android plus or Android Enterprise which is better ??
The answer depends very much on
1. the brand/models and their quantity/distribution you currently have or you are going to add.
2. availability of agent for the devices and firmware version(s) they are supposed to run now (or upgrade to in the near future)
3. whether there is any critical features supported on your device model(s) that exist in one of the platform only
If you have a new MobiControl server instance and start everything from scratch, your best bet should be to use Android-Enterprise unless there are many devices (especially legacy models running old firmware) with only Android+ agent or there are critical features you can only find in related Android+ agent. The major reasons are:
1. more and more Android+ features are gradually being ported to Android-Enterprise agents or to OEM specific Android Enterprise plug-in's.
2. there will be increasingly more choices of device brands/models for common Android Enterprise features, many of which are defined/controlled by Google for all OEM brands to follow or their devices will become non-compliant.
The above are all my personal opinions only. I am not from Soti, Google or any OEM device brand.
Thank you for requesting a response from SOTI Support Staff.
Both Android Plus and Android Enterprise have their advantages and limitations. I would begin with your requirements as in BYOD, CYOD, COPE, COBO and the compatibility of your devices for either Android enrollment type. Setup may also vary based on your MC version.
Assuming that your devices work excellent on both types of Android enrollment methods the next thing would be what profiles do you plan to deploy to these device?
I would suggest testing both for the method that best suits your needs. I'm sure you will quickly find a preference as the two methods of enrollment are slightly different and the options (profiles) available most likely will be as well. Also when deploying AE you will have the ability to put your devices in PO (Personally Owned) mode or DO (Device Owner) mode so that will also play a part in your decision.
You should be able to quickly enroll your devices in either enrollment method or both at the same time and I have included a link to AE enrollment information for you to get you started.
Hopefully this helps.
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It really depends on the particular device and its Android lifecycle in my opinion. I've been holding on to Android+ (DA) for dear life until finally being forced down the DO route with Zebra Android O devices as the Android+ management is a little more mature and feature rich at this point. It just works. AEDO on the other-hand still has a lot of kinks to work out and the number of management capabilities as yet to catch up despite what Google will tell you.
Here are some scenarios to consider, using Zebra devices for a reference point:
Zebra TC52 / TC72 / and other future "Helios" SD660 devices
- Releasing on Android O, will support P, Q, and likely R
- Zebra deprecated the OEM specific signed agent used for Android+ with Android O
- Forced to use Android Enterprise because of the deprecated support from Zebra for Android+
- Future proofed to install P, and Q, and likely R without having to enroll if already enrolled with AE.
- Released on K, L is now available, and likely last update we'll see for the TC8000
- Supports Android+ (DA) fully or AE (DO) in a limited fashion
- Recommended to leverage Android+, especially considering the pre-installed MobiStage app.
Zebra VC80x / TC70x / MC33 / TC51
- Released On Marshmallow, updates now available for Nougat and Oreo.
- Leverage Android+ if never upgrading past Android N.
- Leverage AE if deploying on N and planning an upgrade to O (to avoid having to factory reset)
- Released on L, has an update to N, likely the max update.
- This is somewhat tricky as both AEDO and DA are supported and serviceable on Android N. I would personally choose whatever matched the other devices being deployed for consistency sake
- If deploying alongside TC8000s only, then use Android+ (DA) on both, if deploying along a Helios or Atlas device, then leverage Android Enterprise.
Just a question @Matt. What if a customer has Zebra Devices Android 8.1 Non-GMS (VC80X and MC33)? Does the Android enterprise agent works in this case? Or does he needs to install the gms build to use mobicontrol?
I have not done this myself, but Zebra apparently enables you to leverage AEDO on AOSP devices if you leverage StageNow for the SOTI Agent installation and enrollment. I have used StageNow based enrollment for AEDO on GMS devices successfully so I can vouch for that process that bypasses the need for any of the Google Setup Wizard based methods (NFC, QR, DPC identifier token), I just haven't done the same on AOSP, but my understanding is that it is possible. Make sure you use the StageNow method which sets the Agent as DO if you want fully Managed Devices, otherwise the same Agent will enroll the devices as Work Managed.
More detail here:
Hi Matt, thanks for your answer.
I confirm that it works as expected!
It's great to see that Zebra provides a method for leveraging AEDO on AOSP devices. The DO management API is part of AOSP but is only really exposed by Google via the Setup Wizard / SUW on GMS devices as far as I'm aware. Unfortunately, Zebra is also being pressured by Google to push more GMS into the enterprise so we are seeing only GMS versions of their next generation SD660 based devices moving forward everywhere with the exception of China. Still relevant on say an Oreo AOSP MC3300, VC80x, or TC51 however!