Android Work Profiles will expand in 2022, but questions remain

As part of a larger update on Android for enterprise users, Google revealed plans to expand Work Profile availability. The feature enables users to separate their work and personal lives on a single handset, but it is only available for managed devices at this time. That'll start to change next year when Google brings the feature to Workspace users with more to follow.

The need to maintain a work-life balance is more important than ever with many people switching to remote work. Though many people own a dedicated work computer separate from their personal computer, that's less common when it comes to mobile phones. As a result, one's work apps and accounts are often mixed in with personal content, making it harder to avoid work after hours while increasing security risks.

Android's Work Profile feature offers a solution by separating one's work and personal content, adding a small briefcase icon to work apps. This means, for example, that users with a Work Profile will have two instances of Gmail on their device, one dedicated to work for their business email.

The feature is only available on Android devices that are managed with EMM software. In its update, Google said that it will bring Work Profile to Workspace users in 2022, though it didn't provide a more narrow release date.

This will make the feature available to unmanaged devices for Workspace users. Google says it also plans to expand Work Profile availability to Android devices with other identity providers, too, but it didn't share any more info on the plan. Google will no doubt be back with additional information in the future regarding things like which versions of Android will support Work Profile.