The iOS vs Android battle is never-ending. Personal predilections aside, there is no reason why Android should be given a secondary treatment to iOS, especially when it comes to enterprise use. The staggering number of Android devices sold, which comprise around 86.3%¹ of the total smartphone market is a certificate in itself that, for one reason or another, Android is the people’s favorite.
Yet, the apprehension when it comes to using Android devices for enterprise, especially when it comes to elite organizations or organizations that heavily employ knowledge workers is apparent. The hesitation might be resting in the fact that the Apple ecosystem, once built, albeit expensive, can offer a seamless experience for the employees, not to mention the series of restrictions, policy applications, and everything-under-one-roof style of Apple offering.
Agreed that the open-source nature of Android can be daunting and overwhelming for IT teams that are managing a large device inventory. With so much to configure, so many minuscule settings to provision and so many possible caveats to take care of, going with the Apple ecosystem with just a few devices and the support of Apple Business Manager can be tempting. But that is looking at Android from a very antiquated perspective! Android has evolved and how!
If you are one of those who have Apple as the ‘apple of their eyes’, especially for business use, here are a few misconceptions around Android and its use in the enterprise environment that you should stay clear of.
Misconception #1: Android and security are not best friends
Starting off by stating that Google Play Protect, Google’s very own anti-virus system is aggressive in scanning for malicious attacks from apps as well as billions of websites. In 2019 alone, Google Play Protect blocked 1.9 billion malware installs², to give a retrospective.
Moreso, securing Android devices in the enterprise is simpler with Scalefusion MDM. Scalefusion Android MDM extends a wide range of security features such as:
- Enforcing Passwords
- Preventing Factory Reset
- Blocking Hardware Buttons for kiosk devices
- Restricted Peripheral Usage
- Secure Browsing
- Data Loss Prevention policies
- Secure content collaboration
- SafetyNet attestation for BYO devices
- Remote Wipe-off
Misconception #2: Android is slow and jerky
Ask any iOS user the reason they made the switch from Android to iOS, and you’ll get this answer. The Android UX is notoriously known for lags and lacks the fluidity that iOS devices have, but the comparison isn’t quite Oranges to Oranges here. Android devices are cheaper than iOS devices and hence you can expect some lag in the Android devices on the lower end of the spectrum, budget-wise. With Android 6 and above, the performance of Android has severely improved. If you invest in a premium Android device such as the Google Pixel (which is priced at par with the latest iPhones), you can get all the speed and fluidity that you expect, with more freedom to customize your settings- something which Apple hasn’t covered fully yet.
Misconception #3: Android’s app ecosystem is not as good as the App Store
It is a perception that has lasted far too long. Initially, since the launch of the iPhone in 2007 the app market blossomed for iPhones. Android has however caught up. Just a comparison³ between the biggest Application stores in the market done for the Q3 of 2020 suggests that the Google Play Store has way more apps than the App Store. Not to forget that Android apps are lighter, most often free, and cheaper to use.
Considering the need for having multiple apps that can be readily used for business, Android is a great option. Also, deploying private apps on Android is easy- simply push the APK on the device and you are good to go.
With Scalefusion MDM however, installing enterprise apps on business devices is equally easy across different platforms.
Misconception #4: Android isn’t meant for enterprises and is difficult to deploy
This misconception has its roots in the earlier versions of Android, such as KitKat. Device management extended by Google back then was definitely good enough to keep up with the changing dynamics of mobility in enterprises. But with Android Enterprise that was launched with Android Lollipop, Android for Work (AfW) is one of the best (if not the best) enterprise mobility management frameworks available.
With AfW and a rightful MDM like Scalefusion, IT admins can leverage tons of features ranging from OOB enrollment to enhanced policy management. Some of the key Android Enterprise features that you can leverage with Scalefusion include:
- OOB experience- directly ship the business ready devices to the employees
- Zero-touch enrollment and deployment
- Silent installation of policies
- Silent install and install of business apps
- Per-app restrictions
- Password policy enforcement
- Ability to manage a variety of Android devices- Kiosks, digital signage, POS, frontline devices, rugged devices, OEM devices and devices for knowledge workers
Add to that the wide range of APIs available for Android along with device fragmentation that gives enterprises the ability to cherry-pick the devices best suited for their needs and budget, and there’s no reason to say why Android isn’t right for enterprise!
Misconception #5: Android devices are premium
When it comes to how a product or a service makes the consumer or end-user feel, it is sadly a strong perception that is made over a long period of time. It started from the price point of course since iOS devices have always been priced at a higher range than Android devices, until recently when premium-priced Android phones hit the market.
Since Android devices are ‘made for all’, they obviously have devices that lower, less premium price point (and performance). Also, the fact that Apple and Apple only make iPhones whereas Android devices are developed by several companies and OEMs makes maintaining the design consistency impossible, leading to the perception that Android is not premium.
But if you check out the latest high-end versions of Android phones made available by Samsung, OnePlus, and Google Pixel, you are set to change your opinion. Also, if your business needs surround having ruggedized devices suited to operate in harsh, unpredictable environments, what would you do without Android!
Like it or not, Android devices make for the earnest and the most integral part of workplace mobility. Especially when remote working, telecommuting, and frontline operations see an increase across the globe, Android is the one that is going to spoil the businesses for choices, offering extraordinary device management capabilities at the same time. Time to shed off the myths, doubts, and inhibitions around Android, if you haven’t done so yet!