Despite these workarounds, the bottom line is that Android OS can't do the job in a corporate Exchange environment, unlike Windows Mobile and BlackBerry (which have supported these policies for years) and even the iPhone (which has supported them for a year). And I don't mean high-security policies -- at InfoWorld, our Exchange administrators require only two basic EAS policies to be adhered to, and Android 2.2 can't even do that.
Last fall, I criticized Apple for not letting users know a bug in iPhone OS 3.0 caused its smartphones to lie to Exchange about the EAS policies it supported, allowing some devices onto corporate networks that shouldn't have been granted access. Apple's sin was of not owning up to the flaw so that users could take remedial action until the software was fixed. That was passively dishonest.
Google's sin is much worse: Google, its carriers, and its hardware makers claim without qualification that Android supports Exchange, knowing that it in fact does not fully do so. The Android developer forum on Google.com is full of complaints about this unmet support and has been for some time. Google's staff replies basically amount to "We hear you and have it on our list." This is actively dishonest. Shame on them all.
If you're looking for a smartphone to use at work, forget the advertising and marketing claims. The truth is that you have three viable options: a BlackBerry, an iPhone (though not for highest-level security needs), and a Windows Mobile device. Although Google and its Android allies talk up Exchange support, the truth is that Android is a couple years behind Apple and a decade behind Microsoft and RIM in corporate Exchange support. That means Android is fine for personal use -- and for personal use only.
This article, "Android in business? Don't be fooled," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Gruman et al.'s Mobile Edge blog and follow the latest developments in mobile computing at InfoWorld.com.