An Evolution: Android Business Use

We mentioned in our starter guide to Android device management how Android business use has evolved over time. This article explains how it has changed over the years.

Android Enterprise enables secure mobile working

Business Use with Android for Work

For many years before Android for Work’s arrival, the market was flooded with inconsistent management features from various Android vendors and app developers.

Aimed at ending this unsustainable situation and to catch up with Apple, Google announced Android for Work in 2014.

Android for Work initially referred to all devices shipped with Google’s secure containerization APIs for separating private and business apps and data. With this service, Google had created the groundwork for securely integrating Android devices into corporate IT on the basis of their native operating system functions.

The Frequently Changing World of MDM Terminology

After almost all Android devices had these functions however, Google abandoned the branding “Android for Work”.

Instead, in 2017 Google renamed the platform Android Enterprise and expanded it to include additional business features. Realistically though, as many businesses hadn’t signed up to the marketing newsletters of their MDM vendor or Google’s blog, plenty of them never got the message.

The changes in MDM terminology has drawn a bit of criticism from some prominent commentators. Especially as many other areas have received rebranding too, like the replacement of the deployment acronyms “COPE” and COSU with the more wordy “work profiles on fully managed devices” or “dedicated device“.

Confusing Terminology, But Great Functionality

Nevertheless, Android business use is now fully optimized. Android offers a broad spectrum of security and management functions that enable the use of Android devices in everyday work. Including:

  • Separation of all business data from personal data (Contacts, app data etc.)
  • Remote deletion of work data after a device is stolen
  • Push apps to work phone over the air with no user interaction needed
  • Configure and modify advanced device settings
  • Import Active Directory user permissions to devices

This free, mature enterprise platform that builds upon the great foundation of Android for Work, simplifies the integration of Android devices into MDM solutions. It also gives IT administrators on-demand control over Android-based work phones and tablets.

Learn more about Android device management in our ultimate guide on our blog.