Google has designed a new set of tools for its Android mobile platform designed with office use in mind. Known as Android for Work, the new release assists those who use Android-enabled mobile products, with the intent of transforming them into devices that can balance work-related and personal use.
The launch of Android for Work puts Google into a heated battle with other mobile developers, including Microsoft and BlackBerry, both of which have been actively targeting the business market for several years. Apple has also joined the fray, partnering with IBM to create its own business platform.
“Over a billion people today carry Android smartphones – devices that are more powerful than the computers we used just a few years ago,” wrote Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome for Work on the official Google for Work blog.
“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,” Sheth continued. “But for the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace. Their business and innovation potential remain largely untapped.”
While the platform is being released now, Google first announced its plans to conceive Android for Work nearly a year ago. The last eight months saw the company develop, experiment with and fine-tune the product for consumer use.
Among the many tools included with Android for Work is the ability to separate work and personal use by creating different profiles for each. This prevents the information stored under their personal profile from falling into the wrong hands.
Smartphones running Android’s Lollipop operating system will be the first to receive access to Android for Work, while those operating older versions of Android will be able to run the platform by downloading an app. Furthermore, a new section dedicated to enterprise-focused apps will soon be added to the Google Play store.
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