Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Android Phones Get Dual Accounts

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the secret-account dept.

Android 109

holy_calamity writes "AT&T is adopting technology that gives a person with an Android device two user profiles, enabling company email and other data to reside in an encrypted partition separate from a user's apps, games and unfettered web browsing. AT&T is calling the feature Toggle, and plans to release it later this year. Toggle is a regular app that, once installed, creates its own encrypted desktop under the control of company IT bosses. Toggle is a rebranding of an app developed by startup Enterproid, which continues to develop its own version. AT&T think this move will encourage smartphone adoption in the enterprise. Interestingly, Apple's current version of iOS and app guidelines exclude multiple profiles on one device."

cancel ×

109 comments

I see new company policies coming. (1, Troll)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712494)

<wish_this_was_only_humor>

Attention all employees of XYZ Corp, Inc. :

On this date, xxxxxx, XYZ employees are no longer permitted to have Android devices on site. The fact that the maker of said devices regards them as secure devices designed for use by corporate entities, this device is not completely closed-source and has not yet been investigated thoroughly by XYZ. Therefore, this device is not only discouraged for use because we're scared, but any employee using an Android device on company premises will be terminated immediately and with just cause.

</wish_this_was_only_humor>

Re:I see new company policies coming. (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712660)

Well, this app is a good move in the right direction. I tested my Android against the Exchange 2k7 ability to remotely wipe emails from a phone and it wiped my whole phone.

Hopefully this fixes that.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (2)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712692)

That's the policy at my company... if you want the VPN software required to access email through a regular email client, you have to sign a waiver agreeing to give them the ability to wipe your entire phone. I said "no thanks, I'll just keep using OWA when I want to check, even though it sucks."

Re:I see new company policies coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37717016)

I had no problem with this. Keep a backup elsewhere. (good practice anyway right?) If you leave the company, remove the VPN account software before you tell them. If your phone is stolen, you have a good means of stopping your private data falling into the wrong hands that's provided for free.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712708)

Oh, I know, I was talking about Corporate misconception and fear of it. It's a great idea and a good move.

Apparently whoever looked at my comment saw it as overrated. I guess people don't understand what I'm saying. If I take the humor out, I sound like a robot, and I HATE that.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (0)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712958)

Wow, apparently predicting the future based on past observations is also a Troll move. :)

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718570)

That's how a remote wipe works. There is an Android / iPhone app that keeps the Exchange account separate and only that application's data (mail / calendar / etc.) are wiped. The Exchange passcode requirement only applies to the app so the phone itself doesn't require one.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37712756)

not even needed

exchange 2010 has built in policies that can block sync specifically with droids

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714686)

You're assuming, of course, that the 'droid won't lie to the server about its identity, nature, capabilities, or compliance intent.

That doesn't mean it's hopeless, it just means that you (the enterprise) needs to have an official policy prohibiting employees from accessing email with non-compliant clients, and be willing to enforce it if you find out that everyone in Marketing (including the VP) has subverted it because you went overboard and made using it the official way hopelessly dysfunctional. Effective security in any environment not involving the military or national security is a continuum of compromise. If you go overboard to cover your ass and make the "solution" dysfunctional and unwieldy for real users, they WILL find ways to subvert you so they can do their jobs and get real work done. The trick is finding that point that's secure enough to meet at least the minimum non-negotiable requirements without annoying users badly enough to motivate them to actively subvert it (even when subversion itself carries risk of sanctions). In the real world, you're more likely to encounter users who'll just smile in your general direction and do whatever they want than you are to encounter users who'll actively argue and fight with you (especially when those users are technically savvy). The more obnoxious, intrusive, and unwieldy you make the security, the harder they're going to try to subvert it.

IMHO, encrypted partitioning of data is definitely a step in the right direction, and probably the best we're going to see. Users won't tolerate being forced to deal with complex lock screens every time they touch their phone in any context, but won't gripe if they have to authenticate to access their company email -- especially if they don't have to authenticate to find out whether they even HAVE new email. Enterprise developers need to stop and think about how real people use their phones, and figure out what info is so sensitive that it has to be kept under lock and key at any cost, and what information can be freely leaked to the outside world (existence of unread email? sure. Sender names and timestamps? Probably... maybe require that they have securely authenticated at least once within the past few hours. Subject lines? Ummmm, touchy. Maybe require that they've fully authenticated at least once within the past hour, and the phone itself has been continuously in active use (maybe allowing for up to 20-30 seconds of "off" time) since that point.

