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Google partners with BlackBerry to launch new enterprise platform

Android is running on over 1 billion smartphones worldwide, but Google is still yet to tackle the mobile enterprise world head on, until now.

The launch of ‘Android at Work’ confirms Google’s plans to offer a simple way for organisations to implement BYOD (bring-your-own-device) programs with a familiar interface.

Google has partnered with BlackBerry to make the new enterprise platform, consisting of new applications, security features and an enterprise marketplace.

It splits the operating system in half, one part for personal use and the other for business. This is similar to BlackBerry’s own BB10 platform, which has messaging apps split between personal and business contacts.

Work apps will be labelled with an orange briefcase, alongside having ‘Work’ at the front of each application. Google has already added Work Chrome, Work Docs and Work Mail.

It is a worry that low storage devices will be overwhelmed by the double content at boot, but hopefully most of the enterprise Android devices have over 32GB of internal storage and an SD-card slot for good measure.

Google has implemented various security protocols for its enterprise apps, allowing admins and company owners to feel safe in the knowledge there is more protection for employees.

The Google Play apps store has also been redesigned for enterprise, offering a hand-selected portion of secure apps for work. Users will be able to order bulk downloads of a single application, allowing one admin to send apps to every employee.

Google is clearly banking on the BYOD or CYOD (choose-your-own-device) growing in the next few years, which Android at Work can benefit from.

Apple launched its own business-centric service a few months ago in partnership with IBM, launching twenty apps for all sorts of industries.

Samsung and Microsoft also have enterprise services available for mobile, Samsung with KNOX and Microsoft with Azure.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.