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Important changes for customers using the IBM Connections Chat app for Android

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On May 29, 2019, Google will disable the Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) server and client APIs. Android apps on GCM will need to be migrated to the Google Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) server to ensure that mobile service notifications continue to operate after May 29, 2019. Additionally, the audio and video (A/V) functionality in the current IBM Connections Chat V9.7.6 app for Android requires an update to at least Google Play’s API level 26.

IBM is currently working on an update to the IBM Connections Chat app for Android to meet Google’s criteria. The updated IBM Connections Chat V9.7.7 app is expected to be available starting May 20, 2019, before Google disables GCM on May 29, 2019.

Please note:

  • With the update to the IBM Connections Chat app on Android, A/V features will be disabled. A/V features will return in a future release of the mobile Android client which is intended for delivery in 2H19
  • This matter only impacts Android and not iOS clients

Administrators: You will need to determine which one of the following options makes most sense to your business.

1) If notifications of new chat messages are most integral to your operations, you will need to install an IBM Sametime 9 Proxy Server hotfix and users will need to update to the IBM Connections Chat V9.7.7 Android client which supports FCM before May 29, 2019.

2)
If A/V is most integral to your operations, your users can choose not to update the Android chat app. A/V capabilities will remain but with the following implications:

  • Not updating will result in the loss of notifications of new chat messages once GCM is disabled on May 29, 2019
  • Not updating will require you to inform your A/V users that they must turn off Auto-update apps in the Google Play Store app settings to prevent the automatic update
  • Note that an immediate Proxy Server update is not required for this option but, it is still highly recommended as it will be required for any of your users who do update to the IBM Connections Chat V9.7.7 Android client as well as future releases of the Android client

Please see the following technote for access to the IBM Sametime Proxy Server hotfix and for additional important details to help you to prepare for the upcoming update.

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