O Me, O My! Android O and Its Impact on the Enterprise
As the summer winds down, the next big wave of mobile OS updates is upon us — a seasonal trend that brings about excitement and positive change for both consumers and security leaders.
With Google Android O version 8.0 set for imminent release, we’ve lined up some new features to look out for in the context of the mobile enterprise to ensure that your IT team is well-prepared for what’s yet to come.
Significant Mobile Security Modifications
With billions of applications available in the Google Play Store, it is becoming harder for users and IT professionals to track and trust specific ones. By instituting stricter guidelines and developer review processes for public apps, Google has made it even easier for users to trust that their apps will function exactly as expected before downloading them. Daily scans of all apps with Google Play Protect can ensure that they remain enterprise-ready.
Furthering mobile app security, installs from external sources are now limited to user-authorized applications. In previous Android versions, a user would opt in or out of unknown source installs via the app settings. This makes it less likely that an unsafe app install could take place without the user’s knowledge or consent.
Also new with O, developers will be able to utilize a safe browsing application program interface (API). When enabled, a warning message is displayed to mobile users any time they click a potentially malicious URL.
Better Android Device Performance
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes on an Android, which can sometimes wear the battery down more quickly than users would like. To remedy this, Android O will reduce the number of processes that run simultaneously and limit location information collection, which will also improve boot performance.
In situations where two or more devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) can help associated users connect with one another to share data messages, pictures, videos and more with ease and speed.
An Improved User Experience
The Notification Channels feature will make it easier for users to stay on top of updates related to their everyday apps. The channels will be organized on a per-app basis, allowing for simple selection and effective management. This will be particularly useful for enterprise apps such as email, which are almost always in flux with new messages and invitations.
Icons are getting a face-lift as well. Some will appear differently in shape, size and construct, depending on developer preferences. Also, badges will now appear to display updates. When badges light up, users will be able to click and hold on any app icon to get a preview and additional context before actually tapping in.
Of course, multitasking changes are always welcome. O features a picture-in-picture (PIP) mode, which enables users to watch and listen to video content in the corner of the screen while working on something else.
Learn More About Android O
These are just a few of the new features to look out for, but there are plenty more that will impact the way you manage your Android devices at work. Prepare for the official release by joining IBM and Google for an upcoming webinar to preview Android O for the enterprise.