Esper Release Notes – DevRel 24

Esper had been updated to DevRel 24.

Adb Control in Policy and Settings – If you are not familiar with adb, here is Google’s definition:

“Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with an android device. The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device.” 

Clearly adb is not only an extremely useful tool for developers to debug their apps and device management actions, but it is also a gateway to the core of the device. Thus Esper has further offered its customers enhanced control of access to adb for Esper managed devices. Our customers can now enable or disable adb on Esper managed devices via policy. For example, a customer unchecks adb via policy in the Device Template as part of provisioning. In this case, adb simply can not be turned on, even from the dashboard or from the device itself.

Enable adb via the policy in the Device Template

The dashboard users now have the option to turn adb on for configurable time periods such as 1 hour, 3 hours, 8 hours, 1 day and Always ON, with this option available in Device Template > Settings. This can be done to allow usage of adb for debugging purposes or for running device commands in some specific cases.

adb will automatically turn off after the set period of time on their devices hence protecting them against attack from possible rogue users. That said, our secure remote adb features implement a secure communication channel for debugging between the remote device and development computer using the Esper Cloud.

Five ways to control adb settings

  • Device Template > Policy – Enable or Disable adb on newly provisioned devices
  • Compliance Policy – Enable or Disable adb via policy that can be applied to Esper managed devices or groups after provisioning.
  • Device Template > Settings – If adb has been enabled, turn on adb for a period of 1 hr, 3 hrs, 8 hrs, 1 day and Always ON after provisioning. Useful for running adb immediately after provisioning.
  • Device > Settings – If adb had been enabled, turn on adb for a period of 1 hr, 3 hrs, 8 hrs, 1 day and Always ON for that device.
  • Groups > Settings – If adb has been enabled, turn on adb for a period of 1 hr, 3 hrs, 8 hrs, 1 day and Always On for the Device Group.

Groups Settings – In addition to being able to change settings on individual devices, you can now fire the same set of actions at a group level. Take actions across a group, for example, changing the screen brightness level or turning on WiFi for an entire fleet of devices deployed remotely. This is a big step towards achieving feature parity between commands for individual devices and groups in our product as Esper scales up further the fleet of Esper managed devices. 

Note that these actions will only be applied to devices that are online. After executing the group command, check Lead Status to determine which devices in the Group successfully received the command. Clicking on “See details” will show a detailed report of success and failed actions for each device. Using this insight, you can follow up with any device that did not receive a command, once they come back online at Device > Settings.

Multiple WiFi Access Point Credentials via Device Template – Customers can now add multiple predefined WiFi access points for the provisioned device to connect with as per each access point’s availability. For example, if you entered WiFi SSID and password information for wifi1, wifi2, wifi3, and wifi4, once provisioned, as the device moves between WiFI APs, it will connect to the WiFi(out of wifi1, wifi2, wifi3, and wifi4) which has the best available network strength.

This is different from the WiFi SSID for QR code which is used to connect during provisioning once the QR code is scanned on Android 9 or above devices.

Bluetooth Peripherals – This feature enables users to view the paired and connected Bluetooth devices for an individual device. This helps customers ensure no unwanted Bluetooth devices are connected to their company devices.

List View (filters) – To make it easier to filter devices by a broader set of parameters, the Device List View feature now has multiple value filters for the following fields:

  • Group Name 
  • Policy Name 
  • GMS/Non-GMS 
  • Network Type (Cellular, Ethernet, Wifi, Other)
  • Android Version
  • Registered Date
  • Online/Offline 
  • Security Status 
  • Last Seen
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Esper empowers Engineers, Developers, and Operations teams with tools crafted for company owned Android devices. Our full stack platform covers building, deploying, managing, and maintaining to move beyond MDM and to Device Orchestration.
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