Today's announcement by the Commonwealth Bank is good news if you're a tablet or phone user that doesn’t want to join the Apple club.
iPhone and iPad users have often been first in line when it comes to new types of apps, but there's good news today for anyone who's not an Apple user.
The Commonwealth Bank today opened its arms to Android and Windows Phone 7 users, with new apps for both, as well as a tablet friendly site for the Blackberry Playbook.
The NetBank tablet app includes the same functions for Android and iPad, allowing users to check balances, transfer money and pay bills. For certain functions like scheduling payments, you'll still need to go to the bank's Internet banking site.
While admitting there are still challenges with "different flavours" of Android devices, bank representatives said they wanted to be "device agnostic".
It's a good sign if you're considering a non-Apple phone or tablet. Up till now, various banks have launched Android, Windows Phone 7 and iPad apps, but a public commitment from the Commonwealth that iPhone users won't be getting special treatment is reassuring.
The phone app is actually more elaborate than the tablet version. Called Commbank, the phone app has been updated for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone 7. The app lets you do the same functions as with NetBank, plus it includes CommSec, the CommBank Property Guide, foreign exchange converter, and shows on a map the nearest ATM and bank branch.
The app connects to the Commonwealth's Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter account.
The Commonwealth's records show a 347% increase in page views on the bank's version of its site optimised for mobile devices since September 2010. The number of NetBank logons from iPads increased from 50,000 to more than 140,000 from September last year to June this year.