Can Droid Phones Take Care of Business?

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Security Capabilities Limited, Management Capabilities Nonexistent

The Droids also have limited security capabilities. Both let you set up "pattern" security to access the devices at startup or after they time out: You set a pattern of finger movements on the touchscreen that acts like a password would. (That's harder for a thief to guess than a traditional password.) And the Motorola Droid lets you store credentials on the device and set an alphanumeric password to manage them. And that's it. You can't set password strength requirements, enable remote wipe or auto-wipe after a specified number of failed access attempts, or control access to apps and Wi-Fi networks, as the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and BlackBerry devices can do. (The Touchdown app does let you set a four-digit PIN before making e-mail, appointments, and contacts available.)

And -- like the Palm Pre and Nokia Nx devices -- the Droids have no management capabilities, such as remote provisioning from a management console, which lets IT set up and manage users' devices without needing physical access to the device. BlackBerry and Windows Mobile have long had such capabiities. Although the iPhone dosn't have enterprise-level configuration capabilities, it does support e-mail and Web-based profiles that can be downloaded by the user for installation, as well as a management utility that lets IT administrators install such policies over a USB connection. That's much more than the Droids can do.

The bottom line is clear: If an IT organization considers the iPhone to be too unsecure or hard to manage, there's no way it could consider the Droids as supportable mobile devices.

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This story, "First look: Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Eris are risky for business," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in mobile, Google Android, iPhone, and Microsoft Exchange at

This story, "Can Droid Phones Take Care of Business?" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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