In-House App Upload Issue


#1

Hey all!

I’ll try to keep this short and sweet.

So I’m currently having an issue where I’m having to upload the latest version of Google Maps to our MI server as an in-house app. At my workplace we use MobileIron Core & Connector v9.3.0.0 and Android Lollipop 5.1 for all our devices. Here’s the rundown in bullet points:

  • We CANNOT allow our users to have access to Google Play. Period.
  • Some of our users are having issues with core features of other apps without Google Maps as their installed version is heavily outdated (some by years even). This will only increase with time.
  • Trying to upload a copy of GMaps (downloaded from one of those apk downloader sites) produces the error:

Does anyone know why this is happening and how I can circumvent it?

I apologise in advance as a newbie who signed up just to get help with something. Not very welcoming I know but there’s not of resources available for help with this kind of thing!

Cheers


#2

Hi James,

First of all, thanks for joining the forum.

I can see simular issues when trying to upload the latest Google Maps APK to both Core 9.3 and MobileIron Cloud.

On Core I am presented with an “internal server error”, at the same time logs indicate an issue with decoding the resource;

May 17, 2017 9:48:09 PM brut.androlib.res.decoder.AXmlResourceParser getAttributeValue
WARNING: Could not decode attr value, using undecoded value instead: ns=android, name=roundIcon, value=0x7f030012"

There are a few reports online for similar resource related errors with decoding Google applications.

I also suspect this a related to the reference framework being used by Core to decode the uploaded apk (https://ibotpeaches.github.io/Apktool/install/), it may not be current enough to handle newer application framework.

Try locating an older version of Google Maps and upload this to your Core (I am not quite sure how far back you will need to go, also keep in mind you may need to update other supporting applications on the device)


Understanding your need to restrict access to the Google Play store have you considered Android Enterprise with Device Owner mode allowing deployment of admin approved applications while maintaining current application versions?

Hope this helps, I will keep an eye out for any solutions relating to your initial query.

,Andrew


#3

Hi Andrew,

First of all, thank you so much for your quick reply!

Regarding finding an older version of Google Maps, I’ll try find an older version and see if that works. Will get back to you ASAP on that.

This though…

…Got me excited. I was completely unaware of this (I’m technically still new at my job and still constantly learning about MI all the time), so I really need to investigate this more. The team here are also super interested. Silly thing is, I don’t have the authorisation right now to carry out any major changes to the server (though I can certainly get the ball rolling if needed on my end). We have a bloke who remotely looks after the server as a whole and I’m going to try get in contact with him.

If it’s not too much to ask, and if it’s possible, how would I go about this on my end regarding set up? Google offer guides on how to do this with G-Suite and I assume it’s all to do with Android for Work which I don’t believe we’re using right now.

Once again, huge thanks for sparking a very intriguing fuse!


#4

Hi James,

At this point I would do the following;

  1. Check if you have access to https://community.mobileiron.com/ (Your MobileIron admin should have this access and be able to request or create additional accounts for you) and read up on some of the requirements and limitations around the Android Enterprise offering, i.e. Device/OS support, changes to In-House application deployment, etc…
    This is to ensure you are looking at the correct product offering for what you would like to achieve.

  2. Get in contact with your MobileIron Partner, or MobileIron Support if you do not have a partner. Feel free to PM me your details if you would like me to reach out to MobileIron in your region.

  3. Ideally if you have a Test environment you will be able to follow the documentation from the MobileIron Support portals and start an internal P.O.C.


#5

Hi Andrew,

  1. I don’t currently have access, but I’ll get in touch with my admin to see if I can get an account set up for me.

  2. I believe my admin also handles all this for me too.

  3. Sadly I don’t, but if this all works out I might get leverage to request for one! :wink:

Once again, thanks for helping out here. I’ll keep this thread updated with any new info and major proceedings as time moves on.


#6

Hi all, just a quick update:

We’ve tested many versions going all the way back to mid last year (eldest v9.34.2) with no success. At this point I believe we’d be going back further than what the users currently have now. Safe to say, I think that’s where we have to stop.

Cheers


#7

More info on Android Enterprise
Generally you would want to support device that are OS 6+ out of the box, you can however getaway with some earlier version of OS 5 but will miss out on a number of features. You will also require a gmail account to bind this service to. (just create a new standard gmail account for testing)
More info at; https://support.google.com/work/android/answer/7168896?hl=en

Google provide a easy to setup (currently in beta) Android Enterprise demo environment.
This will not provide the ability for you to setup the applications in question, however you get a better idea of the end-user device experience.
https://enterprise.google.com/android/experience
Features;

  • User and Device Management
  • Basic application push (with some AppConfig)
  • A few basic profiles

You can use “afw#demo” in the Google account sign in screen on a freshly wiped Android OS 6 or above device, this will put the device into Device owner which will be ideal for your setup requirements.

If you decide to go down this path it is very easy to integrate Android Enterprise Users with MobileIron Core.
Having the correct device will be the key, too often companies do no spend enough money on device procurement by purchasing low end devices. By doing so they introduce increased complexity in deployment, a poorly delivered solution and additional support costs.

To sum this up, if you do not have a device that is Android OS 6 or more out of the box, I would look at procuring or borrowing one for a POC, you will quickly see the value in the product offerings.