How To Check If Your Android Device Is Certified By Google
In a bid to quell security concerns of Android users opting to go for devices from third-party manufacturers, Google recently begun penalizing devices that don’t pass a certification test of its own design, with that penalty blocking devices from making use of Google apps, including the Google Play Store.
Find yourself in a similar situation and want to get in the know about certified Android devices? Read on ahead for the lowdown on Google’s now security control solution for third-party Android devices as well as a guide on how to check if your device has made the cut.
What are Certified Android Devices?
As Google’s mobile operating system is open-source, third-party phone makers the likes of Samsung, HTC, LG, and Xiaomi are able to ship their devices with a customized flavor of Android. To ensure all manufacturers meet a standard that does not compromise on security, Google requires each Android device line to comply with a Compatibility Definition Document (CDD), and subsequently pass a Compatibility Test Suite (CTS), after which it is branded a “certified Android device” – effectively, a stamp of approval by Google.
As mentioned earlier, devices that fail to meet these requirements will henceforth be blocked from using Google’s Gapps suite, which includes the Play Store app. Uncertified devices with firmware released after March 16 should see a “device is not certified by Google” message during initial device setup that prevents users from signing into a Google account. This is to discourage manufacturers from sideloading Google’s apps and services without having passed the company’s certification test.
Risks of Using an Uncertified Android Device
So what does all of this have to do with security? In a nutshell, as per Google’s documentation on the matter, devices that haven’t passed the Android compatibility test, along with any data on them, could be unsecure. In addition, the Google apps installed on these “may not be real Google apps,” potentially capable of compromising your private data.
Check If Your Android Device Is Certified/Uncertified
The aforementioned warning has only been reported to have appeared during the initial Gapps setup process that asks users to sign into their Google accounts. If you already have Google apps set up on your device and are concerned you might lose access to them in the future, here’s what you can do to make sure that your device is in the clear.
1. Launch Google Play Store.
2. Tap the hamburger (triple-bar) icon to the left of the search bar to open the Play Store menu.
3. Scroll to the bottom of this menu and select Settings.
4. Within the Settings screen, you will find the current certification status of your device in the About section at the bottom, and under Device certification.