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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Microsoft has been showing a little more love to Android as of late with the release of apps like Remote Desktop and Xbox Music. Now the business set is getting some attention with the new Dynamics CRM app.
If you've never heard of Dynamics DRM, you probably don't have any use for it. CRM stands for customer relationship management – it's a tool for tracking sales, supporting users, and managing business relationships.
You might remember mention of a new AT&T service called Toggle last month, a service which promised to allow enterprise users to access corporate email, calendars and contacts securely from whatever Android device they choose to purchase, while separately maintaining their personal data. AT&T's official Toggle app hit the Android Market today, heralding the beginning of the service, and bringing hugely useful functionality to enterprise users concerned with keeping their business and personal activities separate.
From today's "probably should have seen it coming" pile, Engadget has come into possession of what looks like a presentation slide for a ruggedized Android tablet being developed by Motorola:
I know, the text is illegible, so here are the main points to take home:
- 7" capacitive LCD
- 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP processor
- 1GB RAM, 8GB NAND onboard storage
- Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- 8MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera
- Stylus for signature capture
- Removable battery good for 5.5 hours of video
- Can withstand 4' drop onto plywood (oak, cherry, ash, maple certifications pending)
- Works in temperatures of 0-50 degrees Celsius
- Tons of enterprise-friendly security
- Fingerprint scanner
This device is clearly targeted towards business, and probably specifically towards businesses with employees out in the field, where the tablet's ruggedized nature will protect it from the harsh, plywood-filled world.
Yesterday, Macworld ran an article on Android's popularity among US businesses. In a survey of over 1,600 corporations, Android's growth is more than 20 times higher than that of the iPhone. In fact, 16% of respondents said their firms are already using Android devices, up from 10% just three months earlier. By contrast, iPhone use increased to 31%, up from 30% - growing, but not nearly as fast as Android.
Still, despite the fact that Android has experienced significantly more growth in the past few months, keep in mind that the iPhone already has nearly twice the market share of Android.