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Android has become the de-facto operating system for smartphones, IoT devices, cars, TVs, and other electronic devices. The open-source project is being deployed almost everywhere because of the vast app support, lightweight profile, compatibility with a variety of hardware, huge developer support, etc. Apple’s iOS is putting up a good fight, but it’s nowhere close to Android’s dominance. In such a scenario, there is almost no competition and we are on the verge of an Android monopoly in the market. Such a situation is not good for innovation and competition. So to find out potential alternatives to Android, we have compiled this article with the best Android alternative. We have compared privacy, security, features set, and a lot more in this article. On that note, let’s go ahead and find out the top 12 Android alternatives.
Here, we have listed the 12 best Android alternatives along with an explainer on why we need an Android alternative. You can expand the table below and move to any section you want.Why We Need Android Alternative?
With around 72% market share, Android has become a monopoly in the mobile operating system market. There is not much choice for consumers, except to choose an Android device or go for the pricier iPhone. In such a scenario, we need more alternatives to accelerate innovation, bring more choices to consumers, add better privacy standards, and more. For the past many years, Android’s security has been lackluster. After Android 8, Google got serious about hardening the security of Android and closing the loopholes. In fact, in earlier Android days, there was no concept of runtime permission.
Currently, Android is on a course-correction phase where it’s bringing much-needed security features and privacy controls. Apple is forcing Google to bring privacy insights of apps, restricting apps from accessing clipboards, permission reminders, and so on. These are essential privacy features that are available on other mobile platforms for many years. Even today, we don’t have a user-facing network permission toggle on Android. Third-party apps can regularly scan all your installed apps, access your clipboard, and so on.Best Android Alternative Mobile Operating Systems 1. iOS
Not to mention, iOS is much more respectful of your privacy in comparison to Android. Recently, Apple added privacy report to the App Store where it displays all the user data the app is trying to collect. It also lets you request apps to disable tracking which is a great privacy feature to have. iOS is also simpler to use, although Google is working on Android to make it more accessible to a varied group of users. To sum up, if you want peace of mind with top-notch privacy and security, along with a legion of handy iOS features, Apple’s iOS positions itself as a suitable alternative to Android.
ProsConsBeautiful UI, Smooth operation, easier to useNot open-sourceMuch longer updatesDevices are costlyGreat quality of appsLimited customization
Visit Website2. GrapheneOS
If security and privacy are your main reasons behind your search for an Android alternative, GrapheneOS fits the bill perfectly. It’s a security-hardened operating system, built with top-notch privacy protection in mind. GrapheneOS, earlier known as CopperheadOS, is also developed on Android, but the main developer, Daniel Micay has worked extensively to make GrapheneOS a completely secure mobile operating system. Even Edward Snowden endorsed GrapheneOS and said that “If I were configuring a smartphone today, I’d use Daniel Micay’s GrapheneOS as the base operating system“.
Other than that, GrapheneOS ships with a hardened variant of Chromium called Vanadium for browsing the web, there is a security-focused PDF viewer, a secure camera app, Seedvault for encrypted backup, and a lot more. Not to mention, it does not ship with Google Play Services or microG, making it a completely deGoogled Android fork. All in all, if you are looking for a secure alternative to Android, GrapheneOS would be my top recommendation.
ProsConsTop-notch security and privacy protectionLimited device supportBased on AndroidFirst-party apps available
Visit Website3. KaiOS
For feature phones, KaiOS is a great alternative to Android. We know that Android has become quite heavy at this point. So to bring a lightweight mobile operating system to the masses, KaiOS serves the purpose really well without missing out on major features. It’s a Linux-based OS, forked from the discontinued Firefox OS, and can run on devices with just 256MB of RAM.
KaiOS packs its own KaiStore where you can find over 500 apps which include WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google app, UC Browser, lightweight games, and more. There are hundreds of models available around the globe and the starting price of these phones is just $10 which is amazing. In India, JioPhone is quite popular which costs around $20-25 and runs KaiOS. To sum up, KaiOS is a perfect alternative to Android in regions where affordability is preferred over a long list of features.
