The Commonwealth Bank rolled out its long-anticipated iPad app today, but there’s also a bunch of other mobile banking goodies on offer: new versions of its iPhone and Android apps, a Windows Phone 7 app, a tablet-optimised mobile site and the promise of additional platforms in the future.
Whichever platform you choose, you will end up in a browser-based system for transactions. That’s the same stance the Commonwealth has taken in earlier discussions of the issue of native apps versus mobile browsers, and its argument remains the same: using a browser means updates are easier and platforms without an app also get some support. As chief marketing and online officer Andy Lark explained at the press launch for the new releases:
Our intent is to build platforms across the way the live their lives, not just develop a one-size fits all model where you have to use an app. We’ll have HTML5 as well as native apps. We think both strategies have an equal play.
Larkin also explained how Windows Phone 7 had jumped forward in the development queue ahead of more widely used mobile OSes such as BlackBerry and Symbian, promising that there would be versions addressing those platforms in the future:
On our radar, Windows Phone 7 is very small at the moment but we’re able to extend our reach by offering another device. We’re certainly looking at all devices on our roadmap. The opportunity came up to work with the WP7 guys through our Microsoft partnership, so we rook it. Long-term we want to be device agnostic.
The tablet apps draw on a special, tablet-optimised version of the site. That can also be accessed on other tablet devices such as the PlayBook.)
The Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 apps incorporate a native foreign exchange calculator and an ATM locator, and the revised iOS app also includes the existing AR-enhanced property guide. If you give the new apps a spin on any platform, tell us your thoughts in the comments.