish a foothold for
Glide Engage in the mobile market before submitting an iPhone version
approval to Apple.
Glide Engage is
a rights-based social networking and macro- or micro-blogging service. The fat character
cap on the app's microblogging feature means people can use it to share documents,
images and other files.
In describing this capability, Leka also claimed Glide
Engage is a bit like "bringing Google Wave to the Android platform before
Google does it," because it lets users start with a post, then add
editable links to documents and photos. Users can also easily upgrade their
microblogging collaboration to a video conference on the fly.
Glide Engage is also integrated with the Glide OS's productivity
and collaboration application suite and file storage solution, allowing users
to create and share documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Glide Engage, which features 10 gigabytes of free storage, can
be downloaded here
for the G1, but will eventually be rolled out for RIM's Blackberry,
the Palm Pre, Symbian and Windows Mobile. That doesn't mean the app will never
grace the iPhone.
said a version of the Glide Engage application for the iPhone is nearly
complete and will be submitted to Apple for approval.
The mobile version
of Glide Engage comes a week after Transmedia rolled out the desktop version,
which can be downloaded here