Put Android to Work
By now, we’re all used to Android devices providing us with a great platform for entertainment and managing our personal lives, but what many might not know, is that it can also now be used as the perfect business tool. Android for Work is a program to support Android in the enterprise, consisting of Google Play for Work along with other productivity tools. It’s built to allow applications developers to provide productive, secure and rich mobile experience to employees.
All of the services created on Android for Work will benefit from the following:
- Secure data – Users’ work related data is stored in a separate work profile, which is protected within the device and managed by company’s IT departments.
- Secure Apps – All work apps are downloaded through Google Play for Work, meaning that IT departments can block apps from being installed from untrusted sources.
- Secure Devices – All Android for Work devices have disk encryption to protect them from attacks, as well as a lock screen, remote services and hardware-backed keystore.
Android for Work Components
There are four components that make up Android for Work, these are the Work Profiles, Google Play for Work, Android for Work app and the built in productivity tools.
- Work Profiles: These can only be found on more recent devices, that run Android 5.0 Lollipop or later. They profiles keep your work and personal information separate so that IT don’t have access to your private data, but can still update and wipe work data when needed.
- Google Play for Work: This is Android’s app store for businesses, allowing IT departments to deploy internal or third-party apps with the security and simplicity of Google’s own app store. It also allows organisations to approve, whitelist, block or configure applications before any installations.
- Android for Work app: As long as your device can run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later, you can access the Android for Work app which allows you to separate your apps for work and personal use, for free, provided your organisation is running enterprise mobility management (EMM) software.
- Productivity Tools: There’s also a pre-installed suite of apps to help increase your productivity, which includes email, contacts, Docs, Sheets, Slides and calendar. All of which support Exchange and Notes and are also capable of shared editing.
“Dual-Persona” Support Comes to Android
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve most likely come across someone working with two phones, or maybe even more. One of which is obviously their own personal phone, the other being for work use. Same user, but vastly different contents.
When the user has two phones, it allows the IT department to have complete control over the content of the device; they can update and install new apps, access your files and remotely wipe them if needed. This can all happen with them never getting to see any of your personal data or other information. So, they system works, but just not as well as it could. It can be a hassle having to fill your pockets with two phones, remembering two chargers and scrambling to answer the right one when called. You could always opt for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), meaning that your IT department would install a load of software onto your personal phone and require full access across the device, which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
There is now however, another option, called a ‘dual-persona’.
There are different options available for achieving a dual-persona smartphone, one of which is taking advantage of Android’s multiple users. This would allow you to create a Personal User and a Work User, providing you with two separate sets of apps, data, layouts and media. Essentially creating two different phones within the same device, which would inevitably become a bit of a hassle to switch between to check notifications etc.
Android for Work Does Things a Little Differently.
Although it’s based on the same multi-user framework, there’s no need to switch between users. There’s one single interface that provides two versions of each app required, one for work and one for personal use. The new work apps that are installed have the same icons, but can be differentiated by their little red badges.All of your notifications will come through in the same manner, piling up in your notification panel as usual. But your work and personal notifications will be kept separate, with the work notifications being marked with their red badge once again so you can easily prioritise. There is also a profile switcher which allows users to select which profile they want to send an item from, be it from a work or personal email address.
If you’re interested in finding out any more about Android for Work, or how to get things up and running with any of Google’s business services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a chat via firstname.lastname@example.org.