Google added a new rugged device category to its Android Enterprise Recommended program. The search giant launched the initiative last February, establishing it to help businesses choose devices by recommending smartphones that are suitable for enterprise use. Google expanded the initiative to include rugged devices after it observed a rapid increase in the sales of such products running Android, according to the company.
Any rugged Android device that meets a set of Google-imposed criteria is eligible to be recommended by the program. Those requirements include five years' worth of monthly security patches distributed no later than 90 days after they're launched by Google. These handsets should also support software features like enterprise mobility management (EMM) applications and Android zero-touch enrollment. Furthermore, the rugged handsets should ship with nothing older than Android 7.0 Nougat and come with a guarantee of at least one major operating system upgrade. Hardware-wise, the devices should have at least 2GB of RAM, 16GB of internal flash storage, a 32-bit chipset with a clock speed of 1.1GHz, and both IP64-certified water and dust resistance and MIL-STD-810G military durability certificate, or greater specs. Google also mentioned that it will revise its device requirements every year based on the feedback it gathers from its customers.
The rugged device category of the Android Enterprise Recommended program will launch with a total of eleven smartphones. These include the TC25, TC51, TC56, TC70x and TC75x from Zebra, Dolphin CT40, Dolphin CT60 and Dolphin CN80 from Honeywell, XP8 from Sonim, the PM45 from Point Mobile, and the Memor 10 from Datalogic. However, it should be noted that the Sonim XP8 is already a part of the Android Enterprise Recommended program since last June, while the Memor 10 will only become available to consumers starting this October. Moreover, Google aims to increase the number of handsets in the rugged device program within the next few months by validating smartphones from other device manufacturers like Panasonic.