What you need to know
- Google is bringing work profiles to Android users in 2022. They were previously only available for managed Android Enterprise phones.
- You'll be able to see separate icons for Google apps like Gmail and Calendar, each logged into different email profiles.
- Google will start with Workspace apps, then offer work profiles for other productivity apps later.
For anyone sick of having to swap between your personal and work emails, calendars, Drive files, Keep notes, and other apps, take heart. Google will add a work profile to the best Android phones at some point next year, so you can keep your work life and personal life separate more easily.
Google Enterprise created the work profile for managed devices earlier this year. Work profile apps would have stricted security measures, data protection, and IT monitoring. Once you were done with work, you could turn that profile off and use personal apps the IT couldn't monitor.
In a Thursday announcement, Google Enterprise explained that this profile tool will come to unmanaged (or non-Enterprise) phones as well. It'll begin with Google Workspace apps, sometime "next year," then add the option for other apps "soon after." We don't have a more specific timetable as of yet.
Once this feature arrives, you'll have the option to pull down your app drawer and see two lists of apps under the subheads "Personal" and "Work." The work app icons have a tiny briefcase to deliniate them from the regular apps; you can then put both versions of the app on your home screen and easily tell them apart.
Also in the app drawer, you'll tap a button to pause your work profile. At that point, those apps can't "send you notifications, use your battery, or access your location," according to Google. When you're constantly working at home, it'll be a great way to force yourself (and your boss) to respect your work-life balance.
Google is in the midst of adding tons of useful work-from-home features to Android. You can now add "focus time" to Google Calendar to indicate your busyness and auto-decline invites. And the company recently acquired Playspace — a collaborative platform for virtual meetings, brainstorming, and hangouts — and intends to add it to its Workspace apps.
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Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.