This content is part of the Essential Guide: The right systems management tool frees up time for the important work

Are there any open source mobile device management tools?

Whether you need a basic open source mobile device management tool for your company's Apple or Android devices, or something more customized, you have options -- and they're free.

A number of free and open source mobile device management tools are available, but you may want to consider your...

goals before pursuing one.

If your goal is to find a free mobile device management (MDM) tool, consider a basic device management tool or service such as Apple Configurator 2, Google Android Device Manager or Miradore Online. Note, however, that mobile device management tools' management capabilities vary widely, so start by deciding what you're trying to accomplish. For example, Apple Configurator can configure iPhones and iPads running iOS 7 or later, while Google's service can find, lock or erase any device running Android 2.3 or later. Miradore offers a free cloud service for individuals and small teams, including capabilities such as device enrollment, inventory and profile configuration; if you want more enterprise features, you'll pay a fee.

Mobile device management tools' management capabilities vary widely.

On the other hand, if your goal is to find open source mobile device management code that you can review and customize to meet your own needs, here are few open source options to check out:

When attempting to develop or customize your own MDM, bear in mind that some mobile operating systems are more open than others. Notably, Apple limits native iOS MDM API access to a carefully selected set of vendors, while Google embraces third-party device administration by any developer. There are dozens of free apps in Google Play that offer some degree of MDM. Finally, be mindful that exploitable flaws in device administration code could have very significant ramifications, so be sure to carefully vet any provider of MDM source code, tools or services.

Next Steps

How can you choose the right MDM product or service?

What are the best MDM offerings for your organization?

How can you use MDM tools to protect smartphones and tablets?

Dig Deeper on Google Android operating system and devices