Phones certified by Google will now feature Play Protect branding on the retail box

Google has always had a certification process for manufacturers in order to bundle its services, collectively called Google Mobile Services — which include the Play Store, Chrome, Gmail, YouTube, Photos, Maps, and Drive. The company is now rolling out a new initiative called "certified Android devices," which as the name suggests highlights all the manufacturers that are certified by Google to bundle apps like the Play Store on their devices.

Devices certified by Google will now carry the Play Protect branding on the retail box. Play Protect is Google's new security suite, and it leverages machine learning to weed out malicious apps by regularly scanning and verifying apps on customers' phones. The feature itself has been present since the Jelly Bean era as verify apps, but with Play Protect Google is making the information more consumer-friendly.

By rolling out the Play Protect branding, Google is making it easier for customers to find devices that have been certified by the company. This isn't a problem in Western markets, but in developing countries like India, it's harder to determine if a device by a particular company is certified by Google or if it's running a forked version of Android.

To that effect, Google is making its list of device partners and ODMs available in Hindi. Google is also advocating the benefits of Play Protect in Hindi to better inform customers that such a feature exists:

Google provides certification for Android devices to make sure users receive secure and stable experiences. We work with manufacturers across the globe to run hundreds of compatibility tests that ensure devices adhere to the Android security and permissions model. These tests also verify that the Google apps pre-installed on devices are authentic, and that apps from the Play Store can work as intended.Certified devices also come with Google Play Protect (हिंदी में) out-of-the-box, providing users with a suite of security features that include automatic device scanning for malware. This provides baseline protection against malware, privacy hacks and more.

Unsure if your phone is certified by Google? Head to the Play Store -> Settings -> scroll down to the Device certification status to find out.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

  • Will Play Protect also mean Project Fi ready? Google NEEDS to open up Fi to all manufacturers.
  • No they're unrelated
  • They may do that, but it would be unrelated to this article
  • They can't really. It's a hardware thing. The point of Fi is the phone needs all TMo/Sprint/US Cellular radios. I don't think a lot of phones do. That said, I think you can put Fi sim in to a non-Fi phone, you just have to activate it on a Nexus/Pixel.
  • I really wish they'd done this in 2012...
  • I wish they wouldn't force the primary Google apps on the device (with exception of the play store). I'd prefer to choose what I want instead of disabling Google bloatware.
  • Yep. An Android user doesn't have to love all things Google.
  • Google will surely want it's bloatware on Google certified phones. Like how MS did it in the nineties.
  • Does Microsoft not do that now? They even force their launcher on you!
  • That'd be nice you for and me, but it could be burdensome and overwhelming for a lot of users. If I'd given my mom her first Android phone back in the day and it started up with a setup process like "Welcome to Android! Which of these apps do you want to download to be your primary browser? Which of these apps do you want to download for SMS? Which of these apps do you want to download for navigation?" I guarantee you she would've panicked and decided that an iPhone would be easier, or just gone back to her old flip phone. Shipping with a stock set of apps for basic functions serves a purpose.
  • Very true it takes the headache out for the average users.
  • This is an unpopular truth, but it has to be this way. The goal of the play store is to host android apps that will work for every device that has the play store installed. That means developers writing these apps need to have a list of things that will always be true. There always has to be a Chrome-compatible web browser. Samsung or HTC could build Chrome from source themselves just like they do with Android and make their own browser that has nothing to do with Google. That would work. But that means that every company has to do it. They won't. The solution is to either tell developers they can't include links that use any of the Chrome browser tools or APIS, or they can bundle Chrome. Google has nothing to do with Android that someone outside of the company made. Thinking they do is a mistake most people make. But they have absolute rule over what phones can use the Play Store. If you make a phone and want the Play Store installed, you need to include a full set of default apps. That list is getting shorter. New advanced messaging standards mean that Hangouts is no longer required as long as the company who makes the phone includes a modern SMS client, for example. But we're not going to be rid of them all anytime soon.
  • Umm...Samsung did create their own browser (no idea if it's based on Chrome or not):
  • A lot of people want a phone that does everything they expect a modern cell phone to do right out of the box. I don't consider most of the apps Google includes in their phones as bloatware, although there are a handful I never use. I think Google should reach a common ground with its users by bundling whatever apps they want but without installing them in the system partition so that users can choose whether or not to uninstall them at their leisure while leaving important apps like play services and carrier services on system partition so that people don't accidentally delete them.
  • Hopefully they're doing this on tablets too. Maybe more people would see the benefit of buy an full android tablet with Play services over a fire tablet. I think Amazon has ruined the android tablet market with their low cost fire tablets and the general consumer does not understand what they are giving up buying one over an Android tablet that actually supports Play services.
  • This is good news, better late than never