ProsConsLightweight OS, a forked version of Firefox OSNot for the main Android smartphone marketSupports Web-based appsContinually updated4. Sailfish OS
Sailfish OS has been one of the oldest alternatives to Android, competing and developing a mobile operating system since 2013. It is currently in its 4th generation and is being actively developed by a Finnish company Jolla Ltd. Sailfish OS has been built on top of Linux along with many other open-source projects. While it’s not built on Android, Sailfish OS can run Android apps using its dedicated App Support solution. And that’s one of the selling points of Sailfish OS.
In Sailfish OS, user data is fully encrypted by its sandboxing solution called Firejail. All the connectivity and traffic runs behind a firewall with support for VPN. In terms of security, Sailfish OS is quite good and the company is making an investment to make it even more secure. Apart from all that, Sailfish OS has a distinct visual style and the gesture-based apps are fun to use. You can try Sailfish OS on Sony Xperia phones and Gemini PDA.
ProsConsThe visual style is quite good, gesture navigationA bit buggyCan run Android apps via a layerNot as performant as AndroidBuilt-in VPN and sandboxing
Visit Website5. Plasma Mobile / postmarketOS
Unlike many other Android forks, Plasma Mobile is an Android alternative that runs on top of a Linux distribution. It has been developed using the multi-platform toolkit Qt and KDE framework that powers so many Linux distros out there. To make the skin look fluid and mobile, it uses a Plasma Shell that feels polished out of the box. Note that, it does not run Android apps, instead uses the Kirigami UI framework to create apps for Plasma Mobile. Using Plasma Mobile, many Linux distros for phones have been released, but the most popular one is postmarketOS.
ProsConsLinux-based OSNo Android appsDeveloped Mobile shell using new frameworksFirst-party apps available
Visit Website (Plasma Mobile / postmarketOS)6. Ubuntu Touch
Ubuntu Touch is another Linux-based alternative to Android that is focused on bringing trust and privacy to smartphones. As the project is open-source, it has a huge community of developers and users who want to test, experiment, and contribute to the project. Ubuntu Touch feels and looks very identical to the Ubuntu desktop OS, however, it has been heavily optimized for touchscreen operations.
The UBports community also claims that none of your data leaves your device unless you explicitly allow it which is a good thing from the privacy point of view. Currently, Ubuntu Touch supports PinePhone, PineTab, Fairphone, Volla, Nexus 5, and OnePlus One. There are also 81 devices that are community supported so in terms of device support, Ubuntu Touch excels. Not to mention, you get all the necessary apps including the Camera app, Music, Gallery, Terminal, Clock, Dialer, etc. I would say if you want to try an open-source OS similar to Android, do give a look at Ubuntu Touch.
ProsConsOpen-source operating system, based on LinuxCannot match the third-party app support of AndroidComes with all the basic appsCan function as a desktop
Visit Website7. Mobian
Needless to say, it does not support Android apps and the app support is limited. However, Mobian sets out to bring an alternative mobile OS to Android which is quite nice. Mobian uses Phosh, a mobile shell built by Purism, and deploys well-known frameworks like Gnome and GTK. All in all, I would say, Mobian is a potential alternative to Android and you can definitely give it a try.
ProsConsMobile derivative from DebianLimited app supportPopular device supportBuilt on Phosh, Gnome, and GTK
Visit Website8. Tizen OS
If you are looking for an alternative to Android for larger screens such as TVs then Tizen OS is a better choice. Developed by Samsung, Tizen OS was aimed to run on all Samsung devices, be it smartphones, wearables, IoT devices, TVs, etc. However, fast forward now, and we are noticing Samsung is embracing Android for all its products except for the TV segment. Samsung has stopped developing phones with Tizen OS and recently, on Galaxy Watch 4, it moved to Wear OS from Tizen OS.
Having said all of that, for smart TVs, Samsung continues to use its Tizen OS as the project has gotten popular and lots of third-party apps have been launched including Netflix, Prime Video, etc. We have detailed a dedicated comparison between Android TV and Tizen OS so go through our article to learn more about the differences. To make it clear, as far as smart TVs are concerned, Tizen OS rules the roost and is more performant than Android TV, even on low-end hardware.
