On Tuesday Samsung announced version 2.0 of Knox, its Android dual-persona framework, as well as Knox EMM, a mobile device management platform that can manage Knox-enabled devices, other samsung devices, Android, and iOS. In this video Jason Leung, Samsung Global Knox Solutions Engineer, gives us a demo live from the show floor at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona. (Scroll down past the video for more details and background.)
Samsung Knox is a framework that allows corporate apps and data to be isolated from personal apps and data. Version 1.0 of Knox was announced at Mobile World Congress last year. (Check out my article Could Samsung SAFE and KNOX lead to MAM that makes Android phones as secure as Blackberrys? for a more in-depth look at how Knox fits in the Android world.)
Knox 2.0 has a fundamentally different architecture than the previous version. Before, much of the dual-persona functionality was implemented at the app level, and apps had to be processed and wrapped by Samsung in order to be used in the corporate environment. With Knox 2.0, an entirely separate Android user space is created, and as a result any apps can run in the corporate space, not just wrapped apps. Like other Samsung devices, there are a range of extra management APIs that build on the basic APIs available in Android. In addition, there are APIs that control how the corporate space and personal space interact with each other.
Previously, a third-party MDM product was required to manage Knox devices, and this will continue to be an option. However, with Knox EMM Samsung is also entering the MDM market. Since the device and the management platform are coming from the same vendor, there are naturally more opportunities for tighter integration.
Knox licenses currently retail for USD $3.60 per device, but pricing details for Knox 2.0 and Knox EMM have not been finalized.
Knox 2.0 will first be available on the Galaxy S5, which is scheduled to be released on April 11, and Knox EMM is targeted for GA at that time as well. Support for the Galaxy S4 and the Note 3 is expected to follow, as well as possible support for the Galaxy S3 and Note 2.
This video is just our first look for now, and we'll have more in-depth analysis after the dust settles from Mobile World Congress. In the mean time you can also check out the Samsung Knox website for more details and white papers.