Verizon Wireless Oct. 18 refreshed its mobile worker management application to work with phones based on Google’s Android operating system.
The wireless carrier’s Field Force Manager is a location-based Web application that companies use to help track and communicate with mobile workers in the field.
The app is especially useful for industries such as transportation, distribution, health care and other business services where keeping in contact with workers is core to the job.
Previously offered on Research In Motion BlackBerry devices and various handsets from Motorola, Casio and LG, the Field Force Manager is available for all Verizon Wireless Android smartphones.
These include the Motorola Droid, which launched nearly a year ago; the Droid 2; the HTC Droid Incredible; and Motorola Droid X. Users of those devices can see these instructions to download the app to their handset.
With the Field Force Manager app for Android devices, customers using these Droid devices can access a search bar to find forms, locations and messages; easy job scheduling and bar code scanning.
The addition of Android support for this mobile management app is the latest sign that Android smartphones are becoming more accepted in the business community as vehicles for secure mobile communications.
Good Technology has noted that businesses are increasingly letting employees use their Android devices for work.
While Android’s safety level won’t be mistaken for that of RIM’s BlackBerry platform at this point, Android 2.2 features several added enterprise features, including Microsoft Exchange support and remote wipe functionality.
Verizon has two price points for Field Force Manager: limited and basic. For $15 per user per month, the limited option provides management of field teams, including details of current and past travel history.
For $20 per user per month, the basic choice provides everything the limited app offers, but adds location-validated mobile timecards and basic job dispatch.
The basic Field Force Manager also offers turn-by-turn driving directions when combined with the Google Maps Navigation GPS app.
Verizon’s support for Android in its corporate mobile resource app comes just days after the company pledged to sell the WiFi + 3G Apple iPad tablets Oct. 28. Rival AT&T is also offering the iPad on the same day, with a bent toward business users.