Android for Work: what is it?

Chris Burns - Feb 25, 2015, 2:10pm CST
Android for Work: what is it?

Today Google revealed their newest Android-based initiative: Android for Work. This system brings several work-related technology to the Android software universe for businesses of all kinds. Four key technology components are included: Google Play at Work, the Android for Work app, Work profiles, and built-in productivity tools of all kinds. This system is launching with a large collection of industrial technology partners that have Google scoring big with potential for business-related engagement through Android – this includes smartphones, tablets, and everything in-between.

The following components will play key parts in bringing Android for Work to life, and allowing it to thrive in the business place. Google suggests that Android for Work will tap into business potential while it keeps devices secure in the process.

Google Play for Work

A separate app store for your phone which allows businesses to deploy apps securely to their workers. This simplifies the process for IT, as it does not require physical contact between the worker and the manager.


Work profiles

Security is key when you’re aiming to make a business suite of apps and tools for your operating system. Android 5.0 Lollipop provides multi-user support at its base, and provides default encryption as well as SELinux security enforcement right out of the box.

With Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google is able to allow you to have a dedicated work profile that stands – inside your phone – separate from your everyday personal profile. This Work Profile can contain IT-deployed, work-approved apps that are secure and private.

Information stored inside these work apps does not need to interact with the user’s personal information or app profiles. Separation within the phone for security for both the user and the manager.


Productivity Tools

A suite of apps has been created to handle business-related tasks specifically. This includes apps like Contacts, Calendar, and Email, each unique to the Android for Work ecosystem.

Each of these apps works with Exchange and Notes, provides document editing, and works with documents, presentations, and spreadsheets alike. In other words – Google is taking on Office.


Android for Work app

– One app has been created for Android devices not capable of running Android 5.0 Lollipop. This is the Android for Work app, and it works on Android devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich through Android 4.4 KitKat.

This app has secure email, calendar, contacts, and documents for work. It also has internet browsing and access to approved work apps – and it all has the ability to be managed by work IT.


Google is working with the following partners to bring Android for Work to businesses. This includes management from groups like Citrix and BlackBerry, Devices from every major manufacturer in the Android universe, Applications like Box and the Adobe suite, and Networking solutions from Cisco, Pulse Secure, F5, and Paloalto.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.03.32 AM

Businesses that are interested in joining up with Google to bring Android for Work to their workplace will want to head to Google’s Android for Work homepage, and ring them up.

TLDR: This system allows your IT help to avoid this situation, but for smartphones:

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