The Motorola Atrix is the first in a new generation of smartphones that aims to replace your PC, but a recent post makes me wonder about how realistic that is.
The Atrix is an Android smartphone that can dock to an external monitor and keyboard to provide a PC-like working experience.
When docked, Atrix runs the desktop version of the Firefox 3.6 browser, allowing you to access cloud services available for your PC or Mac.
While the idea of replacing your desktop with a smartphone is exciting and becoming more realistic, a post yesterday makes me think the Atrix isn't going to be the solution.
InfoWorld blogger Galen Gruman says the Atrix is a step in the direction, but only a "half-step."
It might work for PC users who use web-based apps like Google Docs or Office 365 but, says Gruman, "If your computing needs are greater than that, the Atrix is not enough."
But the real problem appears not to be the hardware of the Atrix, but its Android operating system's security.
"A long-standing strike against the Android OS is its poor security," Gruman says. "The standard Android OS doesn't support on-device encryption, and it supports only the most basic of Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) security policies. By contrast, with the enhancements made in iOS 4, the iPhone has become one of the most securable mobile devices available, second only to the RIM BlackBerry."
This is the first time time I've come across a mention of an encryption limitation with Android devices.
Encryption was added to the latest version of Android, Honeycomb, which is version 3.0. However, Android 2.2, the current version used in smartphones, does not allow for encryption that is built right into the phone--unlike the iPhone and BlackBerry.
For advisors, this could be a major obstacle to using Android smartphones, since some states have passed laws requiring you stores data about clients using encryption.
If you are using an Android phone and have come across this issues, please post a comment. I'll try to get more facts about this issue in the meantime.