In 2010, Google introduced the Device Administration APIs (Application Programming Interface). This made it possible to manage Android devices via a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solution. As those APIs won’t be available any more with Android version 10, it is time to rethink your UEM strategy. Our expert Robin Hobo explains what to consider now.
The wishes and requirements of employees and companies were increasing during the last years. For example, employees wanted to keep business and private data on one device. Companies wanted to facilitate this, but in a safe and controlled manner. This was not possible with the existing APIs and the answer from Google came with Android 5.0 in which Android Enterprise was launched (then called "Android for Work").
This situation will change in mid-2019. Google has made the choice to no longer make the APIs introduced in 2010 available from Android version 10. The devices based on Android 10 can only be managed via Android Enterprise.
What is Android Enterprise Anyway?
Android Enterprise is a new way of securing Android devices and can run company data, among other applications, in a protected environment. This allows you, for example, to separate the work and private environment.
Via Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) solutions such as Microsoft EM + S and VMWare Workspace One, Android Enterprise can be configured in different ways.
In work profile mode, business applications can run in a protected environment. This is useful for private devices that are also used for business purposes and vice versa.
Another mode is the work only mode that ensures that the device is only used for business purposes.
Or the dedicated device mode, which ensures that the device is restricted for the use of one or more applications. This is also referred to as the kiosk mode.
Due to the disappearance of the APIs, it is important that companies that manage Android devices through this "old" way take action.
And What is the Consequqnece if I don't Switch?
New Android 10 devices cannot be managed in the traditional way. Existing devices with Android 9 that are updated to Android 10 cannot be managed after the update. You lose control of these devices. The current Android devices that are equipped with Android version 9 and lower can still be managed in the traditional way.
How do I Switch Easily?
The transition to Android Enterprise can easily be implemented in phases by, for example, first testing Android Enterprise with a select group of users via a UEM solution.
If it turns out that everything is set up correctly, the traditional way can be blocked so that no new devices will be managed this way.
On the left-hand side you can see an image as an example of how this can be set within Microsoft Intune.
The next step is to transfer all existing Android devices in phases.
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