Tech giants Google and Microsoft have worked closely to create a new set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to help deliver security and privacy for Exchange on Android. Microsoft Exchange is the software that runs on a server and manages all your emails. For many Android users, Microsoft Exchange is the backend for their company email. Until recently, many email applications on Android used Device Admin capabilities to enforce the necessary security requirements on users' devices, whether they were issued by their company or personally owned.
According to a Google blog post, these APIs, which it began deprecating in Android 9 Pie, gave IT control over core security features such as device passcode requirements and remote data wipe. "While this gives IT admins controls to promote data protection on the devices when using Exchange email clients, it also adds unnecessary complexity," Google said on Tuesday.
Now, the new set of APIs will give email developers tools to secure their apps while adhering to the high security standards. "We teamed up with Microsoft to build a new way to offer the security that IT needs when using Microsoft Exchange, while offering the privacy employees have come to expect on personal Android devices," said Google.
IT admins now have the option to require a user to follow a specified level of password complexity (options are for high, medium or low) to use their Exchange email app. If they don't follow the set guidelines, they won't be able to sync and access their corporate email.
"If IT needs to restrict or remove access on the device, no personal information, such as photos or downloads, will be removed". The Android team has developed a backwards-compatible implementation of new APIs in Google Mobile Services.
Email app developers can migrate away from Device Admin on any version of Android they support. Gmail will showcase this new functionality later this month.
*Edited from an IANS report