Google’s Android OS Brings Apps and Features to PBX Handsets

Google has been leading the way for decades in technology with their operating system (OS) and has recently begun quietly bridging the feature gap with office phones. From their initial launch of Andromeda as an integrated OS in 2007 to their current launch of the smart phone, Pixel, Google’s eye for human use factors are now driving advanced capabilities for business.

Competitors like Apple have taken the world by storm with slick merchandising and a significant ‘wow’ factor, while Google embarked on a vastly different approach in both consumer and business technology. The release of Google’s Andromeda OS, a Linux based stable platform, signaled a shift in Google’s business plan that culminated in the creation of the Open Handset Alliance in late 2007, which included a group of manufacturing and technology companies allied to Google’s vision. This began the advent of consumer-driven technology development and signaled Google’s push toward launching their branded hardware.

While Andromeda was developed as an OS primarily for touchscreen capable devices like mobile phones and tablets, it was also used to develop larger presentation monitors and interactive displays for corporate use. This allowed Google’s OS platform to reach the business application market heavy in demand for accessible technology that provided instant communications in an ever increasing globalized economy. Rather than shouldering the burden of travel costs for employees and partners, companies began relying on conference bridge technologies and video conferencing.

Initial capabilities came with a heavy price tag that few but large Fortune 500 companies could entertain. Communication companies that catered to this growing need initially sold large projectors, multi-screen displays and a variety of accessories that ran on Google’s platform to integrate seamlessly within the company’s existing network. These solutions delivered exactly what the promised, but at a significant cost.

The demand for more competitive pricing has led to office hardware becoming far more user friendly with a desk-level hardware options.  Introduction of video-capable desk phones has met this demand for businesses of every size and, now with the help of Google’s OS, has become a stable integration point for Unified Communication strategies. Companies such as Grandstream and Avaya have adopted their handsets to a Google OS platform to provide a smart phone display experience that is video capable while also retaining the security, networking reliability and integration of traditional business phone PBX systems.

From a usability perspective, these desk phones offer an intuitive screen display familiar to smartphone users with the functionality of Android apps including calendar displays, weather and a web browser with more available for download on the Google store. These phones are Bluetooth capable and do not suffer the same battery life anxiety that smart phones have because they are continuously powered via the Ethernet connection and can also connect to the employee’s PC, which further eliminates hardware costs from additional ports.

Today’s office phones are making leaps in technological capabilities and helping to reduce business costs all while retaining the features and flexibility professionals enjoy with their smart phones. Thanks to Google’s advances for a stable OS, the prospects for more features and adaptable integration seem almost limitless.

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