Google and BlackBerry team up with new secure Android for Work tools
Waterloo-based BlackBerry has teamed up with Google to develop a series of tools that can help users of Android phones move securely between personal use and work use on a single smartphone.
BlackBerry said in a release Wednesday it is working with Google to manage devices equipped with its Android for Work, a suite of tools that Google announced eight months ago but had yet to provide many details on.
Essentially, the tools will help Android users to seamlessly switch between their personal profile and their phone's work setting, which often needs a higher level of security.
The result will be something BlackBerry calls BES12, a type of enterprise mobility management system that sets up a secure, dedicated profile to manage work applications.
"BlackBerry is working with Google to provide customers with solutions they can confidently deploy on all major mobile platforms within their organization," BlackBerry vice-president Billy Ho said.
The BES12 system will be available for an invite-only preview in March and will be widely available starting in the second quarter of 2015, the company said in a release.
BlackBerry shares rose more than four per cent on the NASDAQ on Wednesday after word of the deal came out.
In November, BlackBerry announced partnerships with Samsung and other high-profile technology industry players, broadening the reach of its revamped mobile-device management and security platform.
The moves are in part a response to recent news that Google's biggest rival in mobile computing, Apple Inc., forging a partnership with IBM Corp. last year to build more iPhone and iPad applications tailored for businesses and government agencies.
With files from Reuters and The Associated Press