Previously available as a built-in feature of Android 5.0 Lollipop, Google has released Android for Work as a standalone app on the Play Store. The app extends beyond the platform’s existing support for multiple accounts by allowing you to more efficiently separate work and personal content, and offering control for admins without interfering with your personal settings.
With the app installed, IT administrators will be able to manage and isolate work apps, and even if you have the same app for personal use, data is securely kept separate from one another. While it uses Android's multi-user framework to securely separate work and personal profiles, there is no switching users. Everything lives on a single, unified interface, and users can easily launch either app without having to worry about content carrying over or mixing in.
Users can run secure, managed versions of Google’s Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Tasks, Camera, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Chrome as well as third party work tools like Exchange and Notes. As with Android for Work on Lollipop, your company will need to set everything up using one of the partner mobile device management solutions from BlackBerry, Samsung, VMWare and others.
Android for Work still in its early days and is only meant for devices running Android 4.0 or above. The app should help Google and Android OEMs better compete in the enterprise space where Apple is apparently well ahead. According to Good Technology (via ZDNet), during the third quarter of 2014, iOS represented 69% of devices in the enterprise while Android accounted for 29%.
For a more in-depth look at Android for Work check out Ars Technica's review.