This year I had the pleasure of attending three droidcons--Italy, London, and San Francisco--representing Zebra Technologies. I’ve already shared my experiences from Turin. London and San Francisco each offered unique events where I learned a lot and met some awesome people developing some amazing apps!


About 1500 developers descended on London at the end of October for droidcon. People came from all across Europe and even Asia and Africa. And this crowd wanted to learn. It was fascinating watching the waves of people file into and out of the sessions. Normally, you see a fair number of people just hanging out and skipping sessions, but not in London.


During breaks between sessions, we talked to at least a third of the event attendees at our Zebra booth. There was a huge amount of curiosity around the Enterprise space and how Zebra is helping business gain intelligence and visibility into their operations. Barcode scanning demonstrations impressed, but the Mobility DNA Android tools were most appreciated for the management of the device through deployment, device management, app management, and user management.


Android Security has been a very hot topic this year. My colleague Pietro Maggi presented on it in Turin and Berlin. In London, I attended Scott Alexander-Bown’s session; O-mg what's new in Android Security? Scott did a great job reviewing new enhancements in Android O such as the SafetyNet APIs like Attestation and Google Safe Browsing. Seriously, you should check them out and add them to your app. Don’t forget Verify Apps, too.


I chatted with Chris Le Roy, who led the session Hacking Android, a Hacker's narrative, quite a bit. Chris opened my eyes to some of the methods hackers use to gain access to apps and devices. This reinforced even more, the importance of developers using the SafetyNet APIs and the services through Google Play Protect. To augment protections those services should be combined with the Android and Zebra management tools for deployment (StageNow), Device Management (EMM APIs, EMM Tool Kit, Enterprise Home Screen), App Management, and OS security updates (LifeGuard for Android).


In San Francisco, I attended a session similar to Chris’ on the importance of penetration testing on your app. It highlighted some of the methods used to compromise apps.


Compiling these concepts together led to the Android Security talk I gave in San Francisco.  I spoke about the security impacts of the entire ecosystem around Android. This includes the OS, add-ons by the device OEMs, the apps, services and methods around getting apps on device, the user and the deployment and management mentioned above. Looking across the whole landscape demonstrates that security is everyone’s responsibility.

I walked through the tools Android and Zebra have provided for developers and those who manage the devices. The presentation slides are attached below.


The talk seemed to resonate well with the attendees. It was good to hear feedback from the attendees including some who are using the Attestation and other SafetyNet APIs. There were questions around management of devices running older flavors of Android, a very common issue in the Enterprise. Thankfully, via EMM or the Zebra LifeGuard for Android program, some of these issues can be addressed.

Zebra’s tenets around security:

Droidcon San Francisco 2017 also gave Zebra the opportunity to present a CodeLab on Bluetooth. Manuel Caicedo walked through the standard Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy APIs. He highlighted some of the issues and lessons he has learned and some ways Zebra streamlines the code with the Link-OS SDK. The Zebra table piqued interest of the attendees where we showcased the Zebra portfolio and everyone’s favorite game, Barcode Blaster.

Both Droidcon London and San Francisco showcased great speakers and developers at the forefront of innovation. It was incredibly rewarding to expose Zebra’s Enterprise Asset Intelligence leadership through Mobility, Printer, and Scanner DNA to the attendees.