Dual-persona smartphones provide a workspace that is totally isolated from your personal applications and data. This image shows “Divide,” a dual-persona tool, running on an iPhone.

Smartphones are becoming more popular by the minute, and a huge portion of the phone-wielding population use the devices for both work and play. If you’ve bought one yourself, it’s likely you’re be connecting to an employer’s mail and calendar system. If it’s an employer-purchased phone, then it’s for work—except when you’re calling or e-mailing friends and posting on Facebook.

In short, the control businesses traditionally enjoyed over devices employees use is being lost with smartphones. Some IT vendors are trying to put control back in the hands of the employers: Is that a good thing?

One way to achieve this is with a dual-persona smartphone, a device that completely separates the work and personal portions of a phone for security reasons. When you click an icon to enter the “work” side of your phone, it really is like going into a separate phone: you enter a PIN to unlock it, and then have access to e-mail and your other work applications. There are benefits for both businesses and users here. The business can impose restrictions, such as preventing copying and pasting text from a work app to a personal app, or only allowing certain documents to be opened in work applications. The good thing for users is that these restrictions can be imposed just on the work side of things—your employer won’t be peering into the contents of your personal phone, and if your employer needs to remotely wipe your device it can be done without affecting any of your personal applications, photos, e-mail, etc.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/1uNbZlhed1c/