ProsConsGreat HTML5 supportThird-party app support is limitedBetter performance than Android TVBest for the TV ecosystem9. CalyxOS
CalyxOS is another privacy-focused alternative to Android which is completely deGoogled and puts a major focus on hardening security and privacy. It has been built by the Calyx Institute which is a New York-based nonprofit organization to make digital security more accessible to the masses. CalyxOS currently supports a handful of Pixel and OnePlus devices and Xiaomi Mi A2, but support for more devices will be added soon.
It ships with Signal for encrypted messaging; Tor browser to access the web without any tracking; a free and trusted VPN from the Calyx Institute; the open-source Aurora Store, a Play Store alternative, and more. There are no Google services included in CalyxOS but if you want, you can sideload microG to get some of the Google services without sacrificing your anonymity. To sum up, if privacy is what you are looking for on your smartphone, CalyxOS is a great alternative to other Android forks.
ProsConsPrivacy-centric OS, Based on AndroidLimited device supportMany security features include VPN, Tor, chúng tôi Google Services
Visit Website10. LineageOS
If your Android smartphone has hit end-of-life and no longer receives OTA updates from the manufacturer, LineageOS will come to your rescue. It’s a custom Android ROM, not much different from the standard Android that you are running on your device, however, you get to taste the latest Android version, even when the manufacturer is no longer supporting your device.
ProsConsBased on Android AOSP, Supports Android 12None as suchSupports a long list of devicesStable and Usable
Visit Website11. /e/ OS
After GrapheneOS and CalyxOS, if you want another alternative to Android that is highly secure and private then you can try /e/ OS. It’s also based on Android (LineageOS), but the operating system has been completely deGoogled and there are alternative apps in place of popular Google apps. You can install apps from its own store and it even displays privacy and energy ratings, similar to iOS’ AppStore.
/e/ OS is completely open-source and has been developed by the non-profit /e/ Foundation which is based in France. Currently, it supports more than 240 smartphone models which include popular Samsung phones and some Fairphone models. You can also buy smartphones preloaded with /e/ OS from its website. Overall, /e/ OS is a great solution for users who are looking to buy a privacy-focused smartphone but without Google lurking from behind.
ProsConsdeGoogle Android fork, based on LineageOS/e/ preloaded smartphones are a bit expensiveVast device supportPrivacy rating in app store
Visit Website12. HarmonyOS
It also comes with its own AppGallery where you can find thousands of popular Android apps. The company has also developed its own compiler called ARK in place of Android’s ART (Android Runtime). And the new EROFS file system is said to be better than EXT4 and F2FS. While HarmonyOS is deep inside an Android OS, chances are that Huawei will come up with an alternative to Android in upcoming years. The company is due to release HarmonyOS 3.0 in September with new APIs and SDK.
ProsConsSupports APK sideloadingThe core is still Android, uses the AOSP baseSuitable OS for Huawei ecosystemDeveloped its own APP package manager
Visit WebsiteWhat Do You Think of These Android Alternative Operating Systems?
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Are major phone companies preparing to ditch the Android mobile operating system?
The companies may have started to worry about Android after learning last month that Google purchased one of their main competitors, Motorola. Since creating Android, Google has rotated manufacturers with which to issue new software updates, releasing the code to others about six months later.
Google may risk alienating the manufacturers, but Carolina Milanesi, research vice president for Gartner, told PCWorld last month that “all these vendors have invested so much in the platform, they won’t quickly walk away from it.”Background
Samsung released its first Bada-based phone in 2010, long before the Google-Motorola deal. Most reactions to Bada–and the Samsung Wave phones that run it–have been favorable, including PCWorld’s impressions (we got some hands-on time with the first Samsung Wave). Newer Wave phones are expected this month.
The Wave OS is clean, easy to use, and open source, and Samsung now has its own Bada app store up and running. The specs for Wave phones are also appealing, including Super AMOLED screens, HD video recording capabilities, and nimble Hummingbird processors. However, so far, phones running Bada have not been available in the United States.
HTC is much farther behind in the mobile OS game, but company chair Cher Wang told the Chinese press this week that internal discussions at HTC have focused on the possibility of acquiring WebOS. Wang remained cagey, though, about how important it is to HTC to possess its own operating system. “We can use any OS we want. We are able to make things different from our rivals in the second or third layer of a platform,” Wang said, referring to HTC’s Sense interface.
