Google’s Android Enterprise Recommended program certifies devices for business use

Google wants to make it easier to adopt Android in the enterprise.

Google today launched the Android Enterprise Recommended program, which aims to make it easy for enterprises and IT professionals to get Android devices into their organizations. Devices in this program are tested by Google to meet specifications for hardware, deployment, security updates, and user experience.

Some of the requirements for devices in the Android Enterprise Recommended program include Android 7.0 or higher, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 10MP rear and 2MP front cameras, and 8 or more hours of battery life.

Devices must also support bulk deployment with zero-touch enrollment, be available unlocked, and get Android security updates within 90 days of Google for a minimum of 3 years.

Android Enterprise Recommended logo

Here are the first devices to be included in the Android Enterprise Recommended program:

  • BlackBerry KEYone and Motion
  • Google Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, and Pixel 2 XL
  • Huawei Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, P10, P10 Plus, P10 Lite, and P smart
  • LG V30 and G6
  • Motorola X4 and Z2
  • Nokia 8
  • Sony Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, XZ Premium, XA2, and XA2 Ultra

More devices will be added in the future.

Many enterprises rely on smartphones to stay connected, but with so many mobile devices out there, it can be difficult to pick one that offers the performance and security that a business user needs. With the Android Enterprise Recommended program, Google wants to make it considerably easier for enterprise users to pick out new hardware, giving them the confidence that whichever device they choose will meet certain hardware requirements and will consistently get security updates for 3 years.

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Essential now lets Essential Phone owners join Oreo beta through OTA

Essential Phone hands-on review

Essential has offered a few beta releases of Android Oreo for Essential Phone owners brave enough to try them, but they’ve only been available via sideloading. Now it’s easier to try an Oreo beta.

Essential now offers an over the air installation option for its Oreo beta releases. Simply go to Essential’s developer site, select the over the air option near the bottom of the page, and fill out the short form with info like your name and device serial number. The beta will then be automatically pushed to your device.

For people that prefer sideloading, Essential does still offer that option for installing Oreo betas on the Essential Phone.

It’s nice to see Essential offer OTA installation as an option for its Oreo betas. Not everyone is comfortable with sideloading an update onto their smartphone, but now those people can try the Oreo beta on their Essential Phone without worrying about bricking it.

Essential is currently offering a beta release of Android 8.1 Oreo. If you’ve got an Essential Phone and you’d like to try the beta, hit the link below.

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Are you ready to say goodbye to physical buttons?

Huawei P20 prototype

Smartphone manufacturers want to take advantage of all the space they can get. As technology improves, it means that utilizing the space in our smartphones gets a little easier, but also means some elements need to get cut. Like the headphone jack. It’ll be gone completely soon enough.

For some companies, it’s an excuse to make devices thinner. One can hope we’ve seen the culmination of that effort from Apple at this point, even if there are some companies out there that offer even thinner products. Apple, Samsung, and other companies seem to have given up on the idea of making our devices paper thin, thankfully, instead capitalizing on thinner bezels to maximize screen real estate.

Say what you will about the “notch” on the iPhone X, it at least makes the new flagship smartphone stand out in a crowd of devices that are starting to look the same all over again from the front. Just big slabs with big displays and small bezels. There isn’t anything wrong with that, of course, because the minimized bezels have given us some pretty great devices.

I can’t help but think that threat of ever-shrinking smartphones is still around, though. And Huawei has helped bring that fear back to the fore.

There is a prototype of the Huawei-branded P20 slinking around out there right now. For the most part there isn’t anything huge revealed. No massive surprises. Other than the fact that the rumor mill says the Huawei P20 Plus is going to have three rear cameras, that is.

That prototype does have something interesting going on with the volume keys, though. Specifically, there aren’t any there. Of course, this is a prototype and that could mean that they just aren’t there, but when the public unit arrives later in March, they’ll be right where we expect them to be.

Or, we could be seeing the introduction of “virtual volume keys”. That means we’d have to swipe up and down to change the volume on our phone, which, honestly, at face value doesn’t seem that awful. But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if this is something that anyone was asking for.

When you’ve got the P20 in your hand and you’re looking at it, using that virtual volume key might not be an issue. But what if it’s in your pocket and you want to turn down the volume of the music you’re listening to? Physical buttons means I don’t have to put my hand in my pocket, or take the phone out.

Okay, so maybe some other people might be asking for more virtual buttons, but I can safely say I’m not one of them.

This is just one company maybe going this route, and that of course doesn’t mean this is some imminent threat by any means. But I wanted to ask: Do you want to adopt virtual buttons across your phone? Are you ready to say goodbye to the physical buttons we’ve been using for so long? Let me know!

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BLU Vivo X is a new Android smartphone with four cameras

BLU Vivo X official

BLU today introduced its newest Android smartphone, and the device takes part in some of the most popular mobile trends happening right now.

The BLU Vivo X features a 6-inch 1440×720 display with an 18:9 aspect ratio. Up above that screen is not one, but two front-facing cameras, one with a 20MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and one with an 8MP wide angle lens.

Around back there’s another dual camera setup. This one’s got a 13MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture and phase detection autofocus and a 5MP sensor. Both the rear and front dual camera setups offer real-time bokeh to give your photos a blurry background.

Inside the BLU Vivo X’s aluminum shell is an octa-core MediaTek Helio P25 processor, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a microSD card slot if that 64GB isn’t enough. There’s also a dual SIM slot and rear fingerprint reader.

Powering the Vivo X is a 4,010mAh battery with fast charge support so you can recharge in a hurry. On the software side, BLU’s Vivo X is running Android 7.0 Nougat.

If that all sounds good to you, then you’ll be glad to know that you can buy the unlocked BLU Vivo X from Amazon right this very second.

What makes the BLU Vivo X enticing is that it offers features that are popular on flagship smartphones but at a more affordable price tag. We’re seeing lots of phones with tall screens, slim bezels, and dual camera setups right now, and you can get all of that from the aggressively priced Vivo X.

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Vivo X Review: BLU’s Most Appealing Smartphone Yet!

The Vivo X is BLU’s most appealing smartphone in their arsenal. For $ 249.99, it features four camera sensors, a premium metallic build construction, and plenty of power for light gaming and keeping up with your social media sites. The only major limitations are in the software department as BLU has a bad track record of updating their devices.

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