Android for Work Gets New Features, Metrics, Customers

Chris CrumTechnology

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Google first launched Android for Work in February as a program aimed at getting more Android smartphones and tablets in use in the workplace. The offering comes with work profiles, a dedicated app, Google Play for Work, and built-in productivity tools.

The company provided an update on its efforts and announced some new features on Wednesday.

For one, there are now over 19,000 organizations testing, deploying, or using Android for Work as well as over 80 partners. New customers include ​Guardian Life Insurance, Safelite and Peninsula Hotels.

There are also new improvements for IT admins including simpler certificates and more granular permissions.

"Android for Work expands on the platform’s multi-layered security, capabilities and APIs, and provides powerful ways for manufacturers, developers, mobility managers and carriers to create the next generation of solutions for work, beyond basic email and productivity," says Android for Work Product Management Director Andrew Toy. "After enabling “bring your own device” (BYOD) use cases and streamlining application deployment in Lollipop, we’ve taken the next step to improve enterprise mobility in Marshmallow. Workers now enjoy an enhanced BYOD experience with work status notifications and contacts integration. Administrators can simplify certificates, seamlessly set up new accounts, apply more granular permissions and provision new users using NFC."

New work APIs in Marshmallow also enable easy deployment and management of devices in dedicated single-use scenarios, such as defined tasks, kiosks and ATMs," Toy adds. "Android for Work builds upon the expanded security features such as runtime permissions, verified boot, hardware-isolated security, SELinux, application sandboxing and protections within Google Play Services."

Blackberry announced support for monthly scheduled updates, joining partners like Samsung and Silent Circle that Google says are "helping make patching predictable and responsive."

The Android for Work pilot program is offering a Nexus 5x to up to​ 3000 companies to try Android for Work with a participating EMM.

Image via Android for Work

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.