The Google Enterprise blog has a post tonight about some new features being unveiled that should assuage some of the critics who discount the security of using Google Apps on a mobile device.
The new features permit corporate IT policies to be enforced from the customer's Google Apps console across different mobile devices with the exception of Android smartphones, which will eventually have similar features.
It seems ironic not to include the Nexus One and other Android devices. But we have our own speculation why the Nexus One and other Android devices are not a part of this feature upgrade. Google has made it clear that the next version of the Nexus One will be an enterprise smartphone. We expect these features and more to be a part of this upcoming Nexus One device.
We sought clarification on the matter this evening but have not yet heard back from a Google spokesperson.
According to the post, Google Apps Premier and Education Edition administrators may manage iPhones, Nokia E series and Windows Mobile devices from the Google Apps administrative control panel.
The service allows administrators to:
- Remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices.
- Lock idle devices after a period of inactivity.
- Require a device password on each phone.
- Set minimum lengths for more secure passwords.
- Require passwords to include letters, numbers and punctuation.
These are all security features that are cited as necessary for acceptance in the enterprise.
The new features follow enhancements made last year, including the Google Apps Connector for Blackberry Enterprise Server. On Android devices, Google announced new Web versions of GMail and Google Calendar. Google Docs was also updated.
Last year, the company also released Google Sync for iPhone, Nokia E Series and Windows Mobile devices. enabling Google Apps users to access and sync mail, calendar, and contacts from their mobile device to the Google cloud.