Is Google's Nexus One a Boon for Developers?By Leah Gabriel Nurik | Print
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Nexus One’s processing power, ability to handle graphics, text-to-speech and access to Google Apps provide enterprise software developers a range of game-changing technologies for enterprise mobile applications like workforce management, collaboration and CRM applications.
With this release of its Nexus One phone this week, Google succeeds in expanding its footprint with yet another device and Android developers now have an upgraded OS to tinker with. But do enterprise developers benefit?
Of note is Google’s new e-retailer status. Users can purchase Nexus One through the website google.com/phone, exclusively. For would-be buyers, there are two options. One, sign up for a plan with T-Mobile and pay $179 dollars. Second, pay a steep $ 529 bucks—with the option of having the back engraved—and, add a SIM to make it work on any GSM carrier such as AT&T and T-Mobile. Since GSM protocols differ, AT&T users will only achieve 2.5G usability. Google plans to offer a CDMA-version of Nexus One through Verizon in the spring.
Nexus One comes with a slew of bells and whistles destined to create headlines and buzz in the mobile device marketplace. First reports show that Nexus One is fast—as in, super-duper fast. Sure, it runs on T-Mobile’s 3G network, but it’s the 1GHz Snapdragon CPU from Qualcomm that can make applications fly and provides unlimited potential for traditionally thick enterprise applications in a white-collar environment. It’s slightly lighter and thinner than the Motorola Droid, which Google says it will upgrade with the new OS as well. Android 2.1 also supports Live Wallpaper applications and 3D graphics which will enable Google Earth for mobile on Android devices shortly. For those users who are not fans of the virtual or touch screen keyboard, Google has included speech-to-text enablement on all applications, too.
Google says that Nexus One is the first of many "super phones" the company will bring to market. The company refrains from making definitive statements on its enterprise mobile strategy, but with iPhone’s steady progress winning enterprise deployments and Apple’s iSlate tablet set for release this month, there is no doubt Google’s innovators have a plan up their sleeve. Nexus One’s processing power, ability to handle graphics, text-to-speech and access to Google Apps provide enterprise software developers a range of game-changing technologies for enterprise mobile applications like workforce management, collaboration and CRM applications.
One caveat, however, is the lack of enterprise security and encryption required to ensure enterprise data assets are protected. Mobile software vendor Good Technology hopes to fix that. The messaging and collaboration company provides security, encryption and mobile messaging for almost every mobile operating system out there, including Symbian, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Palm and Android. Good was first purchased by Motorola, and then sold to mobile email veteran Visto back in February 2009 after Motorola’s failure to effectively integrate Good’s pure software solution into its hardware product set. Subsequently, Visto rebranded under the Good Technology name.Good says the day of corporations standardizing on one device for mobile email are over. Instead, companies want to open the door for multiple OS and device support by allowing their employees to purchase the device of their choice.
"Employees sign up for data plans and pay for costs out of their own pockets," said John Herrema, Good’s chief marketing officer.
According to Herrema, employees that bring mobile devices into the enterprise could pose a security threat, but, with management and encryption software that secures data assets and supports multiple devices, companies can actually save money on the allocation of mobile devices and contracts.
"As long as companies can manage and secure enterprise data, they are embracing it and allowing those devices to come in the front door."
2010 promises excitement as the mobile wars heat up. Apple plans to release multiple devices this year that will continue to challenge Google and Microsoft. Windows Mobile 7, originally thought to be the software giant’s iPhone killer, which some say may be a bit late to the game if it arrives, as believed, at the end of 2010. Analysts also criticize Microsoft for failing to innovate.
Herrema is not so sure. "It’s fashionable to count out Windows Mobile, but based on things I’ve heard, there is some pretty interesting stuff coming."