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How one startup is overhauling Android to make it enterprise-ready

Published Dec 7th, 2012 11:57PM EST

The common misconception that Android isn’t secure enough for the business world or government employees is about to change. A Boston-based startup called Optio Labs has created a custom version of Google’s (GOOG) mobile operating system that can control what can and cannot be accessed depending on location, network or running apps. The technology can even allow a phone to display sensitive company data or block things like texting and camera usage based on room-specific security and access settings, Technology Review reported. This unique feature can utilize a Bluetooth beacon that, when in range, would send a cryptographic tether to a device. It would also be possible to use near field communications to view sensitive information, theoretically forcing workers to “bump” their bosses phone to get initial access.

“You can dream up just about any rule, it can be your GPS location, or an indoor location detection: when you are in this specific room you can use these apps and connect to this data, but the moment you walk out we will delete the data, shut down the apps, prevent you from getting access to them,” said Jules White, co-founder of the company.

The technology could prevent information from being lost or stolen and can increase productivity by stopping workers from texting and spending time on social networking sites while in the office. Optio Labs is said to have sold its custom Android software and accompanying policy-management system to undisclosed systems integrators and smartphone manufacturers. Android devices containing the software are expected to arrive on the market in late 2013.