Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (KRX:005930) has announced a partnership with Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to integrate a part of its KNOX technology into the next major version of Android, which was previewed by the search engine giant at the Google I/O 2014 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.
According to Samsung, the integration of Android and KNOX provides security features that allow business and personal content to coexist on the same handset, and makes the upcoming version of Android more secure. An early version of the next Android software, dubbed Android L, will be rolled out to developers by Thursday while the final version of the operating system is expected to be released to the public in the fall.
“As a driving force of Android powered mobile devices, Samsung is in a unique position to meet the rapidly evolving mobile security and privacy needs of Android users,” Injong Rhee, senior vice president of KNOX Business Group at Samsung, said in a statement. “We are delighted with the opportunity to work with Google to help build Android’s enterprise eco-system and establish Android device as the leading choice for businesses. This represents an amazing transformation in workforce mobility.”
First announced at the Mobile World Congress in 2013, KNOX allows users to switch from personal tasks to work-related ones by simply pressing an icon on the device. Samsung Galaxy Note 3 was the first phone to be preloaded with KNOX, while other devices, including the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, received the feature at the end of 2013 with the Android 4.3 Samsung Premium Suite Upgrade.
“The announcement is great news for Samsung KNOX related Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) and developers who can extend potential target market to a broader Android community with minimal implementation effort,” Samsung said, in the statement.
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KNOX is certified by major organizations, including the U.S. government and its Department of Defense, and the UK government too recently published a document outlining security guidelines for end-users of KNOX on select Android-powered Samsung devices, according to the statement.