Last month, Samsung upped the ante on Bada, announcing a new series of Wave phones that will ship with Bada 2.0. The OS revision reportedly also comes with full multitasking, near-field communication capability, and ChatON, Samsung’s new cross-OS group-messaging service.What Could This Mean to Consumers?
“These moves suggest that both of these companies understand that the future can’t just be about hardware,” says John Jackson, an analyst for CCS Insight. “They have to find some way to insinuate themselves with what their hardware enables.”
Jackson adds that an in-house OS gives firms like HTC and Samsung more of something that they lack with Android: control. Further, he points out that the companies’ agendas were headed towards a collision with Google’s even before the Motorola deal.
“At some point in time, if your strategic agenda includes content and services, you’re probably going to be competing with Google. Is that a risk that you can rationalize? [That] is the question for these guys,” Jackson says.Does the World Need More Mobile Operating Systems?
Bada and WebOS could offer ways to hedge against that risk. But the question remains: Are more mobile OSs to choose from a good thing for consumers?
Imagine a store display case crammed with phones and tablets running iOS, Android, RIM’s QNX or BlackBerry OS, Bada, Windows Phone 7, and WebOS–not to mention Amazon’s upcoming take on Android, as well as unforeseen new players, perhaps even a new Huawei OS. It would be a dizzying array of choices.
As if that weren’t enough to think about, Jackson points out that, moving forward, a winning OS won’t necessarily be the most important factor in the smartphone wars. With more companies using new technologies like HTML 5 for content, Jackson thinks mobile operating systems won’t make individual smartphones stand out in the future as they have done up to now.
Perhaps Samsung has read the writing on the wall: When Bada 2.0 debuts on Samsung’s new Wave phones this fall, it is expected to be fully HTML 5 ready.
For example, a breach or data leak may cause a significant loss of reputation and brand trust. Furthermore, due to the liabilities that come with data storage, companies may face serious fines and penalties.
To that end, intrusion detection and prevention systems — IDPS are critical. In this post, we will look at the most important IDS and IPS capabilities and technologies. But first, let’s define these systems.What is Intrusion Detection and Prevention System?
An intrusion detection system — IDS is a system that scans and evaluates both incoming and outgoing packets for fraudulent actions using recognized intrusion patterns. This system can be both hardware and software.
IDS scans and tracks apps, services, and capabilities by analyzing malware patterns in system files, scanning algorithms that may indicate risky sequences, tracking endpoints’ actions to find fraudulent intents, and analyzing parameters and variables.
On the other hand, an intrusion prevention system or intrusion detection and prevention system — IPS/IDPS is a cybersecurity mechanism that continually observes all the systems for fraudulent action and takes preventative measures. This mechanism is relatively more sophisticated than IDS. IPS services, which are mostly autonomous, assist to eliminate harmful actions before it affects other segregations of the network. This increases efficiency while reducing the effort
While IDS service only discovers suspicious activities but does little more than warn an operator, IDPS services warn security teams, filter harmful packets, block source address activity, reconstruct connections, and utilize different security protection services to keep companies away from possible risks. The Intrusion Detection and Prevention System utilizes three different techniques to function properly.
Signature-based: This method avoids potential hazards by analyzing identified viruses and other dangerous sequences already stored in datasets.
Anomaly-based: This technology discovers potentially dangerous operations in the business network to eliminate internal hazards.
Protocol-based: This technology monitor and evaluate business infrastructure according to pre-defined security policies to mitigate potential hazards.
7 Best Woocommerce Plugins to boost your Store you must knowIntrusion Detection and Prevention Systems
Companies may encounter different variations of IDP systems. When deciding the sort to utilize for the enterprises, consider aspects such as the corporate’s attributes, the aims and intentions for implementing an IDPS, and existing organizational security regulations such as threat prevention.1- Network-based Intrusion Detection & Prevention System — NIPS:
Our first variant looks for fraudulent activity on whole apps, services, capabilities, and segregations. This is commonly accomplished by examining procedure compliance. If the procedure action fits a list of recognized hazards, the relevant data is denied access.
