Google just upped the ante on its plans to invade the enterprise.
The company just officially launched Android for Work, a new program designed to get more companies to use Android phones in their corporate environments.
Google first announced Android for Work back at its I/O conference in June 2014, but is officially launching its products now.
Android for Work is an important part of the company’s broader “Google for Work” product offerings, which are set to become Google’s next multibillion dollar business.
Google has already scored big customers like Price WaterhouseCoopers and hopes to win over more companies with its growing list of products optimised for the enterprise, including Gmail, Drive for cloud storage, Hangouts for videoconferencing, Chromebooks, Maps, and, now, Android.
It also continues Google’s standoff against Android partner Samsung, which has its own security platforms — SAFE and KNOX — specifically for its Android devices.
Here are the four main parts of Android for Work:
- Work profiles: You’ll be able to use one Android device at both work and home by creating a separate profile to isolate and protect work data. Your employer won’t be able to see any data from your personal apps. Work profiles will only be available on devices running Lollipop, Android’s latest operating system. (Google acquired a company called Divide that provided similar technology last May.)
- Android for Work app: For phones and tablets that can’t upgrade to Lollipop, Google also made a seperate app for delivering secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps that can be completely managed by a company’s IT department
- Google Play for Work: A special version of Google’s app store will let companies easily manage which apps Android for Work users can download. “Google Play for Work simplifies the process of distributing apps to employees and ensures that IT approves every deployed app.”
- A suite of business apps: Google has apps for email, contacts, and calendar, which support both Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes and provide document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
Google is also working with a ton of partners on the program. Hardware partners include Samsung, Lenovo, Sony, and most other major Android phone makers. It will also integrate with corporate apps like Box and SAP, and with device management tools from VMware (Airwatch), MobileIron, and SOTI.
Here’s what Google for Work will look like on a phone.
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