Advice Needed - Download Apps in Advance of Update

Advice Needed - Download Apps in Advance of Update

In the Windows CE world, I always manually controlled when my applications updated in MobiControl by moving devices to new release folders. Yeah, I know that is not how most installations do it. I did this for several reasons. The first devices I managed (Psion 7530/7535s) were highly unreliable on their installations. Under Windows CE the executable sizes were small and finally I found the scheduling in the early versions of MobiControl to be unreliable with Windows CE.

Now I am diving into the Android world with both feet due to the shutdown of 3G Cell. While it seems Android is more reliable about installations, the install size of the applications is huge compared to Windows CE and let's not talk about patch sizes. 

My issue is that my devices are very often stored in areas that contain a lot of concrete and steel which by nature makes cell connections hit and miss. All devices are supposed to be put in networked cradles every night, but we all know how that goes :-/.

So I have come to the conclusion that I NEED to evaluate methods of utilizing the options within MobiControl that allow for a scheduled delivery. What I would like to accomplish is to have a profile with the new versions of my applications get pre-staged on the device and then when the time comes that I what them installed, the installation gets triggered and the installation happens quickly.

I thought I had figured it out and attempted to set up an install using scheduled profiles for tonight. What a mess! Fortunately I am still in the the 100+ devices, but over the next month I will be sitting with over 1000 devices. Since the Agile development is going on, everyone things that we can have deployments every two weeks...... in my opinion not a pretty site. 

My problem tonight what that I had Profile A with version 1 of the app and I attempted to assign Profile B with version 2 of the app. I set an install date far into the future as I only wanted the apps to download but not install. My plan was to replace Profile B with a Clone of Profile B without the schedule associated with it. I didn't get to first base as Profile B failed because it said the a version of the application already existed on the device. I thought I had this whole thing worked out in my Dev environment. 

So, I am looking for advise, how are others accomplishing this. My applications are line of business applications and the versions that are supported are tightly controlled by the development teams (they rarely support more than 1 version).



MobiControl 14.1.2


Android Management: AEDO

Device: Zebra TC77 Locked down in Kiosk Mode Shared by multiple users


Any advise appreciated. Thanks in Advance.

2 Answers

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Matt Dermody | posted this 14 May 2019

If you modify Profile A to contain Version 2 and then schedule the install of that Profile A the existing Version 1 will remain installed on the devices and untouched until that install window. This process will seamless remove Version 1 and allow Version 2 to be installed over top, maintaining and App Cache and Data, whereas your process will either end up in a situation where there is a conflict  as you have seen or if it is successful then any App Cache or manually granted permissions you wanted to preserve through the upgrade would be wiped out. Modifying an existing Profile to change a package version (assuming you are also building from the same Package MCP and not creating a new one) is the way to go.  The only catch to this is the fact that any net new devices enrolled that become eligible for Profile A during the period in which you have scheduled Version 2, will not get Version 1 or Version 2 because Version 1 is kind of in a disabled, but not deleted or revoked state while Version 2 is still scheduled. 


You can also use the different scheduling options between Apply and Install to have the package actually downloaded to the device early but not activated until the install window occurs. 

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Jim J | posted this 15 May 2019


I headed down this path to begin with..... but ran into a couple of issues. What happens if you want to change the Install time? Again, thought I had it figured out (thought it was server time) but the device on the west coast didn't trigger when I expected. I really do want / need some flexibility and an just trying to figure out what works as all the documentation is sadly lacking.

I will need to do some more testing.

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