Google has officially launched Android for Work, a new program designed to get more companies adopting Android phones as their OS of choice for corporate environments and business use.
The program was first announced at the search giant’s I/O conference in 2014, but products for the initiative are only just being officially launched. It is part of a broader ‘Google for Work’ push by the company, which is hoping will form the backbone of its next multibillion-dollar industry.
There are four key technology components to the Android for Work offering. A central app, Android for Work, will deliver secure mail, provide calendar and contacts functions and enable document browsing and editing to approved work apps.
Meanwhile, encrypted work profiles will enable users to isolate and protect sensitive data, encouraging ‘bring your own device’ working by letting IT departments access work data while ensuring private data is inaccessible to companies.
Google Play for Work will enable businesses to securely deploy and manage apps across all users running Android for Work, simplifying the process and ensuring IT departments can approve all deployed apps. Finally, Google has created a suite of business apps for email, contacts and calendar that support both Exchange and Notes, and provide document editing capabilities.
“Over a billion people today carry Android smartphones – devices that are more powerful than the computers we used just a few years ago,” said Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome for Work. “For many, these phones have become essential tools to help us complete important work tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals.
“But for the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace. Their business and innovation potential remain largely untapped. With a group of partners, we’re helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.”