This week, Google have announced a small number of improvements to the Google Apps team designed to smoothen the mobile device management process. Google Apps, or Google Apps for Work, is the name given to the applications bundled up into a premium collection, which may be used for business purposes. It includes Google Drive (plus Docs, Sheets and Slides, which provide seamless support for Microsoft Office documents), Gmail (and now Inbox), Hangouts including the video conferencing functionality, Calendar, Forms and Sites, plus others. Google's services are accessible and available on a wide range of platforms including Android and iOS. Today's announcement improves both experiences on these two platforms. Google's blog states that the improvements are scheduled for a rapid release but then a gradual rollout.
To detail the improvement to Google Apps for Work for iOS first, here Google have introduced iOS Account Wipe (or Selective Wipe). This allows Google Apps administrators to safely delete a corporate account from a user iPhone or iPad without impacting any personal data on the device, such as the address book or photographs. The new feature complements the existing Remote Wipe functionality, which will destroy all days on the device and is used should the iPhone or iPad be lost or stolen. Google's improved service means that when an employee leaves the business, his or her device does not need to be completely wiped.
The team have introduced a small number of changes to the Android Mobile Application Management, or MAM, service. The enhancements are designed to simplify and accelerate the process of getting a new user device up and running. Google are enabling the ability to automatically install applications into an employee's Work Profile and allowing the administrator to block the uninstallation of certain applications, too. This should encourage employees to stay productive on the go! Google are also adding a toggle to control the ability for the user to use a widget from this application on the home screen, which could be a useful security measure. The Google Apps Device Policy application is also being updated to show more information about the device being used to access the Word Profile, including the unknown sources status, developer options status, and domain names of other accounts added to the Work Profile).