Mobile business professionals have been able to sync Google Docs to the iPad and have access on the go even without a live network connection using the Memeo Connect app, but iPhone users were out of luck. Now, Memeo is launching version 2.0 of Memeo Connect--including an iPhone app extending the Google Docs capabilities to the popular smartphone.
Spencer Chen, director of corporate communications for Memeo, described the hurdles to developing the iPhone version of Connect. "It's hard to believe, but iPhone support had a hard time making it onto our roadmap due to the many commitments to our partners, such as Google, Western Digital, Seagate, Netgear, and most recently Sony. But we couldn't ignore our users...they were screaming for iPhone support."
Aside from introducing an iPhone version of the app, Connect 2.0 also adds new features and capabilities to the Memeo app. Connect can now perform Google-powered searches of the full text of Google Docs content. The app also now provides a "download all" Google Docs option, as well as the ability to cancel all uploads.
The Connect 2.0 app--especially with the addition of the Connect app for the iPhone--is a great tool for businesses that are using Google Apps for business productivity. Microsoft still has a dominant position--a virtual monopoly--on the business productivity with the Microsoft Office suite, and on messaging with Microsoft Exchange, but Google is making progress in convincing businesses to adopt its cloud-based alternative.
While Google is aggressively trying to stake its place in larger enterprises--such as the city of Los Angeles or the United States government--it still faces a tough battle. Chen notes "The data, statistically and anecdotally, is clearly telling us that Google Docs adoption remains in the mid-market...the SMBs and very small enterprises," adding "The disruption always comes from the low-end off the market. Enterprise adoption is coming along slower, but that shouldn't surprise anyone. Microsoft Office just celebrated its 20th birthday and Google Apps is not going to displace that overnight."
Chen also had some thoughts to share on the competitive landscape. "Memeo Connect's unfair advantage will always be our 'backend'...Google. Our deep partnership and even deeper product integration provides customers with the ideal joint solution. Memeo's proven expertise in data management and file sync together with Google's mind-numbing portfolio of web technologies makes for a formidable content management offering."
While I agree with Chen that Memeo--with its partnership and integration with Google--has some distinct advantages over competing platforms such as Box.net or Dropbox, that relationship is both a blessing and a curse. Memeo has an upperhand when it comes to organizations adopting Google Docs--those organizations are in the minority. Organizations that haven't embraced Google may find more benefit from using a less Google-centric solution.
Regardless, Connect 2.0 introduces some useful functionality, and those organizations or business professionals that do use Google Docs will welcome the capabilities Memeo brings to the iPad and iPhone platforms. Check out the new and updated apps in the Apple App Store.
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