If your work requires you to use a BlackBerry to ensure secure information transfer, chances are good that you carry two phones – your Android or iPhone as your personal phone, and another BlackBerry as your “because my company said so” phone. Well, a new startup, called Enterproid (Enterprise + Android, get it?) is launching their new Divide platform for Android as a private beta to those of you that want to use your personal phone to carry out enterprise-related tasks. Divide basically installs a secure enterprise (business) profile on your Android smartphone, and allows you to switch between the two profiles with little more than a simple double-tap of the home button. The idea here is to endow your Android phone with the enterprise-class security features that businesses tend to require – ultimately allowing anyone to use their personal device as their work device.
Once you fire up your Divide-enabled Android phone, you’ll first be taken to your personal profile. This is your Android phone as you know it today. All your apps, all your email, all your photos and all your music are still accessible and completely free of any enterprise security policies. It’s your personal phone. But, should you need to fire off a work-related email, just double-tap on the home button to switch profiles, at which point you’ll have to enter a password to access the business profile (an added layer of security). You’ll notice that your work profile looks different from your personal profile – that’s because it is. Aside from the green-hued icons and UI trim, the work profile offers a default set of apps that are designed from the ground up with enterprise-class security in mind. From here, you can fire off your work email and then double-tap on the home button to go back to your regularly scheduled programming.
When you’re playing Angry Birds on your personal profile and you get a message or a text message on your work profile, you’ll see a little notification alerting you to your pending message. Tap that alert and you’ll automatically be whisked to the business profile. It’s that simple. Regardless of which profile you’re in, you’ll always get alerts and messages through the notification bar.
The email app is customized to support ActiveSync, which means that Exchange email server your company relies upon will work just fine in Divide. The email app also supports pinch-to-zoom, which is a subtle detail that should go a long way in making your work communications a little more convenient. There are also calendar, contacts, SMS text messaging, phone, and web browser apps – all designed to securely encrypt data. You can download and install regular Android apps on your business profile as well, but those apps are sandboxed and have no access to any of the encrypted data on your phone. And, for enterprises that need to use custom apps, Enterproid offers a custom SDK that allows developers to create Android apps that don’t compromise Divide’s security.
It works like this: you install Divide on your Android phone, configure your security settings, and configure your work-related email accounts. That’s it. Once installed, you’ll be able to start using your Android device of choice (as long as it’s running Android 2.2 Froyo OS or later) to start taking care of business. Your company doesn’t have to set up and deploy any server infrastructure or security software. Your IT department needs only log into the web-based console to manage device settings like enabling Exchange policies, enabling widgets on the homescreen, managing password unlock attempts, clipboard security, data wipes, and more. The management console even allows your IT guys to configure your device so that if your SIM card is removed, the debugger is enabled, or the phone somehow gets rooted, the device will automatically wipe all business data. Security is the name of the game here, folks.
But, don’t worry about your IT department messing around with your personal data. Divide makes sure that your company can’t touch your personal data. On the flip side, Divide offers a web management console for users, through which the user can choose to wipe enterprise data alone or wipe both personal and enterprise data altogether. Users can also locate their phone on a map – a feature that your IT department is blocked from using unless you give your explicit permission otherwise.
Divide is launching as a private beta for now. You can sign up for the beta trial, which is free, by the way, by heading on over to http://www.enterproid.com/. Go ahead, here’s your chance to one-up your IT department.