Although Android currently reigns supreme when it comes to overall, worldwide smartphone market share, this doesn’t exactly hold true in all market segments. One key area in which Google’s mobile juggernaut is lacking is enterprise. This should come as no surprise, because the nearly limitless diversity available within the Android ecosystem can also lead to nearly limitless support headaches for IT staff.
For some time now, Android has been trying to court the enterprise world. Samsung has gained some enterprise market traction, thanks in part to their Knox technology, and Google’s switch to SELinux Enforcing in KitKat has helped as well with regards to security concerns. Similarly, Google’s recent Divide acquisition may signal Google’s interest in bringing Knox-like features to stock Android—but Knox-like features aren’t all that’s required to promote enterprise adoption.
In addition to on-device security management, enterprise support requires robust remote management tools. Android took its first steps towards remote management with the release of Android Device Manager last year. Now, remote management is taking another leap forward.
Announced earlier today on the official Google Enterprise Blog, Android will now cater to BYOD workplaces with several new remote management features. These include inactive account wipe, EAP-based WiFi network support, compromised device detection (read: root detection), and additional reporting fields (serial number, IMEI, MEID, WiFi MAC address, baseband version, kernel version, build number, mobile operator/carrier, language settings, and account ownership/management). While the “compromised device detection” component may not initially sit well with rooted users, it’s a necessary “evil” to ensure that Android devices are taken seriously in the enterprise world.
IT technicians looking to get in on the newly released enterprise features can do so by visiting the Google Admin console.
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