My Android work profile setup

I am using an Android work profile to separate work and private content and apps on my phone for a few months now. As I haven’t found much public information, I’m documenting my setup i the hope that others might find it useful.

An important side note: this setup doesn’t require an enterprise managed identity – it will probably work for any Android phone that can use work profiles. I use an Samsung Galaxy A41 Android 11 phone professionally and privately, separating private data from work data via an Android work profile [1]. Samsung Knox [2] implements work profiles on A41, which however require the phone to be registered with an enterprise account – there is no phone setting to just enable work profiles, but there are free apps that do this.

Installation

Work profile is enabled through the Shelter app [3] from the Play store. This doesn’t require a rooted phone. So the first thing to do is install that app and follow the installation instructions.

Shelter allows cloning apps from the private profile to the work profile, but I didn’t go that way. Instead, open the work profile from system settings and open the Play store. Now you have to register with another Google account (I don’t know if you can use the same account registered with the private profile – I used a different account). Now you can install almost any app you like into the private profile.

Work profile app shortcuts are created through Shelter (the menu item currently is called “Create unfreeze and/or launch…”). Conveniently and super-handy, “Allow widgets in main profile” allows adding work profile widgets to the private launcher / home screen.

I use Gboard [9] for typing, but a Knox “security policy” [4] won’t allow an alternative keyboard on the work profile. Fortunately there is an unlikely workaround:


1. install Gboard into the work profile
2. install a second language (eg. English US and English UK)
3. Open work profile settings – More setting – Keyboard and input – Keyboard list and default – and enable Gboard multilingual typing
4. Now on the same page, change Default Keyboard to Gboard.

My setup

Home screen with work profile apps

As written, I use a Samsung A41 with Android 11, dual SIM with two phone numbers & two mobile network accounts. I like the dark theme and use LineX [10] icon pack for visual contrast.

I gathered all work-related apps and widgets on a separate screen, for work-life balance reasons. The first, private profile, screen shows a combined inbox of private emails, a private calendar, the weather and news. The following thematically grouped screens contain app shortcuts and the last screen contains work-related apps and widgets.

The BOM:

Shelter app for managing work profile.

Microsoft Outlook [5] for private emails and another instance through Shelter for work emails. Notifications disabled. I used to use One Calendar (paid version) before which is one of the few calendar apps which support Exchange, but it lacks customisations.

Google Contacts [6] for private contacts. I use work profile Outlook for managing work contacts.

Google Calendar [7] widget for private appointments and the work profile Outlook calendar widget for work appointments.

Microsoft Teams [8] as a work profile shortcut. I disabled all notifications except for calls.

Gboard [9], which is a fantastic app with great support for multi-lingual swyping.

Resources

[1] Android work profile
https://support.google.com/work/android/answer/6191949?hl=en

[2] Samsung Knox
https://www.samsungknox.com/en

[3] Shelter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.typeblog.shelter&hl=en&gl=US

[4] Third-party keyboards in a work profile
https://docs.samsungknox.com/admin/knox-platform-for-enterprise/kbas/kba-360001485027.htm

[5] Microsoft Outlook on the Play Store
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.office.outlook&hl=en&gl=US

[6] Google Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.contacts&hl=en&gl=US

[7] Google Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar&hl=en&gl=US

[8] Microsoft Teams
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.teams&hl=en&gl=US

[9] Gboard
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.inputmethod.latin&hl=en&gl=US

[10] LineX icon pack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jndapp.line.x.iconpack&hl=en&gl=US

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