The “bring your own device” movement has a simple premise: We’re becoming increasingly attached to our smartphones and tablets, and they’ve proven increasingly capable of tackling the needs of the busy professional. But managing and securing sensitive data on personal gear is a daunting task, especially at the enterprise level. Nubo aims to fix that with its Android-based remote virtual workspace. It’s available for Android and iOS devices and offers a demo and a free trial for the curious.
With Nubo, sensitive data never actually reaches a device. It’s instead hosted on a remote server, with smartphones and tablets acting only as a display. Firing up an Android environment on an iOS device feels a bit bizarre, but Nubo’s remote display tech actually does a good job of scaling the app for disparate display types: I gave the app a spin on an iPhone 4S, iPad, Nexus 5, and Nexus 7 without issue. It’s also a proper (albeit cloistered) Android environment: You can browse the web, send emails, manage your calendar, and work on documents in Android-based Office suites. Companies can also install select Android apps into their walled garden, giving every employee on the Nubo system access to the same tools in their own personal workspaces.
Since your device merely serves as display for your Nubo connection, you’ll have less to fear should it be lost — IT administrators can simply block access to your missing gear. There’s also the peace of mind inherent to completely owning your own personal device, with no more work contacts or work applications (and their requisite security protocols) mucking up your smartphone on the weekends. The Nubo app uses two factor authentication on the user’s end and encrypts all data via SSL, which should offer some added peace of mind.
Of course, there are downsides. Connecting to a remote work environment naturally means you’ll need a stable Internet connection; you’re out of luck in dead zones or on long flights without Wi-Fi. Latency will likely be the biggest productivity killer. Security might be paramount, but when I worked with the demo, tasks like writing and spreadsheet wrangling tended to feel a second or two behind. If navigating the apps in Nubo’s remote workspace fails to prove as responsive as native software, chances are it’ll be more trouble than it’s worth.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to figure out if Nubo is right for you: It’s available on the iOS App Store and Google Play, free of charge. Fire up the demo to get a taste of what working in Nubo’s environment is like: a dummy account and some files are provided. If you’re interest is piqued, you can request a trial to learn more.