Google has unveiled an all-new set of apps and services made specifically to promote the use of Android for work.
The new system includes work profiles, which are built to include enhanced security, as well as specific apps like "Work Mail," "Work Calendar" and so on.
"For the majority of workers, smartphones and tablets are underutilized in the workplace. Their business and innovation potential remain largely untapped," said Google in a blog post. "Today we're announcing the Android for Work program to tap into that potential. With a group of partners, we're helping businesses bring more devices to work by securing, managing and innovating on the Android platform."
The apps essentially allow users to bring their personal phones to work and use them in a way that's separate from their personal apps and services. For example, users can have their normal Gmail app be used for personal use, and then use "Work Mail," to receive emails specifically for work.
Google has largely struggled to show Android's place in the work environment. Devices running iOS have quietly but effectively made their way into the workplace as very professional devices, and Microsoft has been known for its business-oriented devices for a long time. Google, however, has to make more of an effort than its competitors in order to establish Android as an operating system that can be applied to work.
Google began developing the technology for Android for Work after buying a startup called Divide.
The Android for Work app is a lot more than it sounds, however. It's more of an "app for apps." Basically, when Android for Work is launched, it creates a "Work Profile," which essentially gives users the ability to separate work apps and data from personal data.
"IT can deploy approved work apps right alongside their users' personal apps knowing their sensitive data remains secured. People can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won't erase or view their personal content," continued Google.
In order to effectively deploy the new system, Google is partnering with a number of companies and vendors, including companies that help businesses manage mobile devices, and smartphone makers like Samsung and HTC.
Work profiles are already compatible with Android Lollipop, however Google says that they will be available on older versions of Android using the Android for Work app. Android for Work will be available for devices running Android 4.0 and higher.