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Google announces 'Certified Android Devices' in mobile security push

(Image credit: Image Credit: Denis Linine / Shutterstock)

Google has announced that it will now begin branding the most secure smartphones and tablets today as “Certified Android devices.” 

While device manufacturers have always had to adhere to certain guidelines to feature the Google Play Store and the company's first-party apps, this new initiative will help consumers differentiate between devices running a forked version of Android such as Amazon's popular Kindle tablets and those that offer the operating system as the search company intended. 

Certified Android devices will also prominently display the Google Play Protect (opens in new tab) branding which could help increase sales among security-focused users.  Google has now taken a much more active role in preventing the spread of malware (opens in new tab) and other malicious apps on its ecosystem and this new initiative aims to advertise that fact. 

Google's Android certification process has not changed and devices will still need to meet the same security and performance standards as before.  Google apps and the Play Store must also be pre-installed by the manufacturers before being sold. 

The company announced the new certification in a blog post in which it highlighted how the process will ensure the security and integrity of Android (opens in new tab) devices, saying:

“Google provides certification for Android devices to make sure users receive secure and stable experiences. We work with manufacturers across the globe to run hundreds of compatibility tests that ensure devices adhere to the Android security and permissions model. These tests also verify that the Google apps pre-installed on devices are authentic, and that apps from the Play Store can work as intended.” 

Google's decision to brand upcoming smartphones and tablets as Certified Android Devices will not only improve the ecosystem's security but it could also help deter consumers from choosing devices running forked versions of Android. 

Image Credit: Denis Linine / Shutterstock

After getting his start at ITProPortal and then working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches to how to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.