Android 12 lets enterprise admins dedicate cell connectivity to Work Profile apps, limit USB for just charging, more

With Android 12 going open source on Monday, Google today detailed what’s new in the OS for enterprise admins and end-users. The latter benefits from more privacy controls, while the former can impose more measures to secure corporate data.

One particularly interesting capability lets IT admins “slice their 5G network and dedicate connectivity to all apps on a fully-managed device.” This priority cell service can also be limited to Work Profile apps, with enterprises – in partnership with carriers – having “wider control over quality of service and security of work data.”

Meanwhile, administrators can limit the USB-C port on company-owned devices so that only charging works. This reduces the risk of USB-based attacks, though not all devices support the ability to disable USB data signaling.

Companies can similarly restrict what input methods are available in personal profiles. In requiring people to use the default input (e.g. Gboard on Pixel), there’s a reduced risk of a “rogue keyboard that could capture data on the device.”

Elsewhere, Work Profile users can decide (as permitted by IT) whether those apps have access to location, camera, microphone, body sensor, or physical activity, while setting up Wi-Fi no longer requires the user location permissions thanks to a new network API.

Personal devices that feature a Work Profile will no longer report IMEI, MEID, or serial numbers to “preserve employee privacy if they leave their organization.” This is replaced by an enrollment-specific ID. On the password front, it’s easier for users to set up a separate password for their work profile.

Meanwhile, the Android Enterprise team is hosting its first-ever security and management digital event. You can register now for “The Art of Control” on October 27 to see the “latest features in Android 12 through demos and analyst briefings.”

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