Creating a custom look-and-feel across Android Enterprise fully managed devices

This week is all about Android Enterprise fully managed devices. More specifically, this week is all about creating a single look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices by using the Microsoft Launcher app. Similar to working with Android Enterprise dedicated devices and using the Managed Home Screen app. The Microsoft Launcher app provides many configuration options that can be configured by using an app configuration policy. That in combination with the recently introduced feature to configure the Microsoft Launcher app as the default launcher, enables the administrator to create a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices. In this post I’ll show how to add the Microsoft Launcher app, how to configure the Microsoft Launcher app and how to configure the default launcher app. All the required actions for configuring a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices. I’ll end this post by showing the end-user experience.

Configure a custom look-and-feel across Android Enterprise fully managed devices

Let’s start with the steps that are specific to creating a custom look-and-feel across Android Enterprise fully managed devices. For that I will assume that the enrollment of Android Enterprise fully managed devices is already configured and I’ll focus on the steps that are specifically related to configuring that custom look-and-feel. Those steps are: 1) adding the Microsoft Launcher app, 2) creating a custom look-and-feel for the Microsoft Launcher app, and 3) configuring the Microsoft Launcher app as the default launcher. More details of these steps are described below.

Add the Microsoft Launcher app

The first step, in creating a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices, is to add the Microsoft Launcher app as an app to Microsoft Intune and to assign it to the required users or devices. The Microsoft Launcher app can be set to a specific background and can be configured as the custom launcher on Android Enterprise fully managed devices. The following seven steps walk through the simple process of adding the Microsoft Launcher app as a Managed Google Play store app.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Apps > Android to open the Android | Android apps page
  2. On the Android | Android apps, click Add to open the Select app type page
  3. On the Select app type page, select Managed Google Play app as the App type and click Select to open the Managed Google Play store
  4. In the Managed Google Play store, search for the Microsoft Launcher app, select the app and click Approve to open the Microsoft Launcher permissions dialog
  5. On the Microsoft Launcher permissions dialog, click Approve to switch to the Notifications tab
  6. On the Notifications tab, select Keep approved when app requests new permissions and click Done to return to the Managed Google Play store
  7. Back in the Managed Google Play store, click Sync to create apps that are added in Managed Google Play when the sync completes

Configure a custom look-and-feel for the Microsoft Launcher app

The second step, in creating a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices, is to create an app configuration policy for the Microsoft Launcher app that is assigned to the required users or devices. The app configuration policy can be used to configure a custom look-and-feel for the Microsoft Launcher app. The custom look-and-feel in the Microsoft Launcher app can be used to configure a custom look-and-feel across the Android Enterprise fully managed devices. The following steps walk through the process of configuring the Microsoft Launcher app to at least show a custom background across the Android Enterprise fully managed devices. That will help with recognizing company devices.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Apps > App configuration policies to open the Apps | App configuration policies page
  2. On the Apps | App configuration policies, click Add > Managed devices to open the Create app configuration policy wizard
  3. On the Basics page, provide the following information and click Next
  • Name: Provide a valid name for the app configuration policy
  • Description: (Optionally) Provide a valid description for the app configuration policy
  • Device enrollment type: Managed devices (already greyed out based on the initially selection)
  • Platform: Select Android Enterprise
  • Profile type: Select Device Owner Only
  • Targeted app: Select Microsoft Launcher
  1. a) On the Settings page, configure any additional required permissions by clicking Add as shown below in Figure 1.
  1. b) Also on the Settings page, perform the actual app configuration settings to set a custom device wallpaper in the Microsoft Launcher app by clicking Add and creating something similar as shown below in Figure 2.
  1. On the Scope tags page, configuring any required scope tags and click Next
  2. On the Assignments page, configure the required assignment that contains the applicable users or devices and click Next
  3. On the Review + create page, click Create

Configure the Microsoft Launcher app as the default launcher

The last step, in creating a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices, is to create a device restrictions policy for configuring the default launcher that is assigned to the required users or devices. The device restrictions policy can be used to configure the Microsoft Launcher app as the default launcher on Android Enterprise fully managed devices. The following steps walk through the process of configuring the Microsoft Launcher app as the default launcher on the Android Enterprise fully managed devices.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Devices > Android > Configuration profiles to open the Android | Configuration profiles page
  2. On the Android | Configuration profiles, click Create profile to open the Create a profile page
  3. On the Create a profile page, select the following information and click Create to open the Device restrictions wizard
  • Platform: Android Enterprise
  • Profile: Device restrictions
  1. On the Basics page, provide a valid name and (optionally) description for the device restriction policy and click Next
  2. On the Configuration settings page, configure at least the following settings in the Device restrictions sections (as shown in Figure 1) and click Next
  • Enrollment profile type: Fully managed
  • Make Microsoft Launcher the default launcher: Enabled
  1. On the Scope tags page, configuring any required scope tags and click Next
  2. On the Assignments page, configure the required assignment that contains the applicable users or devices and click Next
  3. On the Review + create page, click Create

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. This post was mainly focussed on creating a custom look-and-feel across all Android Enterprise fully managed devices by configuring a custom device wallpaper. The result of that configuration and the experience for the end-user, is shown on the right in Figure 4.

