Home Android Google’s business-friendly Android phone list has a big problem

Google’s business-friendly Android phone list has a big problem

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Google’s incredibly serious about making Android appealing to the enterprise and the broader universe of business users.

That’s the official company line, at least — and the narrative Google’s been pushing hard since launching its Android Enterprise Recommended program in February 2018.

Android Enterprise Recommended, the company told us, would be a “Google-led global initiative that raises the bar of excellence for enterprise devices and services.” It’d establish “best practices and common requirements” for business-ready Android devices, and it’d ensure any phone with the stamp of approval provided a professional and properly supported experience without all of the common ecosystem asterisks.

It certainly sounds smart and sensible. The enterprise realm in particular is closely tuned into security and data protection, and having workers carry devices that don’t receive timely and reliable software updates — whether we’re talking about the monthly security patches or the bigger operating system releases around them — poses an unacceptable risk for any cautious organization.

Some four years after its launch, though, Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program seems to have devolved into a mostly meaningless afterthought. There’s a disconcerting disconnect between the program’s front-facing promise and what you find when you dig deeply into its offerings and look closely at what’s actually happening with the devices it’s endorsed.

And for any company that’s relying on that seal of approval as a guide to which Android phones offer an optimally secure and up-to-date environment suitable for enterprise use, that disconnect could lead to some troublingly flawed decisions.

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