Full data separation between personal and work applications will soon help people who use their Android phones for both work and play. Or so says Sundar Pichai at the Google I/O conference Wednesday. The Android, Chrome, and Google Apps boss showed off the new Android for Work service, which aims to bolster Android’s security features to make it more business friendly.
Android at Work attempts to alleviate the need for someone to have separate devices for work and home by storing data from applications in different partitions of the system. That sounds an awful lot like Knox, Samsung’s mobile security offering for its mobile devices, and indeed, Pichai cited Samsung for its contributions in Android for Work.
Google is working with major device makers to create a “certified for Android Work” program before the end of the year, ensuring that businesses have a decent selection of options for employees.
Android at Work will debut in the upcoming Android L OS update that’s set to launch later this year. A separate application will be made available for those not on the latest version of the OS, though it looks like it will be limited to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and up.
Now that your device is secured, it’s time to get some work taken care of. In the upcoming version of Android, users can edit documents right from the Google Documents app. No longer will you have to open a file inside of another application in order to edit it. Google’s Quick Office acquisition looks to finally be paying off, with genuine integration available to users.
During the keynote, Pichai edited a Word document directly from an email attachment. In previous versions of Android, these files would be converted into a .doc file before editing could take place.
Since the heart of Google Docs lives within Google Drive, it’s not too surprising to see some features cross paths. Now, within a shared document, users can suggest specific edits within a file, and the owner can accept them easily after review.
As part of the I/O keynote, Pichai also announced Google Drive for Work, a premium edition of Apps with unlimited cloud storage.