What is Android Enterprise (Android for Work) and why is it used?

Originally published at: https://bayton.org/2017/02/what-is-android-enterprise-android-for-work-and-why-is-it-used/

Although I talked about iOS Supervision in a previous post, Android is where I’ve firmly hung my Enterprise Mobility hat over the years. This is mostly due to my experience with Android stretching all the way back to the days of the first Android phone, but generally because I tend to enjoy using Android far more than other mobile operating systems. In the enterprise I come across Android frequently; while iOS is often allocated to the C-levels and higher management, usually employees lower down the corporate ladder are provided Android handsets. It makes sense really, although there are many flagships competing directly with Apple, there are even more directly targeting the mid-to-low end of the market at very attractive prices – perfect for mobility on a budget, right? Up until relatively recently, not really. A little backstory EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) platforms rely on APIs to communicate with and control managed devices. Things like disabling the camera, bluetooth or preventing access to system settings are all individually exposed via one or multiple APIs. This is important to know and it’s not limited to Android. The difference is while iOS, Windows Phone, QNX (BlackBerry) and others include these APIs with their respective operating systems and system applications, for many years Android did not, or offered very few – certainly not enough to consider manageable by any stretch. But that wasn’t the end of the world. Because Android is open source, manufacturers can build upon it and tweak it as much as they see…