Thing 3 of 30: Develop an Android app

September is 30 things I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.

Thing 3: develop an Android app

While considering developing an iPhone app, you should also take a look at the Google Android platform.

Unlike the closed Apple iPhone platform, Android is an open-source software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. The Android SDK provides the tools and APIs necessary to begin developing applications that run on Android-powered devices.

According to Wikipedia, Android was announced almost two years ago on November 5, 2007 with the founding of the Open Handset Alliance, a consortium of 48 hardware, software and telecom companies devoted to advancing open standards for mobile devices. Google released most of the Android code under the Apache License, a free-software and open source license.

Now that there are a number of handsets from various manufacturers in the marketplace, Android seems to be gaining momentum.

And, also unlike developing an iPhone app today, you can be one of the very first financial insitutions to lay claim to publishing an Android app. Here is an article on the Net Banker blog that compares banking Apps in the Google Android Market vs. Apple iPhone App Store. As you can see, only Bank of America and Alliant Credit Union are represented in the Google Android Market to date.

If you don't have internal developers, consider partnering with another credit union to co-develop an app or look for a small independent Android app developer in your area or even look overseas to get it done.

Tim