Android 12: New Updates for Enterprise Device Management and Security of Apps

  • May 20, 2021

Running on billions of smartphones worldwide, Android is one of the world’s most popular operating systems. Due to its overwhelming popularity and wide usage, even the smallest change in the Android operating system can affect its extensive user base. 

Android 12 for device management
Android 12 updates for Device Management and security

However, Android updates barely have any major changes because of the way they are delivered. It is hard to believe whether any of the new changes would actually make a difference to the users. Even so, the world is always looking forward to experiencing the next big thing Android updates have in store.

This time of the year, Android has launched the first developer preview of Android. The update has showcased many improvements that can benefits users. 

In this article, we have tried to cover every single thing we know about Android 12 so far!

Let’s get started.

What to Expect with Android 12

Android is a fully open-source operating system, therefore, the Android consumer community has a lot to look forward to from Android 12. With the Android 12, the development team at Android has ensured to improve user experiences across every part of Android as well as protect user privacy.

However, our main focus here is what Android 12 has in store for enterprise device management purposes.

Android 11

Back in 2020 when Android 11 was released, it had greatly impacted the business world. The biggest focus on testing the latest Android update last year included two main things:

  • Widely adopting the higher target SDK levels for applications in Google Play 
  • The boost that came with Android 11 privacy enhancements so that company-owned devices can manage their work profiles better

While it is too early to start the testing of Android 12 in a full-fledged manner, it is already safe to say that Android 12 will not have as much impact as Android 11. The biggest change in Android 12 is that it has disabled access to non-resettable device identifiers for work profiles on personally owned devices. 

Google’s Announcement 

Android Phone with version 12.0 updates
Source

Google introduced next-level security with Android 12, which is currently in the developer preview. The new update promises to: 

  • Provide better utility for the IT sector 
  • Enhance privacy settings 
  • Increase productivity of the employees

Some other additions are mentioned as follows:

  • For work profiles on devices, Google has introduced a cleaner approach for password restrictions.
  • The Android 12 update also promises an improved device setup process, which prompts employees if their passwords fall short of the complexity requirements set by the IT admin.
  • With the IT team’s approval, employees can also use a single password for both personal as well as work apps.
  • When it comes to company-owned devices, IT admins will have to choose what type of password complexity level they want, or they can also continue using granular restrictions.
  • With the certificate management tool, enterprises can easily enable authentication for employee access who are working at remote services.
  • For employee-owned managed devices, Google has created a new enterprise-specific device identifier to enhance privacy just in case an employee leaves the current employer.

Android 12 Improvements

 It is clearly visible that Android 12 is not as impactful as version 11, however, it still has a bunch of quality-of-life improvements when it comes to personally owned devices for enterprise use. 

Let’s take a closer look at them:

1. Enrollment IDs for personally owned devices

The most anticipated enterprise feature of Android 12 will be enrollment IDs for BYOD devices. Most of the EMMs have steered clear from basing device records on non-resettable device identifiers to protect the privacy of the user and secure business data. Due to this, it has become challenging to handle duplicate records for re-enrolling devices.

However, with the latest update, it looks like enrolling IDs will now allow EMMs to seamlessly track all the devices across enrollments. The update will also allow enterprises to carry out the following tasks:

  • Reuse existing device records
  • Eliminate duplicate records
  • Ensuring a cleaner management environment for the future 

2. Password complexity settings

Managing passwords on enterprise devices has always been a difficult task, especially when it comes to corporate or BYOD devices. But thanks to Android 12, this task has got easier. The latest version provides a new API that allows the IT team to set up a full-device passcode requirement especially for devices that have a work profile on them. 

The new version allows keeping much simpler high, medium, and low complexity options. This can help IT admins be more confident about the device security, and they can also stop worrying about issues related to the older password quality API that existed in the previous version.

Learn More: How to Define Password Policy for Your Organization?

3. Work profile passcode

The newest version has a simplified work profile passcode so that the end-user of the device can clearly understand all the security requirements of the work apps. The update further also guides the users by offering two options: 

  • Whether they want to create a new work profile passcode 
  • Or if they want to make their device passcode more secure

Admins still have the option to utilize a more granular password through the work security challenge so that they can manage access to all business apps present on the work profile.

4. Unmanaged devices certificates 

If a company wants to manage an unmanaged device, then with the Android 12 version, they can easily enroll and support the device with a new feature that grants certificate management capabilities to third-party apps on unmanaged devices. 

Once the permission is granted, the certificate management program can simply make use of on-device key generation for managing certificates. These certificates can be used for any use case without managing a device using an EMM. Most importantly, the new update completely removes the need for end-users to manually install certificates themselves with a complex set of instructions.

Take Away

We are all incredibly excited about what the new Android 12 update may look like. But from the look of it, we can surely say the latest version has been designed to enhance the privacy of devices at work by providing enhanced security protocols.

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Yesha is a professional writer with a hidden talent of promoting persona tactics to catch the attention of a nerd enthusiast. She has a high caliber of attracting, engaging and educating any tech-savvy individual with latest trends and insights in the industry.
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