Google’s Android for Work program makes it easier for businesses to allow their employees to safely use their Android phones for both work and personal use. It gives IT the ability to manage work apps, which are siloed from the rest of the phone, and employees can still put their own private data on the device, which in turn is shielded from IT.
When Google launched this program earlier this year, it had already signed up a wide range of partners to help bring Android for Work to market. Today, it’s expanding this program by adding a new device manufacturer and — for the first time — carriers to its partner ecosystem.
The new carriers, which will now offer support for Android for Work to their business customers (and market the program) are ATT, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Rogers, Bell Canada, Telus Mobility and KT (disclaimer: Verizon, as you may remember, now owns TechCrunch).
In addition, Google has added Silent Circle — the makers of the security- and privacy-focused Blackphone — to its list of partners. It joins Samsung and that company’s KNOX platform in its list of Android for Work devices that can be used in regulated industries like government and healthcare.
“Privacy is about being able to decide and control what information to share and how you share it,” said Silent Circle’s President and CEO Bill Conner in today’s announcement. “We’re delighted to join the Android for Work program. It’s a significant step forward in Silent Circle’s development which enables us to deliver privacy and security to a broader enterprise customer base, while meeting their need for the wide-ranging apps and services provided by Google.”
Google says more than 10,000 businesses, including the World Bank, U.S. Army and Guardian Life Insurance Company, are currently either “testing, deploying or using” Android for Work. That, of course, leaves us guessing how many of these 10,000 are actually using Android for Work in production (enterprises aren’t exactly known for moving quickly, after all). But there can be little doubt that this service solves a real problem for many enterprises, especially if they want to allow their employees to use their own devices.
Featured Image: Bryce Durbin
Dropbox has acquired Clementine, an enterprise communication service, today according to a blog post on the company’s page.
Clementine focuses on internal communication, such as conference calls and chat services that aren’t connected to a personal phone number. It’s an important area for the workplace, given that more and more people are connecting their work software to personal devices.
“We’re now excited to announce the next stage of our journey — we’re joining Dropbox,” the company said. “Our mission and passion for workplace collaboration remains the same. Our stage will grow dramatically as Dropbox builds on our technology to engage with its over 400 million users and 100,000 businesses.”Dropbox, too, has been beefing up its enterprise services, launching a suite of products that help businesses collaborate on files like documents. Dropbox says it has more than 100,000 companies using its software as well.
Most recently, Dropbox said it has more than 400 million registered users, and it redesigned its Android application. It also launched a tool that lets Dropbox users request files from people who aren’t using Dropbox.
Clementine’s services will be shutting down as part of the acquisition, according to the company. It launched in September 2014.
Social apps like Foursquare / Swarm are more about places you’re at or where you’re going. Today, the Google Maps team launched a feature called “Your Timeline” that is about where you’ve already been. It’s not a social feature, as you’re the only one who sees the information…
…It’s a reminder of how much freaking data Google has on us if we leave all of our defaults on. It’s only available for Android and desktop right now. If you use Google Photos, your pics will appear along with the places you stopped along the way.
Here’s a look at the feature:
Here’s how the Maps team explains it:
Have you ever wanted a way to easily remember all the places you’ve been — whether it’s a museum you visited during your last vacation or that fun bar you stumbled upon a few months ago? Well, starting today, Google Maps can help. We’re gradually rolling out Your Timeline, a useful way to remember and view the places you’ve been on a given day, month or year. Your Timeline allows you to visualize your real-world routines, easily see the trips you’ve taken and get a glimpse of the places where you spend your time.
Or in non-Googler speak…if your significant other knew your phone’s unlock password they could track your movements all the way to the Buckaroo Motel and back, if they wanted to. But they wouldn’t do that, would they?
Scared? Go to “My Account” and turn it off:
Not scared? Leave it on and retrace your steps to that bar you forgot about.
Visual voicemail has always been kind of strange on Android.
For the most part*, Google has left it up to carriers to provide a third-party visual voicemail app compatible with their service. Alas, most of these carrier-built apps are buggy garbage.
(* the exception, of course, being if you use a Google Voice number — then you get visual voicemail provided by Google within the Google Voice app. But most people don’t use Google Voice.)
It seems Google is finally prepping to roll out their own built-in solution with Android M.
In a post on the Android Dev Preview bug tracker, a Google engineer pops in to drop four bits of knowledge:
- They’re working on a visual voicemail implementation for Android M
- In the preview build meant for developers, it’ll only work on French carrier Orange
- In the final build of Android M, they expect it to work with T-Mobile.
- They’re providing infrastructure for carriers to include voicemail text transcriptions (a la Google Voice) if they support such things — though, as it stands, none of their partner carriers actually do.
Alas, T-Mo is the only US carrier mentioned thus far as being supported — which means ATT, Sprint, Cricket, etc. users might be stuck on third-party apps for a bit longer. But hey, it’s a start, right?
Back at Google I/O in May, Google announced “Android M”, the latest version of its Android operating system. Almost immediately, they released a preview build for developers to tinker with. It was a bit buggy, sure — but it let developers test their apps and get to know the new OS before everyone else got their hands on it.
Today, Google is taking a second swing with the release of Android M Developer Preview 2.
So how do you get this latest build?
First, you need a compatible device — that is, the Nexus 5, Nexus 6, or Nexus 9. From there, it depends on whether or not you’re running that previously released build of Android M; if yes, you can get version two via the built-in OTA update screen. If no, you’ll have to go download the image and flash it onto your device manually.
Wondering what’s new from version 1 to version 2?
API additions can be pretty exciting stuff if you’re a developer — but if you’re just a casual user, don’t worry too much about rushing onto this latest build.
With that said, Android M will bring some sleek additions to the table when it’s ready for public consumption. Things like:
- A better App Permissions system: Apps will ask for permissions when they need them, rather than in one big unreadable prompt at install.
- Android Pay: Android’s new built-in mobile payments system. It’s like Google Wallet — except it’s now built in at an OS level, and since Google is working more closely with carriers this time, it should actually be supported on almost all newly released Android phones
- Doze: Improved power-saving logic for apps that try to sync when your device is asleep.
- USB Type C support
Alas, like all builds of Android… even once Google says it’s ready to ship, it’s up to your phone manufacturer and carrier to actually send it your way. Which… can take a while.
Today in our ongoing series of people putting one thing into another thing, we present Android running on a Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX, a robust graphing calculator popular with the pre-calc set.
The calculator has about 100MB of storage and 64MB of RAM but has enough power to run Android 1.6 aka Donut. Obviously you’re not going to make very many calls using your graphic calculator but the creator, Josh Max, has added Wi-Fi functionality and keyboard support.
Now Max just has to strap on an Apple Watch running Mac OS 7.5.5 and maybe run an Atari 2600 emulator on his laptop and he can be the king of outmoded technologies.
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