T-Mobile's HTC G1
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LogMeIn is expected at next week's Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona, Spain, to debut software that will help IT shops and service providers remotely manage and technically support Android-based smartphones.
The company will show off a version of its Web-based LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile software, which makes it possible for technicians to access and then diagnose and repair end users' phones. If they need to, technicians can also train new users in how to use a smartphone remotely, thereby reducing IT training costs.
Smartphones, particularly those powered by the open source Android operating system, figure to be smoking hot over the course of the next year. For instance, several manufacturers are expected to show off new devices based on Android at the show next week.
"The growth in smartphone technology adoption is going to put a significant strain on support organizations as high-level operating systems accommodate ever more advanced applications," said Stephen Drake, program VP of mobility and telecom at IDC. "Enhanced remote support capabilities should be on the short list for major carriers."
Explaining how the software works, a company official said if the Rescue+Mobile applet is not already pre-deployed by an IT administrator or carrier on a smartphone, technicians can either send a text message with a download link to the phone user. This in turn installs a small applet on the smartphone. Alternatively, a technician can direct the customer to use the phone's browser to go to a Web site to access the download.
Once the LogMeIn applet is running on the phone, technicians can see an exact visual replica of the actual smartphone on their computer screens. If the techs need to push a button on the phone, they just push that button on the image of the phone on their computer screens.
LogMeIn Rescue+Mobile also provides a "dashboard" that gives phone status and allows for diagnostics and chat with the customer, a company official said.
With the new version, support technicians have the ability to remotely access a user's computer to solve related issues involving Wi-Fi and Bluetooth setups, as well configuring a user's e-mail.
The product is available immediately for those carriers that want to pre-deploy on Android-based phones.
But how can enterprises get started in mobile device management? InformationWeek has published an independent analysis of this topic. Download the report here (registration required).