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Google releases 'Divide' to conquer mobile devices, messaging

Chocolate Factory already good at division: review scores for gCal have gone OFF A CLIFF

By Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2014

Google has quietly released something called “Divide”, the fruits of an acquisition it made back in May.

Divide offered a mobile device management platform and tools to synch Exchange and Notes content to Android devices. The latter features have re-emerged in a new Android app Google says is a “gateway to your existing corporate Exchange/ActiveSync or Notes-compatible infrastructure” and “Divide is/was a mobile device management and which it says is “a complete set of apps for business email, calendar, contacts, tasks, downloads to get your job done with speed, simplicity and security.”

There's not much other detail on offer, other than a feature list that says Divide is capable of the following:

  • Mail: S/MIME, HTML, gestures, flag messages for follow-up, out of office
  • Calendar: Create/edit meetings, accept/decline invitations, highlight VIP calendar alerts
  • Contacts: Corporate directory lookup, mark contacts as VIPs, export to personal address book
  • Tasks: Set, view, edit, sort, delete tasks
  • Downloads: Save, view and share attachments

You need to sign up for the Android IT Preview to use Divide in anger.

Speaking of anger, that's what Google is getting from reviewers of its recently-revised calendar app. Google's made it clear its productivity apps need a makeover, but seems to have botched the job when it comes to calendar.

Before the new app's early November release, it regularly racked up decent reviews. Since version 5.0 debuted, it's instead generating a gusher of vitriol.

Users hate the new five-day week and resent the new flat design style. Many reviews are unreproducible in this publication, while others like this from Mark Racine summarise users' gripes nicely by saying:

“If it ain't broken don't fix it This is by far the worse you have ever done. This just one piece of gigantic crap. Fix this, to bad I can't put less than one start. This is not supposed to be fun and colorful. It supposed to be practical and useful. Can't use this for anything. For one it a calendar and we can't even see the year, we use to be able to see the number of weeks. Anyway don't have anymore time for review. Got to go find a decent agenda.”

Google will doubtless be hoping those who have a look at Divide don't end up with similar gripes, or its push into the hot mobile device management space may stall. If that were to happen, it would be another setback in Google's many attempts to build big businesses beyond advertising. ®

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