Android 10 is out. How is Android Enterprise doing?

This is your reminder to remember that Android and iOS OS updates mean very different things. Now, help us learn more about the state of Android Enterprise!

Android 10 was officially released on September 3rd. It’s just “Android 10,” as Google is dropping the dessert names.

We went over the enterprise features when the beta was released back in March, but there’s more to talk about now.

A side note about Android versions

Of course, the launch of a new yearly version of Android always feels different from a new version of iOS, as it still takes months for devices to get updated.

However, I’ll include a reminder that comparing Android and iOS updates is like comparing apples and oranges (no pun intended). Most Android devices get the monthly security patches from Google via their OEM and carrier, and many system apps get frequent updates directly from the Play store. This is in contrast to Apple, where both patches and system apps come in OS updates.

Regarding Android Enterprise, we’re in a good place because it’s had plenty of time to spread and mature. Android Enterprise first appeared all the way back in 2015, and it included the BYOD-friendly work profile from the beginning. Even if you have a bunch of devices in your environment going back a couple of versions, they still support a decent amount of functionality. See the slide I embedded in our Android Q post or “What’s new for Android in the enterprise” at developer.android.com/work/versions.

Features

The tentpole features in Android 10 include many new user privacy protections, more granular location permissions, a dark mode, gesture navigation, and Project Mainline. This will break even more OS components out into apps that can be updated via Google Play. For a guide to the general features, l liked the review from The Verge. Or to go super deep, head to the Ars Technica review.

From an enterprise perspective, again, you can head to our initial article or Google’s list of new features. Some interesting features include:

  • Work profiles will have the ability to block apps from unknown sources for the entire device.
  • Apps in the personal profile can see the work profile calendar (if access is allowed by the EMM).
  • There are more OS update management options for fully managed devices.
  • EMMs can make apps that handle certificate selection.
  • Apps can directly check to see if the device has a screen lock.

Most importantly, Android 10 deprecates the older device admin management APIs, and Android Enterprise is now the only way to go. Jason Bayton has a whole migration guide, and at VMworld, VMware announced new migration features in Workspace ONE.

How’s Android Enterprise doing?

For years, we’ve been wondering how Android Enterprise is doing.

In some ways, this is already answered. We’re at the point where any actively-maintained Android environment will be switching over to Android Enterprise. Done. It’s not a choice, it’s just how you do Android now.

However, I’d still love to learn more about who’s using the various management models, what types of policies are most common, what versions people have in their environment, and so on. So, I’m going to give another plug for taking Jason Bayton’s Android Enterprise survey.

At BrianMadden.com, we’ve always been fans of community surveys (VDI Like a Pro is another example), so I want Jason’s survey to get as many responses as possible. Please help spread the word!

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