Google has become so dominant that 96% of the smartphones sold last year run on Google’s Android, according to the IDC research firm. With this in mind it should come as a little surprise that more and more people are carrying Android phones into their workplace and for IT departments this can be something of a security issue. Today Google announces Android for work with an attempt to help people to transplant more of their professional lives on to their phones and making Android more secure and manageable in the workplace.
Android for Work features four key components – Work Profiles, Android for Work app, Google Play for Work, and Built-in Productivity Tools.
According to Google, Workprofiles will offer users a secure and dedicated work profile that keeps business app and data separate from each other, so employees can use a single device that must be running Lollipop to manage their work apps. The tool also ensures that an employee’s personal apps and data are left untouched by the employer.
Android for Work app (for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kit Kat) will offer a secure solution for work emails, calendar appointments, contacts, documents, web browsing and more.
Google Play for Work will allow developers to manage selected work apps and offer a central location for business users to find and download them.
A variety of business apps have been introduced for emails, contacts and calendar, which support both Exchange and Notes and provides document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Current hardware partners include Samsung, Sony, LG, Lenovo, HTC, Motorola, Huawei, Dell and HP among others. Application partners are Salesforce, SAP, Adobe, Concur, successfactors, Box and others. Management partners include Airwatch, SAP, Soti, BlacBerry, Citrix, Mobile Iron, MaaS360 and others. Finally, Networking partners are f5, Paloatta, Pulse secure, Cisco and others.