Red Bend working on mobile virtualization

The company isn't announcing partners yet, but said it's developing a way to run two versions of Android on a phone

Red Bend, which makes products for delivering over-the-air software updates, will soon offer a virtualization technology for Android devices that allows a user to have both a personal profile and a business profile on the same device.

Red Bend isn't saying yet who it is working with to deliver the offering. Because its product is a type 1 hypervisor, it needs to convince chip makers to include the software in their chipsets.

But since its software update technology is embedded in many leading chipsets, it already has relationships with the silicon companies, said Lori Sylvia, Red Bend's vice president of marketing. She offered a sneak peek at the virtualization technology on the sidelines of the CTIA Enterprise and Applications conference in San Diego.

Red Bend's technology will run two full versions of Android on a phone, she said. The setup invites criticism because it's likely to impact performance on a phone designed to run just one OS. But Sylvia said the software is designed to allocate resources such that users won't find that it degrades performance.

She demonstrated PC software that IT administrators would use to push a work profile out to users. Administrators will be able to push out the OS, plus additional enterprise applications, to individuals or groups of users. The user receives a text message about the new software and downloads it over the air.

Once the software is installed, the user sees an icon on the home screen that might say My Office, or whatever the business decides to name it. Clicking the icon takes the user to a different home screen that includes the business apps. An enterprise can set the home screen image on the office side of the phone and can exclude services such as the Android Market.

Red Bend is working on the notification engine, which will determine how users will be alerted if, for instance, they are using the personal side of the phone and receive an email on the work side of the phone, Sylvia said.

She demonstrated listening to a podcast on the My Office side. When she toggled to the personal side, the podcast continued to run but she could no longer hear it. She could, however, open a music player and play music on the personal side of the phone. The demonstration showed that the two versions of Android share a single set of audio drivers but can continue to work simultaneously.

Interest in running dual personas on a single device appears to be growing. Earlier this week AT&T introduced a service it is calling Toggle that uses technology from Enterproid. Enterproid does not use virtualization technology but instead runs applications like email and a browser in a secure sandbox.

"A sandbox is a patch. It's a short-term solution," according to Sylvia.

The shortcoming with a sandbox is that applications must be written specially to run in the secure area. With virtualization like that from Red Bend, any application written for Android can run on the business side of the phone. Administrators can limit the kinds of applications available there, reducing the likelihood of malware infecting corporate data.

Samsung and LG have both said they'll make phones running a hypervisor from VMware, as a way of creating a phone with two operating environments. Open Kernel Labs is offering tools to developers that would let individual applications run in virtual machines.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags virtualizationtelecommunicationMobile OSesAndroidRed Bendmobile

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?