Nexus 10: Google Takes On the iPad
The Nexus 10, Google's (and Samsung's) most direct answer to the iPad, has gotten an unofficial unveiling, courtesy of the BriefMobile website. Whether Google and Samsung regard this as a courtesy is uncertain, though in this age of "authorized leaks" we can't rule it out.
In an ideal world, one more tablet device shouldn't really matter to the IT community at midsize firms. But in the real world, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) has a growing presence in IT departments. Which means that it matters to IT managers whether Android tablets are able to establish themselves as full-spectrum rivals to Apple's iPad.
Backed by a full-court press from Google and Samsung, the Nexus 10 embodies the Android operating system's strongest challenge yet to the full-size iPad. And as Casey Newton reports at CNET, an apparent first look at it comes via the BriefMobile website. Along with images come some specifications of the new tablet device.
The pictures, to be honest, are not all that informative. The thing looks like a tablet device. The alleged specifications are more informative, but mainly are of interest to prospective buyers and need not be repeated here.
With one exception: The device will reportedly run the new Android 4.2 version of the operating system. This reportedly enables multiple accounts--something that could be of considerable interest to IT. An Android event planned for Monday was put off because of Hurricane Sandy, but we can expect to learn details of version 4.2 sometime quite soon.
The Mobile Ecosystem
Depending on how it works out in practice, the multiple-accounts feature of Android 4.2 could potentially be very helpful to IT. Will it allow the tablet to support business accounts that are fully walled off from personal accounts, running on the same device? If so, both IT and individual users will breathe a sigh of relief.
For IT managers at midsize firms the primary BYOD headache is security. Do firms really want to trust their networks and data to shaky consumer-level technology? Or individual users, whose security practices are even more dubious. And on the flip side, do users want management prying into--let alone wiping--their personal mobile accounts?
If Android 4.2 supports what amounts to a mobile version of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), these problems can be largely alleviated. Business and personal usage can be walled off from each other, amounting to two virtual mobile devices in one physical device.
Are Google and Samsung about to offer a full-size tablet that supports this capability? We should find out soon
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.