It’s good to know that this is just an example of the possibilities that are currently available via the Microsoft Launcher app as a custom launcher. Besides this basic, but most notable adjustment, the Microsoft Launcher app also provides configurations options for more adjustments, like the following:

  • Grid Size – The administrator can define the grid size for apps to be positioned on the home screen.
  • Feed – The administrator can enable the launcher feed on the device when the user swipes to the right on the home screen.
  • Search Bar – The administrator can specify the placement of search bar on the home screen.
  • Dock Mode – The administrator can enable the dock on the device when the user swipes to the right on the home screen.
  • Home Screen Apps – The administrator can define the set of apps that are visible on the home screen from amongst the apps installed on the device. 
  • Home Screen App Order – The administrator can specify the app order on the home screen
  • Home Screen Web Links – The administrator can pin websites to the home screen as quick launch icon.

More information

For more information about configuring the Microsoft Launcher app and configuring the default launcher, refer to the following articles:

Android Enterprise and Microsoft Intune

This week is all about the device management jungle of Android Enterprise. I should have discussed this subject a long time ago, but better late than never. Especially when I’m still seeing many question marks when discussing Android Enterprise. With the release of Android 10.0 coming to the different existing Android devices now, the purpose of this post is to create an overview of the different enterprise deployment scenarios of Android Enterprise, including the Microsoft Intune specific additions, and the different related enrollment methods. Everything focussed on providing a good starting point for managing Android devices. The main trigger is the nearing end of Android device administrator with the release of Android 10.0. Earlier I provided the steps for simplifying the migration of Android device administrator to Android Enterprise work profile management with Microsoft Intune, but that was a specific scenario for migrating away of Android device administrator. That doesn’t answer the question if Android Enterprise work profile management is the best deployment solution for your organization.

With this post I hope to provide a better overview of the different deployment scenarios, the requirements and the enrollment methods. All to make a good start with Android Enterprise. Before I’ll dive into Android Enterprise, I’ll start with a little bit of history about Android device administrator. After going through the Android Enterprise deployment scenarios and enrollment methods, I’ll end with a short note about the (crazy) future. I won’t compare or discuss the different configuration options for the different deployment scenarios, as I think that a deployment scenario should be chosen based on the use case first and not directly based on the available configuration options.

A little bit of history

Let’s start with a little trip down memory lane. A long time ago, with Android 2.2, Google introduced the Device Administration API. That API provided device administration features at a device level and allowed organizations to create security-aware apps with elevated administrative permissions on the device. It would enable organizations to perform some basic actions on the device to manage basic components, like email configurations (including remote wipe) and password policies. However, it also introduced many big challenges. One of those challenges was the limited number of configuration options, without a third-party solution like Samsung Knox, and another one of those challenges was the inconsistent level of control across different manufacturers. The more Android device administrator was used, the bigger the scream became for something new.

And something new came. Starting with Android 5.0 and later, Google started with the introduction of Android Enterprise by introducing the managed device (device owner) and work profile (profile owner) modes to provide enhanced privacy, security, and management capabilities. These modes support the different Android Enterprise deployment scenarios (more about those scenarios later) and can be managed by using the Android Management API. That API can be used to configure different enhanced policy settings for the managed devices and the companion app (Android Device Policy) automatically enforces those policy settings on the device. Microsoft Intune has chosen to rely on the API for managing most of the deployment scenarios.

Now only turning off the old management method is left. Starting with Android 9.0, Google has started with decreasing device administrator support in new Android releases, by starting with deprecating specific settings. These settings are mainly related to the camera and password configurations, and these settings are completely removed starting with Android 10.0. That will prevent organizations from being able to adequately manage Android devices by using Android device administrator. A big trigger to move away from Android device administrator. The advise – when using only Microsoft Intune – is to move to Android Enterprise modes and deployment scenarios with the introduction of Android 10.0. Even better, don’t wait until the introduction of Android 10.0 (but that advise might be a bit late now).

Android Enterprise deployment scenarios

The biggest challenge of the Android Enterprise device management jungle is the number of deployment scenarios. When looking specifically at the combination with Microsoft Intune, there is even an additional deployment scenario on top of the standard Android Enterprise deployment scenarios. Below in Figure 1 is an overview of the currently available Android Enterprise deployment scenarios with Microsoft Intune (picture is taken from the slide deck of session BRK3082 at Microsoft Ignite 2019).

Now let’s have a closer look at these different deployment scenarios and the supportability of Microsoft Intune. I’ll do that by zooming in on the different deployment scenarios as shown in Figure 1.

Android APP managed – Android app protection policies (APP) managed app is the least intrusive method for allowing access to company data on personal devices and still making sure that the data remains safe. Also, this method is not Android Enterprise specific. In this scenario, the app is managed with protection policies that will make sure that the company data remains within the app and these protection policies are only applied once the user signs in with a work account. Also, the protection policies are only applied to the work account and the user is still able to use the same app with a personal account. If needed, the IT administrator can remove company data from within the managed app.

AE Work Profile – Android Enterprise work profile is supported with Android 5.0 and later in Microsoft Intune and is focused on providing access to company data on personal devices by using a profile owner mode. In this scenario, the user enrolls the device and after enrollment a separate work profile is created on the device. This separate profile creates the separation between company data and personal data and can be easily identified by the user. The apps that are part of the work profile are marked with a briefcase icon and the company data is protected and contained within the work profile. If needed, the IT administrator can remove the work profile from the device.

AE Dedicated – Android Enterprise dedicated devices – previously known as corporate-owned, single-use (COSU) devices – are supported with Android 6.0 and later in Microsoft Intune and is focused on providing single purpose company-owned devices by using a device owner mode. This is often used for kiosk-style devices (example: devices used for inventory management in a supermarket). In this scenario, these devices are enrolled and locked down to a limited set of apps and web links, all related to the single purpose of the device. These devices are not associated with any specific user and are also not intended for user specific applications (example: email app). If needed, the IT administrator can remove any (company) data of the device.

