At this year's CTIA Enterprise & Applications, the biggest theme was Android invading businesses, which is why we saw a flood of companies showing off apps, services, and accessories to make Google's OS more secure and manageable. But we also saw some pretty cool consumer products, including 5 new Android phones for AT&T alone and a fun remote control car you can steer with your iPhone.
After meeting with many companies and seeing lots of demos, these are the six products that rose to the top, earning LAPTOP's Best of CTIA Fall 2011 award.
Best Smartphone: Motorola Atrix 2
The Motorola Atrix 2 delivers a larger and crisper 4.3-inch screen than its predecessor inside a design that's refreshingly light and compact. Coming to AT&T for a very reasonable $99, this handset features a snappy dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p video recording, and compatibility with the new Lapdock A100. With that notebook-like accessory you'll be able to surf the full web using Motorola's webtop software and the Firefox browser.
Best Consumer App: Postcard on the Run
Sharing photos on Facebook is so 2010. Postcard on the Run makes photos personal again by letting you send a postcard right from your iPhone or Android device with a few taps.
You can send a postcard to multiple people at the same time, and the app's ingenious Postal Gopher feature will automatically find addresses not in your contact list. You can sign with a finger, and scented cards are coming soon, truly bridging the digital and physical worlds in a fun and easy way.
Best Business App: Enterproid Divide
A lot of companies are trying to figure out ways to lock down Android, and Enterproid has found a way for users to enjoy their devices without compromising security. This app gives users separate profiles for work and play on the same device, and you can switch back forth with just a double tap of the home button.
The work profile is not only fully encrypted, it also features a robust e-mail client that includes server-side searches. IT departments will also appreciate the remote management capabilities, which includes apps.
Best Enterprise Product: Verizon Mobile Unified Communications Client
Now medium to large business can let their employees use their Android phone as their desk phone, as well as get PBX functionality away from the office. Verizon's Mobile Unified Communications Client ($7 per user per month) enables users to dial extensions, access office contacts and voicemails, as well as easily set up conference calls.
When you're on the go, you can decide whether to use your corporate or personal number when dialing. The well-designed $125 docking station is compatible with IP PBX systems from Avaya and Cisco.
Best Emerging Tech: Myriad Alien Dalvik 2.0
Seeing Android apps running on an iPad is impressive, but where Myriad is going is even more exciting. The company's Alien Dalvik 2.0 platform allows Android apps to run on multiple types of devices, whether it's a set-top box, TV, or an in-car or in-flight entertainment system.
Dalvik can run almost completely in the cloud, but it can also be ported to virtually any OS to run natively. Don't be surprised to see Android apps showing up on all sorts of gear by early next year.
Best Car Tech: Cadillac Cue
And you thought Ford Sync was cool. The new Cadillac User Experience combines an easy-to-use touchscreen interface, customizable instrument clusters, and fun apps like Pandora to take in-car infotainment to the next level.
The system integrates haptic feedback so you won't miss the feel of old-fashioned buttons, and it's smart enough to present limited options when you're driving but more of them when a hand approaches the screen. Add in sophisticated voice recognition from Nuance and you may never leave your car again.