The problem is that people who do enterprise security see the world through blinders that fail to grasp that security is a continuum, and who keep trying to ram sledgehammer/meatcleaver "one dysfunctional size annoys everyone" non-solutions down everyone's throats, oblivious to both the likelihood and consequences of informal civil disobedience and quiet passive-aggressive rebellion.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718658)

We have a policy, a written agreement, and an Exchange policy where all unknown devices are quarantined until we verify their capabilities. Devices that are known to be secure are allowed to bypass the quarantine.

The problem is that people who do enterprise security see the world through blinders that fail to grasp that security is a continuum, and who keep trying to ram sledgehammer/meatcleaver "one dysfunctional size annoys everyone" non-solutions down everyone's throats, oblivious to both the likelihood and consequences of informal civil disobedience and quiet passive-aggressive rebellion.

Not all of them do and you should get out more.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

psnINsplPL (1664145) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713062)

Seen it before and will see it again. This crap happens at my company all the time. I'm powerless to stop it by detailing the actual ramifications, too.

Mod+!

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713076)

Thanks. I'm glad someone gets what was saying.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (1)

nothousebroken (2481470) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713986)

I bet the guy who modded you down works for XYZ Corp.

Re:I see new company policies coming. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37717624)

Better yet, *robot voice* "I don't know what this crap means. Are you trying to be funny? What does funny mean? My dictionary is rather ambiguous regarding the specific definition of that word. This must be Troll material because I do not understand it. Also, I have not worked for a company that does this, so it must be ranting and raving material. It is a waste of bandwidth and a waste of my time to have read this. Bork Bork Bork. Companies never want to control the behavior of their employees, and they do not perform acts such as the one described above when they are afraid that behavioral risks related to electronic devices have ensued. Bork Bork."

There, I feel better now. Wait, no I don't.
Ass modder!
There. Now I'm better. No wait...... ;)

Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37712508)

Smart phones today are, in terms of performance and architecture, not that much different from a notebook computer of a few years ago. Why are people surprised when smart phones today can do stuff that normal PCs could do decades ago, even when these PCs were a small fraction of the power and capability of today's smart phones? Why do so many people mistakenly consider stuff like this to be "innovation", when rather it's just a case of not intentionally limiting the device's capabilities?

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712820)

There's a certain company that has a large mobile market share that's been working hard at making people believe that limiting functionality is a feature, and that whenever they do something, even when it's been done before, it's an innovation.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712908)

And a commercial for that company, from decades ago, has been playing over and over again for the past few weeks?

Please, , make it stop!

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712918)

... Apparently, the preview thingie -is- useful. Slashdot interpreted my (openingbracked) $_DEITY (closingbracket) as a html hack to be removed.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37713842)

Actually, the variable name was expanded to its value.
Now we can put the debate to rest; /. confirms it.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

ajo_arctus (1215290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713410)

Maybe not everyone wants to carry a full-fledged PC in their pocket? The world isn't made up of people just like you, you know.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

RCL (891376) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714964)

They actually want, if you carefully educate (a very slow process) how useful it can be for them. And this is what Apple is/was basically doing, step by step.

Apple products are scaled down to "mass user" needs - so just avoid them if you think that you are on higher level of human development. There will *always* be more sophisticated devices (like, say, N900), albeit the higher level they target, the more skills they require to use them, and the fewer (and the costlier) they are.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713322)

The same reason people thought the iPhone was innovative for being the first product to bring multi-touch to market. They don't understand technology and see something shinny.

Re:Why is stuff like this considered "innovative"? (1)

netsharc (195805) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713928)

Indeed, anyone who's ever SSH'ed into their iPhones would see it was just another UNIX machine, with a /home/mobile directory where the user's data is located. I had wondered what would happen if I made several directories under /home and just symlinked mobile to one of those directories, would that make the iPhone a multi-user device?

