Google yesterday announced a mobile management tool for its Google Apps cloud suite that finally adds Android devices to what its Google Apps cloud productivity and communications suite can manage. the solution involves new capabilities in Google Apps, Android OS 2.2, and a downloadable client app, the Google Apps Device Policy app.)
Google Apps has supported BlackBerry, Apple iOS, and Windows Mobile devices. That's a big deal coming from a provider of a mobile OS -- Android -- whose native security and management capabilities are poor. As Google pushes for businesses and governments to get rid of Microsoft Exchange and Office in favor of the cloud-hosted Google Apps, it needs to take mobile management and security seriously, given how prevalent mobile access has become.
But what Google is actually doing is basic, tapping into some security and management APIs introduced in Android OS 2.2. In essence, there's now a connector between Google Apps and Android. Via corporate Gmail, Google Apps uses, ironically, the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol (EAS) to manage EAS-savvy devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Windows Mobile devices, as well as Android 2.2 devices that have EAS-savvy clients such as NitroDesk's Touchdown or Motorola's Corporate Email app installed. Gmail also provides a software connector for BlackBerry devices that works through Research in Motion's BlackBerry Enterprise Server, as well as an unrelated client on BlackBerry devices using Google technology .
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