What Do Android L and iOS 8 Mean for Business?

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While Google and Apple hype the new design elements and salient changes in their newest operating system updates, Android L and iOS 8 respectively, it’s the behind-the-scenes features that most businesses care about. To that end, both Google and Apple threw IT and power users a bone this go-around, proving that the brains behind these once consumer-centric operating systems are paying attention to the consumerization trend.

Google Android LGoogle made overt strides, announcing native Office support for Google Docs and its new Android for Work platform. The former promises seamless Office to Google Doc file transfers with none of the tiny formatting and feature bugs and quirks that plague other Office alternatives, while the latter enables both corporate and personal applications to live on the same device as essentially two different buckets of apps, each with their own data sets.

In regards to Google’s seamless Office promise, at least one expert seems skeptical. Speaking with Brighthand sister site SearchConsumerization, Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst and founder of TECHnalysis Research in Foster City, California said, “True file format compatibility is tough because Microsoft owns that file format and I’m not sure they are going to be willing to share it all.” Also fueling skepticism is the fact that Microsoft is poised to bring fuller suite of Office apps to Android (basic Office Mobile is currently available), very similar to the Office apps currently available for the iPad.

Apple’s focused heavily on security with its iOS 8 enterprise announcements. According to SearchConsumerization, “Apple plans to bring new enterprise-centric features around security, management and productivity with enhancements for applications within iOS 8.” In addition, “Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes and Messages can be protected with a passcode, while Secure Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extensions users can encrypt individual messages for extra security.”

So what does this mean for business users? Most likely a more seamless smartphone experience between work and play, which means many users won’t even notice the improvements. For IT, however, it could alleviate large headaches centered on security and device management.

But that’s not all. Head over to SearchConsumerization to find out what Apple opening up its APIs and Touch ID means for business, as well as why Google turned to Samsung for help with Android for Work.

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