Google has revealed a new Android for Work programme that aims to help businesses better use more Android devices in the workplace.
Android for Work features four key technology components: Work Profiles, an Android for Work app, Google Play for Work and built-in productivity tools.
An SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support in Android 5.0 Lollipop creates a dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data. IT can deploy approved work apps alongside their users’ personal apps and keep sensitive data secured.
The Android for Work app is for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kitkat, or ones that don’t run work profiles natively. The app delivers secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps, and can be managed by IT.
Then there’s Google Play for Work, which allows businesses to securely deploy, approve and manage apps across all users running Android for Work.
Finally, the built-in productivity tools are a suite of apps for email, contacts and calendar, supporting both Exchange and Notes, and allowing users to edit their documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Google has teamed up with several partners for the Android for Work initiative, including Enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers that integrate with standardised management APIs to create a simple way to manage all Android devices.
Software vendors and developers can get involved by creating a single version of any Google Play app that can be securely deployed to any Android device without alterations or wrapping.
And smartphone and tablet vendors are working on devices specifically for Android for Work.
Google said in a statement: "Over a billion people today carry Android smartphones – devices that are more powerful than the computers we used just a few years ago.
"For many, these phones have become essential tools to help us complete important work tasks like checking email, editing documents, reviewing sales pipelines and approving deals. But for the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace. Their business and innovation potential remain largely untapped.
"Today we’re announcing the Android for Workprogram to tap into that potential. With a group of partners, we’re helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform."
There’s more details on the Android for Work website.