Android Is More Fragmented Than This Chart Shows

Early this month Open Signal Maps published a report on the fragmentation of Android which shows all the different devices and versions of the Android OS.  

As the person responsible for mobile devices for my company I thought I had a pretty good understanding of this fragmentation.  However, this changed this week when I began testing for possible enterprise email solutions on an HTC Vivid with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).  One of the security requirements that needed to be tested is the full device encryption that is part of the base Android OS in ICS.  During the setup of the phone I was surprised to NOT find the encryption option available on the phone.  After endlessly searching to make sure I wasn’t missing it some place in the settings I submitted an email to HTC support for guidance and their reply is as follows:

  • Thanks for contacting us about fully encrypting your Vivid phone, I’d be glad to assist you with this as best as we’re able to. In regards to this, I’ve took one of our test Vivid phones and started looking for the options to do this on our current Ice Cream Sandwich build. In this, I checked both the security section under settings and also under development options under settings and I was not able to find any setting to accomplish this. I even want as far as to comb over the development settings in the phone and was not located there. So, at this time its not an option active on the Vivid phone. As an alternative, I did some looking for applications across the Google Play store, and found a some multiple results for encryption. Not knowing just how locked down you need the phone to be, I would suggest going through the Play store and see if there is anything there that could help you with what your needing to accomplish. I hope this info helps, Jeremy. In the meanwhile, I hope you have a great day and thanks for being part of our HTC Community.

I understand that Google has open sourced Android but why they would allow companies to take out basic features, especially security, of the OS is perplexing.  Until Google figures out away to make all devices from all manufactures more consistent on the base OS features then it won’t be succeeding in the enterprise.  At this point, I am perplexed on enterprise regulated by security requirements are event allowing Android devices into their environment.