Zoho launches Android, iPad apps for its CRM and project software

The new clients are aimed at workers who tend to be on the go anyway

Zoho is expanding its push into mobile applications on Monday, rolling out native Android and iPad clients for its CRM and project management software.

The company, which offers a wide range of Web-based business applications, is also planning to preview an iPad version of its CRM (customer relationship management) application during an event in San Francisco on Monday, said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist.

Zoho's decision to focus on mobile applications for CRM and Projects makes sense, given that users of those types of software tend to be in the field, meeting with customers or working on various tasks.

The iPhone Projects application allows users to create project tasks as well as edit existing ones or mark them as complete. They can also use "start-stop" timing widgets to record hours they work on a job, for later inclusion in the project's overall time sheet, Zoho said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the CRM Android application gives access to contacts, accounts, leads and other fields in the CRM system, which can also be edited and deleted.

Both the Projects and CRM mobile clients enable offline activity, with data synchronized back up to Zoho's servers once the user reestablishes connectivity, Vegesna said.

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Zoho is gearing most of its native mobile application efforts on iOS and Android devices, he added. BlackBerry is still getting some attention, "but increasingly that's going to be a lower priority for us."

Zoho also offers "mobile-optimized" browser-based versions of its software, which detect the device being used and render the user interface accordingly. Still, the native applications offer a "much faster" experience, Vegesna said.

The Projects iPhone and CRM Android applications require US$3 per user per month subscriptions.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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