Workspace ONE Assist Release Notes provides information on the new features and improvements in each release. This page includes a summary of the new features introduced, a list of our resolved issues, and known issues.

The VMware Workspace ONE team is excited to announce that VMware Workspace ONE® Assist 21.03.01 is publicly available.

New Features

Workspace ONE Assist 21.03.01

In this release, we’ve made a few updates containing general quality and performance improvements with no new features.

Workspace ONE Assist 21.03

  • Enhanced performance using VP8 encoding

    Workspace ONE Assist now supports VP8 encoding on macOS devices to enhance streaming quality and performance during a screen share session across all supported browsers. With the support for VP8 encoding, Memory and CPU usage on the remote device will also see a significant improvement. VP8 encoding is enabled by default and does not require any additional configurations.

  • Support for Scoped Storage on Android 11

    In Android 11, Google is enforcing scoped storage on all applications targeting API level 30. With the enforcement of scoped storage, an application is limited to only accessing its own file sandbox and specific types of media files that the app has created. To access other file locations on the device, the remote user must explicitly grant permissions to the application requesting it.

    Assist is working with partner OEMs to provide a new version of the Assist service application (v2.5) that will automatically grant all file access during a remote file manager session. The latest version of the Assist service application can be downloaded from the Resource Portal in My Workspace ONE.

    On OEMs where Assist does not have a service application (for example, Samsung, Sony, and Zebra Android 11 devices), to provide full file access, Workspace ONE Assist will prompt the remote user to “Allow access to manage all files” permission on Android 11. This permission needs to be granted to the Assist application one-time at the beginning of the first File manager session. On the Attended mode, this permission can be granted by the remote user of the device. On Unattended mode, this permission will need to be granted by the Console User through the Screen Share tool. Instructions to grant this permission will be displayed on the Assist console UI during a file manager session.

    Once this permission is granted, all files on the remote device can be accessed through the File manager. In the absence of this permission, the Console user has limited file access to the Media and Downloads folder only.

  • Support for Android 11 on Zebra devices

    Starting Android 11 and above, the Assist agent will leverage Zebra provided APIs to support remote control functionality within Assist. On Android 11 and above, the Assist service application will not be used. As a result, newly enrolled devices do not need the service application to be installed on them. On previously enrolled devices upgrading to Android 11, the Assist service application can be uninstalled if previously installed.

    All functionality that existed within Assist by leveraging the Assist service application will be now available through the Zebra remote management APIs.

  • Fixes to chat notification on Android

    In-session chat was introduced as part of the 20.11 release on Android, macOS, and Windows 10 platforms. On Android alone, the chat notifications were failing. This issue is now fixed in this release.

  • Support for X-frame-Options header value set to DENY

    In previous versions of Assist, if the X-frame-Options header value is set to ‘DENY’ rather than ‘SAME-ORIGIN’, the file manager functionality within Assist was impacted causing failure in file downloads. WS1 Assist now supports the X-Frame-Options header to be set to value ‘DENY’. The Workspace ONE Assist installer will still always set the X-frame-options header to ‘SAME-ORIGIN’ by default. However, if there are existing configurations setting it to value ‘DENY’, the Assist installer will not overwrite it.

Workspace ONE Assist 20.11

1. Introducing Unattended Mode on Windows 10 devices

You can now remotely connect to and control Win10 devices that are corporate owned with no personal data nor user expectation of privacy without approval from the remote user.

The following types of devices support Unattended Mode.

  • Windows 10 devices locked to Kiosk Mode.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).
  • Windows 10 devices connected to the Active Directory.

All other devices support only the Attended mode which mandates authorization from the remote user.

On Windows 10 platform, a single Assist application supports both Attended and Unattended modes. A new resource or permission called “Unattended Access” is available for making new roles by navigating to Accounts > Administrators > Roles and select the Assist category. This resource defines which UEM admin has the ability to select Unattended access to devices. This resource currently applies only to the Windows 10 platform.

On a Windows 10 device locked to Kiosk mode or a Windows 10 Enterprise Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) device, all Assist sessions default to Unattended mode. Once connected, you have full control of the Remote device in both the Admin and Kiosk profiles. However, the following capabilities are unsupported when the device is in a Kiosk profile.

  • Whiteboard.
  • Halo (on screen notification and controls).
  • Shortcuts (with the exception of Ctrl-Alt-Delete, which remains available in a Kiosk profile).

On Domain Joined and Azure AD connected devices, you can choose the privacy mode during the connection process.

