Let’s Get Down to Business: iPhone or Android?

A few months back, we noted that mobile apps are NOT just for DoodleJump, where we discussed a study showing the incredible expansion (and acceptance) of mobile apps into the corporate world. In fact, between 86 percent and 90 percent of respondents identified increasing worker productivity and responsiveness as two key factors for deploying mobile applications.

Since we’re all apparently in agreement that mobile apps are extremely beneficial, the next question becomes:  iPhone or Android?

This is a particularly important question for small businesses – and it’s the subject of Joe Brockmeier’s latest article on smallbusinesscomputing.com. Comparing each device in terms of hardware, mobile apps and carrier (like a mobile usability tester) Joe explains why Android makes more sense for small businesses:

Google is catching up to the iPhone at a furious pace when it comes to applications. The numbers, by the way, are largely meaningless. Both Android and Apple have tens of thousands of applications, and thousands of those are of no interest to small business owners at all. Key applications like Evernote, however, tend to be available for both.

For small business owners, though, I’d give Google the advantage. And that’s because Google has no policy of denying “competing” applications to its users. Apple’s review process for the App store sometimes denies worthy applications because they compete with Apple’s own offerings — or because Apple doesn’t like the way that the developers use the API. Or because the developer was trying to write cross-platform applications using a non-native language.

One of the biggest strikes against the iPhone for me is the lack of Google Voice on the iPhone. Yes, you can use Google Voice via a Web application, but it’s not quite the same thing. Google Voice is a great tool for small businesses, especially single-proprietor businesses. But even if Google Voice wasn’t on my “must-have” list of applications, the fact that Apple and AT&T are willing to blatantly shut out a competing app that is useful to customers makes the iPhone a poor choice for a device that’s integral to your business.

Read the rest of the article.

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