Consumer device mobile operating system features: A BYOD admin's guide

Guide to consumer mobile operating system features

Managing all the mobile devices that employees bring into the enterprise is no small task. Apple, Google, Microsoft and Research in Motion all have their fingers in the mobile device pot. That means you're faced with tons of different mobile OS features and management tools with different functions.

If you've been hoping that someone would put all the resources you need to manage consumer devices and mobile operating system features in your organization, then you're in luck. This guide to consumer mobile device platforms covers the issues with and the management options from the big players in the mobile device market.

Table of contents:

A guide to enterprise iOS management

Apple's iPhone and iPad are sleek, hip, in-demand devices, but they can be hard for IT to manage.

When the devices first came out, they didn't have much going for them in the way of enterprise features. But since iPhones and iPads have made their way into businesses, Apple has heard your cries for iOS management capabilities and made some strides.

With the iPhone Configuration Utility, mobile device management (MDM) application program interfaces (APIs) for iOS, Apple Configurator and some new iOS 6 features that have IT in mind, iOS management is slowly getting easier. But it's not a breeze yet. Until the day that managing 1,000 iPads is a snap, consult this guide to enterprise iOS management.

Android device management: What you need to know

Most mobile devices out there in user-land run some version of Google's Android operating system. But that doesn't mean the OS is perfect for the enterprise.

When it first came out, the Android operating system was without very many enterprise features and the devices were geared towards consumers. In recent iterations of the OS, however, Google has added some better Android device management capabilities. Despite the move toward a happy enterprise/Android friendship, application malware and security concerns persist.

But allowing Androids in your company isn't necessarily out of the question. Take a look at the issues you could run into and check out the OS-native and third-party ways you can guard against those problems.

Windows mobile devices in the enterprise

Mobile devices from Windows aren't as popular among consumers as iOS and Android devices are, but that doesn't mean you should count them out.

A lot of Windows mobile devices have business features, such as a targeted app distribution program, Information Rights Management compatibility, physical keyboards and the enterprise-grade software Microsoft is famous for.

It's up to you and your IT department to determine whether Windows mobile devices are right for your company. As more Windows 8 devices crop up, that decision could get harder. This guide to Windows mobile devices can help.

BlackBerry 10 OS and Mobile Fusion guide

Research In Motion has had a tough time over the past few years, to say the least. But a handful of business users are still toting BlackBerry smartphones, and the company has some new products on the horizon.

BlackBerry 10 (BB10), which was designed with consumers in mind, and the multi-platform mobile device management (MDM) product BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will determine the fate of Research In Motion (RIM).

Delays have forced the release of the BlackBerry 10 OS back to 2013, and Mobile Fusion isn't yet the comprehensive MDM system that it could be. RIM's new products have helped the company build itself a lifeboat. The question is whether BB10 and BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be enough to float RIM to safety.