NIPS are typically used at network edges. This type of IDPS tracks both incoming and outgoing traffic to prevent possible cyber attacks. This type monitors and protects a network’s privacy, authenticity, and reliability. Its primary duties involve safeguarding the network against attacks.2- Advanced Threat Prevention — ATP:
3- Network Behaviour Analyst — NBA:
While NIPS regulates variations in procedure action, this one observes unexpected operational outcomes to mark risks. The NBA gathers and evaluates business confidential information to locate fraudulent or anomalous activities. These technologies examine data from a variety of inputs and avert possible cyber threats.
This type may aid in the security of systems. It continuously analyzes companies’ apps, services, and online actions and warns them of any unusual actions or anomalies. With this companies can promptly address any possible concerns before they escalate.4- Wireless Intrusion Detection & Prevention System — WIPS:
This approach analyzes wifi specifications to evaluate wireless systems. This service is installed within the wireless capabilities and in regions where unwanted wireless networking is possible. This sort of IPS merely regulates Wi-Fi features for unwanted admission and disconnects illegitimate endpoints.5- Host-based Intrusion Detection & Prevention System — HIPS:
Also, with the right measure, a company can minimize the costs related to cybersecurity while increasing brand trust. As creating secure connections is of great importance for modern businesses, adopting the right solutions is critical.
There has to be an easier way for your Android phone to know it’s you besides a passcode, a PIN, or a pattern lock, right? A fingerprint reader is a good start, but they still have a way of failing even when you swipe your fingertip perfectly on the sensor, thus returning you to the need to enter a PIN or swipe pattern to unlock your own device.
The good news is that Android boasts a series of clever ways of unlocking your device without passcodes, patterns, or fingertip swipes. For example, the latest Android handsets can keep themselves unlocked while they’re riding in your pocket. You can also set Android to recognize your face, or your voice. Last but not least, your Android phone can unlock itself whenever you’re home, at work, or near a “trusted” device, like your Bluetooth car radio or an NFC sticker.
Note: I tested the following settings on a Nexus 5X running on Android version 7.1.2; the settings on your handset may differ depending on its make and model, or the version of Android you have installed.Keep your phone unlocked while it’s in your pocket
You were just tapping on your Android phone a minute ago, you slipped it back in your pocket or in your purse, and now you need your phone for one more thing. You pull out your handset, and ugh—you need to unlock it yet again.
Android’s “on-body detection” feature will keep your phone unlocked while it’s riding in your pocket, a purse, or anytime when it’s on you.
You can save yourself the trouble of unlocking your Android phone when it’s never left your side by setting your handset to stay unlocked whenever it’s on you. Basically, that means that if your Android device (with help from its motion detectors) senses that it’s in your pocket, riding in your purse, or otherwise in your possession, it’ll leave its screen unlocked. Once you put your phone down on, say, a countertop or a side table, Android will lock down everything after a minute or so.
Note: In case you’re wondering: Yes, the on-body detection setting could leave your phone vulnerable to a thief who grabs your phone out of your hand, or a pickpocket who lifts your handset from your purse. Indeed, most of the “smart lock” settings I’m about to cover have their own pitfalls and vulnerabilities, so if you’re really paranoid about security, you might want to stick with a PIN, a passcode, or touch ID.Keep your phone unlocked at home, at work, or near another specific place
There’s no place like home—and, hopefully, there’s no place as safe as home, either. If you’re confident your phone can remain safely unlocked while you’re inside your four walls, there’s a “smart lock” setting you should try. Ben Patterson
You can set your Android phone to keep itself unlocked while you’re at home, work, or near another location.
Once you’ve picked one or more “trusted” places, your Android phone will stay unlocked whenever you’re within a city block or so of the addresses you’ve selected—pretty handy if you’re living alone or you work at an office with trustworthy colleagues. Then again, if you’re sharing space with a curious toddler or your office culture is akin to Game of Thrones, Android’s “trusted places” feature might not be for you.
Bonus tip: Generally speaking, I recommend only enabling one “smart lock” setting at a time; turning them all on at once might leave your phone a tad too vulnerable for comfort.Keep your phone unlocked near a ‘trusted’ device
If leaving your Android handset unlocked within a block of your home sounds like too big of an area, there’s a clever way to considerably narrow that range. Ben Patterson
You can designate anything from a Bluetooth speaker to an NFC sticker as a “trusted” device for Android’s “smart lock” feature.
