Andi

August 12, 2020

DevRel 42 has arrived. This latest batch of improvements gives Esper customers more granular control over non-launchable apps, preloaded app packages, and more.

Here’s a quick look at what’s new in DevRel 42:

  • Support for Non-launchable Apps
  • Wi-Fi Credential Support for Android 10
  • Disable Preloaded Apps in Template
  • Device Alias and Android Version Now Available in Downloaded Reports
  • API for Compliance Policy
  • Device SDK Authentication

Support for Non-launchable Apps

Some of our customers requested app management capability for enterprise apps, preloaded apps or Play Store apps which are non-launchable via the Device-Apps section. For example, apps such as com.google.android.webview, com.android.bookmarkprovider are background apps which do not require foreground service and need not be “launched”. However, our customer requested app actions such as setting app permissions, updating the app etc for this category of apps. 

As a result, the Esper Device Agent now makes non-launchable apps available on the Console, if enabled via JSON settings in the template. Now, customers can modify non-launchable apps via Console actions such as Uninstall, Update and set app permissions. 

Here is a sample of the json settings code snippet that is required to be added to the template settings section – ‘“uploadAllPackages” DPC parameter indicates whether to show background apps on the console or not. If set to ‘true’ then background apps will be shown on the console. If not set, the default value is false and background apps will not not be shown.

{
  "dpcParams": [
    {
      "key": "uploadAllPackages",
      "value": "true"
    }
  ]
}

Wi-Fi Support for Android 10

We now support the ability to add Wi-Fi credentials through the Esper Cloud console for Android 10 devices. Users can now remotely set secure Wi-Fi SSID for Android 10 devices via the Devices Settings and Provisioning Templates. This improvement prevents error messages when Wi-FI credentials are added to some remote, production devices that have been updated to Android 10 from Android 9.

Disable Preloaded Apps in Template

The Advanced Settings section of the Template now includes a section to disable preloaded apps.

Previously, adding a preloaded app package to a device changed the app state to  “Show” by default. Now, an Esper customer  can explicitly set the App state to “Show”, “Hide” or “Disable” after adding a preloaded app package in Advanced Settings section of Templates.

The “Disable” feature lets the IT Admin prevent the app from functioning unless chosen otherwise. This feature to disable preloaded apps was already available via Device Settings but now we have made this available during the Device Provisioning process itselfPreloaded apps are set to”Hide” state by default during provisioning. Previously, adding a preloaded app package to a device changed the app state to  “Show”. Now, an Esper customer  can explicitly set the App state to “Show”, “Hide” or “Disable” after adding a preloaded app package in Advanced Settings section of Templates.

The “Disable” feature lets the IT Admin prevent the app from functioning. This feature to disable preloaded apps was already available via Device Apps or Groups Apps (preloaded) sections but now we have made this available during the Device Provisioning process as well.. 

Device alias and Android Version Now Available in Downloaded Reports

Sometimes, Esper customers use custom device names, or device aliases, to quickly differentiate between a large list of single-purpose Android in a device group.

Now, the custom device alias name and the Android Version of provisioned devices are included in newly-added data columns via Esper generated reports for download.

API for Compliance Policy

Compliance Policy can now be fetched, modified and applied to remote single-purpose devices via the Cloud API. We have also provided functionality to partially modify or delete the applied policy. Please note: if a policy is currently applied on a device, it can not be edited. It is recommended to clone and then edit the same.

Device SDK Authentication

With this release, we have introduced an additional layer of authentication for usage of Device SDK. When an application using the SDK is initially installed on a managed device, it must be activated before it can access privileged operations. To activate the SDK, the user must provide an OAuth Access Token generated from an API Key that belongs to the user’s endpoint. After successfully activating the SDK for an application, this status will persist until the application is uninstalled.

Note: If the Esper Agent Device SDK API level is lower than version 4, the SDK is always “active” by default. Thus pre-version 4 has been depreciated and will be retired at a future date. In the meantime if you are using the Device SDK, we suggest you move to the latest version and implement the required authentication in your APK.

Bug Fixes and Improvements: 

  • Fixed bugs to offer consistently accurate export reports of Device List View
  • Solved a remote view glitch for a Nokia Android 10 device
  • Improved pagination support for the Geofence section 
  • Company Short-Code Validation added for special characters to correct earlier issues with special characters causing occasional failure of some device actions

And, that’s it for DevRel 42. Stay tuned for another round of improvements in DevRel 43, scheduled for late August 2020. 

Finally, we’d love to hear your thoughts on DevRel 42 and how we can make your Esper customer experience better in upcoming releases. Please share your thoughts with andi@esper.io