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Thursday, September 3, 2020

3 min read

Android work profiles: interesting idea, horrible experience

 NOTE: Cutting and pasting between Android Work Profiles and Personal Profiles is apparently a known issue that will be fixed in a future release. It's still annoying as hell though,

I missed a meeting this morning because Android Work Profiles don't quite work the way I expected. The meeting invite was in my Outlook calendar. When I tapped on the URL for the meeting nothing happened - no errors, no pop-ups, nothing. I tried tapping again and once again, nothing happened.

After looking closer at the meeting URL I realized the meeting was using an app called Doxy. Doxy is an app to enable telemedicine. Normally the URL would either prompt me to install the Doxy app or simply pop the app open if I had previously installed it (I hate installing apps because apps are destroying the web).Since the source of the URL came from an Android Work Profile app (Outlook, in this case) it apparently could only be opened by another Android Work Profile app. Since there is no Android Work Profile version of the Doxy app nothing happened. Ok, I figured I could manually copy the URL out of Outlook and paste it into the Doxy app. Nope. Copying the URL worked fine but the minute I switched to my Personal Profile to access Doxy I also unknowingly switched to the Personal Profile version of the Android clipboard - meaning the data I had copied (the meeting URL) wasn't available to paste into Doxy.

Now I'm not sure if this is an issue with how my employer configured Android Work Profiles or if this is simply how they work. Either way it's a terribly unfriendy user experience, especially for someone like me who uses Outlook for both business and personal appointments. This feels like a major step backwards since I now need to use two separate calendars for my appointments. Ugh. So much for having an all-up view of my appointments. 

The other issue was that the Android Work Profile enables my employer to force me to use Edge as my default browser (I prefer Brave for obvious reasons). This means my bookmarks and other resources are no longer available. I'll keep digging and see if there is an alternative approach that might make Android Work Profiles easier to use.

Love Theory