Android remains the most popular mobile platform in the world, despite a recent market-share surge by Apple’s iOS. But that’s evidently not enough for Google, which wants more businesses to adopt Android as a vital tool.
As part of that broader aim, Google has launched Android for Work, an initiative to push the OS into the hands of more hardcore enterprise users. It’s not just about interoperability with Exchange and other, rival platforms; the latest version of Android can partition enterprise data away from the user’s personal games and apps. System administrators can set policies to whitelist apps and prevent data leakage.
While these features are available for Android 5.0 (also known as “Lollipop”), the big question is whether Google will make good on its earlier promise to extend the functionality back to older versions of Android; given the fragmentation of the Android ecosystem, and the sheer number of devices not running Lollipop, the company may need to make that happen sooner rather than later. In theory, Google might also consider altering the name of its app store, “Google Play,” to something more business-y.
And even if Android for Work doesn’t solidify Android’s placement in the enterprise, at least Google can take heart in the fact that Android remains the most-used mobile OS.