Over recent times, there has been a surge in how many android device owners have started bringing their devices to work (BYOD). These users, typically are not so keen on having to carry more than one device around with them all day and as such, it just seems logically to use their device when at work. The problem with this though is that data can be lost, misused or conflict with their own personal data. This BYOD notion is an area Google has long been rumored to be working on addressing and it seems today they have by officially unveiling 'Android for Work'. The new work based version of Android comes loaded with some familiar and new offerings and consists of four key areas, "Work Profiles", "Android for Work app", "Google Play for Work" and "Built-in productivity tools".
The first of these, Work Profiles, addresses the issue of data on your BYOD and will allow users to assign a dedicated work profile to their device. This profile will incorporate encryption by default as well as an enhanced SELinux security. Data from employers can then be sent and used by the employees safely and securing without any issues of breaching. From the employee viewpoint, they can rest assured that only work data is seen by employers. The only caveat is that the device must be running on Android 5.0 (Lollipop). The second main aspect of Android for Work is the Android for Work app. This app will allow users to still utilise the Android for Work features without a 'Work Profile'. This is best understood, as those users who are not yet running Lollipop. Using the Android for Work app, the non-Lollipop devices will be able to access the same secure and work-based content, without having to worry about a dedicated Work Profile. the App is solely controlled by the company's IT department and provides access to work emails, calendar information, contacts and so on.
Likewise, Google Play for Work essentially works in the same manner as the Android for Work app. although this one allows for businesses to roll-out and manage business based apps to all Android for Work devices (both Lollipop and non-Lollipop based). As such, all apps are verified by the business and therefore deemed suitable and appropriate. The last main component of Android for Work comes in the form of the Built-in productivity tools and these are essentially a Google designed suite of apps which will help businesses to be work more effectively, when using the Android for Work platform. Examples of the type of apps are those designed for emails, contacts and calendar information. The apps will also offer editing abilities to the users and be compatible with a number of third-party options like Exchange.
So there you go, Google has finally unveiled its solution to the BYOD paradigm in the form of Android for Work. You can read the full Google blog release by clicking the source link below. Alternatively, visit the Android for Work site to learn more and see if the service is right for you, your company and employees.