The following is the first few sections of a chapter from The Busy Coder's Guide to Android Development, plus headings for the remaining major sections, to give you an idea about the content of the chapter.

Device Administration

Balding authors of Android books often point out that enterprises and malware authors have the same interests: they want to take control of a device away from the person that is holding it and give that control to some other party. Android, being a consumer operating system, is designed to defend against malware, and so enterprises can run into issues.

However, Android does have a growing area of device administration APIs, that allow carefully-constructed and installed applications to exert some degree of control over the device, how it is configured, and how it operates.


Understanding this chapter requires that you have read the core chapters, particularly the chapter on broadcast Intents.

Objectives and Scope

One might read the phrase “device administration” and assume that somebody, using these APIs, could do anything they want on the device.

That’s not quite what “device administration” means in this case.

Rather, the device administration APIs serve three main roles:

  1. They allow an application to dictate how well a device is secured, from the password required in the OS lock screen to whether the device should have full-disk encryption
  2. They allow an application to find out when security issues might arise, notably failed password attempts
  3. They allow an application to lock the device, disable its cameras, or even perform a “wipe” (i.e., factory reset)

The user, however, has to agree to enable a device administration app. It does not magically get all these powers simply by being installed. What the user gets from agreeing to this is access to something that otherwise would be denied (e.g., to use Enterprise App X, you must agree to allow it to be a device administrator).

Defining and Registering an Admin Component

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Going Into Lockdown

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Passwords and Device Administration

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Getting Along with Others

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