As the world’s leading smartphone platform, Android is used by over a billion people today. As many people will be aware of, there is more technology contained within our smartphones than was used to get man to the moon (granted, phones don’t have huge rockets).
Now, with Android and other OS systems being as powerful as computers were, even a few years ago, phones have become so much more than just a communication device. In the workplace, phones have enabled employees to continue working when they are away from their desk, on virtually any activity.
Mobile is an essential tool in the workplace, helping people with tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals. Though many companies are using this to their advantage, there are still many where innovation around mobilisation remains untapped.
This is something that Apple, Google and Microsoft are looking to address, by developing features or solutions targeted towards workplace mobile productivity.
This week, Google has announced its new programme – Android for Work – that seeks to utilise a group of partners to bring more devices to work. Android for Work does this by offering a range of solutions aimed at securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform.
Android for Work features four key technology components:
Work profiles – Building on the default encryption, this provides 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 to Kitkat, or any devices that don’t run work profiles natively, Google has 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, Google has 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.
The partners Google is working with, as part of the Android for Work program, help to provide IT with:
Consistent management – Enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers integrate with standardised management APIs to create a simple way to manage all Android devices, new and old, from one dashboard. All Android for Work capabilities are delivered through EMM partners, with more providers available soon.
Secure business apps – Software vendors and developers can create a single version of any Google Play app that can be securely deployed to any Android device without alterations or wrapping. And they can create standard management configurations that allow IT to apply policies per app.
Innovative devices – Android smartphone and tablet makers are a key part of the Android for Work programme, as they create devices and experiences that add further value for customers, together with a wide range of management, application and device makers.
Google believes the Android for Work programme provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work. Apple has provided many of these services for a while, such as ease of management and secure business apps, though it has sought recently to improve the potential for mobility through its IBM partnership.
We believe that Google for Work will be beneficial to companies who want to utilise, or better utilise Android in the workplace. There’s no denying that the breadth of devices and flexibility of the platform appeals to many types of businesses and use cases.
Learn more by visiting Google for Work | Android.