Google Will Begin Certifying Android Devices for Enterprise Use
Android has never been the go-to platform for big business as their corporate driver. The number of devices is way too many, and the platform is always susceptible to exploits thanks to its open-source nature. Blackberry devices dominated the corporate space before the company faded away into obscurity. Apple's airtight environment is ideal when security is of utmost importance, where even a minor leak could potentially spell millions of dollars in loss.
When it comes to security, Android devices are a mixed bag because very few manufacturers make promises about long-term support, and timely security updates are rare. It is only natural that companies shy away from Android devices due to that reason alone.
However, it looks like Google is attempting to remedy that and their solution to this problem is the 'Android Enterprise Recommended' program. The program defines which Android devices are ideal for business use. Let's take a look at some of the requirements
All phones must be running Android 7.0 or higher, support zero-touch enrollment with which companies can pre-configure the devices during the purchase process, so they are ready to go the moment they are shipped. Organizations can use software from companies such as VMware AirWatch, BlackBerry, MobileIron, IBM, Gsuite, etc. to pick configurations and device policies.
Additionally, all phones must be sold carrier-unlocked and monthly security updates must go out to the devices within 90 days of release from Google, for a minimum of three years. These guidelines will be updated after every Android release, so these are subject to change. Other qualifying parameters for devices can be found here. Here's a list of devices that are included in the program.
- Google Pixel and Pixel XL (2016)
- Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- BlackBerry KEYone and Motion
- LG V30 and G6
- Motorola X4 and Z2
- Nokia 8
- Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart
- Xperia XZ1, Xperia XZ1 Compact, Xperia XZ Premium, Xperia XA2 and Xperia XA2 Ultra
Google says that more models will be added in the coming weeks and months, but the road ahead will be long, as the responsibility of security updates lie on the manufacturers and Google will have to work on an agreement with them, incentivizing them to consistently release updates for the devices.
Source: Android Police