App Review: Good for Enterprise, Bad for Everybody Else

Lotus Notes faces new competition in the category of Worst Piece of Software and it comes in the form of the Good For Enterprise mobile app.

I used to think Lotus Notes was the worst software I’d ever have to use, but then I met the “Good for Enterprise” mobile app . It’s not just the countless bugs and poorly thought out UI design, it’s the audacity of this app being marketed as “Good” when it’s only a few scratches above “terrible” that really grinds my gears.

Imagine having to use Lotus Notes as your desktop mail client combined with the “Good” app on your iPhone! Can you imagine a happier place to work?

The only “Good” you’ll find is that you won’t be getting your work emails.

Wear eye protection folks, the “Good” app might cause the uncontrollable urge to stab your own eye with a pen.

For the corporate warriors out there who have just been released from the shackles of Blackberry, you know of what I speak. Today, corporate IT departments across the land are forcing the “Good” app upon legions of smartphone users to send and receive work emails. You want to check your work email on an iPhone, don’t you dare open the Mail app that comes with the iPhone! No sir, you must use the “Good” app.

Why is the “Good” app so bad? Well, for one don’t expect any sort of real-time delivery of your emails. The one “Good” part of the delayed delivery is that people might finally find themselves unchained from their corporate inboxes! The number of new messages which is displayed on the app icon is perpetually stuck on a number that is anything but the real number of unread messages in your inbox. Got an iPhone 5? Have fun with the “Good” app. It’s been almost 5 months since the release of the iPhone 5 and “Good” still hasn’t updated their app to use the new full screen length!!  As William Shakespeare once said “that shit is whack!”.

The worst part of the whole “Good” experience is how bad it looks next to iPhone Mail app (using Exchange ActiveSync integration). Say what you want about Apple Maps, but the Mail client on the iPhone integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Exchange mail servers and gives you near real time mail notifications and rarely crashes or causes any hiccups. Next to the “Good” app, the iPhone’s Mail app feels as capable as the software that landed Curiosity on Mars .

The fact the “Good” app is not only still in business, but actually thriving in adoption is a testament to the void in mobile device management (MDM) being felt in corporate IT with the demise of Blackberry.  Companies force their employees to use “Good” because unlike the native iPhone app, the Good app encrypts all of its data and ensures that it can’t fall into the wrong hands if the phone is stolen, jailbroken or sync’ed with other computers. In that sense, “Good for Enterprise” is actually a great way to describe this app.

“Good” is almost bad enough to make you want your Blackberry back. But, it’s the price we end-users are going to pay until real MDM capabilities are built into the major smartphone platforms of today. As I wrote last week, our saving grace might come from Microsoft and their Windows Phone 8 platform . The world has truly changed when we see Microsoft not as the villain, but the shining white knight galloping towards us to rescue us from the clutches of this “Good” app.

About Bobby Gill

I am the creator of Bahndr, founder of New York based app development lab, Blue Label Labs and editor at Idea to Appster. I like crepes and I am fascinated by big data.

  • TWG

    Bobby Gill – this is not a very good review and you clearly do not know how Good works. To address a few of your points that “make Good so bad” – real time delivery – works fine in our enterprise – but don’t forget iOS cannot multi-task – so can only donwload the messages when you open the app – in the same way that the eBay app only downloads messages when you open the app – in the same way that all iOS apps only do something when you have them actually open! Regarding the message indicator – this is number of new messages received by the handset since you last used the app. Much better way of doing it. Most busy enterprise customers (which is where this product is targeted) don’t have the luxury of having their inbox clear, uncluttered and with no unread messages. Most people have lots and lots of unread messages. So if Good showed you the ACTUAL number of unread messages – lets say 107 – and then a new message came in and it went to 108 – would the busy end user actually remember that they did have 107 unread messages – now they have 108 and so there is a new message to maybe look at – NO THEY WOULDN’T – but if that indicator was always showing new messages since you last checked your mail – that would be much more helpful – and it is!

    Finally – I would strongly recommend that you try Good on an Android device and rather than blame an software developer for poor software actually look at the root cause and blame the developer of the operating system (iOS) for being so poor in the 21st Century. Good works even better on Android – true multi-tasking and integration with other apps (and don’t forget WP8 is almost as locked down as iOS and fails miserably at multi-tasking also!)

    Oh and as for the iPhone 5 – worked fine for me and I had an iPhone 5 the day it was released.

    Finally – you do actually hit the nail on the head in your own review – this is GOOD FOR ENTERPRISE – not GOOD FOR LITTLE JOHNNY’S 5 MAN BAND, HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW, WITH NO INTEREST IN DATA PROTECTION.

    • Michael Knowfler

      I would warn any IT organization to do a real user pilot before purchasing Good. We did that and it saved us from making a very costly mistake. Our pilot consisted of about 500 users over 3 months. The user reviews that came back were horrendous. App crashes, latent email, badge issues, just to name a few. I am also uncomfortable with the Good NOC as a single point of failure for messaging. BES admins just try and remember when the RIM NOC goes down and all the calls you get. I give Good my lowest rating of epic failure.

      • Ramesh Zee

        Good on Android is much better. There are two widgets that show Calendar and latest emails. True push email works. The closest you can get to replacing a blackberry.
        Due to encryption, even top end Android devices like S3 and One x can becomd slow. So there is scope for improvement. But hands down better than the sme app working on iOS.

    • Chip James

      Ii disagree about the unread messages display. I’m most concerned about how many and which messages have been communicated to me but I have not read, regardless whether they came the last time I opened the app. I think this is the only mail/messaging app I’ve ever heard of that shows the number of unread messages THIS SESSION rather than total unread messages.

    • Andrew

      You obviously don’t know very much about Android applications.

      Apart from the fact it works more reliably on Android due to multi-tasking, that is where the “goodness” ends.

      It is a terribly designed application, and do you know why? Its because it is just an untouched port of the iPhone application.

      It is detestable in every way. Of course they don’t care about the end users, just counting the cash while large Enterprises are stupid enough to force it upon their users. They won’t be around long in software terms unless they start listening to people – that bloody mindedness is the same kind we saw from BlackBerry, and 90% of my customers are now ditching BB for Android/Apple.

      But then listen to you, “I had an iPhone 5 of the day of release”.

      I bet you’re one of those “entitled” that believes your company should have the newest iPhone in your hand on the day of release.


      Good for enterprise follow none of the Apple or Android design guidelines, like you say: “Here today, gone tomorrow”.

  • Alexey Zhdanov

    Very unrecommended application! A don’t agree to make a choice between camera or e-mail!!!

  • John Tetreault

    Absolutely HATE (no)GOOD. Company I work for switched to this abomination… Well, my Android phone (that I bought as a non-locked down, un-rooted phone) won’t work with the way the overly paranoid IT guys have locked down the provisioning on the app…. Won’t allow a rooted device… which makes no sense really, since rooted or not has no impact on their app… anyways, I guess the only GOOD thing that has come out of it is until they allow a rooted device to work, I have a legitimate excuse to not answer corporate emails after hours…. I’m free! I’m free! (But GOOD really should remove the capability for IT to restrict a rooted device…. no reason for it.