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Android kiosk mode

single-app advanced-kiosk

Android kiosk mode is one of the most common features that administrators can use to dedicate Android devices for serving a specific use or limit the usage of those devices to a set of apps or features.

In this article you will see the main kiosk modes that Applivery provides and a deep description of all their features and configuration options.

Available Android lockdown modes #

Note
This feature is only available in Fully Managed devices. Read more about Android Management options here.

Applivery provides 3 main kiosk modes for Android devices:

Kiosk mode Number of Apps Description
Single App Just one App Lock device to a single App. Applivery's Single App Kiosk mode is typically used when administrators want to lockdown devices to a single App, preventing users from escaping from such an application.
Basic Launcher (Multi-app) Multiple Apps Lock device to multiple Apps using Android's native Launcher
Advanced Launcher (Multi-App) Multiple Apps Lock device to multiple Apps using Applivery's Advanced launcher that provides additional features on top of Android's default features.

Single App kiosk mode in Android devices #

How to set up Single App kiosk mode in Android devices #

single-app
Single-App Kiosk lockdown is set at Policy level in Applivery.
  1. Go to one of your policies or create a new one from Device Management > Policies (1).
  2. In the left-side menu click on Kiosk (2).
  3.  Choose Single App (3) option.
  4. Choose an App (4) from the dropdown menu. If you still don’t have any Apps added to your policy, add at least one from the “Apps” section.
  5. Configure options (5) and device behaviour during lockdown:
    • Device Settings: whether the Settings app is allowed on kiosk mode.
    • Power button actions: sets the behavior of a device in kiosk mode when a user presses and holds (long-presses) the Power button.
    • Status bar: Specifies whether system info and notifications are disabled in kiosk mode.
    • System error warnings: Specifies whether system error dialogs for crashed or unresponsive apps are blocked in kiosk mode. When blocked, the system will force-stop the app as if the user chooses the “close app” option on the UI.
    • System navigation: Specifies which navigation features are enabled (e.g. Home, Overview buttons) in kiosk mode.
    • Network scape hatch: Whether the network escape hatch is enabled. If a network connection can’t be made at boot time, the escape hatch prompts the user to temporarily connect to a network in order to refresh the device policy.

How to prepare Android applications to be lockdown in Single App kiosk mode #

To lock down your custom app in single-app kiosk mode, there are a few steps required at the code level.

Inside the Manifest.xml, put the following intent-filter in the activity meant to be shown in kiosk mode.

<intent-filter>
    <action android:name="android.intent.action.VIEW" />
    <action android:name="android.intent.action.MAIN" />

    <category android:name="android.intent.category.HOME" />
    <category android:name="android.intent.category.DEFAULT" />
</intent-filter>

Multi-app kiosk modes in Android devices #

There are two options to lockdown devices in multi-app kiosk mode: Basic Launcher and Advanced Launcher.

While the Basic Launcher mode is based in Android’s native Device Policy Controller (DPC) and provides basic features, the Advanced Launcher has been built to extend Android DPC’s capabilities, providing more powerful features on top. Let’s take a look into them.

Note

Note that Advanced Launcher is only available in some billing plans. Take a look to the different pricing options here

How to set up Basic Launcher (Multi-App) kiosk mode #

Basic Launcher allows administrators to choose a list of android Apps and display them in a locked UI. In this mode, the administrator can block which applications will be available and will also be able to configure the permissions for browsing the operating system or access to the notification bar.

add-app
Like all other kiosk-type configurations, Basic Launcher lockdown is set at Policy level in Applivery.First of all you will have to choose the list of apps that will be allowed to the user. Inside a policy, go to Apps (6) and use the + Add App (7) button to add new applications to the list.Note that:
  • Only the Force Installed apps will be displayed in the interface.
  • All system apps will be hidden by default so you have to add the ones you want to display, one by one.
basic-launcher
Once done, use the left-side menu to and click Kiosk (8):
  1.  Choose Launcher (9) option.
  2. Configure options (10) and device behaviour during lockdown:
    • Device Settings: whether the Settings app is allowed on kiosk mode.
    • Power button actions: sets the behavior of a device in kiosk mode when a user presses and holds (long-presses) the Power button.
    • Status bar: Specifies whether system info and notifications are disabled in kiosk mode.
    • System error warnings: Specifies whether system error dialogs for crashed or unresponsive apps are blocked in kiosk mode. When blocked, the system will force-stop the app as if the user chooses the close app option on the UI.
    • System navigation: Specifies which navigation features are enabled (e.g. Home, Overview buttons) in kiosk mode.
    • Network scape hatch: Whether the network escape hatch is enabled. If a network connection can’t be made at boot time, the escape hatch prompts the user to temporarily connect to a network in order to refresh the device policy.

How to set up Advanced Launcher (Multi-App) kiosk mode #

Advanced Launcher comes with powerful additional features:
  • Password protected Settings App: protect the access to the settings App with a password so that only the users who know the password will be able to use the in-device Settings app to perform administrative actions.
  • Wallpaper customization: customize the background image with your own wallpapers.
  • Advanced App listing options: choose which apps will be displayed, independently from the installation type so that you can Force Install certain apps that will always run in background.
advanced-launcher
To enable the Advanced Launcher, just switch on the Enable Advanced launcher (11) option. Then configure the following options:
  1. Escape Hatch Password: configure a bypass password that will be required to the system settings.
  2. Wallpaper: type or paste the URL of any Android wallpaper image.
  3. Listed Apps: use the switch buttons to enable/disable which apps will be displayed to the user.
Updated on June 3, 2024
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