News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday June 26, 2014.
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Samsung developed KNOX as a way to make its smartphones more appealing to the enterprise sector, but elements of the security platform will be in all Android L smartphones, including those made by Samsung's rivals. Google announced at its I/O developer conference yesterday that Samsung KNOX would be integrated into Android L release arriving later this fall. Many initially wondered why Samsung would allow rivals to have access to a key selling point of its Galaxy smartphones, but the Korean manufacturer has since sent out a press release that clarifies that not all of Knox is coming to the standard Android release. Samsung will maintain exclusive aspects like EMM and Marketplace, the enterprise-focused app platform, but the company has partnered with Google to create a system that will allow users to have personal data and work data operating independently on one phone.
KNOX works by creating a split sandbox approach to Android. The system creates a work section that is self-contained and has additional layers of security required for IT administration and protecting corporate data. It allows companies to manage devices, remotely wipe information in case of theft or employment changes, and bulk install or remove apps and data. All work related material is stored separately from the private aspect of the phone that allows the user to install whatever he or she chooses and keep personal information like family photos or messaging to loved ones. These features will be integrated into the Android L release, creating an OS standard for security and device management.
Google also says it will develop an app that brings much of the technology borrow from KNOX to older versions of Android. It's likely that venture will have some involvement from Enterproid, the creators of security app Divide that previously created split work/personal areas on smartphones since 2011. The company was acquired by Google in May. While Android L will mostly rely on KNOX to lock down the platform, Google appears to be employing multiple strategies to make Android more secure and ideal for enterprise or government usage.
Andrew is MobileBurn.com's managing editor. He is based in Miami, Florida.