Android Gets Native ActiveSync

I know Android 2.2 has technically been around for a while, but in a very “limited edition”. To my knowledge it was first rolled out to the Nexus One, but withdrawn after about a day, and then withheld for a couple of weeks before being re-released. For a number of reasons though the Nexus One hasn’t seen huge sales so that’s why I would call it a limited release at the time. Some of the other devices are slowly seeing updates too after the summer though, and I’ve got an HTC Desire that just got the update from 2.1 to 2.2.

So, what is great about Android 2.2? Well, there’s probably different things considered great depending on your specific setting, but with me it’s always the Exchange and MDM features I go looking for first 🙂

The device reports “Android-EAS/0.1” as the user agent. Sounds almost like a pre-beta build, but the number might have been chosen for other reasons for all I know.

It reports itself as supporting ActiveSync Protocol Version 12.1 meaning it’s fully compliant with Exchange 2007 SP1/2/3. I have not had the chance to test it against Exchange 2010 yet, so I don’t know if it supports a higher level. The device does not seem to allow configuring multiple Exchange accounts, so I’m thinking it hasn’t reached 2010 level yet. I have not tested exactly which policies it supports, and which ones it doesn’t, but it supports the “basic” ones like Power-on-Password and wipe.

Now the good thing about these policies is that these functions are available through APIs as well, so it is possible to do policies without establishing an ActiveSync partnership. (Who would want to not use EAS on their device? I don’t know…) Expect MDM solutions to finally provide some rudimentary Android support in the near future!