Android for Work, Google’s play at enterprise, is gaining steam. Today, the company announced the addition of 40 new partners to the fold, and significantly an agreement with all four major mobile carriers in the U.S. — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.
For the uninitiated, Android for Work aims to bridge the gap between “work” and “personal” digital environments by allowing both to coexist. Corporate apps and data inhabit an encrypted sandbox, but live alongside apps outside the walled garden (other than a “Android for Work” badge, the they’re indistinguishable). On the IT side, Android for Work confers benefits like a branded app store and over-the-air updates.
Google’s touting its cellular partnerships as a boon for users. “People can soon turn to their mobile operators to take advantage of Android for Work’s integrated security, management and productivity solutions,” the search giant said in a blog post. In addition to carriers stateside, Google’s inked deals with Rogers, Bell Canada, Telus Mobility, and KT.
Separately, the Mountain View-based company is teaming up with device makers to showcase phones for jobs of more sensitive natures. “Regulated” Android for Work devices — devices for industries with strict compliance and security requirements — offer “some of the highest levels of government certification” and have “enhanced privacy and security features on top of the Android platform,” Google says.
Organizations are evidently finding those benefits attractive. Google says more than 10,000 businesses including the World Bank, the U.S. Army, and Guardian Life Insurance are “testing, deploying, or using” Android for Work. “With its choice, flexibility, and security, we believe Android is uniquely equipped to help businesses tap the full power of mobility,” said senior director of Android and Chrome for Work Rajen Sheth. “Together with our partners, we’re gearing up to make this a reality.”