AE Fully managed – Android Enterprise fully managed devices – previously known as corporate-owned, business-only devices (COBO) devices – are supported with Android 6.0 and later in Microsoft Intune and is focussed on providing company-owned devices, used by a single user exclusively for work, by using a device owner mode. In this scenario, these devices are enrolled and fully managed by the IT organization. To give the user a personal touch, the IT administrator can allow the user to add a personal account for the installation of apps from the Google Play store. However, the device will remain fully managed and there will be no differentiation between company data and personal data. If needed, the IT administrator can remove all (company) data of the device.

AE Fully managed with work profile – Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile – previously known as corporate-owned, personally-enabled (COPE) devices – are not yet available with Microsoft Intune, but are eventually focussed on providing company-owned devices used for work and personal purposes, by using a combination of device owner mode and profile owner mode. In this scenario, the IT organization still manages the entire device, but can differentiate between the strength of the configuration depending on the type of profile (example: a stronger configuration set to the work profile and a lightweight configuration set to the personal profile). That should provide the user with a personal space on the device and that should provide the IT administrator with enough capabilities to protect the company data.

For the management of the company-owned devices, Microsoft Intune relies on the Android Management API and Android Device Policy. That enables Microsoft to be able to quickly introduce new features, when introduced in the API. However, that also creates a dependency on Google to introduce new features via the API. A negative example of that dependency is the time it took before the Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile deployment scenario became available via the API. At this moment the Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile deployment scenario is not yet available with Microsoft Intune.

Android Enterprise enrollment methods

Once familiar with the Android Enterprise deployment scenarios, it’s good to get familiar with the Android Enterprise enrollment methods. That will enable the IT administrator to get an Android device in the correct mode (device owner, or profile owner) and the correct deployment scenario. The table below provides and overview of the available enrollment methods for the different deployment scenarios. It also provides some details about a few important properties of the deployment scenarios (based on the information about the deployment scenarios). Those properties are: is a reset required to get started with a deployment scenario and is a user affinity applicable with a deployment scenario.

As the Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile deployment scenario is not yet available with Microsoft Intune, the information regarding that deployment scenario is an educated guess, based on the other deployment scenarios. That’s why the information is in grey, as it’s still work in progress. The only thing that I’m sure of is that it would require a new enrollment. There will be no migration path from an Android Enterprise fully managed device to an Android Enterprise fully managed device with work profile. That will require a new enrollment. Keep that in mind with determining an eventual deployment and management strategy.

Deployment scenarioEnrollment methodsReset requiredUser affinity
Android app protection policies managed appManaged appNoNot applicable
Android Enterprise work profile deviceCompany Portal appNoYes
Android Enterprise dedicated deviceNear Field Communication, Token entry, QR code scanning, or Zero touchYesNo
Android Enterprise fully managed deviceNear Field Communication, Token entry, QR code scanning, or Zero touchYesYes
Android Enterprise fully managed device with work profileNear Field Communication, Token entry, QR code scanning, or Zero touchYesYes

Now let’s have a closer look at the different enrollment methods and the supportability within Microsoft Intune. I’ll do that by zooming in on the different enrollment methods as mentioned in the table above.

Managed app – Managed app enrollment is not specific to Android Enterprise and is supported with any platform version that is supported by the specific managed app. With this enrollment method, the user downloads and installs an app that is protected with app protection policies – when using a work account – and adds a work account to that app. After signing in it triggers the app protection policies for the work account. Also, keep in mind that the user would need to have the Company Portal app installed as a broker app.

Company Portal app – Company Portal app enrollment is supported with Android 5.0 and later in Microsoft Intune for Android Enterprise deployment scenarios. With this enrollment method, the user downloads and installs the Company Portal app and signs in with a work account. After signing in the user triggers the enrollment process in the Company Portal app.

Near Field Communication – Near Field Communication (NFC) enrollment is supported with Android 6.0 and later in Microsoft Intune and can make the enrollment of a device as simple as tapping the device on a specially formatted NFC tag. With this enrollment method, once the device is reset, or just out-of-the-box, and arrives on the initial Welcome screen, the administrator, or user, can simply tap the device on the NFC tag. That tap will automatically start the enrollment process.

Token entry – Token entry enrollment is supported with Android 6.0 and later In Microsoft Intune and enables the enrollment of a device by specifying a specific (enrollment) token. With this enrollment method, once the device is reset, or just out-of-the-box, the administrator, or user, walks through the standard setup wizard and once arrived at the Google sign-in screen provides the afw#setup code to trigger the Android Device Policy. That will enable the token entry to actually start the enrollment process.

QR code scanning – QR code scanning enrollment is supported with Android 7.0 and later in Microsoft Intune and enables the enrollment of a device by simply scanning a QR code. With this enrollment method, once the device is reset, or just out-of-the-box, and arrives on the initial Welcome screen, the administrator, or user, can multi-tap the screen to enable scanning of a QR code (on Android 7 and 8 that will first prompt for the installation of a QR code reader app). That QR code will automatically start the enrollment process.

Zero touch – Zero touch enrollment is supported with Android 8.0 and later In Microsoft Intune – only with participating manufacturers – and enables the enrollment of a device automatically. Similar to Apple Business Manager and Windows Autopilot. With this enrollment method, on first boot of the device, it will automatically check to see if an enterprise configuration is assigned. If so, the device initiates the provisioning method and downloads Android Device Policy. That download and installation will automatically start the enrollment process.