I gotta try that with my iPod this weekend...

why not encrypt everything? (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712526)

does it have a backdoor for big brother?
why should only business data get protection from thieves and the government?

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

sunr2007 (2309530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712562)

If they encrypt Everything , what room does it leave for data mining companies to give you suggestions?

Re:why not encrypt everything? (0)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712680)

Apparently yours and my opinion of this is overrated.
Company's perception of danger from Android devices, as well as curiosity, has gone up 10 fold.

My comment [slashdot.org]

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718702)

Considering your comments were moderated as Troll, I'll just mention that your companies perception is more accurate than your rhetoric.

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712690)

big bro is already in the house

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

egamma (572162) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712772)

does it have a backdoor for big brother? why should only business data get protection from thieves and the government?

ActiveSync policies don't connect to your phone, they just impose policies on the phone. The remote wipe doesn't work if the thief can shut off the active sync before you enable the remote wipe. You could get remote wipe too if you sign up for Office365's E1 plan and use ActiveSync with the service. I know, you probably don't want to give MS any money. But, the option is there, and it's a lot cheaper than buying your own Exchange server. My company just moved away from BPOS (previous version of Office365) due to availability issues, but if you're just a home user, the occasional outage probably isn't a deal-breaker.

Are you sure there are no remote wipe apps out there? I used to have a Firefox plugin that would do something similar, on my desktop.

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713082)

Well, for one, battery life. These things already have shrinking battery lives as more features get added with each iteration. Now you want to do something computationally expensive (relatively speaking) for everything on the device? That battery life will be killed.

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714410)

From TFS, the important bit is "under the control of company IT bosses". We looked at using Android phones, but stopped because the apps are a lot more wild-west, and locking out all apps would not sell the idea to the C-levels. With this approach, the business controls the emails and business side of things, which I'm going to jump to the conclusion that also means they can disallow applications from seeing that data and completely lock out applications from that zone. You still get to install all your twitter and myspace apps, but the company can still regulate their email data and don't have to worry about running afoul of HIPAA or whatever.

Re:why not encrypt everything? (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#37719386)

because if you wanted your phone to be actually secure you would have gotten a blackberry anyway, android security is skin deep and physical access long enough to install a hostile rootkit will bypass userland security anyways. though this is better than IOS which does not even pretend to be secure

Tagging (4, Interesting)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712558)

Why is this tagged as "Apple", "iPhone" and 'iOS"?

Re:Tagging (3, Insightful)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712644)

Because TFS mentions them in the last paragraph, and some folks only read the first and last sentence of a paragraph and make up the middle, not realizing that this story has nothing to do with the iPhone beyond mentionning that such a service would be against Apple's TOS.

Re:Tagging (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718770)

beyond mentionning that such a service would be against Apple's TOS.

I would classify this as grandstanding. There are already iOS / Android apps that separate Exchange accounts from the rest of the phone including the remote wipe. Not the described dual persona nirvana but in most cases I assume should satify the balance between controlled corporate data and your personal phone.

Re:Tagging (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712658)

Maybe because it mentions Apple and and iOS in TFS.

Not saying it's right, but what can you expect?

Re:Tagging (0)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712672)

Why is this tagged as "Apple", "iPhone" and 'iOS"?

Only way to get the fandroids interested in a submission - bait them with the prospect of Apple-bashing.

Tag a submission as "Android" and "malware" and the Apple fan boys will flock just as fast...

Re:Tagging (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713376)

While I cry a little because of the truth of this, it made me laugh a little this morning. Thank you.

Re:Tagging (1)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#37715958)

So... why are you here? For the fandroid bashing?

--Jeremy

Re:Tagging (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37712688)

Because Apple generates page views and taking potshots at Apple (as the last sentence of the summary does) generates heated discussion (and thus page views) and page views generate money. Seems obvious to me.

