Android is the world's most popular mobile operating system. According to IDC, in 2015, Android dominated the smartphone market with a share of 82.8%. However, Android's share of the enterprise pie is only 32%. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few months with the introduction of Android Marshmallow and other initiatives by Google to encourage Android's enterprise adoption. Without much ado, let us delve into some of Marshmallow's key features which makes it a sweet option for enterprises.
Longer Battery Life to Get Work Done
In Marshmallow, Google introduced a new battery optimization feature called Doze. Simply put, if your phone has been inactive for 30 minutes, all non essential apps will no longer be able to access the network or prevent your phone from entering sleep mode and not even end notifications. What? Not even notifications? The key word here is non-essential app. You will still continue to receive notifications from your carrier and high priority apps.
The Doze feature also comes with a "maintenance window" when it will temporarily and allow apps to access the network for a breath of fresh data. Remember that this only improves the 'stand-by' time and if you tend to addictively reach out to your phone every few minutes, or if there is any sort of motion detected, the Doze mode is deactivated and the timer for 30 minutes of inactivity starts all over again.
Better Integration With "Android for Work"
Google introduced "Android for Work" to specifically encourage the adoption of Android in the enterprise. It comes with a suite of productivity applications focusing on security for data, apps and the device. The key features include the ability to create a separate work and personal profiles on a single device in a unified interface.
The Google Play for Work feature enables the IT team to manage internal business applications through Google’s app store. There are also other productivity apps such as Chrome for work, email, contacts, calendar, Docs, Sheets and Slides. Google is also integrating Microsoft Exchange support so that your work and personal emails from other providers are available in one single app.
In Marshmallow, by default, work profile notifications and app icons have a red briefcase so they’re easy to distinguish from personal apps. IT administrators and the device owner can also separately track data usage.
Enhanced Security for Enterprise Android
In Marshmallow, Google provides IT administrators more control with the ability to silently install updates on work applications, set-up non-editable WiFi configurations and disable or re-enable the status bar.
Marshmallow allows OEMs to turn on device encryption by default, or an IT administrator can do that remotely. It also integrates biometric access such as your fingerprint with a native API, which means all device on Marshmallow can benefit from this feature and not be at the mercy of the OEM's custom app. However, IT administrators can bypass this function and enforce a secure passcode in-line with their enterprise policy.
Typically, apps ask for permission to access your SD card, camera, GPS, contacts, SMS, call history, microphone among others. With Marshmallow, you now have granular permissions which allows users to agree to app permissions as and when they are needed instead of agreeing to a long list of permissions when the app is installed.
Last but not the least, Marshmallow enables VPN apps to be accessed in the device settings and enterprise VPNs can coexist with other VPN apps and services.
Better Mobile Experience with Marshmallow
App Linking: Google introduced this feature in Marshmallow so that you can open a web link from your browser directly into the pre-installed app rather than the mobile site. For instance, if your search result on your mobile browser leads to an answer on Quora, it will open the result in the Quora app, if you have that installed.
Apps BackUp: Remember all the time you spent on reinstalling apps and making them behave the way you like when you switched to a new Android device? That may well be history as Marshmallow now saves all your app and device data automatically to Google Drive. While some of these features have been around for a few years, they were not very well integrated. Google is now making it mandatory for app developers to use this feature unless they specifically opt out.
Adoptable Storage: Apps can quickly consume space on your device forcing you to monitor and uninstall apps periodically. With Marshmallow, you have an option to set your SD card as a portable storage (for files and media) or use it as an extension of your internal storage where you can still store your media but it acts as your primary storage.
Everyone loves Android, but with Marshmallow, the enterprise will love it too.
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