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2017-10-04 Release Notes - Android client version 2.6.0

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Introduction

 

With the Android client 2.6.0, we'll introduce some changes. We change the minimum supported Android version from 2.3.3 to 4.0 because that simplifies the operation quite heavily - the latest Android support library doesn't even support earlier devices. Older devices, which there aren't many, will have to stay on client version 2.5.6.

 

Android 8 (Oreo) changes

 

Android 8 Oreo has introduces some changes in background services. If the admin is not a device or profile owner, it can't receive some notifications when running in the background. Therefore we have been forced to change the client to run its service as a foreground service in Android 8, if it's not acting as a device or profile owner - on other words, just running without and admin privileges or as device administrator. In these cases, a small notification is shown in the notification list for the user, that this application service is running in the foreground.

 

For Android 7 and earlier, service is running in background as before.

 

Android location tracking improvements

 

We have simplified Android location tracking with the release of Miradore Online client 2.6.0. Previously, we used hidden location tracking accuracy and power requirement parameters to request location updates. We noticed that those didn't work so well in most of the scenarios so we stopped using them.

 

Instead, to give more control to the admin for the location updates, we have added a new parameter to location tracking profile - the location provider. There are three providers available - GPS, Network and Passive. 

  • GPS is for setting the device to actively requesting location from GPS
  • Network is used to actively determine location based on cell tower and Wi-Fi access points
  • Passive can be used to just passively receive location updates when other applications request them 

Existing location tracking configuration profiles will be converted to "Passive" providers automatically.

 

Please note that we don't control which providers are enabled in the device in other than Samsung devices with Knox management enabled.

 

Android developer guidelines don't recommend background applications to use active location providers, but if used, those should use only minimum time of 5 minutes as location update interval. Therefore we have changed the minimum update value to 5 minutes in Android location tracking configuration profile.

 

Only one provider can be selected in a single location tracking configuration profile, but if the use case requires location updates from different providers, several configuration profiles can be deployed. Existing location tracking profiles have been updated to use the Passive location tracking provider.

 

For example, if admin wants to receive passive updates with 5 minute intervals and active location updates from GPS with 1 hour intervals, two configuration profiles can be created and deployed to the device.

 

  • Profile with 5 minute interval and Passive location provider

 

  • Profile with 1 hour interval and GPS location provider, include also satellite count and HDOP, GDOP and NMEA timestamp from GPS.

 

Android inventory shows which location provider is used in last known position reported by the device. Also, enabled location providers on the device are shown in Services inventory table.

 

Bug fixes

  • Encryption status was reported as Unknown in some cases
  • Application deployment fixes in work profile
  • Runtime permissions fix for managed Google Play applications
  • Some fixes for crashes and "application not responding" situations

Please send comments to contact@miradore.com.