Android for Work is an MDM platform that supports Android applications. It's also a partner program for Google's hardware and software vendor partners. IT departments will get the benefit of having a "consistent management" approach for Android devices via the program's "standardized management APIs." Developers will be able to "create a single version of any Google Play app that can be securely deployed to any Android device without alterations or wrapping," Google promised, in its announcement.
The platform has four technology components: a Work Profiles security capability, an Android for Work suite of apps, a Google Play for Work deployment and management solution, and built-in Microsoft Exchange and IBM Notes support.
The "Work Profiles" component is designed to help IT pros isolate the work apps and data on an Android device from personal items. Google is promising that "people can use their personal apps knowing their employer only manages work data and won't erase or view their personal content." Work Profiles uses encryption and security capabilities in Android 5.0 "Lollipop," according to the announcement.
The Android for Work app provides "secure mail, calendar, contacts, documents, browsing and access to approved work apps," which can be managed by an IT organization. It's for devices running Android versions ranging from "Ice Cream Sandwich" (4.0) to "KitKat" (4.4). Apparently, the Android for Work app is an alternative option, since Google states that its Android for Work platform requires using mobile devices with "Android 5.0 and higher."