Android Enterprise Recommended program adds Rugged Devices

Google has expanded the Android Enterprise Recommended program to include rugged devices. Google announced the Android Enterprise Recommended program back in February, and the program is supposedly designed to help enterprises find the best enterprise devices and services Android has to offer.

As the name implies, it’s designed to point enterprise IT departments at devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. This involves a number of criteria, including minimum hardware specifications for Android 7.0 + devices, support for bulk deployment and managed profiles and devices for a consistent application experience across deployed devices.

Mobility is transforming every industry, from field services and warehouses, to retail stores and manufacturing plants. In these tougher environments, companies need rugged devices that can keep working through harsh conditions and remain up-to-date over deployments that often last five years or more.

Google said today,

Thanks to its inherent flexibility, coupled with the deep industry expertise of our hardware partners, enterprises are increasingly relying on Android as their go-to platform for rugged mobile deployments. According to IDC, Android is on pace to become the largest rugged OS by shipments next year, growing at 23 percent (Compound Annual Growth Rate) over the next five years, more than 5x the rate of the rugged device market overall.

Rugged devices added to the program include the following:

  • Zebra TC25, TC51, TC56, TC70x and TC75x
  • Honeywell Dolphin CT40, Dolphin CT60 and Dolphin CN80
  • Sonim XP8
  • Point Mobile PM45
  • Datalogic Memor 10 (launching in October)

To be Android Enterprise Recommended, a handset has to adhere to a strict set of rules.

It must run Android 7.0 Nougat or later, offer zero-touch enrollment with bulk deployment to employees, get the latest security patches within 90 days of their release for a minimum of three years, be available unlocked, and offer a consistent app experience in managed profiles and on managed devices.

Furthermore, it must come with a minimum of 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, a 1.4 GHz processor, 8+ hours of active battery life, a 10 MP main camera and 2 MP selfie shooter, and be updated to at least one major new Android version.

The biggest problem the program has though is that it includes devices that Google has deemed to be enterprise-ready. Still conspicuously missing from the certified devices is anything by Samsung, a company that has programs in place like Knox specifically designed for the enterprise. There are also a lot of other devices by other manufactures that many would say are enterprise-ready. Personally, I don’t think the the program should be used as a definitive guide by IT Departments and Enterprise companies.

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