Google wants to take back some of the market share it has lost to Apple in terms of the enterprise mobile market. Back in June, the company announced its new program titled Android Work which is likely to take care of just that. It is going to be Google’s turning point in business usage for Android for the time to come.
Currently manufacturers have their own software based solutions to make their devices running on Android more business-friendly. With Android Work, all those might seem unnecessary and Android devices are likely to be more enterprise friendly right out of the box.
Here are 10 things that make Android Work stand out:
1. Google has based Android Work on Samsung’s Knox. With Android L, the Knox container will be a standard part of the release, allowing users to manage it easily on almost any Android device. This adds to the enterprise-friendly nature of the Android L be it on any manufacturer’s device. Making Knox an integral part of Android L will also help other manufacturers.
2. Android Work is being created to allow a seamless transition between personal and work related data. This is the cornerstone of any enterprise level integration in a mobile operating system. To enable corporate employees to use a single device for both work and personal usage, data security and transition is highly important.
The Android Work container can encrypt business data, thus making it more secure, and restrict the usage without making it appear as a different workspace. This is pretty similar to the way Apple does its managed app functionality for enterprise level iOS.
3. Google is also working on developing a volume distribution system for apps. This will allow organizations to buy apps in bulk for their employees using Google Play. These apps can then be rolled out for the company’s users for internal usage. IT managers will be able to push app updates to their employees, enabling a secure rollout.
4. For developers, it’s not going to be a painful process to create apps that work within the Android Work container. Google is working towards making Android Work functional without requiring a deeper investment from the developers’ end. This means that management and user experience of these apps including containerization would all be automatic.
5. Android Work will comprise of a new Device Policy Client (DPC) app that will allow companies to create and manage several work profiles. These work profiles will be used to establish containers on an Android device. It will also be helpful while provisioning apps and work policies along with the EMM solution.
6. Google is adding new enterprise entities to support the work profile. This will include a new profile owner entity that will be used to establish a specific device type administrator along with more capabilities. The owner of the profile cannot be edited by end users, and the profile will be solely controlled by IT managers only. Android Work will also include a new entity called a device owner who will have the authority to manage the entire device.
7. The company will also incorporate an Android Wear certification program. This will allow both corporates and users to smartly buy the devices which are capable of performing well under the Android Wear program for BYOD implementations. The idea is to let prospective buyers pick the right model of a device, from the right OEM. Google’s program will be backed by almost all major Android OEMs.
8. Android L will feature a kill switch by default. This feature isn’t an exclusive one for Android Work but it will make a lot more sense for enterprise customers than general users. Google will allow remote Factory Reset Protection like Apple’s Activation Lock that will allow users from disabling lost or stolen devices.
9. Android L will have a much deeper integration with Google’s Chrome OS. This will enable enterprises to easily pick up Chrome OS based notebooks and computers to implement in their workplace. The pairing isn’t as inviting as Apple showed off at WWDC but it does mark a start. Google doesn’t have much control on what users can do on Windows but it can promote Chrome OS even further with a fluid integration.
10. Android Work marks Google’s strong re-entry into the enterprise mobility market. Apple is looking to dominate the market by expanding its existing massive market share in the enterprise, but not all corporates will have iOS devices for all their employees. Thus Google can cash in on that factor, and start pitching to more corporates across the globe.
Source: Android L documentation
Image source: http://www.android.com/phones-and-tablets/