Android for Work

We’ve known about Android for Work for quite some time, ever since Google announced the program at Google I/O 2014. Now it’s official, and Google has partnered with multiple companies to make the workplace an all-around safer place for everyone.

Android for Work is centered around four key technology components: work profiles, the Android for Work app, Google Play for Work, and built-in productivity tools. Each user needs to set up their own work profile on a Lollipop-running device, and will then have access to work data thanks to enhanced SELinux security enforcement. Once set up, your IT professional can deploy or remove work-approved apps to connected devices.

If your device is running Ice Cream Sandwich through KitKat, you can download the Android for Work app. It will deliver secure mail, contacts, events, documents and much more, and can be completely managed by your IT professional. Here’s the full list of components Google has worked into the new program:

  • Work profiles – We’ve built on the default encryption, enhanced SELinux security enforcement and multi-user support in Android 5.0, Lollipop to create a dedicated work profile that isolates and protects work data. IT can deploy approved work apps right alongside their users personal apps knowing their sensitive data remains secured. People can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won’t erase or view their personal content.
  • Android for Work app – For devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kitkat, or that don’t run work profiles natively, we’ve created the Android for Work app. The app, which delivers secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps, can be completely managed by IT.
  • Google Play for Work – It allows businesses to securely deploy and manage apps across all users running Android for Work, simplifying the process of distributing apps to employees and ensures that IT approves every deployed app.
  • Built-in productivity tools – For everyday business tasks, we’ve created a suite of business apps for email, contacts and calendar, which supports both Exchange and Notes and provides document editing capabilities for documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

Google has also teamed up with a number of IT partners to make this all work, including Cisco, BlackBerry, Motorola, Samsung, Box and many others. Google explains that these partnerships bring a consistent management platform that allows enterprise managers to control all Android devices, old and new. These partnerships also bring more secure business apps and devices to the program

If you’re interested in signing up for the program, head to the Android for Work website.