Mobile access firm iPass is readying an Android client for its Open Mobile Platform, aimed at saving 3G data charges by switching to Wi-Fi networks where possible.
The company also praised Android for being a better developer platform for enterprise applications than rivals such as Apple's iOS.
The iPass Open Mobile for Android is currently still in beta, but is expected to ship by the end of October.
It is the first Android client produced by iPass, and also the first smartphone client for its Open Mobile Platform launched earlier this year. Legacy iPassConnect clients are still available for BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices.
Chris Witeck, director of product marketing for iPass, claimed that the new Android client allows companies to manage how users connect to the internet and control costs.
"The connection manager allows you to bypass 3G networks in favour of Wi-Fi wherever possible, because there are often costs associated with 3G networks, such as roaming and data tariffs," he said.
The iPass service provides secure connectivity to more than 150,000 Wi-Fi networks around the world, all through a single client and via a single bill.
On an Android handset, iPass Open Mobile runs constantly as a background process, notifying users of an available Wi-Fi hotspot and enabling them to connect instantly.
"We chose to notify rather than connect automatically, because you wouldn't want it jumping on to every Wi-Fi hotspot you walk past while the phone is in your pocket," said Witeck.
In fact, the open nature of the Android platform enabled iPass to implement the functionality it wanted in Open Mobile, he added.
"We expect Android will be a tremendously successful platform in the enterprise. It's much more open than the iPhone, for example," Witeck said.
"On the iPhone, our client cannot notify you when an iPass connection is available. You can't run it as a background process and pop up a message in front of another application."
The other drawback of the iPhone is that all applications must be downloaded from Apple's online store, taking control of provisioning away from the IT department.
The Open Mobile Platform also includes a web portal from where customers can track mobile data traffic use, and see what platforms their users are running via analytics.
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