Back in October last year, I wrote about an interesting web service called Bitrix24. Basically, it’s a project management service and allows for teams to assign tasks, track progress and discussion. It’s also a platform for interaction between employees — in other words, a social intranet for companies.
Today, almost every cloud service is accompanied by some sort of mobile platform for easier access on the move; and Bitrix24 is no different. In this review, we’ll take a look at their free Android application which is available from Google Play. What’s more, we’ll also be giving away 25 Bitrix Startup licenses, and a HTC Butterfly!
Bitrix24’s Startup account is an exclusive customised account that’s only available through this giveaway, designed to offer the best of their Basic and Professional accounts, which is perfect for small companies and teams. Here’s what it includes:
- Up to 12 users
- 5GB of online storage
- Social communication tools
- Task and project features
- Calendar tools
- Files & documents sharing features
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Time management tools
- Meeting tools
- The ability to use your own domain name
- The license is valid for 12 months, at the end of which your options are to either downgrade to the free Basic plan or to upgrade to the Professional plan and receive a 50% lifetime discount on your subscription.
Bitrix24 for Android
In order to use Bitrix24’s free Android application, you’ll need an existing Bitrix24 account, which means signing up for the service. Their Basic plan is free, so sign up to give it a go. After you’ve registered for an account, download the free Android app from Google Play and log in with your credentials.
The Bitrix24 Android app represents the cloud version quite closely. As soon as you log in, you’ll be presented with the Activity Stream, which is basically an overview of everything that’s going on i.e. recently created tasks, projects, events and discussions.
The notification bar at the top of the screen will alert you of any unread chat messages, and any tasks requiring your attention. As you can clearly see in the screenshot below, I’ve just been assigned a new task by The Boss which I can quickly tend to. According to the app’s description on Google Play, notifications are pushed, but I didn’t manage to receive any outside of the application, while testing on a Nexus 4 running 4.2.2.
The sidebar can be invoked either by tapping on the sidebar button or by swiping right, and allows you to quickly explore other sections of Bitrix24, as you would on the cloud platform. During testing, the app loaded each section smoothly, albeit with a slight access time of around 3 seconds. Since the app retrieves the data from Bitrix24’s servers, the wait time is dependant on their server load as well as your mobile data speed. As far as I know, the app doesn’t store any data locally.
The Bitrix24 Android application is designed to enable its user to access most of the features found on the cloud platform. At its core, the app provides the means to track and assign tasks as well as events on the go. So we’ll take a closer look at those features.
The Tasks section provides an overview of the various tasks assigned to you and by you. Overdue tasks are identified by a red label.
Much like the cloud platform, assigning new tasks on the mobile app is a very simple and time-efficient process. However, the only thing holding it back is the way deadlines are inserted.
As you can see in the below screenshot, the Deadline field is highlighted and the keyboard is currently displaying an alphabetical layout. To me, this is pretty counterintuitive because date formats vary from country to country. For example, 11/3/2013 would be interpreted as 3 November 2013 in the US, whereas in Australia it’s read as 11 March 2013. A calendar will work better here.
Speaking of calendars, the Bitrix24 Android app can integrate your company’s calendar on Bitrix24 with the calendar on your Android device. Personally, two-way calendar syncing is a convenient feature that I highly appreciate.
When creating a new event, you may also opt to be reminded, or add locations as well as attendees. Again, the process is quite streamlined.
However, when selecting the start and end date for the event, I’m presented with a date scroller. This works slightly better than a keyboard, but is still less efficient than an actual calendar, which I would have preferred.
Lastly, we mustn’t forget that Bitrix24 is also a social intranet which can be used to promote employee interaction. The mobile application includes a chat feature as well as the ability to share updates and photos.
In conclusion, I feel that the Bitrix24 Android app is a good accompaniment to the cloud platform. Use it to compliment but not replace, the web version.
In order for your to enjoy this application, we’re giving away 25 Bitrix24 Startup licenses, and a HTC Butterfly. So join the giveaway to be in the running to win!
How do I win a free Bitrix24 Startup account and the HTC Butterfly?
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This giveaway begins now and ends Friday, March 22nd. The winners will be selected at random and informed via email.
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