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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Google Announces Android for Work Program, Makes Android Safer for the Workplace

Android for Work
Google is taking steps today to help businesses secure the Android platform, allowing the over 1 billion people in the world with an Android smartphone to bring their devices to work. Called Android for Work, Google has partnered with multiple companies specializing in their fields of expertise, in hopes to make Android a better OS for the workplace. 
Android for Work is built with four main components, being Work Profiles, the Android for Work application, Google Play for Work, and Built-in Productivity Tools. To start, employees will dedicate a work profile to their smartphone (must be running Lollipop), and will then have access to secured data on a network thanks to default encryption and enhanced SELinux security enforcement.
“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,” as explained in Google’s blog post.
Following the setup, the Android for Work app (for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich through Kit Kat) allows users without access to work profiles to see secure work emails, calendar appointments, contacts, and documents. All of which is completely manageable by IT.
Current hardware partners are listed as Samsung, Sony, LG, Motorola, HTC, Lenovo, among others. Application partners are Box, SalesForce, Adobe, SuccessFactors, and others. For a full list of partners on the Management and Networking side of things, check out Google’s full blog post.
To get yourself or your employer involved, check out Android for Work.
Main Components
  • 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 – Google Play for Work allows businesses to securely deploy and manage apps across all users running Android for Work, simplifying the process of distributing apps to employees and ensuring 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.

Madhav Biju

Author & Editor

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