With the US release of the first Android 4 "Ice Cream Sandwich" devices expected in December, more Android devices are likely to head into the enterprise as strong customer adoption and emerging enterprise capabilities begin to break down the barriers that have kept Android largely out of business use, says Ojas Rege, products vice president at mobile device management (MDM) tool provider MobileIron. To address that trend, MobileIron today released version 4.5 of its MobileIron MDM tool.
MDM manages according to IT policies
MobileIron 4.5 provides single-console support for Android devices, managing the multiple permutations of that platform and their varying capabilities. IT sets access and usage policies, and the MobileIron MDM figures out which devices comply, as well as manages their corporate email and other access according to the policies designated by IT.
The new version also adds support for Android 4, tapping into its security and management APIs. Additionally, MobileIron supports the Android 3.x "Honeycomb" OS used in tablets and the Android 2.2 "Froyo" and Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" OSes used in smartphones. In addition, it supports the extra security and management capabilities such as certificate support and on-device encryption found in Samsung's Galaxy smartphones. Android 3 and 4 also support encryption, and they can be managed via MobileIron, though not all Android 4 devices will have the necessary hardware support to enable it.
Cisco VPN access, Bluetooth, Exchange
In addition, MobileIron enables Cisco AnyConnect VPN access, Exchange configuration certificates, and policy-based controls for the camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth on Samsung's Galaxy Note and Galaxy S II smartphones and its Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 tablets. Samsung has modified Android to add these capabilities to these four devices and has partnered with MobileIron to manage them. Rege says that Cisco AnyConnect VPN support will be added in MobileIron's MDM tool for HTC's Android devices at a future date. He also expects MobileIron to support 3LM's security API extensions for Android, which are planned for release in early 2012.
MobileIron's MDM server also supports iOS and BlackBerry OS devices.