Google increases Apps admin control over mobile devices

Apps admins now can configure devices to require that data be encrypted or automatically erase their data after a certain number of failed log-in attempts

Google has increased the controls that Apps administrators have over their end users' iPhone, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices, the company announced on Tuesday.

The new features are intended to make more secure the access of Apps applications and data via mobile devices, which are often lost, misplaced, and stolen.

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Now, Google Apps administrators can require that data on the device be encrypted, nix the use of old passwords, and force users to change passwords after a predetermined amount of time.

They can also turn off the phone's camera, block data synchronization to cut down on roaming charges, and configure the device to wipe off its data after a preset number of failed log-in attempts.

The new administration features are available in the Premier and Education editions of Apps, a hosted collaboration and communication suite that includes email, calendar, office productivity, and intranet applications.

Earlier this year, Google Apps administrators gained the ability to erase all data from mobile devices, lock them after a specified period of inactivity and establish requirements for device passwords, such as a specific length and use of certain characters, like capital letters and numbers.

Google plans to extend its Apps mobile administration features to other devices later this year, including the company's own Android platform.

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