Google: We want more Android users to set up work profiles on their personal phones

Google is encouraging more Android owners in enterprises to carve out space for a work profile on their personal device.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Work profiles let admins manage business apps and content on personal phones in a separate container.

Image: Google

Google will start encouraging more of its enterprise mobility customers to adopt Android for Work's IT-managed work profiles.

In June, Google will require users to create a work profile when they enroll a BYOD Android handset with Google's G Suite enterprise mobility management (EMM) tool, Google Mobile Management. The change is targeted at users of Google's EMM as opposed to third-party tools.

Work profiles allow admins to manage business apps and content on personal phones in a separate container to the user's own apps and data. Work apps are marked with a briefcase icon.

The security-focused policy update will take effect on June 5 with the release of Google Apps Device Policy v7.77. The change targets customers who use Android at Work and a managed version of the Google Play app store, which hosts approved or whitelisted apps.

Google appears to be ensuring that customers are simply using the security and management tools it already provides.

"To ensure a BYOD policy that is end-user friendly without sacrificing corporate security, we would like to encourage Google Mobile Management customers to employ a mobile policy that keeps personal and corporate data safe," Google explains.

The new work profile requirement only applies to customers that use Google Mobile Management for Android, and have enabled advanced management, which allows admins to control installed apps, and enforce password policies.

Customers must also have whitelisted Android apps in the managed Play store. It also only applies to devices that are on Android 5.1 Lollipop or newer.

Google launched Android for Work in 2015 to boost enterprise adoption of Android devices. Back then, despite Android's worldwide dominance, iOS still ruled in the enterprise.

However, Google highlighted in December that Android had overtaken iOS in device shipments in the enterprise. Citing IDC's Worldwide Mobile Phone Tracker 2016 H1, Google said 62 percent of worldwide enterprise shipments were Android devices.

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