Google’s Android: Using Tablets, Smartphones, and Apps for Work

At the beginning of the year, Google’s Android introduced a new approach to catch up with iOS, called Android For Work. In the Android vs. iOS debate, Google thus seems to want to catch up with Apple in mobile device management (MDM) matters. When it comes to Android as an OS, only Samsung already offered a similar solution called KNOX.

What is Google’s Android For Work exactly?

With Google’s Android for Work on Android 5.0 or later (Android Lollipop), you generally no longer need a separate app to access business data. However, some devices do not support Android for Work. Just go to the Google for Work website and get an overview of supported devices.  With Android 6.0 (Android Marshmallow), Android for Work can be used on any smartphone or tablet without restrictions and without the need for an additional app. Here Apple’s iOS is at an advantage compared to Android because a much larger number of mobile device models have the latest operating system. And therefore, a vast majority have access to the newest software features.

Container: Business and Private Apps in the Google Play Store

As we just described, Android for Work lets you separate private and business data on smartphones and tablets. This is also referred to as containers. In other words, there is a private container with your private apps. And a business container with your work apps. This separation can be clearly identified on the mobile devices because apps are available twice: once as a private app and once as a business app. The latter can be identified by the briefcase icon. This becomes particularly clear in the Google Play Store. The business Google Play Store only offers apps that the IT administrator has selected for business purposes. Google calls this curating so that the IT administrator becomes the curator. With regard to the address app, it is practical if the user can only see the business contacts in the Android for Work app.

Samsung KNOX or Android for Work?

KNOX’s portfolio has included the container approach for quite some time. Either variant has advantages and disadvantages. From our perspective, Samsung KNOX has two major flaws: app developers find it difficult to accept the platform with its requirements. Another problem is that with KNOX the company has to decide on a specific device model. As a comprehensive interface, Android for Work’s advantage is that you can manage other smartphone devices with the Android operating system in addition to Samsung devices.

Android for Work: Setup

You might ask yourself how Android for Work is set up. You definitely require a mobile device management solution (MDM) for this. And an Android smartphone or tablet of course. There are different setup scenarios depending on the MDM solution. With Cortado MDM, the process can be completed quite quickly. In the browser, launch the setup wizard which will then guide you through the installation. But see for yourself, we have a video for you on that topic as well.

How much does Google’s Android for Work cost?

Android for Work itself is free. However, you definitely need to invest in an MDM solution. Every good MDM solution should fully support Android for Work and also offer a wide range of functions. Google actually reviews the MDM solutions to see if they are ready. Click here and read more about it in this blogpost.

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