AT&T, Android To Help Draw Line Between Work and Play

Remember those days, only a few years ago, when those who worked in finance or IT got a BlackBerry through their work? Remember how people in those industries were often seen carrying two phones around – one for business, one for personal use? Well those days are fast receding into the review mirror, partially because BlackBerries have been losing popularity and partially due to an increasing corporate reluctance to foot the phone bill.

A couple of programs announced in the past week might put a twist on this trend. AT&T unveiled a service called “AT&T Toggle,” which to have a work phone and a personal phone in the same device. The service will carry two separate profiles which can easily be switched between, thus allowing work calendars to stay distinct from personal calendars, work contacts to remain separate from personal ones. The technology, developed by Enterproid, will run on any Android phone, although it will probably be offered shortly on the iPhone and several other platforms.

While many workers may scoff at the idea, the service promises to make traction with businesses. Not only can it save money by eliminating the need for corporate phones, but its work platform will also be secured and can connect to the company’s central data. For this reason AT&T will market Toggle to enterprises.

A similar program about to be released by Motorola Mobility will put security and administrative tools on Android phones, with the aim of allowing IT workers to use one phone for both work and business. A full launch of the product is expected to take place at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications conference.

The Motorola program will be carried on several Android phones, HTC and Sony Ericsson included. If it gains favor among the corporate crowd – along with AT&T’s Toggle – it could create a market where any phone can be equally suited for home or for work. In that case, if the IT employee in the family wants an iPhone 4S or one of the htc android camera phones, it could merely be a reasonable business investment.

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