Wyse Brings PocketCloud App to Android Devices

At the VMworld show, Wyse Technology announces that is now offering a version of its previously Apple-only PocketCloud networking application that will run on Android devices.

Wyse Technology is expanding the use of its PocketCloud software from Apple handheld devices to Android-powered mobile phones.

Wyse officials are putting the new version of the application, which was announced Aug. 31, on display at VMware's VMworld show in San Francisco.

It was a year ago at the same show that Wyse officials first rolled out PocketCloud for the iPhone and iPod Touch. In April, Wyse extended PocketCloud to work on Apple's iPad tablet PC as well. Now the application is also available to users of Android-based smartphones.

The software essentially lets users access the work environments on their PCs and virtual desktops from their wireless devices, and enables IT administrators to gain access to end-user machines through their Apple and Android devices.

According to Jeff McNaught, chief marketing and strategy officer and chief customer advocate at Wyse, PocketCloud has become a top-10 application for business professionals in the past year, and has been installed by more than 110,000 users since it was first introduced.

McNaught also said while PocketCloud initially was viewed by company officials as a business application, it was attracting interest in other areas.

"We've seen a surprisingly large number of consumers buying the app," McNaught told eWEEK.

Bringing PocketCloud to Android-based phones gives a rapidly growing market of new users access to it, he said. It makes business sense, given the rapidly growing popularity of Google's open-source mobile operating system. Some analysts say Android eventually will overtake Apple's iOS. For example, an iSuppli report released Aug. 5 predicted that handsets running Android will outsell those running iOS by 2012.

Wyse also is launching PocketCloud 2.0 for Apple iOS devices, which includes new features such as easier setup and streaming video capabilities.

New features in PocketCloud for Android and the enhanced PocketCloud for Apple devices were added with growing use by consumers kept in mind, McNaught said. Included in both versions of the application is an auto-discovery feature that allows easy setup without the need for deep technical knowledge. Essentially, the same Gmail name and password is used for the PocketCloud application on the user's home PC and mobile device, he said. Once that is entered, the PC and mobile device are synced up.

"We've made this so simple," McNaught said. "All you need is two words you already know, and you can access your PC [from a mobile device via PocketCloud]."

In the same vein, PocketCloud 2.0 for iOS devices offers video streaming to enable the streaming of video files-including MPEGs, WMV and AVI-from the remote desktop to any device over WiFi and 3G.

Wyse also is offering different versions of the PocketCloud application for both platforms. For Apple iOS devices, Wyse is including a PocketCloud Premium version, which offers greater interaction with multimedia, files and applications in Windows desktops.

Wyse is continuing the promotional pricing of $14.99 for the PocketCloud application, and PocketCloud Premium will be available in three- and six-month increments at $2.99 and $9.99, respectively. All versions can be found in the iTunes App Store.

PocketCloud for Android is available now for $14.99, and a free version with reduced functionality also is available. Both can be found in the Android Market.

For much of its existence, Wyse has been known for its thin-client hardware. However, the company is now focusing more on software. In an interview with eWEEK in April, CEO Tarkan Maner said software will be a key differentiator for Wyse as it works to carve out its place in the highly competitive cloud and virtualization spaces.

"Our story was a hardware story for many, many years," Maner said at the time. "For the last five or six years, we've been focusing on software. The bottom line is that the differentiator is software. I do not have any hardware engineers in my company."

McNaught said Wyse will be active in a number of areas, such as cloud computing, unified computing and unified communications. Wyse already is partnering with such key players as Citrix Systems, VMware, Microsoft and Cisco Systems, he said. PocketCloud is an example of an application that plays in many of these spaces.