Google has released additional information about the new quality-of-life and security features included in Android 13 that the company claims will make the lives of business users easier.
Though the new features aimed at professionals are less flashy than those aimed at consumers, it's safe to say that business smartphone users will also benefit from the new release.
Android 13, which is already available for Google-branded phones, has made it much simpler for workers to strike a healthy work-life balance, while IT administrators have greater granularity than ever before in imposing restrictions on employee use of company devices.
Google claims that Android 13 is easier to use for professionals than earlier versions. That's the main point; the new feature set doesn't do anything particularly groundbreaking, and not all of the new features are available at the moment, but they do show progress toward a more pleasant and secure user experience.
Android's enterprise settings have supported work profiles for some time now, making it possible to keep an employee's work and personal information completely separate. However, one of the most noticeable improvements to quality of life in Android 13 is the separation of personal and professional profiles.
It is now easy for workers to maintain two distinct identities (one for work and one for personal use) and to switch back and forth between them.
It's up to the user to decide whether to launch the app in their work or personal profile, Google said. "If they'd rather not have work-related content in their personal apps — so, for example, a training video they watch for work doesn't show up in their personal watchlist on YouTube — they can choose to access that content in the browser instead."
Google claims that with the new Android Management API, it will be able to regularly roll out "helpful new features and management capabilities" to business phone users while also protecting their privacy.
This should mean that further improvements to the quality of life on business phones won't have to wait until Android 14 is released to employees and IT administrators.
An even deeper ChromeOS integration is on the horizon, bringing Google one step closer to matching the seamless integration between iOS and macOS that makes an all-Apple organization such an attractive business proposition.
Users will now be able to access their mobile data and respond to messages from their work Chromebook.
In addition, Google's Smart Dictation recommendations are now segmented by user profile, ensuring that users will never again accidentally end a text message with "Kind regards."
You can now use tap-to-pay services in public even more quickly with near-field communication (NFC) on work profiles, saving you precious minutes on your lunch break at the cafe.
Google's Pixel devices, and other Android smartphones that will soon benefit from the new OS, are now a more attractive option for business buyers thanks to the new productivity features introduced in Android 13.
Google says that security and privacy are integral to Android Enterprise, and Android 13 continues this trend. The company has made it clear in its early preview that it intends for business users to be able to manage their own security settings and the information they share with IT administrators from a single location.
Now that there is only room for one photo gallery per user profile, inactive photo albums are hidden from view.
Furthermore, administrators can now monitor security logs for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and password use, limit Wi-Fi connectivity, and issue security patches more quickly than before, all thanks to the National Information Assurance Partnership (NIAP).
In this setting, both users and administrators receive equal attention. It will soon be possible for administrators to monitor and lock employee devices with Lost Mode, and the Stay Private on Work Wi-Fi feature will encrypt and reroute employee traffic through a private profile when connected to the company's Wi-Fi network.
Users' communications with their phones through the new ChromeOS integration features will be protected by end-to-end encryption in addition to the company's existing management policies.
Android 13 is Google's latest and greatest bet on the success of the operating system in the business world. Google's value proposition to business users will improve with the upcoming rollout of these planned Android for Business enhancements.