Microsoft's February Intune update adds new Android management features

Microsoft is moving to a monthly update schedule with its Intune mobile-device-management service, starting in February 2015.

Microsoft is starting to roll out its next update for its Intune mobile-device-management service starting today, February 6, which includes new features for Android devices.

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As of this update, Microsoft is moving to a regular, monthly update basis with Intune, according to a February 6 blog post detailing the new features in the latest release.

In December 2014, Microsoft rolled out a number of Intune updates designed to assist with management of Office mobile apps on iOS.

The February 2015 Intune update, which Microsoft will be rolling out to users between February 6 and February 11 includes new functionality for managing Office mobile apps on Android devices.

The February update includes the following standalone (a k a "cloud only") features:

  • Management of Office mobile apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) for Android devices, including ability to restrict actions such as copy, cut, and paste outside of the managed app ecosystem
  • Management of the OneNote app for iOS devices. Note: Management of Office mobile apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) on iOS devices was made available in December 2014
  • Ability to browse and install apps on Windows Phone 8.1 devices using Intune Company Portal website
  • Deployment of WiFi profiles for Windows devices using XML import and Windows Phone devices using OMA-URI (deployment of WiFi profiles currently supported for iOS and Android devices)
  • Support for Cisco AnyConnect per-app VPN configurations for iOS devices
  • Ability to require encryption on Windows 8.1 (x86) devices
  • Ability to set minimum classification of platform updates to be installed automatically on Windows 8.1 (x86) devices

The post noted that Intune users also will receive conditional access capabilities for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business "over the next few weeks."

Intune is a key component of Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS), as well as a standalone device-management service. Microsoft is touting its ability to lock down not just devices, but also the files and data on mobile devices, as its selling point for its mobile-management offerings.

Microsoft is advising customers to watch the ConfigMgr blog to find out when those using System Center Configuration Manager integrated with Intune will get these new capabilities.