Top 10 banned apps on iOS and Android BYOD devices

Top 10 banned apps on iOS and Android BYOD devices

Summary: One of the pitfalls of BYOD is not being able to freely install apps on your iOS smartphone or tablet. But what apps do companies regularly blacklist? Can you imagine your smartphone or tablet without Angry Birds installed on it?

(Source: ZDNet)

Yes, there are pitfalls to BYOD, and one of them is that corporate security policies can make your device feel like it doesn't belong to you. And one restriction that companies can place on you is what you can – and can't – install on your BYOD smartphone or tablet.

But what apps are businesses blacklisting most often on BYOD devices?

Fiberlink, the company behind the MaaS360 mobile device management software, examined data for more than 2 million devices that it secures for companies around the world to get a picture of what's allowed, and what's not allowed, on BYOD devices.

Top 10 Blacklisted Apps: iOS Devices

  • Dropbox
  • SugarSync
  • BoxNet
  • Facebook
  • Google Drive
  • Pandora
  • SkyDrive
  • Angry Birds
  • Netflix

Top 10 Blacklisted Apps: Android Devices

  • Dropbox
  • Facebook
  • Netflix
  • Google+
  • Angry Birds
  • Google Play Movies & TV
  • Google Play Books
  • Sugarsync
  • Google Play Music
  • Google+ Hangouts

So, want to play Angry Birds on your BYOD device? Sorry, you're outta luck. Catch up on some of your favorite TV shows on Netflix while on the train? Tough. Share files on DropBox? 'Fraid not.

Fiberlink has also crunched the data to find what are the most popularly whitelisted apps for iOS and Android.

Top 10 Whitelisted Apps: iOS Devices

  • iBooks
  • Adobe Reader
  • Google
  • Citrix Receiver
  • Numbers
  • Dropbox
  • Pages
  • itunes U
  • Keynote
  • WebEx

Top 10 Whitelisted Apps: Android Devices

  • NITDroid
  • Adobe Reader
  • Lookout
  • Google
  • Skype
  • Citrix Receiver
  • Android Translator
  • Antivirus
  • ZXing
  • Google Maps

See alsoPotential pitfalls of BYOD

It's interesting to note that Dropbox appears on in the top 10 blacklist for both iOS and Android, while at the same time appearing in the top 10 of whitelisted iOS apps. This shows that while some companies see Dropbox as being a threat, other embrace it. Outside the top 10, this is likely to be the case for most apps, as companies tailor the blacklists and whitelists to their specific needs.

But how common is the practice of whitelisting and blacklisting apps?

Crunching the numbers further, Fiberlink found that less than 10 percent of customers has blacklists of whitelists in place for iOS devices, with that number falling to less than 5 percent for Android devices. Manufacturing and service industry customers topped the list when it came to blacklists, while consumer/retail and service industries were the ones most likely to have whitelists in place.

Getting even deeper into the data, Fiberlink found that, on average, customers blacklisted 5 iOS apps and 7 android apps, while whitelisting 16 and 10 apps for the respective platforms.

Topics: Mobility, Android, Apps, iOS, Smartphones, Tablets, Bring Your Own Device

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Ah...

    Listen, if my company intends to start banning the above apps on my phone, then they better supply me with a company phone and a company cell contract, because that list above is B.S.
    • Mine Did, Mine Does, but ...

      But ywo iOS biggies missed:
      - heavily restricted iCloud access
      - Siri
      • I was going to add that as well

        Siri and iCloud are certainly the 2 that my employers banned as well for iPhone, for Android google drive is a no go as well
    • They'll only ban them if you're using your phone with work data.. surely??

      It's not a ban for the sake of it... just that no company wants their data on an unprotected device/system. They don't want someone plopping company deals in the cloud, or you cutting and pasting important data from one unsecure app to another.

      If your company lets you do that then fine; otherwise you're right. It would be a restriction on YOUR device for their benefit and I would ask for a company paid device and plan too. Surely they would have expected that and built the costs in though? Shouldn't be a hassle for them, or you.
  • "BYOD device"

    I'm going to report you to the CIA agency right after I stop at the ATM machine.
    x I'm tc
    • Don't forget

      to report him to the Department of Redundancy Department as well.
  • If a company expects users to pay for their own work device

    then they are going to need to be tolerant of things like Facebook and DropBox. People are not at work more than they are at work, and they have no business telling people what they can and should be doing on equipment they've paid for.

    Alternately, put people on work BlackBerrys, and then you have total control.
    • I almost think it is the opposite of that

      Not companies expecting their employees to bring their devices to work, but rather employees expecting that they can bring their personal devices to work.