Re:Tagging (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713096)

Because it's a glaring missed opportunity in iOS devices. I don't want to mix my personal and work contacts/calendars/email, but in iOS there is little separating them. Give me a work profile and a personal profile. At least good old Nokia/Symbian was smart enough to have this 5-6 years ago starting with their first generation smartphones, although the data is not partitioned or encrypted. But at least it was easy to keep work stuff separate from personal stuff on the smartphone. Why Apple continues to be blind to this I'll never understand.

Re:Tagging (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714890)

Because it's a glaring missed opportunity in iOS devices. I don't want to mix my personal and work contacts/calendars/email, but in iOS there is little separating them. Give me a work profile and a personal profile. At least good old Nokia/Symbian was smart enough to have this 5-6 years ago starting with their first generation smartphones, although the data is not partitioned or encrypted. But at least it was easy to keep work stuff separate from personal stuff on the smartphone. Why Apple continues to be blind to this I'll never understand.

At Apple, work is play. Play is work. There is no difference.

Besides doing it that way is complicated. And Lord, we don't need complicated.

Re:Tagging (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718844)

At Apple, work is play. Play is work. There is no difference.

Are they hiring?

Re:Tagging (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#37716468)

I've never really seen the use for multiple accounts on my phone, but multiple profiles (same data, apps, etc., only some data is emphasized over others in different profiles) would be useful. Another nice thing would simply be a "game mode", for handing my phone to my nieces and nephews, that would only let them play games and not access anything else on the phone.

Re:Tagging (1)

PNutts (199112) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718824)

Because it's a glaring missed opportunity in iOS devices. I don't want to mix my personal and work contacts/calendars/email, but in iOS there is little separating them. Give me a work profile and a personal profile. At least good old Nokia/Symbian was smart enough to have this 5-6 years ago starting with their first generation smartphones, although the data is not partitioned or encrypted. But at least it was easy to keep work stuff separate from personal stuff on the smartphone. Why Apple continues to be blind to this I'll never understand.

There are already iOS / Android apps that separate Exchange accounts from the rest of the phone including the remote wipe. Not the described dual persona nirvana but in most cases I assume should satify the balance between controlled corporate data and your personal phone. Even without the app I disagree that they are not separated. You choose which contacts/calendars/email you want to display if not all of them. Each maintains your own identity, signature, etc. But without the app a remote wipe nails the whole iDevice, just like Android.

Cell phone plans (1)

MrCrassic (994046) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712640)

This will be awesome when it becomes more widely accepted in the corporate space (RIM better have a backup plan!), but how will companies deal with work phone lines? This must put them in a catch-22 position, where they either provide (limited) service for work AND personal use (which is unlikely; most people abuse free things) or compensate users for using their own personal plans for work use. If the latter is the case, will employees feel comfortable with their employers going over their records to justify what should and shouldn't be compensated for?

What would be ideal is if those dual-SIM adapters advanced enough to allow users to use both personal and work SIMs together.

Re:Cell phone plans (1)

Specter (11099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713034)

Or employers stop paying for mobile phones at all. Very few companies pay for broadband Internet access these days and that used to be fairly common.

Re:Cell phone plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37713198)

That's not really true. I don't know of any employers that aren't willing to subsidize mobile phone and home internet access for people who are expected 1) to be on call, and/or 2) work from home on a regular basis.

A long time ago... (2)

AYeomans (322504) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712652)

... in a decade far, far away we used to use multi-user operating systems. Which used to keep one user's data private from another - unless they explicitly wished to share. They also let the sysadmin install software packages for everyone to use, or each user could run their own local programs - which could not access other user's data.

Sounds familiar? So why propose a "solution" that only gives application-layer (rather than OS-layer) protection between users? That only protects properly one (corporate) user - isn't my personal data of at least equal value? That can't easily be extended to several users (think "e-banking user" which shares no data at all with "games user")? And there's no inherent reason why the different user programs can't share the same display screen either, with different passwords and screen lock timeouts - so you don't need a password to run Angry Birds, but do to unlock your contacts.

Re:A long time ago... (2)

trampel (464001) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713404)

Android already uses different Unix user IDs ("accounts" if you will) to isolate different applications from each other. This gives you better protection than a desktop operation system, because applications running on the same screen are more isolated from each other.

