While Apple and Blackberry users struggle to find ways to visualize the latest versions of flash content with their devices through several applications and plug-ins, Google with its open source philosophy, seems to be in first position in this race.
The latest release of Android, v2.2 (“Froyo”) based on Linux Kernel 2.6.32, natively supports the Adobe flash technology used by SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards (formerly Xcelsius) and SAP BusinessObjects Explorer. The difference is that it allows for the interactive visualization of Dashboards, WebIntelligence reports and exploration spaces without the need for a third-party application, unlike iPhone, iPad and Blackberry.
This means that your company can leverage the effort spent building Xcelsius dashboards by providing mobile employees with a very powerful and interactive interface to make business decisions in the field. It is clear that not all dashboards would be suitable for mobiles and screen dimensions should be taken into account when developing, however below you will see an example which was not specifically designed for mobile but actually fits perfectly in my HTC Legend. This is the real-time dashboard prototype that Clariba developed for Call Centers in order to track the effectiveness of the services provided on a 24/7 basis.
Adobe announced officially on October 25, 2010 that Google's Android OS 2.2 already includes the Flash Player 10.1 plug-in as well as the brand new HP Palm Pre 2, but did not say yet when it will release the versions for the BlackBerry OS, Microsoft's Windows Phone, the Symbian OS, or Nokia/Intel's MeeGo.
Apple has insisted that iOS-based devices like the iPhone and iPod touch will never offer a Flash player. Instead, the company is looking in another direction, surprisingly towards an open standard this time: HTML5.
Finally, on the BI vendor side, it is also interesting to note that as a result of an increasing demand for BI content in Apple devices, SAP BusinessObjects, which used to endorse an application called Roambi Mobile Dashboards by MeLLmo, Inc., is currently developing its own solution for an interactive BI experience which we will certainly have to keep an eye on.
If you have any comments about developing dashboards for mobile devices, feel free to leave a note below.