Salesforce has issued a support document titled “Salesforce1 on select iOS and Android devices” – here are the devices it will support (the models are the earliest – all later models supported).
- iOS: iPhone 6, iPad Air/Pro, iPad Mini 4
- Android: Samsung Galaxy S5 and Note 4, and Google Nexus 5X. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and Tab A 9.7.
It says that while Salesforce1 may work on other devices, it is not supported. Why is a US$55 billion company doing this?
Salesforce would not be drawn on its rationale, but its forums have been rife with speculation.
In Apple’s case, it is purely about horsepower and memory – at a minimum the A9 processor, 2GB RAM, and iOS 9.x are the minimum needed to run the Salesforce app properly. That does not portend well for older devices running iOS 10.x, so maybe it is time to trade up anyway.
In Android’s case, it is all about fragmentation. Samsung and Google Nexus have made commitments to maintaining at least one version prior to the latest of these phones. There are no issues on horsepower as these use faster Qualcomm or Exynos processors and more RAM.
If you are using an older device it will still run Salesforce1, but there is no technical support, no bug or security patches, and it makes no promise that version updates after Winter 17 will work at all.
I loved what Oculus chief technology officer John Carmack said in September 2014, “Samsung let us bypass Android development hell. I’ve got a lot of negative things to say about the Android development experience… Some of them are fundamental.” He was referring to Samsung’s commitment to keeping its Galaxy Class handsets up-to-date and also to adhere to certain standards that would allow developers to take advantage of Android’s latest features.
To be fair there are other manufacturers that provide some models with pure Android – Lenovo’s Moto, OPPO, and I am noticing more user Interfaces being lightened and designed as overlay apps rather than complete Android rewrites.
Google is even strongly rumoured to be developing its range of handsets to address fragmentation and security and that may be a game changer.
I don’t blame Salesforce at all – Android has too many legacy issues, and it cannot guarantee either the security or how it will perform on older devices. And I am sure we will see a lot of outrage as older iOS devices have version 10.x forced on them.