Android gets enterprise-grade email app

Good Technology has released apps for Android and the iPhone, offering secure data capabilities to users of Google's mobile platform for the first time
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Enterprise mobile application company Good Technology has released secure productivity software for the iPhone and Android, including the first remotely wipeable email client for Google's mobile platform.

The Good for Enterprise apps, comprising secure email, calendar and contacts, were announced on Monday. The apps themselves are free, but only work with paid-for Good for Enterprise server software.

"There is no denying that Android devices are some of the hottest devices on the market right now," Good Technology marketing chief John Herrema said in a statement. "Over the next year, we expect to see even more demand for secure access to enterprise data and applications from a wide variety of Android devices, including smartphones and netbooks."

The Android and iPhone applications encrypt and isolate enterprise data from personal data held on the handset, which makes it possible to wipe enterprise data without affecting the user's other data and applications. IT managers can manage all their users' handsets from a web-based console.

The iPhone has seen adoption in the enterprise over the last couple of years, partly because it offers on-device encryption and remote wipe capabilities — functionality that Google's Android platform has not had until now.

However, according to Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi, Good Technology's new application does not mean Android has become enterprise-ready.

"At the moment, [Android] is changing so rapidly that enterprises might be sitting on the fence and waiting for it to get to a level of maturity that is enough for them to consider deploying it throughout their organisation," Milanesi told ZDNet UK on Tuesday. "That level of maturity is not there yet."

The analyst said no Android device had yet appeared that was as "iconic" as the iPhone, reducing Android's attraction within the enterprise and thus limiting demand for specific software.

"Although you will have some consumers that will try to take [an Android phone] into the enterprise, it's definitely not the kind of thing that we've seen with the iPhone," Milanesi said. "As far as Google is concerned, the consumer space is what they're after — the devices are definitely more consumer-oriented."

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