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Android for Work used by 19,000 businesses

More than 19,000 businesses are now testing, deploying or using Google's Android for Work service, the company announced in a blog post yesterday.

The announcement does not make it clear how many companies are actually using the service, and how many are testing it. TechCrunch believes there are far more businesses trialling Android for Work than actually using it, as large businesses tend to move slowly. Still, it's a fairly large figure.

Android for Work was designed with the BYOD initiative in mind – employees can bring their devices to work, and have their professional and private apps separated. This program, which Google first previewed at its I/O developer conference in 2014, officially launched in February of this year.

"Workers now enjoy an enhanced BYOD experience with work status notifications and contacts integration. Administrators can simplify certificates, seamlessly set up new accounts, apply more granular permissions and provision new users using NFC,” Google said in a blog post.

The company has also announced the Android for Work Live, a live event showcasing how new customers including Guardian Life Insurance deploys Android for BYOD; Peninsula Hotels provides guests with Android tablets for room controls, information and service; and Safelite repair technicians use Samsung devices for communication, scanning, navigation, payment and training.

Google says it is working with over 80 partners. One of these is BlackBerry, which will support Android for Work and match Google’s Android patch schedule for its PRIV device through monthly scheduled updates. Other partners include the likes of Citrix, Cisco, F5 and SAP, as well as a number of device manufacturers and carriers.