Note: Besides these standard Android Enterprise enrollment methods, there are also third-party additions (like Samsung Knox enrollment) that can benefit the enrollment process.

What the future brings

Let’s end with a look at the future and some advise. By now it should be obvious that platforms change. However, when looking at the first early signs of Android 11.0 – and specifically at what Android 11.0 brings to the Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile deployment scenario – organizations might wonder if change is always for the better. Just when the deployment scenarios of Android Enterprise get more and more traction, new changes are coming. Google recently announced that it will no longer support a work profile on fully managed devices with Android 11.0. Instead enhancements are made to the work profile, to provide a new enhanced work profile deployment scenario. And Android 11.0 will be a hard cut. Existing work profiles on fully managed devices will need to be migrated (to either a fully managed devices or to this new enhanced work profile) when upgrading to Android 11.0. The main driver for Google is the privacy of the user. Jayson Bayton wrote a great article around this subject. Also, when interested in anything around Android and Android Enterprise, I strongly advise to read more of his articles. It’s a great resource!

This change with Android 11.0 makes the future around the Android Enterprise fully managed devices with work profile deployment scenario, especially from a Microsoft Intune perspective, even more challenging. Even before that deployment scenario is available is available within Microsoft Intune. However, this shouldn’t be a reason for waiting even longer with the migration to Android Enterprise. Make sure to be familiar with the Android management requirements within your organization and built the solution and roadmap around those requirements. Often the lifecycle of the device is a good moment to look at a new method for managing the devices. Especially when looking at the supportability of new Android releases on existing devices. Don’t wait until the last moment and make a plan.

I would like to end by mentioning one last time that my advise is not to manage Android 10.0 with Android device administrator and only Microsoft Intune, as those devices will no longer be able to receive password requirements. To add-on to that, and to make my advise even stronger, make sure to be familiar with the upcoming restrictions to the Company Portal app on Android 10.0 devices managed via Android device administrator (see: Decreasing support for Android device administrator). Determine your own migration while you still can!

More information

For more information regarding Android device administrator and Android Enterprise, refer to the following articles:

Simplifying the migration of Android device administrator to Android Enterprise work profile management

This week is all about a recently introduced feature that will help organizations with their move away from Android device administrator managed devices to Android Enterprise work profile management. That is a very welcome feature as Google is decreasing device administrator support in new Android releases, which makes difficult for Microsoft Intune (and any other MDM-solution) to adequately manage Android device administrator managed devices starting with Android 10. The feature in Microsoft Intune that will help with moving away from Android device administrator managed devices is a compliance setting that will enable organizations to block devices in a structured manner and to provide a direct migration path to Android Enterprise work profile management.

In this post I’ll show how to create and configure a device compliancy policy that will slowly trigger end-users to start the migration to Android Enterprise work profile management, followed by the steps to block the enrollment of Android device administrator managed devices. Together that should help organizations to fully move away from Android device administrator managed devices. I’ll end this post by having a look at the end-user experience.

Configuring the device compliance policy

The first step is preparing a good migration experience, from Android device administrator managed devices to Android Enterprise work profile management, for the end-users. That can be achieved by creating a device compliance policy that eventually will block Android device administrator managed devices. To make sure that the end-user is not immediately being blocked from accessing company resources, I advise to use at least two levels of noncompliance. The first level would be that the end-user receives an email message with the advise to start the migration and the second level would be to actually block access to company resources. That can be after a longer period of noncompliance. The following seven steps walk through the steps for configuring a device compliance policy and provide some guidance for the different configurations. After the creation of the device compliance policy, assign the policy like any other policy.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Devices Android > Compliance policies to open the Android | Compliance policies blade
  2. On the Android | Compliance policies blade, click Create Policy to open the Create Policy blade
  3. On the Create Policy blade, provide the following information and click Create
  • Name: Provide a valid name for the device compliance policy
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a description for the device compliance policy
  • Platform: Select Android device administrator
  • Settings: See step 4 and 5
  • Locations: Leave default (for this post)
  • Actions for noncompliance: See step 6
  • Scope (Tags): Leave default (for this post)
  1. On the Android compliance policy blade, select Device Health to open the Device Health blade
  2. On the Device Health blade, select Block with Devices managed with device administrator and click OK to return to the Android compliance policy blade and click OK to return to the Create Policy blade
  3. On the Create Policy blade, select Actions for noncompliance to open the Actions blade
  4. On the Actions blade, add an action to first notify the user via email and make sure to adjust the default action to not mark a device as noncompliant immediately. That will provide the end-user with time to perform the migration before completely being blocked.

Note: The url https://portal.manage.microsoft.com/UpdateSettings.aspx can be used in the email message to launch the Company Portal app directly in the Update device settings page.

