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