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10 tips to turn Android into a business phone

Give your Android handset the power of a BlackBerry

Android still has some work to do to match the control and power of BlackBerry, but it's not as much work as you may think. Here are 10 tips for turning the Android into a rock-solid business-class phone.

9. Deploy mobile virtualisation

'Partitioning' is a word that has popped up in several of the above apps. Many apps protect data by employing a walled-garden. That's a good start, but it's not that difficult to pull out critical information and move it manually. Moreover, users can still be toggling back and forth between personal apps and business ones, which could lead to embarrassing or even damaging mistakes. Red Bend Software has a better approach. With Red Bend, IT can deploy corporate Android images as virtual machines. The business OS is completely partitioned away from the personal OS. In theory, businesses could eventually use Red Bend mobile virtualisation to pick a specific OS that they support and which users could have running as a separate image on whatever smartphone they happen to have.

10. Optimise input

One of the early complaints that BlackBerry users had about Android was that it lacked a physical keyboard. Better input options like Swype are available. As the name implies, Swype lets you type by swiping your finger around the keyboard, rather than hunting and pecking. Another input option is Android's Voice Actions.

"Voice enablement of apps has progressed well beyond what most people expect," said Michael Lock from Google. "You can navigate to a specific web page by saying 'Go to New York Times.' You can call a nearby restaurant, simply by saying 'Call Cheesecake Factory.'"

With Voice Actions, you can also send text messages or email, initiate web searches and get on-the-fly directions.

Final thoughts

In many ways, Google seeks to upend the category of 'business phone'. It's no longer just about calls and email. In the Android world, a business phone focuses on productivity, apps and convenient access to important data. Lock went on to discuss several pre-loaded apps that appeal to business users. Navigator now features real-time traffic conditions and alternate routing. Translator will help you with foreign languages. Google Goggles can serve as a handy business card capturing tool (in conjunction with the phone's camera), automatically entering the information into your contacts. Third-party apps also exist for expense reports, for generating electronic airline boarding passes and for e-signing of important documents and contracts.

  1. Give your handset the same amount of control as a BalckBerry device
  2. What's the earliest version that'll be supported
  3. Deploy mobile virtualisation
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