      I don't think people are buying phones and tablets based on their work needs. I think they primarily buy them based on their personal needs.

      BYOD is such a strange beast.
      • Very True

        User: "I want to bring my own device"
        Company: "Here are your device restrictions if you want to use that device"
        • Once more, but with security personnel

          Q:Can I BYOD?
          A:Sure, as long as it passes our security requirements...

          Q:What are your requirements?
          A:No transmitters [phone, WiFi, or Bluetooth] no cameras [phone, laptop, tablet]

          Q:What does that leave?
          A:Calculators, most development boards, and VERY OLD Laptops...
  • Get over it

    If you want to bring your device into the company, then the company gets to decide what you can do with that device. After all, they are paying your salary. If you don't like it, have them get you a Blackberry for work and keep Angry Birds on your own phone.

    Other than just being lazy about carrying two devices, there's really no reason to combine work and home together. Do you really want your kid jumping on your iPad and sending a "Julia is a poop pooh head" email to the president of the company who happens to be named Julia? Or worse, send something to your customers by mistake?

    The best practice is to keep home and work separate.
    A Gray
    • Please

      BYOD is a corporate policy, not a personal preference. If your company insists that you provide your own hardware, they need a good reason to insist you can't install specific applications on it. If they pay for the phone or laptop they can set whatever restrictions they want.
      • I've never seen it as company policy...

        I've seen it suggested folk would use their own laptop but I've asked why? I'm not risking my hard earned cash getting stolen or damaged in a day and don't expect anyone else to. I do expect that some people will purchase a device with the view that it might make their work easier but that's different. I'd use my pad or phone if it suited me but I would expect that my company would tell me that was OK, or not. If anyone needs to buy their own kit then just buy some piece of junk that works but only just. Encourage your bosses to provide hardware but I seriously doubt any business is in fact doing it. It's a far better model for companies to control ALL kit with access to systems and data by issuing their own kit, than trying to control the myriad of junk and problems users will try to integrate. Who needs the hassle? Certainly not me.
    • I don't want to bring my own device into the company.

      "If you want to bring your device into the company . . ."

      Outside of bloggers, I haven't found very many people who actually want BYOD. Who are they to tell me that I want to bring my device to work? I never wanted that.

      "Other than just being lazy about carrying two devices, there's really no reason to combine work and home together."


      "The best practice is to keep home and work separate."

      Agreed. But try telling bloggers that. In one ear, out the other.
      • More than just Bloggers

        I think you have taken too narrow a view of BYOD in respect to smart phones. It's not that I (and 95% of my colleagues and friends) specifically thought I want to use my smart phone for work, more that I want the option/flexibility of getting my work email on my phone. We (or at least I do) live in a world of constantly being connected and contactable, where the boundary between work and home life is blurred. Having access to work via my smart phone is just what I expect.

        I'm not sure how personal preference is "just being lazy about carrying two devices". The opposite argument could be made - that you are just being lazy about putting proper segmentation/controls on your devices to separate the work/home/kids access. Neither of these is a "lazy" issue.

        Now I personally know very few people who and BYOD their own tablet/PC/Laptop, and I'm certainly not the norm with 2 laptops, 2 tablets, and one desktop at home. But it is certainly convenient for me to use my home desktop and one of the laptops for work, both from a physical space perspective and not having to bring my work laptop home (you might say that's lazy of me - personally I see running into work and home again a personal choice that easier without the addition of a laptop on my back).
        • You are making a choice that suits you though...

          Sounds like you're deciding what works for you BUT your company still has the right to tell you what they require. If they need your laptop on a domain and with specific policies enforced you'll need to accept that or ask for a PC from them. You can't just say no, and breach company guidelines on data security. And supposing you have a problem with hardware / software... are you taking all responsibility for that too? And risking missing deadlines/targets because the kit you have might fail? It doesn't sound good from either perspective really.

          Email on your phone is great but companies need to know that it's secure and not copied everywhere. You wouldn't expect your wife to email you bank accounts and passwords (I hope) over normal email... might be different if it was encrypted/zipped but the deal is the same. Your company data should be protected and you shouldn't be able to cut'n'paste it willy nilly.
      • Not just "bloggers" wanting BYOD

        In the organisations that I have worked in, it is often the executive who want to use their smartphone or tablet for company access.
  • Oh you bet I can.

    "Can you imagine your smartphone or tablet without Angry Birds installed on it?"

    Have ZERO interest in this crap...along with Farcebook & Twatter.
    • yes in your case

      but you don't represent the vast majority of smartphone/tablet users
  • Work is not play.

    When one is at work, leave your personal devices at home. Combining "company time" with "personal time" is going to hurt both participants.