Netsuite has improved support for mobile devices with the development of an Android app, optimisation for tablets and the release of an iOS version of its Tribal HR system.

Speaking at SuiteWorld in San Jose, CTO Evan Goldberg announced that the company is preparing to release a version of its core software on Android, responding to longstanding growth in demand for the operating system, which powers 81 percent of smartphone devices.

"We note the explosion of Android, especially internationally, and we are working on Netsuite for Android," Goldberg said. "This is not just a port for the iPhone app, we are really going to take advantage of the unique features of Android, it is going to look and feel like a native application."

Goldberg promised that the Android version will have features not available on the iOS app, in order to "annoy Apple".

The Android app, which is due to be released in "early 2015", trails the launch of an iOS version by two years.

UI overhaul & iOS upgrade

The company has already announced a UI overhaul at the event, with a move to an HTML5 version of its main applications to enable better functionality on mobile devices.

Goldberg said that the company is responding to greater demand for mobile devices such as tablets.

"We understand that people are increasingly using tablets to access Netsuite, and they will find that the 2014 release works much better here. We are also looking at deeper changes to make sure that Netsuite works on those devices - Android tablets, iOS tablets, and maybe even Windows tablets."

Netsuite has now moved to the third iteration of its iPhone app, which added more transactional features to its 'read-only' functionality last year. The third iteration has been expanded to create 'role-based' views of the mobile application for staff, the company said.

It also promised further functionality to be added to the iOS platform, including push notifications, and automatic phone call logging for sales reps.

Mobile ERP - customer view

Commenting on the vendor's mobile strategy at the event, one Netsuite customer, Kyle Gosnell, vice president of IT at sports supplement company, MusclePharm, said that accessing ERP and CRM systems on smartphone devices has benefited decision making for many of its staff.

"As far as mobility goes, it means that if I get a call from my CFO I can log in to my mobile device while out and make mission critical transactions on a mobile device, and that lends itself to an incredibly powerful platform you can use really anywhere," he said.

"From an IT staff perspective around 30-40 percent use it - all of our executives do - and that is cascading down to the rest of our employees as well. It has been a very helpful insight into critical business decisions when they are on the road - they have that intelligence in real time beside them. That is in itself an extremely powerful tool."

The company also announced the launch of an iOS version of its TribeHR software, having acquired the company at the tail end of last year.

The mobile app will provide access to human capital management software using Apple iPhone and iPad devices. It offers a number of features, including news feed, searchable employee director and time-off management.

An Android version is also now under development.