IT departments around the world are often hesitant to implement usage of Android phones within their staff due to security concerns. Samsung addressed this with their Knox security program. Now Google are looking to implement increased security and a more business-friendly Android with the announcement of Android For Work thanks in part to some of the code from the Knox program.
Google are introducing new APIs that will allow work and personal data to remain secure and separate from each other on the one phone. This will allow a user to use their work Android device for personal use without the business having to worry about their data being compromised by personal apps on the phone. All the apps will be in the one launcher and the notifications all grouped in together but will be distinguished from one another by the designated Android for Work symbol.
This will allow companies to easily secure their employees’ devices without having to implement code themselves. Through the addition of code from Samsung’s Knox project Google are securing Android for the enterprise so all companies can make inroads into the enterprise community. Samsung and Google commented via a press release:
“Samsung has been pioneering to bring Android to the enterprise. We are grateful for their contribution to the Android open source project,” said Hiroshi Lockheimer, VP of Engineering, Android. “Jointly we are bringing enterprise-grade security and management capabilities to all manufacturers participating in the Android ecosystem.”
The goal of this unique collaboration is to address the evolving needs for a resilient and secure mobile platform. At the same time it ensures that the end user privacy and experiences are not compromised, so users can enjoy the same Android experience for work as they do for personal use. Along with this effort to expand into the enterprise mobility market powered by the Android platform, Samsung will continue to provide the advanced, differentiated, and comprehensive enterprise mobility solution for enterprise customers.
With the release of L version of Android, Google are also introducing an implementation that allows businesses to bulk install of apps (at a bulk price discount) and to manage these apps themselves. The feature will work with Android versions Ice Cream Sandwich and above. Developers don’t need to make any modifications of existing apps to work with the new feature— it will be implemented at a system level by Google in the base code of L version of Android.
It is easy to see why all the big names in Android device manufacturing are jumping onboard with Samsung, Sony, Lenovo, Huawei and HTC all signing on to Android For Work. If your employer did offer a device to you I would imagine it would be nice to be able to choose the device you want without your employer having any security concerns. Do you think this will make any indent at all into the enterprise marketplace?