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We have 150 new XOOM Wifi tablets (MZ604) that we are distributing to high school students in 2 weeks. The tablets have stock ICS 4.0.4 on them, unrooted.

The requirement is the tablets run Adobe Flash Player 11 in order to interact with math and science curriculum that coincides with our textbooks. Adobe Flash Player does not work with Jelly Bean, therefore we need to prevent the devices from going past the 4.0.4 update. The students can take the devices off-campus and use them with their home wifi connections, so doing anything to block the devices at the school network is not going to work.

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2 Answers 2

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There's an app for this. You can use it to install Flash Player on a Jelly Bean device.

You can also try installing Flash Player and then upgrading the device to Jelly Bean.

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This gets me where I wanted to go in that I could download and save the APK for Flash Player that I could sideload (Adobe_Flash_Player_11.1.115.12.apk). This requires "unknown sources", which is less optimal than having the installer in Google Play, but better than trying to keep 130 kids from updating their devices. From a survey of the curriculum, it seems to be working under 4.1.1. Thanks for the pointer. –  Eric Cloninger Aug 4 '12 at 3:55
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Why not use adb shell and look for the process id of that update manager software and uninstall it or even disable it?

Do you know the name of the package responsible for the update?

Two ways I can think of

  • pm uninstall com.motorola.xxxxx OR
  • pm disable com.motorola.xxxxx

Trouble is, if the student in question is extremely inquisitive and leans towards Android hacking... well, this will be the weakest thing you can do, since the tablet would be outside of your control and all hell breaks loose if some student happened to allow the upgrade to proceed!

Another way that has its advantage/dis-advantage:

pro: Reliable!

con: temporary root under ICS, un-heard of!

Why not use a temporary rooting procedure (its temporary and will disappear on reboot - z4root is one I know of that will allow it but 100% uncertain if it will work with ICS), the idea is - to obtain root temporarily, and nuke the updater from the /system/app directory and cleanly dispose of trailing data and what-nots associated with the updater apk.

Then that should put your mind at ease.

Trouble is, really, you're dealing with such inquisitive minds and they will invariably find a way around the lock-downs, unfortunately... :D

It sounds like a lose-lose case here which is outside of your control since those tablets are coming in and going out of school into the student's home that has wifi etc.

One thing though as a recommendation, by-pass whatever powers-that-be that has approved the budget for the tablets and go direct to Motorola and ask them is there a solution and explain the situation to them to see if they can knock up something to prevent it from happening? Surely on their end, they can blacklist certain known serial numbers or something...

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I'm comfortable doing the whole root routine given that I work for Motorola and I write apps, but I really don't want to do this 150 times. The kids might get to this point, but the most likely candidate sleeps down the hall from me. I can keep him in line. ;-) Thanks for the ideas. I'll give them a try. –  Eric Cloninger Aug 4 '12 at 1:57
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