Changes to Background Process Execution in VMware Workspace ONE Boxer for Android

Overview

Google Play Store requires that all app updates target at least Android 8.0 (API level 26) starting November 1, 2018. VMware Workspace ONE Boxer 5.2 for Android will target Android 8.0 and as a result introduces significant changes that impact how Workspace ONE Boxer executes in the background.

 

Background Execution Limits

Android 8.0 places limitations on what apps can do while users are not directly interacting with them. This results in background sync operations being prematurely stopped by the OS. In order to continue to receive real time notifications, we recommend the following:

  1. Deploy Email Notification Service 2
  2. Disable battery optimization for Workspace ONE Boxer 

In order to execute operations when the app is backgrounded, Workspace ONE Boxer will post a notification in the system bar. This is required for the OS to not kill the app in the background. Furthermore, disabling battery optimization is necessary to allow Workspace ONE Boxer to perform network operations once it has been set to run in the background.

 

Battery Optimization

Battery optimization is a setting on Android devices that is turned on by default. Users will be prompted to disable battery optimization when they first launch Workspace ONE Boxer 5.2 for Android. The following are generic steps to manually disable battery optimization:
Note: Steps may vary based on OEM.

  1. Open the Android Setting app or navigate to it from Workspace ONE Boxer’s battery optimization prompt
  2. Tap Apps & notifications section
  3. Expand Advanced section at the bottom
  4. Tap Special app access
  5. Tap Battery optimization
  6. On the Not optimized drop down, select All apps
  7. Scroll to and tap on Boxer and tap on Don’t optimize
  8. Tap on Done

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Note: The option to toggle this setting is also available in the Workspace ONE Boxer app settings under the menu item Other

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Notification channels

Starting in Android 8.0, all notifications must be assigned to a notification channel or it will not appear. Workspace ONE Boxer can no longer provide the ability to change ringtone and vibrate settings from within the app. The UI has now been modified to route the user to the appropriate notification channel settings page on the device. This change is only applicable to devices that are running Android 8.0+. Devices with older OS versions will continue to support existing behavior.

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App Standby Buckets

Android 9.0 introduces a new battery management feature, App Standby Buckets. When battery optimization functionality is enabled for the device, App Standby Buckets help the system prioritize apps' requests for resources based on how recently and how frequently the apps are used. Based on the app usage patterns, each app is placed in one of five priority buckets. The system limits the device resources available to each app based on which bucket the app is in.

The buckets are:

  • Active: An app is in the active bucket if the user is currently using the app.
  • Working set: An app is in the working set bucket if it runs often but it is not currently active.
  • Frequent: An app is in the frequent bucket if it is used regularly, but not necessarily every day.
  • Rare: An app is in the rare bucket if it is not often used.
  • Never: Apps that have been installed but never run are assigned to the never bucket.

 

Customer Impact

The following section lists the impact of each bucket on Workspace ONE Boxer functionality:

Settings

User restrict background activity

  • Calendar reminders will not be synced
  • Network operations will not run in the background
  • Messages discarded in Android P+ starting in Jan 2019.

Doze mode active

  • Calendar sync is deferred up to 9 minutes
  • Network operations are deferred to a time window
  • There are no ENS notification changes

 

App Standby Buckets

Active

  • Calendar reminders, network operations, and ENS notifications will not be restricted

Working set

  • Calendar reminders may be deferred up to 6 minutes
  • Network operations and ENS notifications will not be restricted

Frequent

  • Calendar reminders may be deferred up to 30 minutes
  • Network operations will not be restricted
  • ENS notifications will be restricted to 10 per day

Rare

  • Calendar reminders may be deferred up to 2 hours
  • Network operations may be deferred up to 24 hours
  • ENS notifications will be limited to 5 per day

Never

  • Calendar reminders, network operations, and ENS notifications will not be processed in the background.

 

Additional information regarding the API, background execution, and battery optimization settings in Android can be found in the following articles:

 

Support Contact Information

To receive support, either submit a ticket via the My Workspace ONE portal or call your local support line.

 

Best Regards,

The VMware Workspace ONE Team

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