Andi

December 02, 2020

DevRel 49 is focused on expanding the features and capability of Esper’s user-friendly cloud console for Android. Our Android DevOps team added improved views and command capabilities, further streamlined the end user experience, and added new data to the Devices & Groups section. Here’s a quick look at what’s new:

  • Improved List and Grid Views for Nested Groups
  • Hide, Show, or Disable Apps via Device SDK
  • Esper Settings App Updates via Android Dock
  • Ethernet MAC Address Added to Cloud Console and API
  • Apply Dynamic Commands to Android Devices and Groups

1] Improved List and Grid Views for Nested Groups

The “Devices & Groups” section of the Esper Console is your launchpad to view interactive lists of provisioned Android devices.

We’ve improved the list and grid view experiences to simplify the process of adding custom device tags or aliases. In list view you can click on the DEVICE RENAME or +ADD/EDIT TAG to add a device alias or tag, respectively.

2] Hide, Show, or Disable Android Apps via Device SDK

Esper’s Device SDK now offers support to remotely change the state of Esper Cloud or Play Store apps on provisioned Android devices using the Device SDK. Previously this could only be done through the Esper Console or using our Cloud API / Python SDK, or CLI. Customers can update the remote device user experience by selecting any of the following app states: 

  • DISABLE: Disables the app on the device. Available for Android OS versions 5.0+. 
  • SHOW: Exposes an app on the device to end-users. 
  • HIDE: Hides the app and prevents use, noting it may still run in the background.

Please note, app state changes via Device SDK are not available for Android apps pinned to full-screen kiosk mode.  

Check the Esper Device SDK Docs for more details on conducting privileged operations on Esper-managed Android devices via the Device SDK. 

3] Updated Configurable Esper Settings App Behavior via Dock 

The Esper Dock is a hidden menu on Esper-provisioned Android running kiosk mode. It can be accessed by users after:

  • Hitting the device power button three times
  • Tapping the top right corner of the screen three times
  • Programmatically by your app using the Esper Device SDK  


Learn more about the Esper Dock in Esper’s docs.

Now, end users can streamline access to more menu options by directly opening Esper’s Custom Settings app, including:

  • Enter or Exit Dock
  • Change Kiosk App Features

To access Esper’s Dock to reach Custom Settings in kiosk mode, users can either employ the screen 3-tap method or press the device power button three times. 

4] Access Ethernet MAC Address via Console or API

Esper customers requested remote access to any device;s Ethernet MAC Address to dynamically allow or block device access to sensitive networks. So we’ve added the ability to access any device’s Ethernet MAC address via the Esper Console. 

Ethernet Mac Address is now displayed on the Information tab of Esper’s Devices & Groups section, next to data on cellular network, Wi-Fi connectivity, IP address, and Bluetooth.

5] Apply Dynamic Commands to Android Devices and Groups

Esper’s new command framework allows customers to apply a single dynamic command to both devices and device group(s). Previously, executing a command to an Android device group required a query to retrieve all device IDs for a group and a customer-selected loop to execute the desired command to all retrieved device IDs.

Now, Esper customers can use dynamic command types to efficiently apply a single command to both devices and device groups. We added automation to our Cloud backend, streamlining the dynamic command process. 

Please note, dynamic commands will be applied to all devices in the selected list(s) of devices or group(s). A command will only be applied once per device ID if an ID is included more than once among target device and group device ID results.

Bugs and Improvements

  • The “Starting Services” message which was previously displayed to end users accessing the apps list from multi-app Android kiosk mode has been removed.  
  • We added new Esper Console support to whitelist or add non-launchable apps from the dashboard, which previously could only be done by working directly with the Esper team.
  • The incoming call display when the device screen is locked is now fixed for Samsung J8 devices.


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And, that’s it for DevRel 49. Esper’s DevOps team is working to deliver another batch of features and improvements in DevRel 50. Our next release is focused on security and it’s scheduled for late December 2020.

Please reach out to share your thoughts on how Esper can improve your customer experience in DevRel 50, 51, and beyond.