Android for Work, which encompasses all of Google’s enterprise-oriented features and services for its mobile operating system, has expanded to 40 companies today, including new device manufacturers, application makers, and management providers. At the same, Google has announced that more than 10,000 businesses are now testing, deploying, or using Android for Work.
Google first unveiled Android for Work at its I/O developer conference in June 2014. In February 2015, the program hit general availability, as Google released an Android for Work app, a Google Play for Work business-oriented app store, and new apps that support common productivity tools.
Here is the full list of Android for Work partners:
As part of the partner expansion today, mobile carriers are joining Android for Work for the first time. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers, Bell Canada, Telus Mobility, and KT are now offering broad support for Android for Work, which essentially translates into customers being able to turn to their carriers for Android for Work’s integrated security, management, and productivity solutions.
Google today also highlighted how the Android for Work program is showcasing devices built for regulated industries that have strict security and compliance requirements. They include additional hardware and software-based security enhancements on top of what Android already offers. Right now, only two devices are listed: the Samsung Galaxy S6, thanks to its high levels of government certification, and the Blackphone by Silent Circle, which includes enhanced privacy and security features.
This is an excellent example of how the Android for Work program makes sense for Google. The company can essentially work with partners to feature a variety of offerings, rather than building out the whole ecosystem by itself.
At the same time, Google is also expanding the security features that ship out-of-the-box with Android. Android M, the next release of Google’s mobile operating system, is expected to arrive later this year. It will support fingerprint sensors and multi-process security.