For automation purposes, automating the device compliance policy configuration can be achieved by using the deviceCompliancePolicies object in the Graph API.

https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/deviceManagement/deviceCompliancePolicies

Configuring the device enrollment restrictions

The second step is making sure that new Android device administrator managed devices can no longer be enrolled into Microsoft Intune. That can be achieved by using device enrollment restrictions. The device enrollment restrictions can be used for blocking the enrollment of Android device administrator devices. The following five steps walk through the adjustment of the default enrollment restrictions. Something similar, and often more flexible, can be achieved by using custom enrollment restrictions.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Devices > Enroll devices > Enrollment restrictions to open the Enroll devices | Enrollment restrictions blade
  2. On the Enroll devices | Enrollment restrictions blade, select the Default device type restriction and navigate to Properties to open the All Users | Properties blade
  3. On the All Users | Properties blade, navigate to the Platform settings section and click Edit to open the Platform settings page on the Edit restriction blade
  4. On the Platform settings page, select Block with Android device administrator (see example below) and click Review + save to continue to the Review + save page
  5. On the Review + save page, click Save

For automation purposes, automating the device type restriction configuration can be achieved by using the deviceEnrollmentConfigurations object in the Graph API.

https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/deviceManagement/deviceEnrollmentConfigurations

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience, which is the most important part of everything in this post. The end-user experience determines whether this migration process will be adopted by the end-user and whether this migration process is intuitive enough to walk the end-user through this migration process. My personal experience, after performing multiple of these migrations, is very positive. It catches problems and brings the end-user back to the progress in the Company Portal app. Even on an older device, which wasn’t encrypted, I eventually ended up in the Company Portal app.

Figure 4 to Figure 14 below, walk through the migration steps for the end-user when starting with an Android device administrator managed device and moving to Android Enterprise work profile management. Figure 5 is also the starting point when the end-user would click on the provided link in an email and Figure 15 provides an overview of the end result.

Note: In Figure 4 it already shows that the device status is “Not in Compliance“, while in fact the device can still be “In grace period“. Also, in Figure 5 the end-user will receive the message “Unable to resolve” when the enrollment of Android Enterprise (work profile) devices is restricted for the specific end-user.

More information

For more information about moving to Android Enterprise work profile management and enrollment restrictions, refer to the following docs:

Block Android device enrollment for specific device manufacturer

This week is all about restricting the enrollment of Android devices. More specifically, about a very recently introduced feature which is the ability to block Android device enrollment based on the manufacturer of the device. That enables the organization to prevent Android devices of specific manufacturers from enrolling in Microsoft Intune. That can be useful when the organization has a specific policy for allowed device manufacturers. In this post I’ll walk through the configuration steps, followed with the end-user experience.

Starting with this post, I’ll provide both the configuration steps via the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and the configuration location in the Graph API (including the related JSON-snippet) as part of the configuration steps.

Configuration steps

Now let’s start by having a look at the configuration steps. These configurations can be achieved by either creating custom device type restrictions or by editting the existing default device type restriction. In the following example I’ll walk through these steps by adjusting the default device type restrictions. The following steps show how to add a device manufacturer to a list of blocked manufacturers.

  1. Open the Microsoft Endpoint Manager admin center portal and navigate to Devices > Enroll devices > Enrollment restrictions to open the Enroll devices – Enrollment restrictions blade
  2. On the Enroll devices – Enrollment restrictions blade, select the Default device type restriction and navigate to Properties to open the All Users – Properties blade
  3. On the All Users – Properties blade, navigate to the Platform settings section and click Edit to open the Platform settings page on the Edit restriction blade
  4. On the Platform settings page, provide the manufacturers to block in the Device manufacturer field (see example below) and click Review + save to continue to the Review + save page

Note: Use a comma-separated list when adding multiple manufacturers.

  1. On the Review + save page, click Save

For automation purposes, it might be better to know how to automate the device type restriction configuration. That can be achieved by using the deviceEnrollmentConfigurations object in the Graph API.

https://graph.microsoft.com/beta/deviceManagement/deviceEnrollmentConfigurations

However, keep in mind that the required properties are currently only available in the BETA version of the API. Below is an example snippet of a JSON that contains the Android Enterprise configuration with the blocked manufactures configuration, similar to the configuration via the UI.

"androidForWorkRestriction": {
    "platformBlocked": false,
    "personalDeviceEnrollmentBlocked": false,
    "osMinimumVersion": null,
    "osMaximumVersion": null,
    "blockedManufacturers": [
        "Samsung"
    ]
}

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. I’ll do that by showing the behavior on a personally-owned Android device that should enroll by using Android Enterprise work profiles to manage corporate data and apps. By default, enrollment of this type of personally-owned devices is enabled. That can be limited by using the enrollment restrictions, as shown in this post, or by simply blocking personally-owned devices.

In this scenario, I’m allowing the enrollment of personally-owned and company-owned Android devices, but I’m blocking any enrollment of Android devices from a specific device manufacturer.

When the end-user downloaded and installed the Company Portal app and started the enrollment process, at some point during the enrollment process the end-user will be blocked. While being blocked, the end-user will receive the message “Couldn’t add your device“. That message, of which an example is shown on the right, includes a clear explanation of why the device couldn’t be added. In my example the end-user is being told that the company needs the end-user to use an Android device manufacturer other then samsung.

Note: Keep in mind that the only reason that I’m using Samsung as an example in this post, is that I’ve got test Android devices of that device manufacturer. I don’t have any reasons that would actually require me to block the enrollment of Android devices from that device manufacturer.

More information

For more information about blocking Android device enrollment for specific device manufacturers, refer to the following docs:

Android Enterprise fully managed devices and the Google Play store

This week another post about an Android Enterprise configuration. Last week was related to company owned single-use (COSU) devices (also known as dedicated devices), while this week is related to company owned business only (COBO) devices (also known as fully managed devices). More specifically, about adding a personal touch to fully managed devices. Microsoft Intune doesn’t know the company owned personally enabled (COPE) devices, yet, but there is a feature within the fully managed devices configuration that can at least enable some more personal options to the user. That can be achieved with a simple configuration to allow access to all apps in the Google Play store. I’ll start this post with the configuration steps (and a little introduction) and I’ll end this post by having a look at the end-user experience.

