Google Workspace users will have access to ‘Work Profile’: Any Android smartphone could soon switch between personal and professional modes

Google Workspace Work Profile Android
Secure Work Profile feature for every Android smartphone? Pic credit: Yuri Samoilov/Flickr

Any Android smartphone user could soon have the ability to switch off their Work Profile. Google is apparently extending the feature to Google Workspace next year.

Google currently offers a Work Profile tool for Android smartphones. However, this feature is currently limited to devices that a business or company manages. Moving ahead, any individual using an “unmanaged” device could switch between personal and professional modes on their Android devices.

Google to allow Android Work Profile on ‘Unmanaged’ devices:

Android Work Profile has been a very useful tool to separate Work and Personal life on an Android smartphone or device. Having access to the feature allowed users to keep Work and Personal apps under two different tabs within the app drawer.

This feature basically allows users to hide their work apps and data with the flip of a switch. Additionally, it also helps users keep their personal data away from the company they work for.

Google has been restricting the Android Work Profile feature to its large customers. In other words, only businesses and companies that managed the devices of their employees had access to the feature.

The ability to switch off from work, and focus on personal life is a much-needed ability for everyone. With Work From Home the new normal, every smartphone user needs a way to momentarily switch off from their work.

Hence, moving ahead, Google is planning to expand the availability of Android work profiles to unmanaged users with a Google Workspace account. The company indicated the same through a blog post:

“Previously, the work profile was only available on managed devices. Now, we’re planning to bring those same work profile benefits to unmanaged users with a business identity, too. This will eventually allow anyone using Android for business purposes to separate work and personal apps in one interface and pause all work-related apps in one click”

Google collaborating with security and authentication companies to protect company data to deploy the feature?

Offering Android Work Profile on unmanaged devices will obviously need some serious security protocols. Usually, businesses deploy cybersecurity and network administration teams to safeguard company data while it travels between secured servers and employees’ devices.

To ensure ordinary Android smartphones can offer a similar level of security, Google is reportedly working with identity and single sign-on providers. The company wants to ensure unmanaged Android device users authenticate in its Custom Tabs system, rather than a WebView.

To ensure enterprise-grade security on an unmanaged Android smartphone, Google will have to rework a lot of the OS’s workings. It would be interesting to see how Google tweaks the Android Management API for the same.

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