Google has bought Divide, a startup that secures smartphones to make them enterprise-friendly. It uses containers, a concept that should not sound unfamiliar around these parts thanks to the likes of Samsung KNOX. The approach separates a user's personal data from work-related files, effectively isolating them from one another on the same device. Google's purchase could imply a desire to tighten up Android's security out of the box and better attract the interest of enterprise customers.


Divide, formerly known as Enterproid, was backed by Google Ventures (along with other investors such as Comcast Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures), so it doesn't come as too much of surprise that the team was on the tech giant's radar. Still, certain businesses have held off on using Android due to security concerns, and this acquisition suggests that Google is not ready to cede the workplace to its competitors lying down. It could use Divide's experience to make Android more corporate-ready without needing outside vendors to come in and introduce their own bits.

Android may be a more open operating system than the likes of iOS, Windows Phone, or BlackBerry OS - but dear corporations, that's nothing a good container can't address, and Google's may soon be ready to give you one.

Update: This news lines up well with previous reports that in the next major version of Android, the "L" release, Google will make a strong push for corporate adoption. Other rumored security features include partial wipe, password storage on chips, and better data encryption.

Via: Recode

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Mohnish Wadhwa

    Let Google buy all the companies it can to tighten the security for Android but it's not going to reach anywhere.

    • Colin

      Your well-reasoned argument has persuaded me. Thank you.

      • Grahaman27

        It's a comment, not an argument, cut him some slack. But yeah he is wrong.

    • http://thepolymath.in/ Deepansh Khurana

      Thank you for this very well thought and insightful opinion. You are an integral part of this discussion. Thank you my friend.

    • Marcell Lévai

      Please explain in a bit more detail, because I'm not sure I interpret your comment right.

      Divide was similar to the functionality that's found on windows phone (kid mode), except it had a general mode and a work mode. One could set up different accounts, apps, widgets, etc for the to modes. Securing data originating from your workplace is essential in many situations. I don't see why it would be bad to have something similar built into stock android.

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Much-needed. Looking at how easy it is for enterprises to manage iPhones (weird what a complete 180 they managed to pull there) versus Android phones, something like this is badly needed.

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  • Roger Siegenthaler

    This is just a tad-bit late to be in the "L" release if they want to release that at IO this year... so lets grow accustomed to the idea that there probably won't be a new API level/OS version at IO but rather a huge GMS update :).

  • John Smith

    It'll be nice to use my personal phone for work stuff (i.e. check email), without the threat of: wipe phone via outlook... who knows what slimy IT dude has the finger on the trigger.

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    Does this affect or threatens root access in any way?

    • wolfkabal

      In general on the management side of Divide, it has root detection tools (none are fool-proof) and it'd ultimately be up to the company or policy to determine what to do for root detection. But having Divide installed on a rooted device had no effects. This is all based on past experience with Divide and no clue how it will effect things going forward.

  • BozzyB

    The use of Android's multiuser capability could be an advantage over other platforms or solutions.

  • abobobilly

    I don't like it when Enterprise solutions are Forcefully shoved down regular consumers' throats who don't give a flying fuck about "enterprise" security. Take Knox for example, which is nothing but a pain in our frigging @$$, stopping us from tinkering with our devices and what not (yes i am aware of solutions available to bypass it).

    That being said, given the Google's retardness these days, i am not keeping my hopes high for this acquisition. I just hope they don't do the same stuff Samsung is doing with us. Yeah, you got it ... "Forcefully" shoving it down our ... yeah.

    • vgergo

      Yepp, for us, everyday Note 3 users "Knox" sounds like "Plague".

      But if we compare S Voice and Google Voice Search, maybe this can also be done right , if it's not Samsung doing it.

    • emperor43

      so you have a problem with a more secure android for the majority of users because you consider yourself smarter then any threat ? Well there is that think called flashing a different ROM ;) . In the same way i'm happy that root is not as easy as changing a toggle in the settings menu i consider more security as helpful for the majority of users as it makes it harder for them to be targeted with threats they can't handle.

      • abobobilly

        More secure android? Did i target android at all? All i am fearing is if Google starts following the same approach as Samsung, in offering Enterprise solutions.

        I have no idea why you think a General consumer Needs that kind of security. Even if they do, it should be "Optional". If you are so okay with what is being offered to you "as is" then you should just move to iOS, because you are obviously mistaken thinking Android should take that same approach.

        • emperor43

          i like your consistency ... so you weren't speaking about android (because Samsung uses android, if you didn't know that) ? "regular consumers" means android in general ;). Security is for actions not taken by the user, so yes better security is always welcomed; you might have to read a little more on the distinction between Android and iOS because whatever is going to be implemented in Android will have to remain open source making workarounds easier to develop for the people that can handle higher risks. Then there is the risk that an untrained user will be easily convinced into disabling that "Optional" security.. so as with root, it should be a "hard task". But please do tell me what functionality you personally get from having access to the low level api's ?

          • abobobilly

            Since Google's agenda on it is Unclear (or rather, Unavailable), i think i will not bash my head against the emperor wall.

            In the meantime, enlighten yourself with the Enterprise Security and Why it doesn't mean a rats @$$ for regular consumer ... who is "NOT" part of an Enterprise.

  • Guest

    For us, Note 3 users "Knox" sounds like "Plague"