GMS Certification for Android 9 Pie Based Devices

Flame Group SE ready to share the latest information about Google Mobile Services (Google GMS) Certification. As you should know, from January 1, 2019, brands are only able to certify devices based on Android 9 (Pie) earlier Android versions (as Oreo, Nougat, and other) are not available for GMS Certification and only can be certified as none-GMS devices.

The operating system Android Oreo Go edition (which used for entry-level devices with the memory 1+8 GB or lower) will be closed for the GMS later – from the 1st March of 2019. As it announced, a new Android Go Edition OS already released.

Google Mobile Services Certification of the OS Android 9 Pie is definitely much more complicated compared to GMS of previous Android releases. In this article, you will meet with all mandatory GMS tests for Android 9 Pie and with latest test utilities.


Google Mobile Services Certification Mandatory Tests

GMS Certification process of Android 9 Pie devices has mandatory Android Compatibility Tests (CTS Tests). With the help of CTS tests, developers are able to validate the device’s software and hardware components. All tests should be done with the help of the CTS test suite - free of charge public suite, which is available for download on the Compatibility Test Suite page (you can find the link below). On the moment of publication, the latest CTS Utility version was 9.0_R5 and lower versions were not acceptable by Google.

You can check and download the latest Compatibility Test Suite following the link:


In additional to CTS Tests, the device should pass the Compatibility Test Suite Verifier (CTS Verifier) tests. The Android Compatibility Test Suite Verifier (CTS Verifier) supplements the CTS.

CTS Verifier provides tests for APIs and functions that cannot be tested on a stationary device without manual input, such as audio quality, touchscreen, accelerometer, camera, etc.

CTS Verifier tool for manual testing and its detailed description can be downloaded from the same public page of Android Open Source Project:

On the moment of publication, Google released CTS and CTSV with the number 9.0_R5 and do not accept tests with lower versions.

The example of the CTS Report fails

The third mandatory test suite is GMS Test Suite (GTS). GTS ensure that the Google Mobile applications are compatible with the device. During GTS tests, suite play multimedia files from Google sources and examine resolutions and bitrates. GTS test suite is not available for public download and only available for Google Authorized partners.

On the moment of publication, the latest GTS Utility version is 6.0_R3 and lower versions were not acceptable by Google.


Other mandatory tests are Vendor Test (VTS Tests). The Android Vendor Test Suite (VTS) provides extensive new functionality for Android testing and promotes a test-driven development process. VTS test framework includes device shell commands, test templates, service name aware HAL testing, HAL testability check, multi-device testing. VTS suite is not available for public download as well. The latest VTS utility version is VTS-9.0_r5 (on the moment of publication).

Of course, the operating system with built-in Google apps should contain the latest version of Google Mobile Services Package (GMS Package) and Security Patches, which regularly updated by Google.



Google Mobile Services Certification Mandatory Applications

Let us remind you that GMS has requirements to the default home screen layout and mobile applications that should be preinstalled and placed to the Google folder.

Home screen MUST be available by pressing the physical home button or tapping the home button on the navigation bar. The default home screen MUST feature the following:

  • Google Search Widget.
  • Google Collection folder containing the Core GMS app icons.
  • Play Store app icon.

The Google Collections Folder on the default home screen MUST be labeled "Google" & have the Core GMS app icons in the following order, left to right, top to bottom (subject to the Geo-availability ) 1. Google Search 2. Chrome 3. Gmail 4. Maps 5. YouTube 6. Drive 7. Play Music 8. Play Movies 9. Duo (or Hangouts) 10. Photos.

The Google Collections Folder should NOT include any non-Google apps.

Customers also available to make folders with the optional GMS and none-GMS applications strictly following regulations of GMS requirements.

The example of  the mobile device desktop which corresponds to GMS Requirements

Account managers of Flame Group will be ready immediately share the latest version of any test utility, GMS package or any file/document related to GMS Certification after our customers’ request.


GMS Certification of Android 7 Nougat, Android 8 Oreo and earlier versions.

Google LLC interested to support modern technologies, improve user experience and  Android OS development. That is why old Android-based versions devices Android 7 Nougat, Android 8 Oreo, and all previous versions are not available for the GMS Certification. Right now Google only accepts GMS certification for Android 9 (Pie) or Android Pie Go Edition based devices.

Android 7, Android 8 (and earlier versions) also available for Google certification but these devices can only be certified as “none-GMS devices”. That means all mobile services (as Play Store, Play Music, Maps, Gmail and other) should be removed.

Old Android 7, Android 8 (and earlier OS versions) devices that were certified earlier now available for updates. During updates, developers should upload the latest version of GMS package and security patches, which are valid during the firmware verification time.


Certified and Not Certified Android Devices

As we already informed, Google’s policy towards uncertified devices is much stricter than before. Google try to disable Mobile Applications (as Play Store, Maps, and all other) for all devices, which has no GMS Certification and use all these services illegally.

This policy valid for most of Android 7 (Nougat) based devices and, of course, for newest Android 8/ O /Go Edition, Android 9 / Pie based.

Some uncertified devices still workable but nobody can guarantee that mobile applications support for such devices will not be stopped. It can happen unexpectedly and without additional notifications.

Google interested that all newest devices will be developed according to the latest hardware requirements and will ensure Android OS stability and performance. Everything connected with the reputation of the Android and satisfaction of the end customers.

To check if your device certified or not you should open Play Store application go to Settings Menu and check the GMS certification status in the bottom line.

GMS certification status in Google Play Store

GMS Certification and Mobile Applications Distribution Agreement (MADA)

There are some ways to pass the official GMS Certification.

Companies, who signed an official Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) with Google, are able to develop GMS software by themselves and verify it via 3rd party laboratories recommended by Google. The problem with own MADA receiving connected with Google’s demand to the minimum quantity of the launched Android-based devices during the target period. Usually, the corporation is not interested in brands who are not able to launch less than 1 000 000 – 2 000 000 devices per year.

The way when brands use MADA of motherboards manufacturers has some disadvantages because the certification process is out of control and available only for some types of motherboards.

Companies that have no their own MADA and that cannot use MADA of their device manufacturer also able to get an official GMS certification. Specialists of Flame Group are ready to propose some solutions to get an official GMS certification. Every method based on a deep hardware & software analysis. After analysis, we will propose you to run all tests using the permission of the existing MADA licensees. Every such project requires personal analysis and our customers can discuss details with our account managers.



Flame Group expertise in GMS Certification

Many companies have already passed through the GMS procedure with the help of Flame Group specialist and satisfied with terms and quality.

Flame Group have a Multilanguage team of hardware and software engineers located in the different regions (as The Central and Eastern Europe and Asia). Our engineers are able to advise the best configuration for your hardware solution which will help to pass GMS Certification in the short time.

During tests and other reports analysis, our specialist will give their comments on how to fix existing bugs, will provide latest patches and will advise how to develop GMS software according to the latest regulations of Google.

If you interested to get the information about the latest GMS Certification regulations for Android 9/Android Pie /Android Go Edition based devices or you need any help with GMS certification process, specialists of Flame Group SE will be ready to help you. Please send your inquiry to us by e-mail: 


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