I'm pretty certain every app under this Toggle scheme will also run in its own context.

Re:A long time ago... (1)

phoenix_rizzen (256998) | more than 2 years ago | (#37716466)

And several Android phones (like the Motorola Droid 3) use chroot and other sandboxing techniques to isolate apps even further from each other. Right down to randomising the UID of the "normal user" account on the phone.

This is one of the reasons it's been so hard to root the Droid 3.

This addresses use cases... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37712770)

that number in the tens!

Actually, I see the number 1 use case for this as cheating on a partner.

Re:This addresses use cases... (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713312)

that number in the tens!

Actually, I see the number 1 use case for this as cheating on a partner.

It's actually pretty relevant to about 100 million employees in the United States. I suspect people work for corporations in other countries as well.

RIM is in Danger (5, Insightful)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37712794)

This idea was discussed in a meeting with the various CxOs yesterday, where I work. While the recent Blackberry outage brought this to everyone's attention, the big kicker is people don't like carrying two phones.

In government, really only RIM has gone thru FIPS compliance testing and that is one of the big reasons they are so popular. Our CIO brought up that Apple has been taking the iPhone thru FIPS compliance testing and he was looking forward to being able to get an iPhone instead of the Blackberry.

That is until I pointed out the only way it'll pass compliance is if the iTunes Store is disabled and you can't load any apps on the phone. Did he want an iPhone with only the default Apple apps? "Uh, no." was the answer. And neither will anyone else.

Being able to have one phone is the key. This could be an interesting step in that direction.

Re:RIM is in Danger (0)

CapuchinSeven (2266542) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713032)

I've owned a lot of phones in my time, and in recent years I've had most iPhones other than a 3GS, a Desire, a Mozart and a number of BlackBerry's (BlackBerries? BlackBerry? BBs?) and I can honestly say that out of a choice of a BlackBerry and an iOS5 iPhone without apps, I'd take an iPhone.

Re:RIM is in Danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37713366)

And out of the choice of the current model iPhone (4S) and a Super-Awesome Blackberry to-be-delivered-sometime-in-the-future, I'd take a Blackberry.

Pretty pointless comparison, huh?

Captcha: surreal

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713866)

You need to read more carefully. He didn't say "iPhone 5", he said iOS5 iPhone - that is the existing iPhone 4S.

iOS5 has been released. You can read about it on Slashdot [slashdot.org] .

Re:RIM is in Danger (0)

ediron2 (246908) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714268)

Am confused: GP compared a handful of phones that exist, then described an existing device sans downloadable apps (which everyone that owns an iphone knows, since that's how an iphone looks when purchased).

You seem to be comparing a phone that just released this morning to vaporware from a company that's struggling.

No disrespect, but your comparison does seem pretty pointless. Theirs, OTOH, seems valid except for it being one anecdote. Statistically, the CEO in GGP (chill)'s story ups the count to two. Our org's explosion of 'droid, iphone, win-mobile devices definitely confirms the exodus from blackberry.

What were you trying to call out as a bad comparison?

Re:RIM is in Danger (3, Informative)

hawkbat05 (1952326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713302)

Apparently everyone missed that RIM is already doing this: http://us.blackberry.com/apps-software/business/server/full/balance.jsp [blackberry.com] They're taking a bit of a beating right now but I have to say, if I want to actually type quickly and accurately I won't be using my Android, I'd rather do it on a BB. I can type about twice as fast when there's a real, well designed, keyboard.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714458)

Apparently everyone missed that RIM is already doing this: http://us.blackberry.com/apps-software/business/server/full/balance.jsp [blackberry.com]

They're taking a bit of a beating right now but I have to say, if I want to actually type quickly and accurately I won't be using my Android, I'd rather do it on a BB. I can type about twice as fast when there's a real, well designed, keyboard.

RIM has the momentum against them though. Businesses have a desire to move away from RIM, but have no options with similar security. This feature will provide similar security and be one of the last hurdles for the switch.

