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This article provides details about the Google Cloud Messaging Service being removed by Google as of 29th May 2019 and the consequences on Android device being managed by Sophos Mobile.
Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s) Sophos MobileCentral Mobile
Operating systems Android
Google removed the Google Cloud Messaging service on 29th May 2019 and has stopped working since 9th August 2019. Until Sophos Mobile 8.5 this service was used by the Sophos Mobile server to communicate with Android devices.
Sophos Mobile 8.6 and higher use the GCM replacement known as Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM). Google introduced FCM as a more efficient and enhanced alternative to GCM for optimum performance.
In addition, Sophos discontinued the support for Android device running Android 4.4 or lower as of Sophos Mobile 9.0. Device running such an unsupported Android version will not receive updates for the Sophos Mobile Control app and therefore remain on version 8.5.
As a consequence of these two actions, devices running Android 4.4 or lower can no longer be triggered to receive policy updates or app innsatllations.
First, make sure to update your Sophos Mobile server to version 8.6 or 9.0.
On the mobile devices, make sure that the latest Sophos Mobile Control version supported by the device operating system is installed. The update can be retrieved from the Google PlayStore.
Alternatively, the latest Sophos Mobile Control app installation package can be retrieved via the Sophos download section.
In case there are still device running an unsupported Android device the alternative push notification "Baidu push service" from the Chinese vendor "Baidu" can be used.
To enable Baidu follow these steps:
After enabling Baidu push service, it requires one synchronization cycle of the Sophos Mobile Control app which by default occurs every 24 hours. Alternatively, the user can open the Sophos Mobile Control app and this way initiate a synchronization.
What will happen if I don't upgrade?
After May 29, 2019, Sophos Mobile may be unable to communicate with the managed Android devices, e.g. refresh policies or trigger a wipe command. You should upgrade to Sophos Mobile 8.6 or 9.0 as soon as possible.
If you did not update the Sophos Mobile server and Sophos Mobile Control app before the cutoff, you can do this later without issues. After both client and server have been updated the user must synchronize the Sophos Mobile Control app once to reestablish the communication between the Sophos Mobile client and server.
I'm using Sophos Mobile from within Sophos Central so I don't have to install my own server. Am I affected?
Yes, if you are running devices with an Sophos Mobile Control app below 8.6 e.g. Android 4.4 or below devices
I'm using Sophos Mobile hosted by Sophos (SMaaS) so I don't have to install my own server. Am I affected? Yes, if you are running devices with an Sophos Mobile Control app below 8.6 e.g. Android 4.4 or below devices.
How do I check which devices might have an old Sophos Mobile Control app installed?
To check which of your devices do not use the latest Sophos Mobile Control app version, perform the following steps.
Related information / See also
GCM and FCM Frequently Asked Questions (Google website)
Sophos Mobile 9.0 - What's New
Sophos Mobile - How to update to Sophos Mobile 9.0
Sophos Mobile 8.6 - What's New
Sophos Mobile: How to update to Sophos Mobile 8.6
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