Android for Work review

Android for Work introduces some brilliant mobile device management features but feels rough around the edges

User Experience

From the user's point of view, Android for Work is simple enough, assuming it's compatible with their device in the first place. If you're adding a work account to your current phone, you just download the Google Apps Device Policy app and sign in. If your phone has managed profile support, and your administrator has made Work Profiles compulsory, you'll be taken through the process of creating one. If Work Profiles are optional, an entry in the Device Policy app will allow you to set one up if you want to.

The installation process explains which rights your admin has, and then prompts you to modify your settings to bring them into line with your employer's policy before your device is allowed to connect to your Google Apps for Work account. Android for Work profiles require users to apply encryption, while most other settings are dependent on your company's Device Management policies. These include phone wiping, password modification, and disabling the camera.

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Users can always manually remove their Android for Work account and have access to remote wiping and location tools in case they lose their device. Having a discrete set of apps associated with the user's work account means that admins can limit which apps are available to install from their Android for Work Play store, but that won't stop users from installing whatever they want from the personal account on their phone or tablet.

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Creating Android for Work profiles on our Google Nexus 4 phone and Nexus 7 tablet both worked perfectly, adding new, separate apps to our app tray, including Contacts and a Play store. From the store, we were able to install apps whitelisted by our admin. All your work apps are marked by a little red briefcase icon, making it easy to tell them apart when you've got them pinned to a home screen.

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