A list of typically blacklisted and whitelisted Android apps by enterprises has been recently published. Blacklisting, apps refers to the act of blocking their usage. The list is based on a study conducted by device management service provider Fiberlink. It involved two million endpoints using such software.
Blackisted and whitelisted Android apps
In general, businesses do not blacklist apps. In fact, less than 5% of businesses do. There is an average of seven apps that enterprises commonly block on Android devices. The top blacklisted apps include: Dropbox, Facebook, Netflix, Google+, Angry Birds, Google Play Movies & TV, Google Play Books, Sugarsync, Google Play Music, and Google+ Hangouts. This list includes file-sharing and entertainment apps which could strain bandwidth. Moreover, there are social networking apps and one highly-popular game that could hamper productivity.
The opposite of blacklisting is whitelisting. Whitelisting means that only a particular list of apps are allowed to run on devices. Information Week reports that this practice is often employed in retail and service industries where devices are necessary for tasks like displaying catalogs and products.
On the average, ten apps are whitelisted on Android devices by enterprises. Those in the top ten are NITDroid , Adobe Reader, Lookout Mobile Security, Google, Skype, Citrix Receiver, Android Translator, Antivirus, ZXing (barcode processing) and Google Maps. In contrast with the blacklisted apps, this list includes apps that are necessary for communication as well as for business to be carried out.
Interestingly, the list of blacklisted and whitelisted Android apps is different from that of iOS apps. Even granting that some iOS apps are not available on Android and vice versa, the lists still show some differences. The blacklisted apps for iOS are Dropbox, SugarSync, BoxNet, Facebook, Google Drive, Pandora, SkyDrive, Angry Birds , HOCCER, and Netflix. The whitelisted apps are iBooks, Adobe Reader, Google, Citrix Receiver, Numbers, Dropbox, Pages, itunes U, Keynote, and WebEx. Nevertheless, the iOS blacklisted and whitelisted apps still fall within the same categories as the Android ones.
Blacklisting and whitelisting apps on mobile devices involve the ethical question of whether businesses should do it or not. According to Fiberlink’s director of marketing Jonathan Dale, businesses can do so. One example he gives is the blocking of cameras, which can protect the sensitive information to which some employees have access.