May 9th, 2019
With each version of Android, we’ve focused on improving the work experience for people and providing more control, security and flexibility for IT and business owners. Android Q, the newest release in beta, offers up more features that deliver on this promise and continue to push the boundaries of enterprise mobility.
Here’s a look at some of the features available in beta.
Improved work experience
In Android Q, we’ve tackled some of the top feature requests that give people more functionality when using the work profile, our platform level separation for work apps and data. People will be able to see work events in their personal calendar and other apps in the personal profile, with a simple transition to the work calendar for more details or event editing. IT admins, meanwhile, can set limits on work event sharing by policy.
Employees can also use their favorite keyboard or input method for their personal profile, while IT can require a different method for the work profile. This gives employees more freedom for personalized usage and allows IT to apply more security to the work profile.
We’re also providing companies with more flexibility in deploying work profiles on corporate-owned devices. IT admins can now use zero-touch enrollment, QR codes or NFC tags to provision a work profile directly during the setup wizard.
More IT control
Previously, IT admins could freeze device updates for up to 90 days to help with testing and scheduling updates. In Android Q, admins now have the ability to manually install system updates locally from a file. That allows organizations to stagger rollouts to preserve network bandwidth or take advantage of times when devices are idle.
Apps can soon send feedback to IT admins, such as providing the status of managed configurations, or giving impromptu device error reports. This functionality will be available in the coming weeks and will be supported on devices going back to Android 5.0.
The same app feedback channel bolsters our OEM Config offering. With OEM Config, device manufacturers can include bundled apps that call custom privileged APIs, allowing admins to set OEM policies via managed configurations, without any extra integration work from enterprise mobility management (EMM) providers. For example, Samsung uses our updated OEM config offering to improve the availability of their Knox Platform for Enterprise. Improvements to OEM Config include the feedback channel, an enhanced configurations schema and an update broadcast which informs an app immediately when new configurations are available, even when the app is not open.
IT admins can also now also configure certificate-based WiFi networks during setup by including the credentials in the enrollment QR code or NFC tag. This will simplify setup and streamline connectivity for work devices.
Android Q brings a host of updates for organizations looking to secure their mobile fleet. IT admins can take advantage of new delegation capabilities that enable offloading of certain tasks to specific apps outside of the device policy controller. For example, IT admins can appoint their preferred app to handle network activity logging or the selection of certificates.
On devices with a work profile, IT admins can now block the installation of apps from unknown sources across the entire device, adding additional protections against potential malware in the personal profile. And with the deprecation of Device Admin APIs in Android Q, we’re enabling apps that require a lock-screen to check the quality of screen lock credentials and direct a user to set a stronger passcode.
These are just some of the new Android Q features available in beta that will benefit enterprise customers. Take a look at a fuller list of features at the Android developers website and try out the beta today.