Re:RIM is in Danger (2)

hawkbat05 (1952326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37716118)

There are actually plenty more hurdles. For example S/MIME support, which BB has supported for years has just been included in iOS 5, as far as I know there's no good solution for it on Android. How about support SmartCards like DoD CAC? Currently an adapter seems to be required for the iPhone (besides the reader itself). Don't forget about FIPS 140-2 (which is only in progress on iOS4), CAPS, CC and the various international governments and NATO certifications. These are all time consuming to achieve and maintain. Android and iPhone still have a long way to go before they can actually challenge BB security. I'd also like to add that I've never heard of anyone rooting/jailbreaking a BlackBerry. I know it gets less attention for that kind of thing since users aren't locked into AppWorld but I'm sure it's been attempted.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714688)

I used to have the same opinion about the keyboard until I got used to Swype. I'm much faster and more accurate using that. Give it a try.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

hawkbat05 (1952326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37715742)

I have Swype, it's still much slower. I will admit it's much better than the standard keyboard though.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718428)

same here; bought a samsung galaxy s2 and was worried about lack of a physical keyboard. Swype has me going quick enough to not even care at this point.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

lewiscr (3314) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717672)

If a keyboard is important to you, buy a model with a physical keyboard.

Re:RIM is in Danger (1)

hawkbat05 (1952326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718390)

Most Android phones have keyboards that aren't very ergonomic. It's hard to argue that BB doesn't have an edge if you seriously use a keyboard.

Nokia's Symbian (1)

mrquagmire (2326560) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713020)

Nokia's Symbian OS has offered a similar feature for years... not that the rest of Symbian was that great. Congrats(?) to AT&T for making it sound like an exciting new idea.

I don't get this (2)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713186)

Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but if you compromise the phone, don't you also compromise the app? This is like some of the "solutions" I've seen from people that want to use their home computers to connect to sensitive enterprise resources (e.g., VPN). "Oh, why don't we distribute organization-approved VM images to the people to run on their home desktops?"

I mean, if you can't trust the host, you sure as heck can't trust the guest. And the encryption is just a feel good red herring that doesn't really solve that problem.

Re:I don't get this (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713534)

The user desktop might be the guest of the business desktop.

Re:I don't get this (1)

SmurfButcher Bob (313810) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713752)

Little to do with that.

Everything to do with me dictating how you will use the company phone I am providing you - security vs usability.

Now, I have the security and micromanagement that I need (in theory)... and I can also give you the herd-of-cats usability you desire, without threat (hopefully) to why I provided you the device in the first place.

Also has everything to do with me owning the phone and data that is on it... you can imagine that co-mingled data is a nightmare when you own half the crap on the device, and I own the rest. "Hey Bill, we're upgrading. Gimme the phone back. NOW." This setup goes a long way toward making that painless - you backup and wipe your personal partition, and move on to the next device I give you.

Pretty cool if it survives the test of time, IMO.

somebody tell puppy linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37713214)

Really an OS based on linux can be multiuser... with multiple partitions and encryption even.

If this is "innovation", how innovative would it be to add a supplemental library with wchar types and "port" a slew of gtk+ apps.

How about Dual SIM? (2)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713294)

How about a phone that can use two SIM cards at the same time? So we can actually make carriers compete against each other. This is a feature that Android is sorely lacking.

What, carriers don't want any features that might actually empowers their consumers or helps them get away from the "subsidized" (aka bought on credit) phone handset scam? Not to mention, having multiple plans or prepaid SIM cards is also a great way to dramatically cut international roaming costs.

Remember the technologically advanced 90s? Phones used to have that feature back then.

Re:How about Dual SIM? (4, Informative)

bmoore (106826) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713696)

Android DOES support dual-SIM phones, so don't place the blame there. Just Google it, you'll find Android-based dual-SIM phones. Just not sold by AT&T, or TMobile.

I'm not sure why AT&T doesn't carry any, and maybe they soon will, now that they're using Enterproid. There's no reason to say that your two SIM cards won't both be locked to AT&T. You pay for two plans, but only carry one phone. Seems like a win for them.

Re:How about Dual SIM? (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37715522)

could be they are afraid you will use a sim from a different carrier?

