By now, many smart board and interactive display manufacturers have announced that their solutions are “EDLA-certified” or have “GMS” built in. It’s a notable shift that significantly affects how people use their smart boards.

But what exactly are EDLA and GMS? How does this change impact schools and organisations looking to acquire new smart boards? Below is our quick guide to all things EDLA.

What is EDLA?

EDLA stands for Enterprise Devices Licensing Agreement, a new program that Google introduced at the end of 2022. It’s designed to help solutions providers offer devices with built-in Google Mobile Services.

What is Google Mobile Services?

Google Mobile Services, or GMS, is basically all of Google’s most popular apps and APIs bundled together and packaged for Android devices. It includes Google Search, Google Drive, Chrome, YouTube, and the Google Play Store, among other apps.

Previously, GMS was only officially available for smartphones, tablets, TVs, and wearables. Under the new EDLA, the list of devices eligible for GMS certification has now been expanded to include enterprise solutions such as smart boards.

What’s the advantage of having GMS on a smart board?

There are a lot of advantages to having a smart board with Google Mobile Services built in, but we’ll highlight the three most important ones here:

  • Official access to the Google Play Store

Perhaps the biggest advantage is the presence of the official Google Play Store, which now allows users to download and install apps onto their board. Having Google Play—with its extensive library of educational games and productivity tools—available on a large interactive screen opens up many possibilities in terms of teaching and work.

  • Seamless integration with Google tools

Before, there was no official way for users to open Google for Education tools (ex. Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides) directly from their smart boards, as Google had not made them available for large-format displays. Those who wanted to use these tools had to either connect a laptop or use their board’s web browser to access the cloud versions of these apps. Now, users can easily install these tools on the board and access them locally any time.

  • Better device security

Google Play, through the Google Play Protect service, also takes on a valuable role when it comes to device security. Play Protect checks apps for suspicious behaviour. It also prevents you from downloading potentially harmful apps to your devices and even scans and removes previously installed apps that exhibit malicious behaviour.


Didn’t other boards already offer Google Play and GMS?

Prior to Google’s public announcement of their official platform support for large-format interactive displays in the last quarter of 2022, smart board providers were not authorised by Google to have Google Mobile Services and Google Play on their devices. There was no official support given to these devices, and previous versions of these apps were not fully compatible with large interactive boards.

If, by any chance, you previously encountered any smart board that included Google Play and other Google Mobile Services, these were not sanctioned by Google.

Device manufacturers who were offering solutions already carrying Google Play or other Google Mobile Services before the end of 2022, were only able to provide these apps to their customers through unauthorised means, which could have led to app glitches and possible data security risks.