Configuration

Let’s start with a quick introduction about the setting that should be configured and the impact of that setting. The setting Allow access to all apps in Google Play store must be set to Allow. Once it’s set to Allow, users get access to all apps in Google Play store. Apps can be sort of blocked by the administrator by assigning an uninstall of the apps to the user (or device). That will simply remove the app (over-and-over) again. When it’s set to Not configured, users are forced to only access the apps the administrator makes available (or required) via the Google Play store.

The following 3 steps walk through the process of creating a device restrictions policy that enables access to the Google Play store for users.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device configuration > Profiles to open the Device configuration – Profiles blade;
2 On the Device configuration – Profiles blade, click Create profile to open the Create profile blade;
3a

AEFMD-CreateProfileOn the Create profile blade, provide the following information and click Create;

  • Name: Provide a valid name
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a valid description
  • Platform: Select Android Enterprise
  • Profile type: Select Device Owner > Device restrictions
  • Settings: See step 3b
3b On the Device restrictions blade, select Applications to open the Applications blade; and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade;
3c On the Applications blade, select Allow with Allow access to all apps in Google Play store and click OK and OK to return to the Create profile blade;
AEFMD-Applications

Note: This profile can be assigned to user and device groups.

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. Depending on the exact configuration the end-user can end up with one of the three scenarios as shown below.

  1. Below on the left is showing the Google Play store for the work account only, without access to all apps in the Google Play store.
  2. Below in the middle is showing the Google Play store for the work account only, with access to all apps in the Google Play store. Even though my store is in Dutch, the number of items in the menu, and the apps shown in the background, show the difference.
  3. Below on the right is showing the Google Play store for the work account when also a personal account is added (see the purple circle with a “P”). It provides the same options as shown in the middle, but also enables the user to switch between accounts.
Screenshot_20190729-172606_Google Play Store Screenshot_20190729-181300_Google Play Store Screenshot_20190724-210437_Google Play Store

The combination for the user to add a personal account to the device and being able to install apps via the Google Play store, will at least give the user some options to personalize the device.

More information

For more information about the device configuration options for Android Enterprise fully managed devices, please refer to the Device owner section in the documentation about Android Enterprise device settings to allow or restrict features using Intune.

Create a custom multi-app kiosk mode

This week is all about creating a custom multi-app kiosk mode for Android Enterprise dedicated devices. The Android Enterprise dedicated device settings also contains multi-app kiosk settings, but in some scenarios those settings can still be a little bit limiting. To create a multi-app kiosk mode, Microsoft Intune relies on the Managed Home Screen app. The fun part is that the Managed Home Screen app already contains a few more settings that are currently only available via app configuration policies. In this post I’ll start with a quick overview of the app configuration options that exist nowadays, followed by showing an app configuration example for the Managed Home Screen app to add a non-Managed Google Play Store app. Technically speaking I’ll add a single app, using the multi-app configuration option. Really adding multiple apps is more of the same. I’ll end this post by showing the end-user experience.

It’s important to keep in mind that the preferred and advised method to configure multi-app kiosk mode settings is still by using the dedicated device settings.

App configuration options

Let’s start this post by having a look at the app configuration options that are available nowadays. In the early days it was still required to manually configure configuration keys and values. These days Intune can prepopulate configuration keys that are available within the Android apps. Below is a quick overview of the 2 app configuration options that are available :

Configuration designer: The Configuration designer can be used to configure simple settings via the UI. It will automatically populate the available configuration keys within the app and allows the administrator to configure the simple configuration values. As long as the value type is not BundleArray
MSH-ConfigurationDesigner
JSON data: The JSON data can be used to configure all settings via a JSON template. The template will automatically populate the available configuration keys within the app and allows the administrator to configure all the configuration values.

MHS-JSONEditor

Configure the Managed Home Screen app

Now the app configuration options are clear. Let’s have a look at the app configuration of the Managed Home Screen app. As an example I want to use a setting that is only configurable via JSON data, as the value type is a BundleArray. That setting is to add (custom non-Managed Google Play Store) apps to the Managed Home Screen app. The following 3 steps walk through the process of creating an app configuration policy that enables the built-in Settings app to the multi-app kiosk mode.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > App configuration policies to open the Client apps – App configuration policies blade;
2 On the Client apps – App configuration policies blade, click Add to open the Add configuration policy blade;
3a

MHS-AddConfigPolicyOn the Add configuration policy blade, provide the following information and click Add;

  • Name: Provide a valid name
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a valid description
  • Device enrollment type: Select Managed devices
  • Platform: Select Android
  • Associated app: See step 3b
  • Configuration settings: See step 3c
  • Permissions: See step 3d

Note: The main focus of this post is the configuration around the configuration settings (step 3c). That doesn’t mean that the permission configuration (step 3d) can’t be really useful when the app needs specific permissions. As it’s not the key part of this post, I won’t go into to much details for now.

3b

On the Associated app blade, select Managed Home Screen and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade;

Note: When the Managed Home Screen app is not available make sure that that the app is approved and synchronized with Intune.

