The mechanism for delivering OS updates to Zebra devices is called LifeGuard Over the Air (sometimes referred to as LifeGuard OTA or LG OTA). The solution includes a set of REST APIs that can be used by EMM solution providers to interface with Zebra servers and automate updates of managed devices. Organizations using an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) system integrated with LifeGuard OTA can view, select and apply updates from within compatible EMM systems. In addition, StageNow 5.0 and later integrates with the LifeGuard update database, allowing administrators to easily identify the OS and LifeGuard image(s) required for upgrade operation(s) in StageNow Profiles. See StageNow section for more information.
EMM solution providers interested in integrating with Zebra LifeGuard APIs can learn more at the Zebra Developer Portal (login required).
LifeGuard OTA Updates
Zebra's over-the-air service requires periodic maintenance. See the schedule of planned service outages.
The following is required for a device to receive updates using LifeGuard OTA through an EMM:
- Devices must be fully managed
- Automatic Update feature is supported on:
- 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)
- Android 7.x (Nougat): With Patch 19 (or later)
- FOTA client enabled on device(s)
- Internet connectivity (for downloads to device)
- The following open network ports with no IP restrictions:
OTA Update Instructions
The instructions linked below describe the manual process for upgrading SDM660- and 6490-platform devices from Android 8.x Oreo (or later) to the Android version indicated. The instructions also can be used as a basis for developing an EMM-driven update process.
Before attempting to upgrade, find out which Android version is current for the intended target device(s).
|From OS||To OS||Platform or Device(s)||Instructions
(R-click to download)
|Android 11 (factory)||Android 11 (latest)||6490||View PDF|
|Android 8 (or later)||Android 11 (latest)||6490||View PDF|
|Android 8.x (Oreo) or later||Android 13
|Android 8.x (Oreo) or later||Android 11||SDM660||View PDF|
|Android 8.x (Oreo) or later||Android 10||SDM660||View PDF|
|Android 8.x (Oreo) or later||Android 9.x (Pie)||SDM660||View PDF|
|Android 8.x (Oreo) or later||Android 8.x (Updates only; not for OS upgrade)||SDM660||View PDF|
Upgrade instructions for 8956-platform devices can be found within their respective release notes.
The LifeGuard system gives administrators the option of applying device updates automatically whenever an one is available from Zebra. There are two options for enabling auto-updates, and a device can be enrolled in one or the other:
Zebra-managed Auto Updates
Zebra-managed updates can be enabled simply by flipping a switch in the Android Settings panel on the device (if not disabled by the administrator) or by doing so using OEMConfig. Enabling this option disables any prior enrollment in enterprise-managed automatic updates.
Enterprise-managed Auto Updates
For companies with an EMM system integrated with Zebra LifeGuard OTA, this option is enabled by enrolling the device using Zebra Enrollment Manager and setting an auto-update deployment policy for the device(s). This option affords additional controls for setting update schedules and other rules.
|Zebra-managed Automatic Updates||Enterprise-managed Automatic Updates|
|Full Automation||Flexible Automation|
|Fixed rules||Admin sets rules for update network and device power|
|Download over LAN, WLAN, or WWAN (whatever is available)||Select which networks to use for updates|
|No local media server support||Supports local media server|
|Start updates at a selected time of day; user can postpone||Scheduled updates|
|Sends updates 1-3 days after release||Allows testing of updates before sending|
|No device-user messaging||Allows custom messages to device user|
|No EMM required||EMM required|
|Enroll on device or through StageNow||Enroll through EMM only|
|Cancel updates on device or via StageNow||Cancel updates via EMM server|
|Supports Android 11+||Supports Android 7+|