According to a new G Suite update made known by Google on Tuesday, IT administrators will soon be able to exert a bit more control over company-owned Android devices. More specifically, the change will allow for administrators to enable or disable system-level applications on devices in "Device Owner mode." That could prove useful since those are typically the applications that arrive preinstalled on Android devices and which can't be uninstalled directly. They also aren't manageable from the Play Store since they aren't typically included in that part of the Android ecosystem. Importantly, although system-level apps such as stock calculators aren't necessarily going to mess with workflow, the use of others isn't always appropriate in a corporate environment. A company may not want employees using, for example, their device's camera while at work, or may have specific email and calendar applications they want employees to use for security or consistency reasons.
As to the release itself, the system apps management tool for G Suite Admins is already available as of October 31st across both rapid release and scheduled release channels. Administrators can disable all system applications – which will be enabled by default – or can opt to select which applications are blocked or enabled individually. It's worth noting that Google says the change to the admin console can take up to three days to roll out, so there shouldn't be any concern if it hasn't been released in all parts of the world just yet. It should be completely rolled out by November 3rd. Meanwhile, the changes administrators make won't take effect until later in the month, which is something Google says is doing deliberately to allow admins time to familiarize themselves with the settings and get them set before changes affect end users. That portion of the rollout will hit both rapid release and scheduled release channels beginning November 14th, with changes made prior to the rollout taking up to fifteen days – until November 29th – to hit end users.
This update is just the latest of several key additions to hit G Suite over the past year, aimed at making life easier for IT administrators overseeing company-owned hardware. Among those, Google recently added policy controls for smartwatches on the Android Wear 2.0 platform. This new change follows in line with that and should be helpful in making sure that efficiency, productivity, and security are maintained as top priorities in the highly-competitive corporate world. In the meantime, this latest planned implementation will be available across all editions of G Suite. Any IT admins looking for more information on the latest planned implementation or how to use the tools should head over to the source link below.