3c

On the Configuration settings blade, select Enter JSON data with Configuration settings format. Now either click Download JSON template, for offline editing, or use the JSON editor to directly configured the required configuration keys. Before clicking on OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade, go through the following 3 steps (see also the screenshot below):

  1. Navigate to the applications configuration key to add the required apps for the custom multi-app kiosk mode. In my example, I add the Settings app (com.android.settings) to my multi-app kiosk mode. The valueString should be the app package name. To add another app simply copy the complete managedProperty and adjust the valueString.
  2. To be able to save the configuration, make sure to change all the values that need to be configured and still state something like STRING_VALUE. When a setting is not needed it can also be removed.
  3. The red areas on the scrollbar show the locations of values that must be adjusted or removed before the configuration can be saved.

Note: Make sure that the settings in the app configuration policy don’t overlap with settings in the dedicated device configuration.

MHS-JSONEditor-Config
3d On the Permissions blade, click Add to open the Add permissions blade. The Add permissions blade can be used select permissions that should be overridden. Select the required permissions and click OK to return to the Permissions blade and click OK to return to the Add configuration policy blade.

Note: At some point in time these configuration options will probably become available in the multi-app kiosk mode settings for dedicated devices.

End-user experience

Let’s end this post by having a look at the end-user experience. When the device is enrolled and the assigned apps are installed, the device will ask to select a home screen app (the message will actually show after the installation of the Managed Home Screen app). After selecting the Managed Home Screen app, the home screen will show as configured in the app configuration policy.

As shown on the right, I only get the Settings app (Instellingen is the Dutch version of Settings) as app on my home screen. That’s exactly what I wanted. Also, I configured a blue theme and I removed nearly all the other options from the end-user.

Note: The experience might be different from the configuration via the dedicated device settings. The main difference might be that in some cases the end-user might receive a message to configure a home screen app. So make sure to carefully test the end-user experience, to see if it matches the expectations.

Screenshot_20190721-195426

More information

For more information about configuring the Managed Home Screen app, please refer to the documentation about Configure the Microsoft Managed Home Screen app for Android Enterprise .

Android Enterprise fully managed devices and conditional access

This week is all about Android Enterprise fully managed devices. More specifically, the recently introduced functionality to use Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access. To support this functionality Microsoft introduced a new app, named Microsoft Intune app, and a new profile type for device compliancy policies for the Android Enterprise platform. Together these 2 features enable Android Enterprise fully managed devices to be registered as compliant device and to successfully work with conditional access. In this post I’ll provide some information about the Microsoft Intune app and I’ll show how to configure that app, followed by some information about the compliance policy for device owner scenarios and how to configure that policy. I’ll end this post by showing the end-user experience.

Keep in mind that Android Enterprise fully managed devices is still preview functionality. There are still scenarios that will not fully work at this moment. One of those scenarios is related to app protection policies. I specifically mention that scenario, as it can conflict with the scenario in this post. Apps with app protection policies assigned, will still prompt for the Company Portal app.

Microsoft Intune app

The first part in using Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access is the Microsoft Intune app. The Microsoft Intune app is a new modern and light-weight app that will enable the Company Portal app experiences for end-users on fully managed devices. That includes managing compliance for their device. Keep in mind that the Microsoft Intune app is only for the fully managed device scenario. As Android Enterprise fully managed devices require the Managed Google Play Store, the following 4 steps walk through the process of adding the Microsoft Intune app by using the Managed Google Play Store. After that the Microsoft Intune app can be assigned as any other app.

Keep in mind that after the May 2019 service roll out of Microsoft Intune, the Microsoft Intune app will automatically be added to the Intune admin console after connecting the tenant to managed Google Play.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, click Add to open the Add app blade;
3a MIapp-AddAppOn the Add app blade, provide the following information and click Sync;

  • App type: Managed Google Play;
  • Managed Google Play: See step 3b – 3f;
3b On the Search managed Google Play blade, search for the Microsoft Intune app;
MIapp-SearchApp
3c On the Search managed Google Play blade, select the required app and click Approve to open a dialog box with app permissions;
MIapp-ApproveApp
3d

MIapp-ApproveAppDB01On the dialog box with app permissions, click Approve to continue to the selection about handling new app permissions;

Important: Keep in mind that this will accept these permissions on behalf of the organization.

3e

MIapp-ApproveAppDB02On the dialog box about handling new app permissions, select Keep approved when app requests new permissions and click Save to return to the Search managed Google Play blade;

Important: Keep in mind that this decision might impact the future app permissions and/or the future user experience.

3f On the Search managed Google Play blade, click OK;
MIapp-ApproveAppOK
4 Back on the Add app blade, click Sync;

Note: These steps will approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and sync the approved app in to Microsoft Intune..

Compliance policy for device owner

The second part in using Android Enterprise fully managed devices in combination with conditional access is the compliance policies. Since recently it’s possible to create compliance policies for fully managed devices. The list of available compliance settings is smaller than other platforms. The main reason for that is because those settings are only applicable to fully managed devices. And fully managed devices are, as the name already implies, fully managed. In other words, fully managed devices already follow strict configuration policies. The following 5 steps walk through the process of creating a device compliance policy for Android Enterprise fully managed devices. After configuring the device compliance policy assign it to a user group like any other device compliance policy.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device compliance > Policies to open the Device compliance – Policies blade;
2 On the Device compliance – Policies blade, click Create Policy to open the Create Policy blade;
3a

AEfmd-CreatePolicyOn the Create Policy blade, provide the following information and click Create;

  • Name: Provide a valid name;
  • Description: (Optional) Provide a description;
  • Platform: Select Android Enterprise;
  • Profile type: Device owner
  • Settings: See step 3b and 3c;
  • Actions for noncompliance: Leave default (for this post);
  • Scope (Tags): Leave default (for this post);

Note: Configuring non-standard values for Actions for noncompliance and Scope (Tags), is out of scope for this post;

3b

AEfmd-DevicePropertiesOn the Device owner blade, select Device Properties to open the Device Properties blade. On the Device Properties blade, configure the required device properties and click OK to return to the Device owner blade;

3c AEfmd-SystemSecurityBack on the Device owner blade, select System Security to open the System Security blade. On the System Security blade, configure the required system security settings and click OK to return to the Device owner blade;
4 Back on the Device owner blade, click OK to return to the Create Policy;
5 Back on the Create Policy blade, click Create to create the policy.

