The number and variety of mobile devices hitting the market is increasing at breaking speeds with the development of mobile apps and software even greater. The popularity of mobile devices within enterprise will cause, in Forrester’s opinion, a meteoric surge in mobile app development, which would take the app market from around $6 billion today to around $55 billion over the next 3 years. So in a very short time we may well see mobile app development outnumbering traditional PC projects by a ratio of about 4-to-1.
This explosion of apps and choice of device type (screen size, brand, operating system) is great news for the end users and at the same time opens up the practice of BYOD to all business areas. With the likes of the Google Nexus 7, it is not just executives walking to and from meetings with their brand new iPads under their arms, as effective lower cost alternative options are now on the market for enterprises looking to rollout devices on a larger scale.
This same explosion of devices and apps is undoubtedly both a blessing and a curse for developers. Like kids in a candy shop the choices roll out before them, but with so many options it can often be challenging to keep everyone happy without invoking high costs and testing resources for development. It is therefore often a sensible practice to develop against one operating system first, perfect the offering, gain user feedback, iron out inevitable bugs and then identify the next section of your user base to bring the benefits of your app to a different audience. This is precisely what Alfresco is doing with our development of Alfresco Mobile for Android.
While smartphones will continue to be useful in almost all business settings, it is tablets that are emerging as the productivity tool of choice for mobile workers who want to do more than just view content on the go. More portable than a laptop and more functional than a smartphone, the tablet is the ideal middle-ground for mobile workers.
The leading tablet in many enterprises until recently has been the iPad, which is why Alfresco first developed the Alfresco Mobile app for iOS devices. But the number of quality Android tablets available is continuing to grow, so we have been working for some time to bring our same great mobile experience to Android smartphone and tablet users. Building on our iOS app experience, we have made sure that our Android app offers users the best experience possible taking into account the nuances in terms of features and interface of each platform.
Alfresco Mobile for Android contains the same feature set as Alfresco Mobile for iOS v1.3 and each subsequent release will stay on par as closely as possible. Alfresco Mobile for Android is available today and the app works on tablets as well as smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich and above. In addition to our app, which offers secure access to all your enterprise content, we also offer the Alfresco Mobile SDK.
Our SDK and API offer you the capability to integrate your own apps with the Alfresco platform or to customize your own mobile solution. We’ve got SDKs for both Apple and Android developments as well as an ever-expanding list of integration partners, so head over to our Developer Portal to get involved and let us know what you think of the new Alfresco for Android app!