For several years our customers have been asking CWSI to provide recommendations for Android devices suitable for enterprise use. We’ve equally worked with customers whose choice of Android device due to budget, availability, or advice from 3rd parties has been considered potentially unsuitable due to limited storage, poor spec, or shipping with an OS version beneath what we would consider necessary due to security concerns or functionality constraints.
While we’ve always aimed to recommend the best devices within the scope of the requirements at hand, it hasn’t always been a simple process due to the sheer amount of Android devices on the market; even prior to Android enterprise enabling more OEMs to confidently market their devices for enterprise management, limiting the selection to Samsung alone offered an abundance of devices.
Although Google has taken steps to highlight those devices deemed to support enterprise use today, there has been little in the way of a formal process, and certainly no official certification of devices on the market, until yesterday.
As part of the validation process, some of the requirements include:
- A consistent UX/UI experience, guaranteeing whether it’s a Sony or a Xioami, Android enterprise enrolment looks and feels familiar with no OEM-specific quirks
- At least Android 7.0, with those on 8.0 needing to support zero-touch enrolment
- Delivery of Android security updates within 90 days of release from Google, for a minimum of three years. With OEMs more frequently keeping to a monthly security update schedule.
Again, more of the requirements are detailed here.
The validation of these requirements is undertaken by Google on a device-by-device basis from any OEM wishing to submit them, with a number of devices already available at launch including those from Sony, Nokia, Huawei and Google themselves. All in that’s a total of 21 Android Enterprise Recommended devices so far, with more on the way.
Once certified, devices are granted not only the Android Enterprise Recommended badge (below) but the OEMs will also be eligible for enhanced support and training from Google directly.
In addition to devices, Google will be expanding the program to include services and partners who pass Google’s requirements (yet to be announced) later this year, and CWSI will most certainly be looking to get involved!
For our customers going forward this will make the device selection process significantly easier; the Android Enterprise Recommended program offers the above selection of devices certified for Android enterprise deployments that vary in size, form factor and price to suit a wide range of requirements, and while it doesn’t include all current market leaders (Samsung being notably absent today) it will continue to grow as more OEMs submit their devices.
We’re looking forward to seeing the program rapidly mature, and to working with our customers on future device selection processes knowing whatever is chosen from Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended offering will be secure, reliable and ideal for Android deployments from here on out.
For questions, concerns or just a chat please feel free to get in touch.
Jason Bayton, Senior Consultant & Android SME.