Over the last week or so, several announcements and stories came through that we didn’t cover in full articles. They’re definitely interesting and still worth mentioning, though, so today we’re doing a Friday mobility news roundup. In the news we have:
- Kindle Fire
- Surface RT
- Code42 SharePlan
- Citrix Crystal Place
The newest Kindle Fire has way better MDM capabilities
The Kindle Fire OS used to just support the basic mobile device management APIs that come with the core version of Android. (The Kindle Fire runs a modified version Android.) These MDM capabilities aren’t great, so some manufacturers (most notably Samsung) add extra management APIs into the customized versions of Android they use on their devices.
Amazon is joining the party now, too—the latest version of the Kindle Fire OS includes a few dozen custom MDM APIs. It looks like some of the new features include configuring WiFi, VPN, and proxy settings; Kerberos authentication; silent app installation and removal; the ability to restrict roaming, Bluetooth, and location services; and the ability to prevent a device from being removed from management.
Like other Android devices with custom management APIs, the capabilities available ultimately depend on what MDM vendors choose to implement in their agent apps. Check out press releases from AirWatch and Fiberlink for specific features they’ll be supporting. Citrix, Good, and SOTI will be providing support as well.
In addition to Nokia phones, Delta Airlines bought a bunch of Surface RT tablets
You might have seen a while back that Delta is using 19,000 Windows 8 Phones from Nokia to do their in-flight point of sale operations. Now they just announced that they’re buying 11,000 Surface 2 tablets running Windows RT to use as electronic flight bags. You can fill in your own joke about nobody wanting to use Surface RT tablets here.
The latest update for Mocana’s app wrapping tool is out
Mocana, one of the pioneers in app wrapping, just announced the latest version of MAP (Mobile App Protection). The latest version adds support for iOS 7, new single sign-on capabilities, and updates to Mocana’s Secure Enterprise Browser.
Code42 is entering the enterprise file syncing space
Code42, the company behind the well-known CrashPlan backup service, just announced a file syncing service called SharePlan. What’s interesting about SharePlan is that if you’re also using CrashPlan, it can just repurpose the data that already exists in backups and use it for syncing, sharing, and collaboration. It works across Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android, and is available in the cloud or on-premises. There’s a lot more information at the SharePlan website.
Citrix Labs is working on a sharing tool called Crystal Palace
A few days ago Citrite Adam Jaques tweeted at us about a Citrix Labs project called Crystal Palace. Crystal Palace can share URLs, files, and clipboard content across devices or to other contacts, apparently using ShareFile as the back end. I haven’t had a chance to try it out or talk to anyone about it yet, but I’m definitely curious.
BlackBerry finally admits that having a poor app selection is a problem
We all know things are looking bad for BlackBerry, and Computerworld reported that Gartner will soon be recommending that companies move on to other EMM platforms. What’s interesting is that in a recent regulatory filing, BlackBerry finally admitted that not having enough decent apps is contributing to their decline, just like we’ve all been saying for a long time.
UPDATE: Friday, October 4, 10:30am Pacific Time: A few more items came in from LG and Samsung. See below:
LG is apparently going to offer built-in work and personal separation
These week LG announced something called LG Gate to provide work and personal separation on their G2 phone. According to the press release, "Users can simultaneously run two operating systems on a single smartphone..."
Updates on Samsung KNOX availability
A while back somebody was asking me how to get their hands on Samsung KNOX (Samsung's built-in dual persona MAM solution), so I asked my PR contact their about the availability. I received this response today:
My question: Is there a standalone utility that can be used to configure the KNOX environment, available to individuals, without going through a third-party MDM provider—Like something similar to the iPhone configuration utility?
Answer from Samsung: The Galaxy Note 3 is the first device shipping with certain Knox features that can be enabled out of the box and without going through a MDM. These include the Knox container, TIMA & SE for Android. We do have a Device Configuration Tool that provides the ability to apply a number of different MDM policies on the device. (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/mobile/solution/others/device-configuration-tool) It's a simple Windows based utility that can push a set of IT Policies down to an individual device via USB. It currently does NOT support Knox container creation but does support a large swath of SAFE related MDM features.
My question: Is KNOX actually GA right now and available to use and manage with MDM providers? I just want to clarify in case I missed anything. If not, is there anything you can share on the timeframe of when it's going to be released? And which devices from Samsung will have KNOX capabilities?
Answer from Samsung: In the U.S., KNOX will be available on select carrier versions of the Galaxy Note 3 at launch (starting today). KNOX will also be supported on the Galaxy Note 10.1 - 2014 Edition. For the Galaxy S 4, the solutions will be available for U.S. enterprise customers through MDM sales channels at a later date.