If 30 yards still sounds like too large an area in which to keep your phone unlocked, you can zoom in even further by using an NFC sticker as your “trusted” device. NFC (short for “near field communications”) signals only have a range of about 20 centimeters, meaning your phone would instantly lock itself once it wandered less than a foot from a “trusted” NFC sticker. Since NFC stickers are relatively cheap (you can get a 10-pack for about $12 or so), you could affordably put multiple stickers around the house—like, say, near your PC, on your bedside table, or anywhere else you regularly place your phone.Unlock your phone with your face
So far, the “smart lock” methods we’ve covered only use circumstantial evidence—like proximity to your home address, or the motion of riding in a pocket—to deduce that you’re you. But here’s the first of two “smart lock” modes that actually try to identify you, in this case by looking with the camera lens and matching your face with a previously scanned-in portrait. Ben Patterson
Android’s “trusted face” feature will work better if you take multiple scans of your mug.
Once that’s done, lock your phone, face the screen and press the “wake” button—and if all goes well, your Android phone should recognize you and unlock itself.Unlock your phone with your voice
Another way your Android phone can recognize you is by listening rather than looking. Specifically, you can set your phone to listen for the sound of your voice.
Once your Android phone knows your voice, you can say “OK Google” to unlock your handset without even touching it.
All set? Lock your phone, then say “OK Google.” A “Listening…” prompt will appear on the screen; you can either go ahead and say a voice command, or tap to dismiss the prompt and swipe up to jump to the home screen.
Android N has arrived and it brings some really cool features and changes from Android 6.0 Marshmallow. However, along with the major feature additions, there are a ton of hidden features waiting to be unlocked. If you are using Android N at the moment, you might have come across some cool new tricks but chances are, you haven’t come to know everything. Also, Google has fiddled with some settings and it can be tough to find. Well, don’t worry, as here are all the hidden features and Android N tips & tricks you should know:1. Set Custom DPI 2. Enter Emergency info 3. Drag and Drop text in multi window
Android N’s split-screen multitasking is a really cool addition and it lets you drag & drop text from one app to another in the multi window mode. This is still a rudimentary feature, as it only seems to work in some apps and on small amounts of text. But the fact that it is present suggests that Google plans to improve things with the next builds.
To use it, just select text from one app and press hold on the text again to move the text to the app on the other side.
4. Enable System UI Tuner 5. Pin apps to top in Share menu
If you have a lot of apps installed, finding your app in the share menu can be annoying. Keeping that in mind, Android N lets us pin our favorite apps to the top of share menu. Simply press hold the app you want to pin in the share menu and you will get the option to “Pin“. Once done, you will see the pinned app on top of the share menu.6. Add numbers to Call Blocking list 7. Enable Notification LED 8. Block notifications from an app right from the notification center
With Android N, you can block an app’s notifications right from the notification shade. To do it. swipe left or right slightly the app notification and tap the cog icon that appears or you can simply press hold on the notification. Then, you will get options to “Show notification silently” and “Block all notifications“. You can select the option you prefer and tap “Done“. You can also tap “More Settings” for more options like “Hide sensitive content” and “Override Do Not Disturb”.9. Whitelist apps in Data Saver mode 10. Disable unnecessary sounds 11. Use multiple languages 12. End DND with Alarms
SEE ALSO: How to Install Android N Developer Preview on Nexus DevicesLike these Android N tricks and hidden features?
Android N is building up to be a great update and it’s only the first Developer Preview release. These are some cool hidden features and tricks that Android N packs in along with the major features we have already talked about. Google plans on releasing a new preview every month until the final release and we can expect more features to be added with those updates. And we will make sure to keep updating this list to incorporate every hidden feature or trick of Android N. So, stay tuned and let us know how you like these Android N tricks.
For the enterprise market, and for financial services in particular, it’s been hard to move on from the previous generation of mobility platforms. Traditionally, banks have relied upon old devices’ proven mobile security features, particularly their ability to protect confidential information through encryption and remote wiping when a phone is lost or stolen. However, a quickly changing mobile market has driven some enterprise users toward alternatives.
