Device Ownership Challenge on Android 10 and Above: What, Why and How to Make it Work
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Device Ownership Challenge on Android 10 and Above: What, Why and How to Make it Work

by Okhiaofe Ivharue

3 mins read


Google’s Android OS has undergone a substantial upgrade with versions 10 and 11. Both these OS versions bring many new functionalities and enhanced security for mobile device users which represents a real opportunity for mobile adoption amongst businesses and organizations. Google has gone above and beyond with compliance, device security, privacy policy, data governance, and so on.

Although Android OS 10 and 11 bring over great features, they also pose a challenge to certain mobile device owners with regards to device ownership status of certain applications necessary for business function. This challenge can also serve as a limitation for mobile device management.


When would anyone meet this challenge?

  • If you have a mobile device that houses more than one application requiring device ownership privileges to perform optimally.
  • If you want to install an application on your mobile device that would need to reference unique identifiers (like device IMEI) to function but have already relinquished device ownership to another application.
  • If your organization needs to install a Mobile Device Management solution to manage device usage (these solutions in carrying out their functions need to assume device ownership).


silver Android smartphone


Following Google’s security updates on Android 10 & 11, mobile applications are no longer able to access sensitive device information, like IMEI, without device owner privileges. And yet, only one application can be the device owner at a time. This has introduced serious limitations to mobile applications and their operations especially when more than one application on a device requires access to the device information — as that other applications will not be privy to that device information anymore until the initial device owner is uninstalled.


So, What if two applications in need of this device credentials need to coexist on the mobile device? What would happen to organizations whose businesses thrive on multiple applications who at different times require this device information?

Or organizations who have a Mobile device manager already as a device owner and the primary productivity App requires device info?

Do I need to purchase multiple Android devices because the apps necessary for my business functions all need device ownership privileges to perform optimally?


Device Ownership on Android 10 & 11 Devices Using SmartMDM


SmartMDM offers itself as amongst the best Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions for organizations to monitor, track and secure their mobile devices remotely. ​​And now SmartMDM offers itself as the best solution that can service other mobile applications that are limited due to the Google security updates. 

Through basis integration, SmartMDM would allow applications to reference device information. As such, applications plagued with this problem are able to coexist on a single device and execute their basic operations optimally. Hence SmartMDM saves the business from additional operational costs

SmartMDM introduces several features and device behaviour changes to better extend the transparency and control that users have over their data and the capabilities they give to apps. SmartMDM once on a device, will serve as the sole admin owner of that device, guarding the device credentials and additionally serve as a broadcaster — listening in for whenever integrated applications would need to reference device credentials (as specified by an organization’s business process). Multiple Apps can reference this device information as much as they want.

This way, multiple applications with device information needs can coexist on any mobile device running Android 10 OS or higher under the prompt supervision of SmartMDM, as the device owner and admin. Organizations can save costs as they can stick to one device for multiple services and maintain control and security of these devices. SmartMDM will play the role of enforcing device compliance — managing and deploying apps, and monitoring usage and reporting actions.


green frog iphone case beside black samsung android smartphone


As an EMM, SmartMDM will continue to ensure the utmost security of devices and their data by preventing unauthorized devices access to critical data, services and applications. SmartMDM will enforce MDM policies, install apps, enforce PIN/password restrictions, locate devices, disable cameras, receive and send notifications when a device is misused, backup/restore/erase data, etc.

SmartMDM will provide the centralized control, unified compliance, and enhanced security any organization will need to ensure seamless and successful Android device management across board regardless of the OS version. SmartMDM help you manage an increasing number of mobile devices, with a widening array of OS and security risks. The solution will do this in a way that preserves user experience, doesn’t compromise corporate data and respects personal privacy.