GMS in the Enterprise

17th April 2018 0 By darryncampbell

I have recently concluded my 9 part series of posts looking at considerations around adopting Android GMS in an enterprise deployment.

More and more developers and administrators select GMS when choosing Android devices but we see the same concerns and questions being raised from multiple people.  In putting this series together I hope to address these common questions as well as provide an enterprise-oriented look at GMS beyond the standard Android Enterprise messaging.

The full series is available on the Zebra developer portal but I’ll summarise here:

Preventing unattended application updates initiated via the Play Store

  • No organization wants to find themselves with different versions of applications on their devices.  It is easy to control version updates if you are deploying them yourself from an EMM but controlling applications from the Play Store needs more consideration.  This is an area which is likely to improve in the future as Android Enterprise matures.

Understanding Google’s terms of service and privacy policy

  • Viewed sceptically by many administrators and users of Google’s services, the terms of services and privacy policy are rife with misunderstanding.  This post takes an honest look at what data can be gathered and how to stop your data leaving your device.

The managed Google Play Store

  • Finally an application store designed and built with enterprise use cases in mind but that can still take advantage of the millions of apps in the standard Play store, in this post I look at what the managed Play Store is and how it can deployed in an enterprise.

Application deltas between Android GMS and AOSP

  • Many enterprise customers looking to adopt GMS are coming from existing AOSP (Android Open Source Project) devices.  AOSP is the open source part of Android without the Google applications & services and in this post we look at exactly what the extra GMS applications are and decipher some of the more cryptic packages installed.

GMS Location services and tracking

  • The Android set-up wizard devotes an entire page to location.  What are location services?  How can location services be enabled or disabled?  What is the privacy impact of enabling location services?  This post will attempt to answer those questions.

Distributing private apps in the Managed Play Store

  • Having previously covered what the managed Google Play Store is, this post will take a closer look at how an organisation can deploy private applications to devices it owns without having to publish those applications in the standard (consumer) Play Store.

Data usage of GMS applications and services

  • How much data do the GMS applications and services use?  Many enterprise customers worldwide are on restricted, expensive data plans and need to be careful how much data their device is using.  In this post I look at a worked example as well as provide the tools to measure data usage in your own deployment.

Factory reset protection

  • Introduced in Marshmallow, Factory Reset Protection (FRP) can leave your device unusable if your user(s) add their personal Google account to the device and then reset the device.  This post looks at what FRP is and how proactively avoid it.

The setup wizard and how to bypass it

  • The setup wizard is present on all Android GMS devices and facilitates the Android out of box experience to get a device up and running.  Enterprises will typically be using an EMM or staging application to manage the mass configuration of multiple devices and bypassing the setup wizard can avoid the requirement to ‘touch’ every device being set up.