Android™ has stepped in to fill the gap. In IDC’s report, Worldwide Business Use Smartphone 2014–2024 Forecast and Analysis, Ramon LLamas, a research manager with IDC’s Mobile Phones team, predicts that Android “will have tremendous traction within the enterprise and mostly through enterprise-liable smartphone shipments.” Improved mobile security and widespread corporate adoption will drive banks away from legacy platforms and toward issuing their employees with Android devices. It will also open the door for banks to implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies.
Increasing Android Support for the Enterprise
In early 2024, Google introduced Android for Work™ to help adapt the platform for enterprise use. A large focus of this initiative is around secure app development. In a 2024 interview with the Financial Post, Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Android and Chrome at Work™, posited that Android’s greatness in the enterprise will come from partnerships in custom app and software creation for specific workplaces, such as financial institutions.
Still, one of the lingering worries for Android in the enterprise has been fragmentation of versions as well as perceptions about security. According to mobile expert Benedict Evans , “Android fragmentation is both massively overstated and massively understated, depending on what you want to do.” Evans argues that it’s next to impossible to avoid fragmentation in a landscape where both $600 and $50 devices coexist; differences in capabilities just comes with the territory. However, he notes that Google has been successful in minimizing Android version fragmentation. Furthermore, the latest version of Android v5.1 adds support for enterprise customers’ desired features such as Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), which answers any lingering concerns about platform vulnerabilities.
The Growing Demand for Android
The worldwide success and continued growth of Android across markets, segments and geographies has reached new heights. According to a 2014 report from IDC, corporate-liable smartphone sales were expected to hit 111 million units in 2014, up nearly 14 percent over the previous year. Though they’re not accelerating, sales are forecasted to rise at a rate of nearly 9 percent annually to 150 million units in 2023. In a sense, therefore, the enterprise market is following the global rise in demand for Android. As was widely reported, the number of Android activations had risen dramatically to reach more than 1 billion activated devices in late 2013. Now, the platform owns an estimated 78 percent of the consumer smartphone market, according to a 2024 IDC study, so it’s no surprise that the enterprise market recognizes the need to support it.
While most security-conscious companies will want to support Android by providing corporate-liable devices that ensure greater control over security settings, IDC points out that the BYOD market is larger. In fact, employee-liable devices are forecasted to grow from 221 million units in 2014 to 331 million in 2023, a higher growth rate than corporate-liable devices at 15.3 percent. Morgan Stanley rolled out the first corporate app to run on Android in 2010, oriented toward financial research for banking institutions. Today, there’s a much wider set of company apps for Android.
Mobile Security: The Key to Unlocking Higher Growth
Two factors are key to enabling Android’s growth within the enterprise market: improved platform security and more enterprise security solutions. Android’s changes through successive versions reveal numerous improvements, from the security framework enhancements of version 4.3 to device protection in the latest version, 5.1.
Beyond Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), third-party software companies have helped to improve the security of Android devices for both consumers and the enterprise. One such company, Lookout, started as a successful consumer app and was able to gain traction quickly based on building a more positive and rewarding security experience for consumers, unlike the traditional desktop security players. As a result, Lookout has seen a strong demand from enterprise customers, said Jenny Roy, Head of Consumer Marketing for Lookout.
“People don’t typically use the word ‘love’ and ‘antivirus’ in the same sentence when referring to desktop security. So when it comes to something as personal as someone’s phone, security has to be a better experience, to not only win over the consumer but also the enterprise, as employers look to roll it out to all their employees,” says Roy.
In addition to its consumer-friendly interface, Lookout emphasizes predictive security and offers solutions such as mobile threat protection and support for enterprise customers who use corporate liable and BYOD programs.
Changing of the Guard: Moving From Legacy Devices to Androidsmartphones
As noted earlier, the enterprise market, and financial services in particular, have been slow to shift to the new device generation. However, the market is changing: IDC’s report said Android will grow in the corporate market from 2014 to 2024. Benedict Evans and others have pointed out that Samsung maintains a firm lock on the upper end of the Android market. Therefore, it’s likely that enterprise clients, including banks, may increasingly turn to Samsung Galaxy S® 7 smartphones and Galaxy Tab® tablets, which feature great enterprise features like Samsung KNOX™.
It can be hard to change perceptions, but given the trends outlined here, experts predict that the enterprise market for Android will increase significantly over the next several years.
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