Google tries to woo enterprises with new Android for Work initiatives

The new plans include a free phone for companies that want to try out Android management

Credit: Play Store

Credit: Play Store

Google continued its enterprise push on Wednesday with the launch of new programs relating to Android for Work, its group of features and services that help make the mobile operating system easier to manage for businesses.

To attract more companies to the program, the first 3,000 businesses that deploy enterprise mobility management services and set up Android for Work will get a free Nexus 5X phone that they can use to test all of the mobility management features in Google’s operating system. It’s a way for Google to encourage more organizations (beyond the 19,000 already testing, deploying or using Android for Work) to give it a shot.

According to Andrew Toy, Android for Work’s product management director, the company chose a Nexus phone because it will have access to the latest version of Google’s operating system and current updates.

The choice is somewhat interesting, however, since Google doesn’t have a dedicated plan for selling Nexus phones into enterprises at scale. Toy suggested that IT professionals who want to do a large-scale Android deployment should look to one of the many manufacturers building Android devices.

Speaking of equipment manufacturers, BlackBerry has agreed to provide monthly security updates to its Android devices (starting with its just-launched Priv smartphone), and will also make them capable of receiving security hot fixes for serious problems.

It’s an understandable move for the Canadian smartphone maker, which has been known for both its friendliness toward business users and its commitment to security on its phones. BlackBerry joins a handful of other smartphone makers already on the same program, which matches the security bulletins and updates Google rolls out to its Nexus line of devices. The other companies agreeing to provide those updates are Samsung and Silent Circle, the maker of the “Blackphone” security-focused smartphone.

Having OEMs lined up to provide security updates is something that’s important for Google as it tries to push Android into more and more security-conscious business environments. There has been a lot of hay made about security vulnerabilities in the company’s mobile operating system that remain unpatched because of manufacturers and cellular carriers dragging their feet with regards to patching devices.

In addition to all of the announcements, Google is also pushing features it added to Android for Work in the Marshmallow release of its mobile operating system, like the ability to more easily deploy single-use devices, like Android tablets that get used to power kiosks. While businesses and developers have been able to try out the new functionality since the Marshmallow developer preview was released in May, Toy said that Google is now being “more strong” in its promotion of the new features.

All of these announcements add up to the second push in two days that Google has made to try and appeal to business users. The company revealed a group of updates around Apps for Work on Tuesday, including a new set of recommended partner apps that integrate with the online productivity suite.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?