It's been a good year for Intune. We've seen day zero support for both Android Nougat and iOS 10, as well as Yammer and PowerBI functionality. However, Microsoft has been working on one last update before we see out the year, and it's a significant one.
The latest version of Intune expands Conditional Access, improves the Intune app SDK, and marks the general release of Android for Work. This release should make Microsoft's device management software even more formidable.
Microsoft's conditional access features allow admins to define device policies depending on a series of factors like location and device. Yesterday's update expands these capabilities, both on mobile and PC. Here's Microsoft's explanation of the changes:
- “Conditional access for mobile apps: This update allows you to restrict access to Exchange Online from only apps that are enabled with Intune's mobile application protection policies, such as Outlook. If you've been looking for a way to block access to Exchange Online from built-in mail clients or other apps, look no further.
- Conditional access for Windows PCs: You can now create conditional access policies through the Intune admin console to block Windows PCs from accessing Exchange Online and SharePoint Online. You can also create conditional access policies to block access to Office desktop and universal applications.”
The update is primarily useful for organizations that use Exchange and SharePoint online. As such, usage scenarios will be limited, but for some companies, the changes will be invaluable.
Intune App SDK
Intune's app SDK lets developers add mobile management functionality into their apps, meaning that organization-specific apps can also benefit. However, this functionality often requires users to opt-in to the policy, and many users don't want to give up device control.
As a result, Microsoft has added SDK support for MAM without enrollment. Admins can now secure the applications and data on devices without users having to opt-in. Intune's web portal got a significant upgrade to these tools in May, so it's great to see it coming to the SDK tools.
Android for Work
Full support for Android for Work is perhaps one of the biggest changes in this build. For those unfamiliar, the program introduces a number of policies that make management of Android devices more simple and effective.
This lets IT professionals enforce complex lock screen PINs, better manage work profiles, easily deploy apps, and more. Though the functionality has been available in preview for a while, this makes the first official, stable release.
For more information on the changes, you can visit the TechNet blog.