Google announced the launch of Android Enterprise Recommnded today, a business-focused certification program to convince more companies to trust and rely on certain Android smartphones that meet a new set of requirements. Because of the scale of Android, the number of handsets out in the wild, and the lack of consistency when it comes to security and operating system updates, Google has found it difficult to ensure companies. This program is designed to green light a handful of devices for corporate use.
The initial list of devices that meet Google’s new requirements naturally includes its own Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL. The list also includes the BlackBerry KeyOne and Motion, Huawei Mate 10 and P10 lines, LG V30 and G6, Motorola X4 and Z2, Nokia 8, and Sony’s most recent Xperia X devices. As far as requirements go, Google says Android Enterprise Recommended devices must meet minimum hardware requirements for Android 7.0 and later, support bulk deployment of devices, deliver security updates within 90 days of release from Google for up to three years, and offer unlocked devices. A full list of supported devices can be found here, while the full requirement list is available online here.
Google says it plans to add more devices to the list in the coming months, and also that it will be using this approach to handle classifications of devices like “rugged” devices and those handled by enterprise mobility management providers. The ultimate goal, of course, is to make Android a more reliable and trusted workplace tool, so it can join iOS, macOS, and Windows 10 as the go-to operating systems of large companies. Those deals may not generate a significant amount of cash for Google when compared to its core advertising business, but it does put more Android devices in the hands of company employees who, at the end of the day, are also consumers whose habits and behaviors on Android feed back into the overall Google ecosystem.