Android Lollipop for the Zebra TC70/TC75

Posted September 5, 2016

Ever since the initial release, the Zebra TC75/TC70 Series has become one of the most popular mobile computers due to its convenient form factor and robust feature set. With over 200,000 unit deployed the TC75/TC70 are helping businesses of all types improve daily efficiencies and empower their workforce.

In order to better serve their customers Zebra has announced that Android v5.1 Lollipop will soon be available for the TC7x Series. The upgraded Android OS is expected to be available for download on Zebra’s Support site on approximately August 22, 2016 for TC70 and August 30, 2016 for TC75.

All future devices will have the newest Android OS installed but for customers preferring the older OS versions a simple ‘back-rev’ to their OS version will be available.

Key Android 5.1 Improvements

  • The software updates for the TC70 and TC75 provide enhancements such as an updated suite of Mobility DNA elements including StageNow, AppGallery, DataWedge, EMDK, Mx, Simulscan and PTT, introduction of Android For Work (AFW), as well as a few bug fixes.
  • Notable changes from the most recent OS software update include the Android BT stack, the WLAN version and the scanning framework, as well as the requirement to manually enable Zebra volume control.
  • For the GMS part numbers, Android Lollipop brings the introduction of Android For Work (AFW), with its Managed Profiles and security and management features. It should be noted that AFW issupported in “Device Only mode”, not “Multi-user mode”. Multi-user mode is supported only when the device supports Emulated storage. TC7X does not support Emulated storage, hence Multi-user mode is not supported.
  • Also for Standard Configuration SKUs with GMS, NFC will be ON the default out-of-the-box. If a customer wants to use Android for Work (AFW)- Device Only mode, they can use NFC to configure. If a customer is not using AFW, then they will need to add another step in the staging process, by turning NFC on or off. This can be done through Zebra Mx.
  • 5 applications have been removed from the GMS package; Books, PlayGames, PlusOne, Newstand, GooglePinyinIME. These applications are available to download from PlayStore.
  • Enterprise persistence is supported such that a customer’s previous enterprise staging settings will persist through the software update.
  • The first upgrade from Android KK to L will take longer than previous software updates at about 8 minutes, due to boot-up time of 7 minutes. This is due to Android Lollipop pre-optimization, whereby the Applications/Settings will be initiated on boot-up.
  • The update to Android L also includes new features that deliver faster roaming and better Wi-Fi performance when used together with Zebra’s ENC WiNG 5.8 (and above) access points. This includes:
    • Coverage Hole Detection (CHD): Includes enhancements to the IEEE 802.11k standard. These improvements enable Zebra Android devices to report gaps in signal coverage to the Zebra wireless LAN infrastructure. Network administrators can detect and mitigate coverage gaps present in the network for greater reliability.
    • Aggregated Fast Transition (FT): Aggregated FT improves on IEEE 802.11r, Over-the-DS fast roaming. In conjunction with Zebra wireless LAN infrastructure, Zebra Android devices achieve more reliable and consistent fast roaming.
    • Scan assist: Enhanced roaming time and reliability. The TC70/75 devices can now monitor neighbor access points and retrieve roaming related information from the Zebra wireless LAN

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