IT administrators now have one more way to delete Google business applications and data from personally-owned iPhones and iPads.
Google on Tuesday announced the availability of a new iOS Account Wipe feature that is designed to let administrators perform selective wipes of Google Apps data from IOS devices, while leaving personal data untouched.
Before, Google’s Remote Wipe capability for iOS only allowed administrators to do a complete wipe of an employee’s device. That capability will remain unchanged in addition to the availability of the new selective wipe feature, the company said in a blog update Wednesday.
In addition, Google has added new functionality to its Android Mobile Application Management (MAM) suite that the company announced in February along with its Android for Work program.
One of the new features lets administrators auto-install applications into an employee’s work profile. Another function prevents workers from uninstalling mandated applications from personal phones used in the workplace. Also new is a widget control feature that allows users to add widgets from approved applications to the Home screen.
The upgrades continue Google’s effort to deliver technologies designed to make it easier for businesses to manage Google Apps in their mobile environments. For mobile devices running Google’s latest Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system, the company currently offers a work profile feature for securely segregating work and personal applications. For users of older Android versions, Google has a separate Android for Work application that can be remotely managed by administrators.
Google is also developing an enterprise version of its Google Play app store that the company says will allow administrators to more easily stage and distribute approved applications on personally-owned Android devices.
As part of the Android for Work program. Google has partnered with several technology vendors on a range of enterprise mobility, device management and application management technologies for Android devices. The vendors that Google is currently working with under its Android for Work program include BlackBerry, Mass360, Sony, HTC, SAP and MobileIron.
Google’s attempts to build up its enterprise mobility management capabilities are designed to address security concerns over the rapidly proliferating use of personal smartphones and tablets in work environments. Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2017, more than half of all U.S. businesses will actually require employees to bring their own devices to work.
The trend is expected to create many new security problems for enterprises. The biggest concerns have to do with data leakage and data loss stemming from lost and stolen devices.
Numerous technologies are currently available to help organizations addresses such issues. Some products are designed to secure the device itself. Other tools offer secure application management capabilities, while some others give organizations a way to protect content on mobile devices.
Google’s Android for Work strategy is trying to address all three categories. Android is currently the most widely deployed mobile operating system in the world. So Google has a lot at stake in ensuring that enterprises that allow Android devices in the workplace have a way to exercise control over the environment while also giving users the flexibility to continue using the devices for personal purposes.