By Barry Levine / Top Tech News. Updated September 28, 2012.
Citrix continues its rollout of Podio, announcing this week a new version of its app for Android smartphones. This second version of its Android app provides additional smartphone access to the Podio platform of workspaces, pre-built apps, and self-made apps.
Tommy Ahlers, Citrix vice president of social collaboration, said in a statement that the updated app for Android "adds even more to our mobile offering, catering to an increasingly mobile workforce."
'Easy' as a Spreadsheet
The cloud-based Podio's mobile portfolio also includes apps for Apple's iPhone and iPad. All of the more than 700 free apps in the Podio App Market are available for the new Android version, with about half created by Citrix and the other half by Podio users.
Using the Podio App Builder, non-technical users can drag-and-drop to create custom apps for managing projects, interfacing with clients, coordinating e-mail marketing or receiving customer feedback. The platform is free for up to five employees.
Citrix has described building Podio apps as "easy as creating a spreadsheet." Podio apps are commonly used to streamline workflows, manage business processes or improve efficiency or productivity within a project.
Citrix uses a term employed by industry research firm Gartner -- "citizen developers" -- to describe non-technical workers who create or assemble new business apps for themselves and their fellow workers. Research from Gartner indicates that at least a quarter of new business apps by 2014 will be created by these citizen developers.
Getting Work Done
In addition to pre-built apps and the ability to customize apps, Podio features collaborative workspaces, assignable tasks, files and document management, social activity streams, universal search, e-mail integration that offers unique e-mail addresses for projects or workspaces, calendars, and the ability to launch a GoToMeeting session or connect Podio calendar to Outlook Exchange or Google Calendar.
We asked Phil Chambers, Podio's director of product development and social collaboration, about the differences between the new version and the previous one.
He said that the first version was more focused on viewing and communication, while the revised incarnation "brings all the power of Podio to your phone, letting you get a lot of work done."
The new Android version allows users to post status messages in their shared activity streams in Podio workspaces, for instance, as well as manage personal task lists, assign tasks to employees, or access company directories.
Chambers noted that the revised Android app is designed for smartphones, although he said some users were already using it on Android tablets. At some point, he said, Citrix is planning to release an Android tablet-optimized version. Citrix released its iPad version earlier this month.
Podio has implemented 15 integrations with other tools to date, such as the ability to access and send files from YouSendIt as part of status updates, app items, tasks, and private messages. The platform also integrates with ShareFile, Box, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Zendesk, Gmail, GoToMeeting, Evernote, and Google Docs.