Android Enterprise and the deprecation of device administrator

09 August 2019

Android Enterprise device admin

If you’re running older versions of Android, or not sure if Android Enterprise has been deployed in your business, then it’s quite possible your UEM is managing devices through device administrator.

Google’s first implementation of controls for managing devices was delivered through device admin APIs. In Android 5 (Lollipop) they introduced Android Enterprise whilst maintaining most of the device admin features. As of Android 10 (Q) the device admin APIs will be fully deprecated.

What does this actually mean?

The answer is simple, if your organisation has not implemented Android Enterprise then, regardless of UEM vendor, you won’t be able to manage new Android Q devices.

Your organisation has already configured and deployed Android Enterprise.

An organisation that is new to Android should use Android Enterprise activations only, avoid older devices and don’t make use of any device admin controls. This approach will fully support Android Q when it is released.

If your organisation has an Android estate and has completed the migration to support Android Enterprise, you are likely to avoid any problems when Android Q is released. Legacy devices will continue support device admin, just ensure that replacement devices are always activated using Android Enterprise and only legacy devices receive device admin policies.

Your organisation has Android devices but has not deployed Android Enterprise

You need to plan a migration to Android Enterprise. There are numerous considerations to be aware of.

These include the following:

  • Which Google enrolment option?
    • Managed Google Play Account: Best for enterprises that are not G Suite subscribers,
    • Managed Google Account: For enterprises who are G Suite subscribers
      • Is Zero Touch worth considering
    • What Android versions to support?
      • Android Enterprise was compulsory with version 6.0 (Marshmallow) so start here.
    • What devices and UEM to use?
    • Which Android Enterprise activation to use? One, or a combination of:
      • Work Profile mode
      • Work Managed Device mode
    • Managed Device with Work Profile mode (Android 8+)
  • What policies and configurations to implement?
  • How to provision new and re-provision existing devices?
    • This can be disruptive as devices may need to be factory reset
  • What apps to deploy including email (we recommend the Nine email app)

What to do now?

This article is a short review of the changes required to mitigate for the deprecation of device administrator. It’s clear that migrating from an MDM only deployment to Android Enterprise for anything other than a work profile requires serious consideration and planning. Even the most basic migration to a Work Profile needs thorough planning, and testing, to avoid significant disruption.

Google is investing heavily to make Android Enterprise the standard future-proof solution for Android management. Organisations who deploy Android devices should be migrating sooner rather than later to experience the benefits of what Google has created with Android Enterprise.

Contact us for more information

Appurity’s Android Enterprise experts can help

If you need help or advice when it comes to migrating your organisation from device administrator to Android Enterprise, contact AppurityContact us

Our Android products

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