Google Cloud Console App Misses The Mark For iOS Users

Mobile apps for Android and iOS aim to make it easier for IT admins and other users to monitor and manage the Google Cloud Platform. But the iOS version of the app, due later this year, is missing some important features.

Larry Loeb, Blogger, Informationweek

July 7, 2015

3 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: <a href="" target="_blank">Geralt</a> via <a href="" target="_blank">Pixabay</a>)</p>

10 Essential Google Apps For iPhone Users

10 Essential Google Apps For iPhone Users

10 Essential Google Apps For iPhone Users (Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is aiming to make life easier for IT admins and other enterprise users by introducing mobile app versions of its Cloud Console. The console, previously only accessible via web interface, allows the monitoring of GCP resources, as well as the ability to access the Google Cloud Monitoring performance and health tool.

Google has been trying to gain enterprise interest in GCP, and this is the latest in a series of announcements it has made to further its ambitions.

The Cloud Console app was first released in a beta form for smartphones running Google's Android OS in March. Google has said the app will come to Apple iOS soon, but there seems to be a significant flaw in the iOS version.

Stewart Fife, product manager for GCP, said in a blog post announcing the mobile apps: "The apps let you see the overall health of your system, view your projects, set alerts, keep an eye on billing, and monitor and take action on Google Cloud Platform resources."

Fife noted in his blog: "For Google Compute Engine VMs, you can monitor CPU usage, disk, and network status. You can even restart VMs or SSH into them (Android only) to perform system level tasks."

To be clear, the statement says that only the Android version of the app will be able to do an SSH session into the GCP platform. This is a curious omission in the iOS version of the app. An SSH login is usually needed to do any mitigation of the faults found when monitoring, such as restarting a VM process. Losing that ability tremendously lessens the usefulness of the iOS app.

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Overall, Google's GCP efforts seemed aimed squarely at enterprise customers. It has announced services such as Google Cloud Launcher, which allows for more than 126 applications that are preconfigured and ready to run. These include nearly 24 infrastructure applications, several content management tools, developer tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) packages.

Google Cloud Logging is another initiative in the last few months that aims to make the cloud easier for enterprises to adopt.

But, crippling the iOS version of the Cloud Console mobile app runs counter to the strategy that Google seems to have used thus far. Not every sys admin runs an Android device in the BYOD world. In fact, some would argue that iPhones have become the de facto smartphone standard for the enterprise. Excluding iOS at the very last part of the ecosystem cuts off the potential adoption and growth of that ecosystem. If Google is serious about its place in the cloud, it will need to rethink its Android-first choices.

About the Author(s)

Larry Loeb

Blogger, Informationweek

Larry Loeb has written for many of the last century's major "dead tree" computer magazines, having been, among other things, a consulting editor for BYTE magazine and senior editor for the launch of WebWeek. He has written a book on the Secure Electronic Transaction Internet protocol. His latest book has the commercially obligatory title of Hack Proofing XML. He's been online since uucp "bang" addressing (where the world existed relative to !decvax), serving as editor of the Macintosh Exchange on BIX and the VARBusiness Exchange. His first Mac had 128 KB of memory, which was a big step up from his first 1130, which had 4 KB, as did his first 1401. You can e-mail him at [email protected].

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