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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Android for Work

I recently tried Android for Work (also known as Work Profile). It is similar to the multiple user I wrote about previously except that the apps reside within the primary user account. This approach as a few advantage over the multiple user account, they are:
  1. Alarm from the work profile will appear on the screen. In multiple user mode, only alerts of the active (selected) profile are visible.
  2. The problem of turning on the Do Not Disturb and switching profile will not happen.
  3. This option is available in more brands of Android phones.
  4. Will not encounter issues of non responsive screen (i.e. keyboard for entering password does not appear) is drastically reduced ~ not too sure whether this is an issue with my phone or the general problem with using multiple user.
  5. The Device policy is applied only within the work profile.

The disadvantage of using the work profile is that applications that can be added to the work profile are restricted by the Company administrator.

In order to use the work profile, the following prerequisites need to met:

  1. The organization need to sign up for Android in the enterprise.
  2. This feature is only available for devices with Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and above.
  3. The phone has to be encrypted.

The option to enable encryption was available only when I plugged in the OnePlus One phone with its own charger (probably due to it Dash charge compatibility detection). In the beginning it provided an estimate of one hour to complete but took only six minutes. After encryption, it will prompt for password before it starts the phone (when I reboot or power down and start up). The option to encrypt is found in the Security option within the phone setting.

Security Settings
Once the work profile is created a folder is created for all the applications within the profile. This includes Google Play which provides applications approved by the administrator of your organization. Storage, Settings, and accounts are displayed separately.

Work profile folder
Prompt to choose profile within settings
Accounts within the Work profile is separated
Storage usage is shown separately
By default, automatic synchronization is enabled. I prefer to disable the automatic synchronization to reduce draining the battery on the phone. The option to turn off the work profile is available for Android 7 (Nougat) but was unable to try it since I am on Android 6 (Marshmallow).

Note that the references and names for Android for Work are changing.

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