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How to force OS updates for fully managed Android devices

Forcing OS updates on your fully managed Android devices in a defined window of time.

Aim

The aim is to establish an homogenous OS version landscape, and to support users who may not always think about installing OS updates themselves. With version 10.4 of Cortado MDM, we have added Force automatic OS Update, a new Android device policy which gives you control over coordinated roll outs of available OS updates and so allows you to keep your Android device fleet always up to date.

Implementation

Under Control Panel→ Devices→ Details you will see a reminder whenever an update is available for a device (example for  Cortado MDM):

Under Control Panel→ Policies you can now force the available update to be installed onto the users’ devices.

  • Click on the plus icon to add a new policy.
  • Then select Android Enterprise Policies→ Fully Managed Device.
  • There you will find the new policy Force automatic OS updates. Click in the checkbox to enable the policy (arrow in illus.). 

If you want to apply the policy, you can specify a timeframe for the update:

  • Delay days: Here you can enter a value for the number of days (0-30) you would like to delay the forcing of updates. Enter the number 2, for example, and the installation of a new update will be forced 2 days after the update becomes available.
  • Start minute: Here you can enter the time at which the update window should open. (With the default setting of -1, the policy has no effect on the start time.)
  • End minute: Here you can enter the time at which the update window should close. (With the default setting of -1, the policy has no effect on the closing time.)
Note! Force automatic OS Updates forces an update when one is available for the corresponding device class. A confirmation from the end user is not requested. The update is downloaded and then installed.

In practice, it makes sense therefore, to run the OS updates when the device is least likely to be in use. We recommend the following configuration: 

Note! In this version of Cortado MDM the start and end times must be entered in minutes. In the next version a simpler variant will be offered.
  • 7 days (upper arrow in illus.) will pass after the update becomes available, before the update will be forced.
  • Push the update at 02:00 and close the update window at 04:00. Because the time must currently be entered in minutes, multiply the preferred times by 60 (middle and lower arrows in illus.).

Note! Avoid an update window from 22:00 to 04:00, for example. There is a chance that the device may not cope with the value of the start time being greater than the value of the end time.
  • Now select the new policy (upper arrow in illus.) click on Assign (lower arrow in illus.) to assign it to the desired users/groups/devices.

Warning! Especially if you are using legacy apps, you should absolutely ensure beforehand that the apps are suited to new Android versions. You should also inform yourself of any known problems with the new Android version. It may make sense to increase the Delay days value mentioned above. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with this feature before you roll it out on a broad scale. Configure and roll out this policy for a test group first, to determine whether the recommended settings are suited to your requirements.

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