Google Certifies Android for the Enterprise

Posted on February 21, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Android with 24 Comments

Google Certifies Android for the Enterprise

Google today announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program, which certifies Android handsets that meet a stringent set of criteria.

“With more than 2 billion active devices worldwide, Android provides great choice and diversity for users and businesses alike,” Google’s David Still writes. “But with so many options available, enterprise IT organizations around the world often ask: ‘Which Android devices are right for my organization?'”

Designed to help Google’s business customers make better device choices, the Android Enterprise Recommended program is backed by a “thorough” device review process in which accepted devices must meet “an elevated set of specifications for hardware, deployment, security updates, and user experience.” Device makers in the program also receive “an enhanced level of technical support and training from Google,” the firm says.

Among the requirements for the program are support for bulk deployment of Android devices including zero-touch enrollment, Android security updates for a minimum of three years, and the availability of unlocked devices direct from manufacturer or reseller. You can find the full list of Android Enterprise Recommended requirements the Google website.

Tied to this announcement, Google has also revealed the first Android handsets that have been approved for the Android Enterprise Recommended program: the BlackBerry KEYone and Motion; Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL; Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart; LG V30 and G6; Motorola X4 and Z2; Nokia 8; and Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra all made the cut. And Google says we will see devices added to the list in “the coming weeks and months.”


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Comments (25)

25 responses to “Google Certifies Android for the Enterprise”

  1. Rahul Sharma

    Interesting that Google endorses Huawei phones for the enterprise, while the US security agencies suggest not to use them. Too much FUD being spread by the agencies who have no evidence or technical know-how in the matter.

  2. dcdevito

    I'm in the process of rolling out a new MDM policy at my firm, and part of it is "Android for Work". It's the most fabulous BYOD MDM policy on the planet, and completely non intrusive to my users.

  3. dontbe evil

    "Google Certifies Android for the Enterprise" nice joke LOL

  4. Stooks

    And my company just dropped support for Android devices for things like company email and DUO 2 factor on employee owned devices. Just two many issues with users, OS versions etc. DUO stopped supporting anything below Android 6 at least a year ago. The iPhone is the only option. Company provided phones have only ever been iPhones.

    • jrickel96

      In reply to Stooks:

      This is exactly true. Android has too many problems to be a serious choice.

      • Tony Barrett

        In reply to jrickel96:

        And what problems are these exactly that affect Android and nothing else?

        • jrickel96

          In reply to ghostrider:

          Everything else has predictable update cycles. Apple responds quickly to threats as does MS. Google has no great way to roll out security updates to the OS. They have worked to try to give apps as much control as possible so some security can be handled in the store, but core security issues - like Spectre/Meltdown - cannot be predictably patched across different devices from the same manufacturer.

        • Stooks

          In reply to ghostrider:

          I don't work in that part of IT but I have heard that various versions caused various problems with Exchange email and Airwatch support. Since users could not always get updates the problem grew.

          The company did give out more iPhones to overcome some of the issues, but those who could not get a company provided phone they had to make a choice, since support for Android was dropped.

          I work in the network department and we own VPN. We also manage the Duo 2F solution. Duo dropped support a year or more ago for anything below a certain version of 6.x. At the time 7 had just come out. We had to turn off quite a few Duo accounts until those users became compliant. After the email team dropped support for Android we dropped support for Duo as well. A few users have a hard token now.

      • wright_is

        In reply to jrickel96:

        Given that Android 6 is a security risk, these days, that isn't really surprising... It is like saying they dropped support for iOS 8.

        That said, finding a supplier that actually provides monthly security updates is difficult, our Samsungs are usually 4 - 6 months behind Google, our Hauweis 1 month.

  5. Martin Pelletier

    So Samsung is not in the list because they bundle their phones with their apps instead of the Google ones?

    • wright_is

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      Hauwei have their own apps for certain things as well. I would guess that it is also some of the other criteria, like monthly security updates for 3 years - the Samsungs we have at work (S5 - S8) are usually around 4 to 6 months behind the curve, my Huawei Mate 10 Pro is one month behind Google.

    • Jackson Holbrook

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      Most likely it's because Samsung has a horrible track record with keeping their phones up to date.

    • jrickel96

      In reply to MartinusV2:

      Likely. Google is pushing these phones like they are trying to change web ads - but they do it for their own interests.

      Samsung could be better, but without the Google apps they may not provide as much data to Google so Google can do what makes it money - sell ads.

      Everything Google does is driven by the need to get information to push ads more effectively and drive up click rates to get more revenue and more profit. They don't sell any products, but they do sell your information and your company's, whether directly or indirectly.

  6. Waethorn

    The next phone I get will be a Pixel 2 or whatever is available when my payment term is up (December of this year). LG provided no more than 6 months of security updates for the unlocked V20 for Canadian carriers and their tech support says to buy a new phone if I want current updates. Never again will I get a non-Google Android phone. I had a Nexus 5X before the V20, sold it to someone over a year ago, and it STILL gets monthly updates. Someone I know has a G6. He has had it for several months now with zero updates aside from the out-of-box version. I don't trust LG to provide quality products of any type anymore. I should've learned my lesson with their computer optical drives being unreliable. I know all too well about the lack of quality with their fridges.

    • Thomas Parkison

      In reply to Waethorn:
      LG provided no more than 6 months of security updates for the unlocked V20 for Canadian carriers and their tech support says to buy a new phone if I want current updates.

      And this is the exact reason why I went with the iPhone instead. I simply got tired of looking at the security issues and bulletins that were being released and then looking at my phone and saying "Yeah... my device will never get patched for this crap". So off to the iPhone I went and have never looked back.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Waethorn:

      On the other hand, the Nexus 5x is dog slow under Oreo 8.1. It can take several seconds to get from an app back to the start screen and the camera can take up to 5 seconds to take the phot after you press the shutter button...

      Google really needs to take control of the OS. Leave the drivers and GUI "polish" to the manufacturers, but the core OS needs to be centrally maintained.

      • Thomas Parkison

        In reply to wright_is:
        On the other hand, the Nexus 5x is dog slow under Oreo 8.1.

        This I don't understand... wasn't Google's plan for Oreo 8.1 to slim down Android? Clean it up? Make it faster? If that was really the case then Oreo 8.1 should be flying on that Nexus 5x.

        Which just goes to show you that Android is shit under the hood. It really needs a lot of work but instead of cleaning the code up and optimizing stuff Google just keeps heaping stuff on top of it and saying "Oh well, just throw more hardware at it".

      • Waethorn

        In reply to wright_is:

        Actually, *I* was the one that put Oreo on the phone for the person that I sold it to. Dunno what you're talking about as far as performance issues, but I did a clean image install of Oreo instead of an update. The camera is faster than Android 7 was.

  7. Jeremy Petzold

    I don't see anything in there about support for muti-user devices, utilizing LDAP/AD, or SSO support....

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