Google formally unveiled its complete Android for Work suite of apps and security and, well, just about a full panoply of mobile and desktop apps for the enterprise level environment.
This rollout pits Google right smack up against Microsoft, which years ago ruled the work space. Remember Outlook for email and MS Word for writing? Yea, we do too. And remember Blackberry? (Ha! Blackberry is actually one of the Android for Work partners.)
“Together with a wide range of management, application and device makers, we believe the Android for Work program provides businesses and workers with the choice and flexibility they need to get things done at work,” posted Rajen Sheth, Director of Product Management, Android and Chrome for Work on the Google blog and Android blog.
Okay, so here’s the deal: Android for Work brings the (pretty much) complete package of work apps fully into your phone or tablet in a separate (but also connected) environment to your personal Google apps. But the catch is of course security. To be fully functional on the enterprise level a company’s IT and security departments will need to be involved and participating. But that’s okay because Google designed the whole package that way and, of course, wants IT and security involved.
And never forget the Google My Business applications and opportunities, too.
Google says these are the four key tech components of Android for Work:
- 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.
On your phone or tablet the Android for Work apps are differentiated from your personal apps by a little lunch-box-in-an-orange-circle icon (not making that up) so you can easily tell if you’re on work stuff or checking to see if that new hire down in accounting is on Tinder.
The Android for Work apps are built for Android 5.0 (Lollipop) but versions are available for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)