Xero, a New Zealand-based maker of online accounting software for small businesses, is branching out from the iOS platform. The company announced today that Android device owners can now download its free Xero Touch app (subscription costs apply).
Matt Vickers, product manager for Xero's mobile products, reveals what the release means for Android smartphone and tablet owners. Judging by his remarks, Xero Touch made the iOS-to-Android transition whole and full-featured.
"All the features of Xero Touch that have been available on the iOS platform are now available for Android – like 4-digit pin access, creating and sending invoices, and even submitting an expense claim with a photo of the receipt snapped right from your phone," blogged Vickers.
In addition to on-the-go invoicing and expensing, Xero Touch also provides centralized, one-stop visibility to small business banking accounts. You can use the app to keep tabs on checking and credit card balances, as well as retrieve detailed descriptions of transactions, according to Xero.
Vickers also offered a sneak peak at what to expect from an upcoming Xero Touch update. "Feature-wise, bank reconciliation will be next off the block for both iOS and Android apps," he adds.
Xero's decision to support Google's mobile OS is a sign that the Android ecosystem has grown too big for app developers to ignore. But the results of survey of 526 small businesses conducted by Zogby for Xero reveal another motivation.
Small Business Mobile App Use Takes Off
More people are turning mobile business apps, and it makes sense to cater to this growing market, whether they're toting iPhones or Android handsets.
A majority of small business owners -- Xero's customer base, for all intents and purposes -- rely on mobile apps to stay productive. Fifty-eight percent said that their mobile devices made business more efficient, according to the study. Half of those polled expressed an interest in mobile accounting tools.
A substantial majority, 66 percent, said that they access business apps from a mobile device. Forty-three percent use mobile business apps at least once a day.
And there seems to be no limit to when (and where) small businesses owners use mobile apps to check their finances. Of those polled for the survey, 46 percent checked during vacation, 15 percent during a work commute and 12 percent from an airplane. Watching TV presents another such opportunity for 30 percent of respondents, while 18 percent said that they took a peek at their financial picture at a bar or restaurant.
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