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BlackBerry introduces iOS and Android to Work Space

Sit here. Use this. Don't even think of copy/pasting that

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BlackBerry Work Space is now available for iOS and Android, creating a secure container (under your own BOFH's control, natch) on devices owned by employees.

That container houses a web browser, intended for Intranet access, and clients for email, calendar and task management. All of these are partitioned from the local OS to prevent malware attacks leaking data, or employees copy/pasting it out, and perhaps making BlackBerry's hardware redundant.

The concept builds on Work Balance, the secure container built into BlackBerry's own OS as demonstrated in the Z10. Balance lurks constantly in the background, offering instant access to business applications while giving the system administrator tools to cut off access at a moment's notice.

Work Space isn't as elegant as Balance. On Android it can have a home screen; on iOS it has to be run as an app, but it should give companies the confidence to let staff access corporate data from their own devices, without having to insist those devices are using BlackBerry OS.

The Work Space can also contain applications, signed and protected by the corporate BES which also ensures encrypted communications. Quite how that process will work isn't clear, but first up is Documents to Go, which comes bundled and permits editing of Office files for sending on via email or uploading to the corporate servers - but not taking local copies.

The popularity of Work Space will depend on the confidence it can engender. Companies are already permitting staff to access intranet services from unsecured browsers on their devices, and may jump to deploy a secured alternative - if only so they can sleep soundly at night. ®

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