See previous subjcts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37713396)

The proximity between the two ./ subject is fun...

"m'a I'm getting arrested is enhanced by 'dual profile'", so you can broadcast your familly without allerting your boss (or the other way round YMMV :-))

Now Dual Networks (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713536)

What we really need is the 3G/4G/++ telco cartel broken so that my phone can have accounts on two networks simultaneously, so I'm not locked into a single failurepoint - that frequently fails. Just like LANs to the Internet, which can have dual WANs without prohibitive subscription rates.

In fact a second WWAN connection that's rarely used could cost more per bandwidth than the primary WWAN, so the telcos would each make a fatter profit off the "insurance" second WWAN.

So it's obvious that the telcos care more about their cartel and its power to do whatever it wants without consequences (universal warrantless wiretapping, anyone?) rather than actual increased profit and improved service for their customers.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714052)

1. Turn phone off
2. Remove SIM #1
3. Insert SIM #2
4. Turn phone on

OK, this isn't the same as instant, live switching, but if your concern is just for handling network failures, it should work well enough.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717074)

Only AT&T uses SIMs in the US, and AT&T sucks.

But indeed I want the network device to use different WAN interfaces. Mid-call, or mid Internet session. If the primary network is going up and down, I don't want to power cycle the device over and again.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

norminator (784674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717614)

T-Mobile also uses SIMs. Although they are being bought by AT&T, they haven't been yet, and the buyout has a lot of challengers.

For now, if you're on AT&T, you can switch to T-Mobile. People have been unlocking iPhones to run on T-Mobile for as long as the iPhone has been around.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718478)

Verizon has SIM cards with their LTE network. I have a nifty little access point that uses one, and their 4g usb sticks use them as well.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Rexdude (747457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714104)

So I guess something like this [samsung.com] won't be sold in the US. Dual SIM phones are quite popular here (India), but they tend to be mostly dumbphones. People use one operator for long distance calls and another for local, or one's a company provided SIM and the other's their personal one, obviating the need to carry 2 phones.

Haven't seen any smartphones with this though - apart from a few no name Chinese ripoffs of Nokia handsets.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717282)

Of course what would be awesome would be a smartphone with a real multiport expansion bus. So multiple SIMs, or other expansions that aren't simply serial connections.

The whole model, where features are locked into HW, is a strike at the heart of the openness that's always been part of the PC, and of networking. Which is what people outside the US still can expect more of in their phones.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Rexdude (747457) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717696)

You could build one, then it would have to be FCC (or equivalent) certified, and that's the stumbling block.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718308)

Has anyone ever hacked an ARM/Android smartphone to add devices to a CPU bus? Like solder on an FPGA...

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717130)

Wouldn't it be better if the networks agreed that phones can use each other's networks under specified circumstances?

They supposedly already do it here (UK), though I have never noticed any evidence of it bar a couple of operators who have a strategy of sharing towers. I do recall reading that there are phone settings, which the operators set so that it basically never happens except for 999 (911) calls, but some people claim to have been able to convince the operator to allow them to change it.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37717502)

No, why? There are geographically overlapping networks. Any one of them fails (as happens often in the US), and the other is still almost always available.

What you're describing is available in the US. The "specified circumstances" is "roaming", which costs far more than even the robbery they charge for service on the home network. If your phone even supports the different frequencies, or entirely different technologies (CDMA, GSM, WiMAX, LTE, etc) selected by different telcos partly to keep "their" phones locked into their network.

Re:Now Dual Networks (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718486)

This exists already. Some World phones are also satellites phones. If you want fail-over service, you have to be willing to pay for it.

Enterprise? What about the calendar? (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37713826)

When I got my Nexus 1 back in Jan 2010 I loved everything about it except one thing. Using the search function on the phone did not return results from the calendar. I was trying to manage about 48 patients and frequently needed to be able to look at their appointment schedules going out a year. Before getting the Nexus 1 I had used Palm PDAs for almost 10 years. The search function in Palm OS brought back calendar items from day one. How could it be that a search company's operating system could miss a feature that was standard issue for 10 years in a freakin' Palm PDA?

