Android has had its challenges entering the enterprise market due to a number of issues. Fragmentation between smartphone OEMs hasn’t helped, but Samsung has certainly been pulling their weight with their KNOX security platform so businesses can feel safe with their data. It was almost 2 years ago when Google started to get involved when they launched their own landing page as a way to showcase how Android can benefit businesses of all sizes. We may not hear news about Google’s work in the enterprise space every week, but the company is still committed to the project and today they have announced that certain Android Enterprise Recommended devices will receive 5 full years of security updates.
After showing interest in the enterprise market, it took Google 2 years before they announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program. This initiative was required as there seems to always be some headline about unpatched Android devices being vulnerable to various types of malware. So Google used the Android Enterprise Recommended program to help businesses know which smartphones were secure enough to be used by their employees. At that time these were the requirements:
- Minimum hardware specifications for Android 7.0+ devices
- Support for bulk deployment of Android devices including zero-touch enrollment
- Delivery of Android security updates within 90 days of release from Google, for a minimum of three years
- Availability of unlocked devices, direct from manufacturer or reseller
- Consistent application experience in managed profiles and on managed devices
There were over 20 devices that were recommended once that program was launched. Since then, there have been a number of other devices added to the program, including the Nokia 8 Sirocco, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 6, and many more from a variety of other Android smartphone OEMs.
Today, Google has made a big announcement for those who are interested in the Android Enterprise Recommended program. Previously, the phones that were certified for the program were just regular consumer style smartphones that were able to meet a certain number of requirements. However, there are a lot of enterprise companies who just cannot use these types of devices. They slip, fall, and just break way too often. So now Google has certified some rugged Android devices as well. Not only that, but they are also guaranteeing they will get 5 years of security updates as well.
The company has confirmed these will be the launch devices from leading rugged manufacturers:
- Zebra TC20, TC 25, TC51, TC56, TC70X and TC75X
- Honeywell CT40, CT60 and CN80
- Sonim XP8
- Point Mobile PM45
- Datalogic Memor 10 (launching in October)