Device Update


PAGE UPDATED: Apr. 15, 2024


The mechanism for delivering OS updates to Zebra devices is called LifeGuard Over the Air (sometimes referred to as LifeGuard OTA or LG OTA). Built on Google Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), 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

Scheduled Maintenance

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

Device Requirements

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, all packages
    • Android 10: 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 must be enabled on device(s)
  • Internet connectivity must be active (for downloads to device)
  • The following network ports must be open for LifeGuard and FCM operations:
    • 443
    • 5228
    • 5229
    • 5230
      Select one of these IP options (to apply to FCM ports listed above):
    • No internet protocol (IP) restrictions (recommended)
    • All IP addresses for default domains
  • The following LifeGuard servers are accessed over port 443 for device enrollment and downloads:

More Information

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 8.x (Oreo) or later Android 13 NEW! SDM660 View Guide
Android 8 (or later) Android 13 NEW! TC21 GMS and other SDM660-platform devices View PDF
Android 8 (or later) Android 13 NEW! TC53 GMS View PDF
Android 8 (or later) Android 13 NEW! TC73 GMS View PDF
Android 8 (or later) Android 13 NEW! 6490-platform devices View PDF
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 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.

Automatic Updates

The LifeGuard system gives administrators the option of applying device updates automatically whenever 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 enables additional controls for setting update schedules and other rules.

Feature Comparison

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+