Android for Work is ready to make your phone office-friendly

Remember Android for Work, Google's big effort to make your smartphone safe for business? It's finally ready for prime time. The officially launched initiative lets you keep work-related accounts and app info separate from personal affairs while maintaining security -- you don't have to worry that higher-ups will peek at (or worse, delete) your vacation photos. You'll only get full flexibility if you're using Android 5.0 Lollipop, which lets you create work profiles, but an app will grant you access to corporate-approved tools if you're running Android 4.0 or later.

The launch is getting help from a mix of app and hardware providers, including Box, Citrix, VMware, HTC, LG and Sony. Even BlackBerry is helping out with Android for Work support in its latest management tools. Developers of paid apps can even get in the mix, by opting-in to make their apps available for bulk purchase. However, Samsung isn't pitching in to the same degree that was promised last year. While Samsung is still a partner, Google tells Recode that it didn't end up using the Korean tech firm's Knox technology to lock things down. Whatever's under the hood, you now have a better chance of using your personal phone for office duties without enduring the hassles and security risks of the past.