Managed Google Play Apps Update

Managed Google Play Apps Update

We updated a configuration on one of our Google Managed Play apps in the MobiControl app catalog and yet the app has not updated on the device. The app is set as a mandatory app. From my findings the app should update automatically but the app does not show to update.

We are using a Zebra TC57 with OS 8.1.0. MobiControl v. 14.4.2. The devices are AEOD in kiosk mode preventing user interaction. 

10 Answers

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Matt Dermody | posted this 13 September 2019

Nothing is ever completely automatic when the Play Store architecture is involved. With Managed Play, SOTI and any EMM for that matter is reliant on the Play Store for actually distributing the Managed Configs and app updates to the devices. You administer everything from your EMM but the distribution of Managed Play apps and configs come through the Play Store. I would confirm that the devices still are open to the Play Store on the network that their operating (WiFi or Cellular in the case of the TC57). I would also wait upwards of 24 hours for the configuration to apply in some case. Google claims it should be under and hour, or even as fast as 10 minutes, but that doesn't hold up in reality. 

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Jake Ward | posted this 04 December 2019

I'm also trying to gain some clarity on how the automatic updates work. Does anyone know if the phone has to have a certain percentage of battery to pick up the latest version? Is it necessary to disable battery optimization for Google Play Store on the device?

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Raymond Chan | posted this 04 December 2019

Based on my previous experence, I don't think device battery level or power mode has any impact on whether the managed google play app get updated.    Google server(s) may sometimes be down for maintenace or overloaded, causing delay in app upate/deployment.  Also, from time to time, upgrade of Google support services or Google Play related modules need to be completed on the device before any apps/app-updates can be downloaded from Managed Google Play store.

 

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Fisch | posted this 06 December 2019

I believe that Google play updates will only occur automatically on devices on AC power. On my Pixel, Samsung and Zebra devices any apps that are set to Mandatory start to update automatically once the device is plugged in.

There is a setting that can be sent through SOTI to allow the updates over WiFi and Cellular as the default is WiFi only.

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Raymond Chan | posted this 06 December 2019

In the last 18 months, I have personally enrolled at least 2000 Android-Enterprise Samsung devices of different models with my own hands .  I can assure you that Manged Google Play App updates can proceed without mains power plugged-in.  

 

If your speciic model have such problem, it's likely related to specific settings/configurations on your devices.  For example, your device is set in some low power mode and its Wifi connection gets turned off to save power after a few minutes, and your app update is configured to use only Wifi only. 

 

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Matt Dermody | posted this 09 December 2019

For what its worth, Google does document that a charging state is one of the criteria for an update.

https://support.google.com/googleplay/work/answer/9350374?hl=en

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Jake Ward | posted this 09 December 2019

Thanks Matt, that was exactly what I was looking for.

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Rodney Phillips | posted this 10 December 2019

We've recently brought up the issues with the update criteria to our account team. We also found this:

 

https://developers.google.com/android/work/play/emm-api/update

 

 

When we asked if SOTI utilizes this policy configuration to update apps immediately, we were told they do not yet, but it is in the roadmap.

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Johan W | posted this 18 December 2019

Do you think there will be any changes to this in the future. We have quite a lot of devices which are used almost all the time and also most of the time they will leave the device with the app running, hopefully charging the device thou.

It would be good to be able to force the update anyways. Of course we could do like a kill_application first but that won't solve the possible charging problem.

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Matt Dermody | posted this 18 December 2019

It's going to have to change for the enterprise use case. We have many environments where the devices will never be in a charging state because they use replaceable batteries with battery chargers instead of device chargers. 

 

Also, good luck using kill_application in AE, I don't think it works for anything other than Samsung. 

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