I can get calendar search results now, but I have to use a third party app to do it. That's weak. What business is going to want to trust an app written by some unknown developer in China or Russia with access to their sensitive calendar data? It's Google's OS, it's google's calendar. Why the f**** can't they search it?

Re:Enterprise? What about the calendar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37714260)

Somebody didn't look in the Settings, under Search -> Searchable Items, did they? It's all there for those who RTFM.

Re:Enterprise? What about the calendar? (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37715708)

Actually I've looked at it in the past and I'm looking now in case something changed recently, and NO, the calendar does NOT appear in the searchable items list. I have to use searchify (a third-party app as I mentioned) in order to get any calendar results.

In the future, please refrain from responding to my posts. Thank you.

Re:Enterprise? What about the calendar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37715060)

My AT&T Samsung Galaxy S 2 does this now.
Google's search function has a raft of checkboxes for allow it to search the data for pretty much every application on the phone. Maybe you should look into getting one or waiting for the Nexus Prime.

Re:Enterprise? What about the calendar? (1)

mark_reh (2015546) | more than 2 years ago | (#37716134)

I am running Android 2.3.6. and all my applications are up to date. On the Nexus 1 there are no "overlays", just plain Android. If you're getting calendar results from a search I think they are coming from Samsung's overlay on Android or from a third party app you installed and forgot about, not from Android or from a Google authored app. Exhaustive web searches indicate that Google has not produced anything that searches the Google calendar short of opening a web browser and doing it manually.

I discovered this missing feature when I wanted to check on a patient's series of scheduled appointments. I enter the patient's name, I get their contact, I get web search results for the name, instances of the name in notes, ebooks, etc. but no calendar results. I was shocked. Everything else on the phone works so well I just couldn't figure out why the search company could search everything on the phone and everything on the web except the calendar. WTF?

Yet another misleading headline (1)

Avalon73 (215477) | more than 2 years ago | (#37714308)

Android versions 2.0 and later already support multiple accounts. My own phone has 2 accounts associated with it, and would have more if I could stomach using MotoBlur. Things like securely checking (and, depending on the infrastructure, syncing) corporate email and calendar can be done without a "split personality" device, but I guess that just doesn't fly in the case of IT control freaks.

Why, Apple, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37714706)

Why does iCloud shackle us to using one AppleID for every aspect of the service?
For example, I don't want to sync my Bookmarks with my wife's computer and iphone, but I do want to share photographs.

Incorporating multiple users on to portable device (1)

MajorMotah (2476714) | more than 2 years ago | (#37715088)

It's about time! For those who have Communal IPads at work that you have to manage and share this is a very exciting step in the right direction. This is the biggest downfall of many of these "Do everything Portable Devices", especially for business purposes, but for phones it doesn't seem all too necessary and may be a pain in the arse. Why would you need 2 accounts, just encrypt the whole shabang. GET TO THE MULTIPLE USER ACCOUNTS ON THE IOS APPLE and Make my job easier.

Slash DOT, you need this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37716718)

How come we don't have a post about this today?

http://technolog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/10/14/8322935-verizon-wireless-now-tracking-sharing-sites-you-visit

Verizon Wireless is overstepping its boundary by doing this BS.

This wasn't a feature on stock before? (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718070)

Cyanogenmod & I'm pretty sure vanilla android has supported this Nativity in the OS for what feels like years...

I like the idea but see problems (1)

BlueCoder (223005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37718972)

They essentially want to create sandboxes or jails like on my favorite OS Freebsd.

It can only work if android had been created with this in mind. The problem is that hackers will probably figure out how to get into the other sandbox if the sandbox mechanism isn't well designed. Encryption isn't enough since the decode key resides on the device. Further what about one sandbox sniffing the others network traffic? That's why the OS has to be designed with it in mind.

But the idea of a separate desktop controlled by a companies IT department is a winner. It means they can control and manage software versions and updates and install their own apps and lock out everything else. No misconfiguration on the users part. Mandatory security settings designed to work for the business. Just a solid bare bones business experience and segregated data. I like it very much.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...