Google has boosted the security features on its Android operating system to allow stolen Android smartphones to be secured and reseted remotely.
Google said its new Google Apps Device Policy for enterprise users allows employees to quickly secure lost or stolen phones running Android 2.2 and up.
With the new version of the Google Apps Device Policy app, employees can quickly secure a lost or stolen Android 2.2+ device by locating it on a map, ringing the device, and resetting the device PIN or password remotely via the new My Devices website.
Android 2.2 and up is used on mobile phones, while Android 3.0 is for tablets, such as the Motorola Xoom. To make Android tablets more business friendly, Google Apps customers will now be able to require encrypted storage on tablets running Android 3.0.
The tablet encryption requirement is achieved through an API that lets administrators enforce policies such as encryption and the aforementioned PIN reset. As with Android phones, it appears that Android tablets will support software-level encryption but not the more robust hardware-level encryption.
The PIN reset and encryption features, as well as a new tool for looking up corporate contacts, will be rolled out to Google Apps business and education customers.
Managing multiple types of devices will be key for any mobile management platform because the smartphone market is not dominated by any one single vendor.