Anybody carrying a smartphone knows just how powerful those pocket-sized computers can be. Further to that potential is the reality that mobile devices have moved from luxury to necessity, particularly in the corporate world. In the beginning, Microsoft dominated this business market –with Apple showing promise as their primary competition. According to an announcement from the Official Google for Work Blog, Android isn’t ready to bow out just yet. By taking advantage of their new Android for Work program, Google is bringing a group of high-profile partners together to help businesses implement more devices using their platform.
According to Google, Android for Work contains four key technology components:
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.
There is no question this is a step in the right direction. The corporate world prefers to deal with others like them –which has always been the struggle for open source platforms gaining widespread adoption in that sector. Businesspeople want somebody to call when things don’t work, and Google is partnering with the kinds of companies that can offer consistency, security, and relevance.
It will take time to tell whether they can be persuasive enough to be successful, even with a program like Android for Work. Google is eager to boast having billions of activated devices, but fails to mention just how many are underpowered or fail to be subscribed to working data plans. Even with that said, there is no reason why iOS has to be the defacto standard for the corporate world without a little healthy competition from other full-featured platforms like Android.