Google has introduced the Android Enterprise Recommended program earlier this year, to help businesses and enterprises choose Android devices with ensured reliability and security. The program has now been expanded to a number of rugged devices as well.
Let’s take a look why Google is interested in featuring these often bulky and less premium “rugged smartphones” in front of its enterprise customers.
What Is The Need Of Android Enterprise Recommended Program?
Unlike Apple’s iOS, Android is available in a nearly uncountable number of devices, that too in various price ranges and with varying capabilities. For a buyer, especially for an enterprise customer, who is usually looking to purchase in large quantities, flexibility with regards to pricing and features is always a welcome sign.
But, the sheer number of devices available on the Android side might be too overwhelming for somebody to choose from. This problem is solved to an extent by Google’s new Android Enterprise Recommended program by recommending a selected number of Android devices which can cater to the enterprise needs.
Also, security, consistency, and reliability are the major concerns of enterprise customers, more so than performance or camera quality. Google has set some hardware as well as software standards for a device to be selected in the program and the device manufacturers are given enhanced support and training directly from Google. These devices are also entitled to receive regular security updates for a considerable amount of time.
A handful of devices are chosen for the Android Enterprise Recommended program, after thorough testing processes to ensure that these devices meet the requirements of customers.
Why Rugged Smartphones?
Within a decade, the smartphone penetration has grown exponentially in various aspects of human life. These pocket-sized computers have grown beyond our personal companions. They now play a significant role in commercial as well as industrial areas including manufacturing, management, storage, and even sales. That means smartphones are not just used inside air-conditioned offices, but also in manufacturing and storage facilities where the conditions are much-challenging.
As “rugged smartphones” are designed to be used in harsh environments, their average lifespan would be much higher than that of a normal device (no brainer). Also, huge batteries along with drop and ingress protection and capacity to operate in a wide range of temperature would make them the ultimate champions in challenging environments.
But the main drawback here is that not a lot of mainstream manufacturers make rugged smartphones, questioning the security and reliability parts, which are much needed in the enterprise space. This is where Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program becomes relevant.
Under the program, Google has collaborated with multiple manufacturers like Zebra, Honeywell, Panasonic, etc who make rugged smartphones, to make devices compliant with the program.
Google is conducting a lot of durability tests like drop tests and ingress protection tests, etc before validation. Manufacturers are required to provide regular security patch updates for a minimum of five years as well. You can check the entire list of requirements for a device to be certified here.
All in all, the Android Enterprise Recommended program is shaping up to be a great option for small businesses as well as large corporates who are looking to connect their employees working in various departments. The program will not only improve the adoption of rugged smartphones in the coming years, it’ll drive innovation and bring more manufacturer attention to the “rugged smartphone” space.
It is also great for rugged phone enthusiasts as they’d finally get to see some devices with more focus on user experience in the market. What do you think about Google’s decision to include rugged smartphones in the Android Enterprise Recommended program? Do you prefer rugged smartphones over normal ones? Let us know in the comments below.