App Review: Good for Enterprise, Bad for Everybody Else

By Bobby Gill on January 15, 2013 / 8 Comments

I used to think Lotus Notes was the worst software I’d ever have to use, but then I met the “Good for Enterprise” mobile app . It’s not just the countless bugs and poorly thought out UI design, it’s the audacity of this app being marketed as “Good” when it’s only a few scratches above “terrible” that really grinds my gears.

For the corporate warriors out there who have just been released from the shackles of Blackberry, you know of what I speak. Today, corporate IT departments across the land are forcing the “Good” app upon legions of smartphone users to send and receive work emails. You want to check your work email on an iPhone, don’t you dare open the Mail app that comes with the iPhone! No sir, you must use the “Good” app.

Why is the “Good” app so bad? Well, for one don’t expect any sort of real-time delivery of your emails. The one “Good” part of the delayed delivery is that people might finally find themselves unchained from their corporate inboxes! The number of new messages which is displayed on the app icon is perpetually stuck on a number that is anything but the real number of unread messages in your inbox. Got an iPhone 5? Have fun with the “Good” app. It’s been almost 5 months since the release of the iPhone 5 and “Good” still hasn’t updated their app to use the new full screen length!!  As William Shakespeare would say “thy shit is whack good sir!”.

The worst part of the whole “Good” experience is how bad it looks next to iPhone Mail app (using Exchange ActiveSync integration). Say what you want about Apple Maps, but the Mail client on the iPhone integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange mail servers and gives you near real time mail notifications and rarely crashes or causes any hiccups. Next to the “Good” app, the iPhone’s Mail app feels as capable as the software that landed Curiosity on Mars .

The fact the “Good” app is not only still in business, but actually thriving in adoption is a testament to the void in mobile device management (MDM) being felt in corporate IT with the demise of Blackberry.  Companies force their employees to use “Good” because unlike the native iPhone app, the Good app encrypts all of its data and ensures that it can’t fall into the wrong hands if the phone is stolen, jailbroken or sync’ed with other computers. In that sense, “Good for Enterprise” is actually a great way to describe this app.

“Good” is almost bad enough to make you want your Blackberry back. But, it’s the price we end-users are going to pay until real MDM capabilities are built into the major smartphone platforms of today. As I wrote last week, our saving grace might come from Microsoft and their Windows Phone 8 platform . The world has truly changed when we see Microsoft not as the villain, but the shining white knight galloping towards us to rescue us from the clutches of this “Good” app.

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