Salesforce is one of the larger client relationship manager software providers in the world today and has enjoyed considerable success developing its application, which started off as a web client and has evolved into the mobile sphere. The company has been one of the more progressive in the industry too - for example, in 2011 it worked with Telefonica and British carrier, O2, to develop a diary system for its retail shop-facing Guru technical support employees. Over the years, the Salesforce platform has steadily been improved and along with it the application for mobile devices.
Today, Salesforce has announced that it us changing the Android-powered devices it supports with its Salesforce1 application: in short, it is dropping support for many devices and is instead concentrating on a limited number of Samsung Galaxy and Google Nexus devices, from the next update forwards. The list of supported Samsung devices contains the Galaxy S5, S6, S7 and S7 edge, Galaxy Note 4, Note 10.1 and Galaxy Tab A 9.7 and only two Nexus devices are supported, the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. The reason for dropping all other devices from the officially supported list is quoted as "due to the wide array of available Android devices, we are targeting our support to a select number of Android devices to continue improving our overall Salesforce1 for Android user experience." In other words, Salesforce do not wish to invest additional time and money in supporting the many and varied different types of Android device. Customers with other devices can still install the application but Salesforce won't officially support these devices or fix device-specific bugs.
It remains to be seen how much of a difference this will make for customers going forwards, and whilst Salesforce are not making a seismic change to how they manage the customer experiences, this will definitely bias the choice in the next generation of devices for businesses reliant on Salesforce. We have already seen how some security experts recommend Samsung or Nexus devices because these handsets or tablets are kept updated with security patches, which ultimately creates a better experience for customers as their devices are more private and secure. It does not necessarily mean that if a device has a similar specification and operating system to one of the above Nexus or Samsung devices, that the Salesforce1 application will run flawlessly on the device as there are many other factors that make our devices individual. Today's news is arguably a warning shot at one of Android's greatest strengths and weaknesses at the same time: fragmentation. Fragmentation means a wide choice of devices with different specifications, sizes and operating systems. A well written application should work on everything running the necessary minimum specification, but if there are any issues or glitches these could be device, component, operating system or manufacturer overlay specific. Salesforce have reduced the number of combinations they are prepared to support.