Android for Work incorporates Samsung's Knox security to keep data secure

Google is making Android more secure for enterprises by providing data separation and security through a new program announced at Google I/O 2014 called Android for Work. With the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) movement, today many work phones contain personal content and personal phones are used for work purposes. With Android for Work, Google is adding a layer of security to make phones more secure for sensitive environments.

With the Android L release, Google is introducing new APIs to unify work and personal so that corporate apps can live on personal devices and content can remain secure. Businesses can now deploy apps to users in bulk. This will be natively supported in Android L, but Google promises that it will introduce an update later so that any device running Android Ice Cream Sandwich or later can benefit.

With Android for Work, Google is rolling in parts of Samsung's Knox security suite for the enterprise so there is one protocol across all of Android. Device manufacturers like Sony, LG, Motorola, and HTC to name a few will all bring Android for Work to their phones. Google says that Samsung has contributed some of its work with Knox to Android for Work. What this means is that developers won't have to modify existing apps to make it enterprise-ready. It will also provide a secure container so business-sensitive data doesn't leak into personal usage of the mobile device.

Additionally, Google is also allowing native Office editing inside its Google Docs suite.

And with Google Drive for Work, Google is now offering unlimited storage for businesses at just $10 per user per month.

 
There are 32 comments

Ry says:

Android definitely needs this.

Just came to say that. This is long overdue and a very welcome addition to the platform.

Sunofabob says:

+1

AC App via Nexus 5

DWR_31 says:

So that's what happened...!
Google licensed Samsung Knox and Samsung unified the experience back to what Google wants.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!

amrovi2014 says:

Many of us use our phones for business and this is a big plus for Android

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+googol

TheMimic12 says:

Google is really staying competitive!!

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Hope those aren't the new android buttons at the bottom!!

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NoNexus says:

They are...been seeing them all day with these screen captures...

Haha, just noticed them now. Incoming lawsuit from Sony in 3... 2... 1...

Impulses says:

Sony has got bigger worries, doubt anyone patents software UI buttons but yea, you never know. Japanese companies don't tend to be hyper litigious tho...

ten3br0us says:

Knox? That just made my stomach turn. I guess I'll wait and see how the implementation of this actually goes.

NoNexus says:

Well we all knew (or should have known) this was coming. Two things to come out of this.

1. It is another nail in the BlackBerry coffin
2. I hope this puts the whole "tripping knox" debate down, not to mention the "I will never buy a device with knox" crowd in a corner...

eahinrichsen says:

I'm just really glad that that an established enterprise security system is being rolled into core Android instead of Google releasing their own. I was really afraid that every OEM and maybe Google itself was going to come up with their own version and make the Android enterprise security space a convoluted nightmare for the next few years. If nothing else, this should sidestep that potential mess.

NoNexus says:

I agree and thought the same thing a few months ago. Always knew that it was inevitable that there would be a form of KNOX on every phone, I just didn't know it was gonna BE Knox.

It is a good thing that it is all going to be uniform

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lkovach says:

I have a Samsung Galaxy S3 on Verizon and I don't have Knox. All the background services are there for it, but I don't have the app even the release notes for the 4.4 release said we would have it. That being said, I hope Android for Work becomes available for the S3.

NoNexus says:

Had another thought.

I hope this shows Samsungs commitment to Android. They would not just give away something like this if they were making Tizen a big deal.

Yeah, but anyone half sane has always known that the Astroturfers shouting that Tizen is proof that Samsung will kill Android never has been anything but Astroturfers shouting that Tizen will kill Android. :)

NoNexus says:

yeah but you know how the anti-Samsung crowd is around here

MetalMike901 says:

I noticed only during this part of the presentation that there seem to be unread counts/badges on the app icons. Wonder if this is coming with the L release to everyone?

Posted via Android Central App on my white Nexus 4 with StraightTalk ATT

Dominick079 says:

This is great addition to the Android platform

Posted Via AT&T Galaxy Note 3

Dominick079 says:

This is great addition to the Android platform

Posted Via AT&T Galaxy Note 3

Robb Nunya says:

Now they just need to get decent proxy support for apps, better IPSEC VPN support, and a decent OWA app, and they'll be ready for enterprise business. Or at least MY enterprise business.

This will only make it harder to root phones...

TomW093 says:

So? Most consumers don't need or want to root.

Most of them don't need this level of security on their phone either...

NoNexus says:

There are a heck of a lot more that want to carry one phone then want to root that phone

Posted via Android Central App

cwmont13 says:

Agree but for those of us who do want to root, and have no need for added security KNOX is a major PITA. I see the need for a secure device for business use, whether it be work supplied or BYOD. That said, KNOX or any other type of security primarily aimed for business use, should be implemented by the company's IT department. IMO it should not "automatically" be included in a device used by the regular person. The option of using KNOX should be a choice to the end user upon initial setup of the device. If the user chooses not to have KNOX enabled, then it should be automatically removed and not affect the operation of the phone or the ability of the end user to root or mod as they see fit. If we as buyers pay money to "own" our device, we should be able to do with it as we see fit. RIM has it right with BES for IT control and BIS for the regular user. I have my own reasons for wanting a rooted device and KNOX isn't root friendly. I've moved away from Samsung for phones and don't see myself going back anytime soon. YMMV though.

From the Death Star using my LG G2

NoNexus says:

Knox is not a PITA, nothing changed in rooting from the s3 to the note 3.

I tripped the flag but so what? It was still all of 20 minutes work

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NoNexus says:

Oh and we do not know how the final implementation of KNOX is going to be. You could very well get what you wish for. I would not expect for it to be open source though. I am sure that is part of the deal with Samsung that it stays closed source

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ofutur says:

Hmmm... So they're bringing an unfinished BlackBerry Balance clone to Android, but still haven't properly secured the base OS.
Great for enterprise, not so great for small businesses and consumers...

Samsung invested time and money and has dug deep in Android. Finally they found something, what google wanted to keep for themselves. Google have bad luck and now Samsung is the new partner. Congratulations to Samsung!