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Independent Software Vendors

With the Knox SDK v3.7.1 (API level 34), there are new APIs geared more for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) than for the traditional Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors.

To use these ISV APIs, an app does not need the following:

  • Device Admin permission — MDM apps need the permission android.permission.BIND_DEVICE_ADMIN for more powerful system-level control over a device, which device users can opt not to grant. Google has deprecated the Device Admin (DA) mode of device management. Although apps can continue to use the permission, Google no longer recommends it. An ISV app needs only the permissions for features it uses. For details, see Permissions and Declare Knox permissions.

  • Knox license — Corporate managed devices don’t need to activate a Knox license to use the new ISV APIs. More specifically, license activation is not needed for the Device Owner (DO) or Profile Owner (PO) on a company-owned device. License activation is still needed for BYOD deployments. For more about these deployments, see Device management modes.


  • Network connection — Since ISV apps on corporate devices no longer need a license, there’s no need to validate the license with a cloud-based or on-prem license server, making ISV apps suitable for offline deployments.

This section describes new Knox features that now work under this new ISV use model:

For information about the ISV features that do need Device Admin permission, see Independent Software Vendors (DA).

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