Google Apps Expands Mobile Device Controls

Securing corporate data on mobile devices just got a bit easier for Google Apps admins.

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Administrators for Google Apps Premier and Education editions on Tuesday were granted new powers over their companies' mobile devices.

Building upon enterprise support capabilities introduced last year and in February for BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, and Windows Mobile devices, Google has added six new mobile device management options to help IT administrators secure corporate data.

The added capabilities include: requiring devices to use data encryption; auto-wiping devices after a set number of failed password entry attempts; disabling the device's camera; ensuring that old passwords are not reused; requiring password changes after a set period of time; and disabling data synchronization when roaming to reduce data charges.

These settings can be accessed through the Mobile tab, under the Service Settings menu in the Google Apps control panel.

In February, Google added the following options for mobile devices: the ability to remotely wipe data; the ability to lock idle devices after a set period of inactivity; the ability to require a password; minimum length requirements for passwords; and the ability to set other password requirements, like the inclusion of specific letters, numbers, and punctuation.

In the ">blog post announcing the new options, Google software engineer Dale Woodford said that the company continues to work to enhance its device management options and to expand its list of supported devices.

The most significant addition to that list will be Android devices, which will be supported later this year, Woodford said.

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