  • If the Attended mode is chosen, the session proceeds to the PIN entry screen as usual.
  • If Unattended mode is chosen, Assist determines the state of the device.
    • If the Device is in use, the remote user is prompted to allow connection.
      • If remote user accepts the connection, device can be viewed and controlled within the local user account.
      • If remote user denies connection, session is terminated.
      • If remote user does not respond for more than 30 seconds, Assist locks the device screen. Admins can now login using their own credentials on the remote device and gain control.
    • If the Device is not in use, connection is established, and you are presented with the Login Screen. You can now login using your credentials and control the remote device.
  • Note: On-Screen notification and Screen controls (Halo) are displayed on Win 10 devices in Unattended mode.

2. Introducing Session Collaboration

When providing efficient troubleshooting and support to end users, sometimes it is necessary for help desk and IT admins to collaborate with other subject matter experts. For example, higher tiers of help desk and engineering resources. Workspace ONE Assist introduces Session Collaboration to facilitate multiple console users to collaborate with each other by enabling them to remotely view and control the same device.

Session Collaboration is available on Windows 10, macOS, and Android devices.

The primary console user who initiates an Assist session (Host) can invite other participants to join the session by sharing a Session Invitation by Chat or email. These additional participants (Guests) can remotely view the same device and draw over the device using the White Board tool provided within Assist.

A Guest can also request permission from the Host to control the remote device. Once permission is granted, the Guest can control the remote device and access other limited tools like White Board, Shortcuts, and the Virtual Keyboard.

Note: Certain capabilities like the ability to invite additional guests to a session, manage files, run commands remotely through Command line, or the Remote Shell tool, Screen Recording, Screenshots, and Ending a session is limited to a Host of the session.

3. Introducing in-session Chat

To facilitate better communication during an Assist session, Workspace ONE Assist introduces Chat for Windows 10, macOS, and Android devices. The Chat functionality can be used for communication between the console user initiating the session, all participants collaborating on the session, and the remote user on the device.

Chat can be accessed on the Assist console from the tool bar menu and can be used to send text messages to all participants in a session. You can also send private text messages to individual participants and the remote user.

Chat can be used during an Assist session regardless of the tool being used. For example, if only a Manage Files session is initiated with the remote device, Chat is still accessible.

On the remote device, Chat messages can be accessed from within the Chat tab in the Assist application. The Chat tab is available on both Attended and Unattended modes. The end user is notified about new messages only in Attended mode.

4. Introducing additional shortcuts on the Windows 10 platform to enhance the Console User experience.

Shortcuts provide one click access to commonly used settings & functions on the remote device and helps reduce the average handling time needed to troubleshoot device issues & provide support. The following additional shortcuts are available in this release.

  • Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
  • Lock screen.
  • Log out of device (with a confirmation prompt).

Furthermore, the shortcut menu can be pinned to the screen. This ensures that the shortcut menu does not need to be reopened each time a new shortcut is accessed.

5. Enhanced Reliability of Session Initiation

To improve the reliability of connections on Assist sessions, a direct notification channel exists between the Assist server and Assist agent on the remote device. The Android Assist agent receives a Firebase Cloud Message directly from the Assist server during the connection process, minimizing request timeouts and improving the overall experience.

On customer environments that have closed networks, additional endpoints must be accessible on the remote user’s device to receive Firebase Cloud Messages. Refer to docs.vmware.com for more details on the end points.

Resolved Issues

The resolved issues are grouped as follows.

Resolved Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 21.03.01
  • AET-5561: Workspace ONE Assist service connection failure when Workspace ONE UEM is upgraded to 2105 version.

Resolved Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 21.03
  • AET-4188: Security Improvements to prevent sensitive information about the application or its components from being inappropriately disclosed to the users.

  • AET-4189: Security Improvements to provide protections against Clickjacking.

  • Other Security Enhancements.

Resolved Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 20.11
  • AET-3246: Installer 20.07 is failing with ‘MgmtSvc not running’ error due to a conflict in the HTTP response header configuration for HSTS Header & X-FrameOptions at the root level on the server.

Known Issues

The known issues are grouped as follows.

Known Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 21.03.01

We haven’t identified any notable known issues in this release. If you’re facing any problems, feel free to reach out to our support team.

    Known Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 21.03

    We haven’t identified any notable known issues in this release. If you’re facing any problems, feel free to reach out to our support team.

      Known Issues for Workspace ONE Assist 20.11

      We haven’t identified any notable known issues in this release. If you’re facing any problems, feel free to reach out to our support team.

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