What is Kiosk mode?

Alma Evans

Jan 7, 2019

5 min read

Kiosks are one of the greatest innovations that have dramatically changed the way we live. They are a normal part of our everyday life that makes life easier and quicker for people in a variety of scenarios. When used in business environments, they can provide a purpose-specific mode for doing a particular task without any interventions. This can improve the efficiency of your business.

Kiosks have many forms and functions. They have a wide variety of applications. It’s their flexibility as well as the convenience that make kiosks such a potentially beneficial tool for most businesses.

Common types of kiosks

  1. Self-service kiosks
    Widely used for providing services such as paying bills, filling out application forms and so on. Some of the most common applications include deposits and withdrawal machines at banks, self-ordering at restaurants, appointment check-in and pay for the prescription in hospitals, airport-parking kiosk.
  2. Information kiosks
    Utilized purely for information. Usually used in areas like malls or theme parks with high population density to provide details regarding the area. Patient kiosk in hospitals which holds information about general health is another example.
  3. Internet kiosks
    Provides internet access to the public. Typically placed at airports, hotel lobbies, medical waiting rooms for getting fast access to web pages.
  4. Advertisement kiosks
    Kiosks provide a greater opportunity for advertising purposes. They can be Digital Signage systems, or they can be interactive which means they can feature the benefit of being touch/interactive standing displays allowing users to engage with them. This provides an effective platform to reach consumers in places such as shopping malls, airports, cafes etc.

In more and more scenarios, kiosk machines are making a big difference in our fast-paced life.

Kiosks and Businesses

Every company has a specific set of use cases that they expect their employees to do from a device. But having too many features available on the device can distract the employees and affect their productivity. Accessing any unsecured websites or apps can even put corporate data and devices into trouble. For such businesses, kiosk mode, a mode with added security and fewer distractions come into handy. Kiosk mode features enable organizations to ensure that devices are used only for work purposes during work hours. Organizations can set up devices to perform a specific use case. This allows them to get the most out of a device while having the employees confined to only specific features the device can perform.

Benefits of kiosks to organizations:

  • Increases employee productivity by helping them to focus on specific tasks.
  • Increases the security of devices and data.
  • Prevent distractions.
  • Reduces time and cost of support as employees cannot use corporate devices for personal needs.
  • Can be customized to specific enterprise needs.

Kiosks and MDM

With MDM, turning a device into a kiosk is simple. MDM features allow IT administrators to control these devices remotely and lock down the device to a particular usage or a set of work-related apps. Any Android, iOS or Windows devices can be configured to work in a restricted, purpose-specific mode. Now, Apple TVs can also be locked to a single app with the tvOS kiosk policy.

Android kiosk mode features

Android kiosk mode
  • Kiosk policies for single app and multi-app lockdown.
  • Can disable hardware and software buttons to prevent users from using these keys to break out of kiosk mode.
  • Peripheral controls – Volume and brightness controls along with network and app-based restrictions.
  • Web kiosk settings – allow users to access only a set of websites which are whitelisted by the organization. There is a lot of Advanced options for WebView to build a perfect website kiosk.
  • Android kiosk browser – Hexnode browser can tie over the limitations of WebView such as no address bar, inability to upload files etc. The browser opens only the whitelisted URLs and multi-tabbed browsing is possible.
  • Hiding app icons – App icons can be hidden from the kiosk launcher. This can prevent users from tampering with apps by running them in the background.

iOS kiosk mode features

Android kiosk mode
  • Single app and multi-app kiosk modes.
  • Restrict the devices to specific websites thus preventing unnecessary browsing.
  • Can set up an app in autonomous single app mode which will enter the kiosk/single app mode once logged in to and will exit the single app mode once the user finishes working with that app.
  • iOS WebView, a browser that allows users to open whitelisted web apps and websites.

Windows single app kiosk

kiosk mode
  • Single app kiosk mode allows admin to run a UWP app in full screen inside a restricted local user account.

Apple TV single app kiosk mode

Apple TV
  • Enterprise apps can be added to kiosk mode on supervised tvOS devices.

With MDM features, managing devices in kiosk mode is an easy task. MDM has a set of additional restrictions and settings specific for the kiosk mode. Moreover, kiosk mode provides enhanced security and manageability for corporate data and resources as the users won’t be able to access anything beyond the assigned apps and features.

Alma Evans

Product Evangelist @ Hexnode. Already lost up in the whole crazy world of tech... Looking to codify my thoughts for now...

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