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Our team is planning to buy around 10 Android phones for the team members. We don't want them to install any applications other than the ones provided. Is there a method or an application which would allow me to restrict the ability of a user to install apps?

As an analogy, on Windows the admin can configure the system so that other users cannot access Internet settings, task manager, or install new software. We'd basically like to do something similar to that.

One idea I had was to download the Android source code itself and then program it according to my needs and install it on the devices. However, I would prefer to avoid doing that, if possible.

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Many of the motives are similar in this question: Securing a young child's tablet –  eldarerathis May 25 '12 at 17:41
    
Also you may want to have a lock at Device Policy Administration for Android. But it seem like there is no restriction for Apps when enforcing 'Device Policy'. –  Flow Jul 6 '12 at 11:41
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4 Answers

You can't... unless you manufacture the device by yourself.

You can't stop power users from flashing ROM which would flush your software based protection (even if you have embedded the solution in ROM to survive factory reset). Unfortunately, almost all devices in Market support it. If not, there are ways to hack bootloaders, too.

If you are still interested in software based solution, try contacting Soti. They provide such type of solutions at a cost.

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NetAddictFree for Android is able to block or restrict access to others Apps. In your case, it is possible to block the "Parameters" Apps.

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Have you seen this? Not to be sounding smart or anything but I think this is something similar to what you're looking for - a sandbox to protect the Android internals, the above was designed for kids so that when they play with it, they cannot do destructive damage to Android, or mess with settings etc, apart from shoving it into the microwave or anything like that.

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Deploying the devices with a custom hardened ROM should work. There are several MDM solutions out there. Check out the following articles for details from a design point of view and also deploying it in an enterprise.

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Answers which require the reader to leave and go to another site are not really answers. –  Al E. Jul 6 '12 at 0:32
    
When you're talking about Mobile Security in terms of policy, secure development, static analysis, encryption, penetration testing and vulnerability scanning audits, usage of an MDM and other best practices for deploying securely, I believe providing some of the best resources available would help him make a decision. Why reinvent the wheel when there are resources which amount to huge documents? –  Epoch Win Jul 6 '12 at 14:14
    
For one thing, because linkrot happens. When those links no longer work this answer becomes absolutely useless. See also: meta.android.stackexchange.com/questions/906/… and meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/8231/… –  Al E. Jul 6 '12 at 14:55
    
I agree that the information you're linking to is far too vast to put in a single answer. That suggests then that this question is probably overly broad. At the very least you should summarize what someone will find if they visit those links. –  Al E. Jul 6 '12 at 14:56
    
I see your point. I'll try being more descriptive around the links. Thanks –  Epoch Win Jul 6 '12 at 15:09
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