Update: Just as mysteriously as it entered the Play Store, Work Chrome has left - its listing appears to have been removed.
The idea behind Google's Android Work effort is to allow users of enterprise devices (whether BYOD or company-provided) to use the apps they're familiar with in one unified experience that keeps work and personal data separate. Work data will stay secure, with Android Work providing restrictions and controls for what can be done with the data, while personal data is readily accessible without needing to install any special third-party apps or launchers. An organization's administrators can deploy and administer apps in bulk, including internal apps, through the Play Store.
Facebook and work are as synonymous as office jobs and solitaire. Sure, not everyone does it, but it's hardly surprising to catch a glance of some employee's news feed left open on a nearby monitor.
LinkedIn is supposed to be a social network for the corporate world, but using that site actually feels like work, and who wants to do more of that while they're taking a break? So Facebook is taking a more serious shot at the issue with "Facebook at Work."
Facebook at Work allows for work accounts that are separate from your personal one, letting you and co-workers communicate professionally without opening up your social lives to everyone at your company.
If the rollout of an updated Play Store yesterday with some tweaked interface elements and an order history page was exciting, just wait until you see what else was hidden inside the latest version. I don't think there's any point in teasing, this might be the one we've all been waiting for. The Play Store is finally going to enable a method to offer discounted purchases. There are still a lot of unknowns, but it's real, and it's probably coming very soon.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are speculative and based on incomplete evidence. There is always a chance that details may change, or entire features may be cancelled.
Since the beginning, Lookout has been a consumer-focused company. Now, after having snagged millions of paying subscribers and deals with many carriers spread across various parts of the globe, it's ready to get down to business. Big business, so to speak. The company is pushing its offerings towards enterprise clients, the kind of customers with plenty of employees all managing potentially confidential information on their mobile devices. It's trying to entice them with the promise of a security solution that works and a user experience that won't tick people off.
Now the company has released an app into the Play Store that's aimed squarely at these customers.
Microsoft's latest app is the type of enterprise-targeted product that's been traditionally associated with the company. Dynamics NAV has the kind of name that makes general consumers shrug. In short, it's enterprise resource planning software that businesses use to manage finances, operations, and other work-y stuff. I have no use for this app, and neither will most of the people reading this post, but I know there are more than a few suit and tie-wearing Android Police readers out there.
The Android app connects to whichever Dynamics NAV server your company is running, and it provides mobile access for people who need to pull up this information from something more portable than a laptop.
Work is pretty dull. Google wants people to use its products to get stuff done, and the company's previous name for its efforts in this area - Google Enterprise - fully communicated just how stuffy and non-exciting the experience would be. Now the search giant is changing the name of its business-related offerings to something that, while equally mundane in its approach, doesn't have to show up for work in oxford shoes and a tie. 'Google for Work' is a name that more accurately represents the type of people, businesses, and organizations that are turning to the company's cloud solutions to get the job done.
Google has been doing its best to worm its way into business with Android and Chrome OS. At the same time, HP is anxious to sell more mobile devices based on Android (webOS didn't go so well). It just so happens HP has a lot of experience selling to businesses. According to The Information, the companies have been discussing combining efforts to increase business sales by enabling additional Google Now functionality specifically for business customers. A worker using the proposed system might be able to ask their Android phone for sales or inventory information in the same way you ask it what the weather is like.
Hangouts may be fun, but it's not all fun and games. It should come as no surprise that in this day and age, many people turn to Google's video chats as a means of getting work done. So the company is rolling out a number of business-related improvements to the service.
For starters, the company is now covering Hangouts under the same terms of service as other Google Apps for Business products. This means that it is promising 24/7 phone support and a guaranteed uptime of 99.9%. Hangout video meetings are also now able to support any Google Apps customer account, regardless of whether they're connected to a Google+ profile.
We've heard that Google intended to really make a push for greater corporate adoption with the L release, and the company touched on some of its plans in today's keynote. It confirmed that Android will empower companies to separate personal data from work data using containers without outside companies having to apply additional code to their devices. Interestingly, this comes thanks in part to Samsung, which has contributed some of its KNOX code to the next version of Android.
Regardless of how enticing this may be to corporations, many employees won't have access to the L release of Android for months, if not years, after its release.
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.