Google just announced its new Android for Work program that will see it work with partners to bring Android into the enterprise. With Android for Work, users will have access to features like Work Profiles, a new Android for Work app, Google Play for Work, and new productivity tools.
Work profiles will offer users what Google described as a secure and “dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data,” while the Android for Work app will offer a secure solution for mail, calendar, contacts, documents, web browsing and more. Google Play for Work, as you’d probably expect, will allow developers to deploy business apps and offer a central location for business users to find and download them.
The new platform could be seen as a reaction and competitor to Apple’s announcement last year that it would team up with IBM to bring enterprise services to iOS and push iPhones and iPads to business customers.
Google provided a break down of the features mentioned above, which it said will make up Android for Work’s “four key technology components.”
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- Work profiles – We’ve built on the default encryption, enhanced SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support in Android 5.0, Lollipop to create a dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data. IT can deploy approved work apps right alongside their users’ personal apps knowing their sensitive data remains secured. People can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won’t erase or view their personal content.
- Android for Work app – For devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kitkat, or that don’t run work profiles natively, we’ve created the Android for Work app. The app, which delivers secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps, can be completely managed by IT.
- Google Play for Work – Google Play for Work allows businesses to securely deploy and manage apps across all users running Android for Work, simplifying the process of distributing apps to employees and ensuring that IT approves every deployed app.
- Built-in productivity tools – For everyday business tasks, we’ve created a suite of business apps for email, contacts and calendar, which supports both Exchange and Notes and provides document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Google said today that it’s already working with a number of partners on the program including device manufacturers, app developers, and enterprise solutions for device management and networking. Among the partners are smartphone makers like Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, and Lenovo, and app developers including Adobe, Box, and Salesforce.
Here’s a full list of initial launch partners Google is teaming up with to offer management, devices supporting Android for Work, and new business apps:
Google has a new website setup for those interested in learning more or signing up to be a partner.