BYOD Is Not Dead

October 29, 2013

By Doug Miller

This month I attended the International Association of Privacy Professional’s Privacy Academy and there was a lot of talk about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). BYOD is the concept of letting workers bring their own favorite mobile devices to work and use them to connect to corporate resources such as email, document portals and business applications for tasks such as customer relationship management.
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Can Samsung Deliver Knockout Punch to Blackberry with KNOX and Centrify?

February 25, 2013

By Doug Miller

KNOX and Centrify may have just given Samsung the springboard to leapfrog BlackBerry in the enterprise space.

Back in August I wrote a piece for AOL Government asking the question: “After BlackBerries, What’s Next For Government Mobile Users?” We were all witnessing the decline of BlackBerries as a favored mobile device for government users and I discussed the alternatives that existed in the marketplace. One of the strong candidates was Samsung with its Samsung for Enterprise or SAFE offerings for smartphones and tablets. The SAFE solution set added some valuable enterprise features, such as better Microsoft Exchange support, on-device encryption, mobile device management and VPN support to the standard Android-based platform for certain Samsung mobile devices. Since writing that piece Samsung has indeed proven itself and according to Gartner, Samsung has grown to be the largest supplier of mobile phones in the world and IDC has Samsung as the #2 tablet maker behind Apple.
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The Orphans of Android

January 9, 2013

By Doug Miller

We’ve all read reports about mobile market share and the rapid rise of Android as a smartphone and tablet platform. Some reports – depending on how and what you measure – have Android share at just over 50% (comScore MobiLens US smartphones) and some as high as 72% (Gartner’s worldwide mobile device sales). One thing that has always puzzled me is why I see so few people using Android devices. Walking through an airport, a grocery store, a conference, a business meeting or on the street, I have been keeping an informal tally of what types of mobile devices people are using. I’m not sure what others see, but I sure see a lot of Apple mobile devices out there. I see people still using PCs on the plane (but a lot less than a couple of years ago), I see people with Kindles reading books and a random mix of other devices, but I just don’t see a lot of Android phones or tablets. While this is by no means a scientific sample, there may be a reason why we don’t see more Android devices out in the wild.
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Tablets: RIP?

September 22, 2012

By Doug Miller

Being constantly connected is critical for my work so when I was leaving for a 4 day business trip recently, I looked at my arsenal of devices and selected a range of connectivity solutions that would give me lots of options for keeping in touch. As I walked out to the door to the airport, I had the following in my carry-on bag:

  • An HTC Titan II Windows Phone with LTE on AT&T’s network which also was enabled as a mobile wireless hotspot when needed.
  • A Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 Android-based tablet with LTE on Verizon’s network and also capable of being a mobile wireless hotspot.
  • A small Acer notebook computer running Windows 7
  • An Intel-based tablet computer running Windows 8 RTM
  • A 3G USB stick that connects to AT&T’s HSPA+ network which can be used with either of my Windows devices
  • A Sprint 3G/4G Overdrive portable wireless hotspot device

I have a first generation, WiFi-only iPad but decided to leave that at home.

So what did I find worked best to keep me connected?
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HTC – the other Windows Phone manufacturer

September 10, 2012

By Doug Miller

clip_image002I have been reading about the debacle of faked Nokia Lumia 920 images and video and I am amazed that everyone talks about Nokia as though they are the only manufacturer of Windows Phones. In fact, HTC has the brilliant Titan II Windows Phone now that already has features Nokia is trying to pretend it has.

I switched from using a Samsung Infuse Android phone as my primary smartphone to an HTC Titan II running Windows Phone 7.5 last May. I had originally gone with the Nokia Lumia 900 but ended up taking it back when I experienced the dreaded pink-spot-in-white-background-pictures bug. I then tried the HTC phone and found it to be one amazing device. It supports both HSPA+ and LTE fast data connectivity on AT&T’s network (including using the phone as a mobile hotspot), includes a 16 megapixel camera and has an excellent 4.7 inch screen. The device is rock solid and I really like Windows Phone OS as a mobile platform. It just works. It is my most reliable email device. Phone calls work really well from the People tile or if you create individual tiles for your friends. The performance is always fast and consistent. It doesn’t crash. It is great – except there are a number of key apps that are not available on Windows Phone (DropBox, RoboForm, various music apps, boating apps, Flipboard, a useable Skype, etc.). So I have tended to go back and forth between using the Android-based Infuse and the Titan II. The Android phone has lots of apps and works okay but tends to be unreliable. Last week I had problems with a new app draining my battery in an hour, the GPS simply refused to work and performance is very inconsistent. So I am back with the Windows Phone this week.
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After BlackBerries, what’s next for government mobile users?

August 28, 2012

By Doug Miller

RIM has historically been the device of choice for secure mobile communication in the government market. The BlackBerry phone offered unique business-oriented capabilities but lacked sex appeal to draw consumers to its products. Yet for government agencies that needed to supply their workers with a robust, secure cell phone, the business features won out over giving users a device that was “magical.”

Now with the rise of BYOD (“bring you own device”) in government agencies, RIM is suddenly no longer an appealing option for consumers who are now asked to buy their own device and bring it to work. As attractive as BYOD is for budget planners, BYOD has the potential to be a nightmare for IT support staff that has to support and manage what seems like an infinite range of smartphones with different operating systems, security capabilities, enterprise features and quality. I believe, what is more likely to happen is government IT staff will provide users with a list of recommended devices and only support users of those devices for government communications needs once the device has been properly secured and configured. Some agencies, like the NSA, may want to stick with closely-managed, government-issued devices but will be looking for alternatives to the BlackBerry.

Does anyone have the ability to both address the security needs of government IT policies but also provide a range of products that will appeal to consumers? Until recently, I thought Samsung had a good shot at doing this. Now with the recent Apple-Samsung patent trial outcome, it is worth revisiting the options.
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Galaxy Tab Tune-up

April 6, 2012

By Doug Miller

One of my favorite devices is my now ancient Samsung Galaxy Tab which runs Android Gingerbread. This is the original 7 inch Tab and in fact I bought it from an online store in the UK well before it was available in the US. I got the international GSM version and this device not only has a full-time 3G data capability but it also makes phone calls as a cell phone. It has worked fine on AT&T and I even occasionally use it as a cell phone with a Bluetooth headset. I pop in a Virgin Mobile Canada SIM chip when I travel to Canada and can use the device without incurring roaming charges. I love the size, the instant on and the full time connection to the net no matter where I am. While I have an iPad I almost never use it. It is too big for me as a portable device. Same goes for my Windows Tablet – not quite instant on yet and a way too big for throwing in my coat pocket as I run out the door. Hopefully when Windows 8 launches there will be devices similar to the form factor of the 7 inch Galaxy Tab.

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