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Citrix Augments iPhone, iPad Collaboration Apps

Dropbox alternative ShareFile gets updated iPhone app, while the Podio cloud social productivity app launches on the iPad.

The collaboration service has its own internal app model, where users can create custom forms and workflows using a drag-and-drop app builder. At least for now, creating new apps is a function Podio reserves for the Web-based version of its product. Froda thinks that's a reasonable place to draw the line. "There is not the expectation, currently, that you should be able to do everything on the iPad that you can do on the Web," he said. Rather, iPad users want to be able to access all the essential functions they need to do business.

Podio apps are often used for business-specific project management and tracking functions, as with the swimming pool company that devised an app for logging worker visits and activities at each customer location. They don't need their employees to design or modify an app like that on the go, but they do want them to be able to access it, Froda said. In the space of a few minutes, he was able to demonstrate how to create a simple project management app including a progress bar and an image upload field using the Web user interface, then access that app from the iPad. On the iPad, the user interface adapted itself to offer larger buttons for selecting choices, allowed him to adjust the project progress bar with fingertip control, and let him take a photo with the iPad's camera for the form's image field. For file attachments, the app can either access files stored on the iPad or retrieve them from cloud services including ShareFile, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.

In the YouTube clip below, video production company 12Stars Media, a beta user of the iPad client, talks about how it has already started to put the technology to work. "We use Podio to manage our entire video production company, including internal collaboration, project management with our producers, and CRM,” CEO Rocky Walls said in a statement. "The new Podio app for iPad is transforming the way we work while away from the office, making us more responsive, productive, and efficient when on location or traveling."

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and

Social media make the customer more powerful than ever. Here's how to listen and react. Also in the new, all-digital The Customer Really Comes First issue of The BrainYard: The right tools can help smooth over the rough edges in your social business architecture. (Free registration required.)

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