Google wants companies to take a second look at Android: The company will add new security and productivity features to its next Android operating system, Sundar Pichai said in his keynote address at Google I/O.
The senior vice president of Android, Chrome and apps gave developers a first look at the “L release,” which includes new security and productivity features aimed at enterprise users.
Google is seeking to unify the Android ecosystem and secure data across devices and applications for enterprise users.
Android for Work will make it easier to separate and secure corporate and personal data on a device. The service is built on the Samsung Knox security framework, which as part of Android will provide a similar user experience across all Android devices. OEMs such as Motorola, LG, Sony, HTC and others are working with Google to incorporate the Android for Work APIs into their enterprise-ready devices.
Google Play Services will make it easy for developers to take advantage of Android for Work. According to Pichai, no modification will be required for existing apps to function with the additional security features in Android for Work or with bulk deployment.
Android for Work will be available on all devices running Android “L.” For devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and above, some features will be available in an app.
Enhanced security across Android L: Other security features in Android L will include malware protection, universal data controls that can help manage privacy, and a kill switch that will allow users to wipe their devices of all personal information.
Google Drive for Work: Data stored in Google’s cloud service will now be encrypted in transit and at rest on Google’s servers.
Google also previewed plenty of productivity features business users will enjoy in Android L.
A single data set across devices: Devices running L will connect more seamlessly with Chromebook, Google’s line of laptops. Android applications will be available for Chromebook users giving them access the same set of data across Android and Chromebook devices.
Google Slides: Google has added a mobile-friendly presentation app to its suite of cloud-based productivity tools.
Google Docs: Microsoft Office documents can now be opened, edited and saved directly in Google Docs. Unlimited storage for Google Drive for Work users will now be available for $10 a month.
Enhanced notifications: Android L users will be able to more quickly and easily respond to notifications. With a double finger-tap, users will be able to launch an app directly from the notification screen or swipe to dismiss unwanted notifications.
Personal Unlocking will allow users to unlock their Chromebooks or mobile devices without needing a passcode. The feature relies on paired devices, which communicate with each other to help determine if the device is in a trusted environment. If the device is in a trusted environment, it will open without a hitch; if not, a password will be required.
Along with L, Pichai and his team released the full Android Wear SDK and new operating systems for connected cars and TVs, as well as the health and fitness tracking platform Google Fit and a new big data service called Google Cloud Dataflow.