About Zebra LifeGuard for Android



Zebra LifeGuard for Android is a system that delivers OS updates and security patches to Zebra devices running Android. Updates can encompass fixes from Zebra and from Google, which publishes a monthly list of fixes to OS vulnerabilities that it tracks as the Security Patch Level (SPL). The SPL on Zebra devices can be found in the Settings panel under System Update. Updates are cumulative; each includes vulnerability fixes from all previous updates. Learn more in the LifeGuard FAQ.

Scheduled Maintenance

Zebra's over-the-air service requires periodic maintenance. See the schedule of planned service outages.

LifeGuard OTA Update: October, 2021

  • Automatic Update option can apply device OS updates and patches to device whenever they become available
  • Auto-update feature can be administered through StageNow or a company's own EMM
  • EMM-managed auto update system allows administrative control of:
    • Network type for download (cellular vs. Wi-Fi)
    • Installation only when plugged in
    • Installation only when battery has specified level of charge
    • Custom upgrade postponement message
  • Update packages use streaming to minimize available device storage space requirement
  • Updates are delta packages, containing only the updates required to take the device from its present OS to desired OS

Update History

New with Android 11

Devices running Android 11 provide a more seamless upgrade experience:

  • Installations now occur completely in the background, without interrupting user activities. The only stoppage is to reboot the device and activate the update; this takes no longer than an ordinary reboot.
  • Automatic rollback protects the device from upgrade failure; If an applied update fails to boot, the device reverts to the prior OS image and remains usable.
  • Streaming updates install while the OS image is being downloaded, saving time and requiring less available device storage space.
  • Smaller update packages further reduce upgrade times while delivering the all required fixes and patches, helping to minimize network bandwidth usage.

LifeGuard OTA Update: Summer, 2021

Smaller Update Files

LifeGuard OTA Zebra now employs smaller OS update package for devices running Android 11 than previously available. Zebra's minimal update packages help to minimize update times and optimize network bandwidth for EMMs performing over-the-air delivery.

AB Streaming

  • Updates are now streamed to some devices, eliminating the need to fully download the image prior to installation. Device support for streaming:
    • Android 11: All devices, app packages
    • Android 10: For full OTA packages (baseline only)
    • Android 8.x (Oreo): Supported only on PS20J devices with BSP 1.30.04 Patch 19 (or later)

NOTE: Devices running Android 9.x do not support OS-update streaming.

OS Update Scheduling

  • Supports scheduling of downloads and installations to minimize disruption during work hours
  • The device user can postpone an OS update until a later time
  • "Install Now" feature sends update to device instantaneously, overriding scheduling parameters or user-delay requests

Additional Enhancements

  • A new Sort() method returns a list of applicable artifacts after getting Device Model and Build ID
  • View updates feature gives administrators an "at-a-glance" view of update status
  • Auto-update deploys recently released artifacts to all devices by serial number with configurable download and/or installation time
  • Performance improvements for download and install processes