Note: To take full advantage of this device compliance policy configuration, it must be used in combination with a conditional access policy that requires the device to be marked as compliant.

End-user experience

Now let’s end this post by looking at the end-user experience. Below, from left to right, is an overview of the different steps in the Microsoft Intune app to get a device from a noncompliant state to a compliant state. When the user has a noncompliant device state, the user can start the process by clicking on “You need to update settings on this device”. That will bring the user to the screen to setup access to resources. On that screen the user can simply continue. The next screen will show the user the settings that need to be updated and by clicking on a setting the user will receive information to resolve the issue. Once all the issues are resolved, the device state will switch to compliant.

AEfmd-Experience01 AEfmd-Experience02 AEfmd-Experience03
AEfmd-Experience04 AEfmd-Experience05

Note: Keep in mind that this is still preview functionality. When using app protection policies, the protected apps will still prompt for the installation of the Intune Company Portal app.

More information

For more information regarding the Microsoft Intune app and Android Enterprise fully managed devices, please refer to the following articles:

Easily managing Managed Google Play apps directly in Microsoft Intune

This week is all about the simplified experience for managing Managed Google Play apps directly in Microsoft Intune. The Managed Google Play store is used to deploy apps to devices managed via Android Enterprise. Before it was required to separately navigate to the Manage Google Play store to approve apps and after approval it was required to synchronize the approved apps with Microsoft Intune. Now the approval (and deletion) of Managed Google Play apps can be achieved by using Microsoft Intune only. Besides the better user experience, the fact that Google announced the deprecation of the device admin management API, means that it’s really time to look at the Managed Google Play store and apps and Android Enterprise in general.

In this post I will not look at Android Enterprise and the different deployment models. that might be something for another post, but I will look specifically at managing Managed Google Play apps. I’ll do that by quickly showing how to connect Microsoft Intune with Managed Google Play, followed by the steps and experience for adding and deleting Managed Google Play apps in Microsoft Intune.

Connect Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play

The first configuration that should be in place, before any configuration related to Android Enterprise can be performed, is the connection between Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play. The following three steps walk through connecting Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play to enable managing Android Enterprise devices and deploying Managed Google Play apps. As this is not the main subject of this post, the steps describe the main actions.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Device enrollment > Android enrollment to open the Device enrollment – Android enrollment blade;
2 On the Device enrollment – Android enrollment blade, click Managed Google Play to open the Managed Google Play blade;
3

On the Managed Google Play blade, complete the following two steps:

  1. Select I agree with I grant Microsoft permission to send both user and device information to Google
  2. Click Launch Google to connect now and walk through the Google Play steps

Note: Connecting Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play is required for managing Managed Google Play apps by using Microsoft Intune.

Add a Managed Google Play app

Once the connection between Microsoft Intune and Managed Google Play is configured, Microsoft Intune can be used for managing Managed Google Play apps. Even without the need to authenticate with every action regarding managing Managed Google Play apps. The following three steps walk through the process of adding a Managed Google Play app by using Microsoft Intune. I’m using the NBA app as an example and after adding the app, it can be assigned to a user and/or device group like any other app.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, click Add to open the Add app blade;
3a

MGP-AddApp01On the Add app blade, provide the following information and click Sync;

  • App type: Managed Google Play;
  • Managed Google Play: See step 3b – 3f;
3b On the Search managed Google Play blade, search for the required app;
MGP-AddApp02
3c On the Search managed Google Play blade, select the required app and click Approve to open a dialog box with app permissions;
MGP-AddApp03
3d

MGP-AddApp04On the dialog box with app permissions, click Approve to continue to the selection about handling new app permissions;

Important: Keep in mind that this will accept these permissions on behalf of the organization.

3e

MGP-AddApp05On the dialog box about handling new app permissions, select Keep approved when app requests new permissions and click Save to return to the Search managed Google Play blade;

Important: Keep in mind that this decision might impact the future app permissions and/or the future user experience.

3f On the Search managed Google Play blade, click OK;
MGP-AddApp06

Note: These steps will approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and sync the approved app in to Microsoft Intune.

Delete a Managed Google Play app

Similar to adding Managed Google Play apps, these apps can now also be deleted by using Microsoft Intune. The following three steps walk through the process of deleting a Managed Google Play app by using Microsoft Intune. I’m using the NBA app as an example again.

1 Open the Azure portal and navigate to Microsoft Intune > Client apps > Apps to open the Client apps – Apps blade;
2 On the Client apps – Apps blade, search for the required app, select the three dots and click Delete to open an Are you sure? dialog box;
MGP-DeleteApp01
3 On the Are you sure? dialog box, click Yes;
MGP-DeleteApp02

Note: These steps will programmatically un-approve the app in the Managed Google Play store and sync the result to Microsoft Intune.

More information

For more information regarding managing Managed Google Play apps via Microsoft Intune, please refer to this article about Adding Managed Google Play apps to Android enterprise devices with Intune.