Hexnode Kiosk Mode for Android – Complete Guide

Contents

System Requirements Install and Enable Kiosk Software Set up Kiosk Mode Enroll Devices with Hexnode MDM
  • Bulk enrollment
  • Enroll a single device
  • Self-Enrollment
  • Pre-Enrollment
  • Fast-track Enrollment
  • Install Hexnode MDM App to Android Device Associate Kiosk Policy to Enrolled Devices
    Enable Kiosk Mode
    Advanced Bulk Deployment Options Additional Benefits Root the Device and Make Hexnode MDM a System App Make Hexnode MDM a System App before the Device is Turned On Basic Steps Involved Create a ROM by Modifying an Existing ROM Disabe and Uninstall Kiosk Major Kiosk Features Kiosk Browser WiFi Configuration Password protection Track Location App Distribution Device Lock and Wipe Reporting

    1. System Requirements

    In order to enable kiosk mode on your device, you should have

    • An Android device running Android 2.3 or above.
    • A working internet connection on the device running Hexnode MDM portal and on the Android devices.

    2. Install and Enable Kiosk Software

    2.1. Set up Kiosk Mode

    2.1.1. Enroll Devices with Hexnode MDM

    The first step is to enroll your devices with the Mobile Device Management software. All methods of enrollment are explained in this section.

    Bulk Enrollment

    Hexnode MDM allows you to enroll devices in bulk. To do this,

    1. Go to Enrollment tab and select Bulk Enrollment.
    2. Choose a domain and upload the CSV file containing the fields name, email and ownership. All other fields – mobile, devicename, SerialNumber and platform – are optional. The ownership field can have the values personal, corporate or selectuser. selectuser allows the user to select ownership details while enrolling.
    3. Click Next. Hexnode MDM will automatically identify all fields if set as told in the above step. If not, map the keys manually.
    4. Click Next and then Confirm, and the enrollment email will be sent to all the users.

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    Enroll a Single Device

    If you are on to enrolling a single device at a time, so be it. Here’s how you can do it:

    1. Go to Enrollment and select New Enrollment.
    2. Select the domain and a user from the list.
    3. If a user was not created previously, then
      1. Click on Select User > + Add New User.
      2. Provide a name and the email address. Optionally, you can provide a phone number.
      3. Save the user.
    4. Select the ownership details.
    5. Send the enrollment request.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Enrolling a device

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    Self-Enrollment

    Self-enrollment allows the user to directly enroll in Hexnode MDM if they already have Active Directory credentials. To configure Active Directory,

    1. Go to Admin and select AD Settings.
    2. Configure Active Directory settings and check Allow Self Enroll.
    3. Save the settings.

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    Pre-Enrollment

    Pre-enrollment let the administrator set up policies for devices even before the device is enrolled in Hexnode MDM. The configurations/restrictions are automatically applied once the device is enrolled. To set up pre-enrollment,

    1. Go to Enrollment tab and select Bulk Enrollment.
    2. Choose a domain and upload the CSV file containing the fields name, email and ownership, SerialNumber and platform. All other fields – mobile and devicename – are optional.
      1. The ownership field can take the values selectuser, corporate or personal. selectuser asks the user to select ownership details while enrolling.
      2. Platform can have the values android, ios or apple. You cannot pre-enroll Windows devices as of now.
    3. Click Next. Hexnode MDM will automatically identify all fields if set as told in the above step. If not, map the keys manually.
    4. Click Next and then Confirm, and the enrollment email will be sent to all the users.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Pre-enrollment

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    Fast-track Enrollment

    Fast-track enrollment let the user enroll their devices without asking for an email address of a password. The devices enrolled are assigned to a default user.
    You should create a default user before setting up fast-track enrollment. To create a user,

    1. Head on to Management > Users.
    2. Select Enroll > New User.
    3. Enter the display name and email address and save.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Create a user

    Fast-track enrollment is one of the easiest ways to enroll devices. To set up fast-track enrollment,

    1. Go to Admin tab.
    2. Select Enrollment Settings.
    3. Uncheck Enforce Authentication.
    4. Select a user from the list.
    5. Save the settings.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Fast-track enrollment

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    2.1.2. Install Hexnode MDM App to Android Device

    Hexnode MDM Android app can be downloaded from Google Play.
    When the installation is complete,

    1. Open the Hexnode MDM app and enter the server address into the field and tap Next. The server address will be <yourportalname>.hexnodemdm.com.
    2. The rest of the process differs with enrollment type.
      1. If you are enrolling without authentication (fast-track enrollment), you’ll be asked to activate device administration. Activate device administration.
      2. If you are self-enrolling devices, you’ll need to provide your Active Directory credentials. Now, tap Next and activate Device Administration.
      3. If you are enrolling devices using any other methods, provide the email address and the password obtained from the enrollment email that we’ve sent to you. Tap Next and activate Device Administration.
        Note: On SAFE-enabled devices, you should agree to the terms and conditions of Samsung’s privacy policy.
    3. When this is done and you tap on Enroll button, your device is all set to receive commands from the administrator.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 1 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 2 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 3 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 4 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 5 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 6 Android kiosk mode complete guide - Hexnode app 7

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    2.1.3. Associate Kiosk Policy to Enrolled Devices

    To turn your device into a kiosk, you need to push the kiosk policy. To do this,

    1. Go to Policies tab.
    2. Click on New Policy and provide a name.
    3. Proceed to Android Settings tab.
    4. Select Kiosk mode from the list.
    5. Click on Configure button and set up your kiosk options.
    6. Go to Policy Targets tab.
    7. Click on + Add Devices, select the devices and OK.
    8. Save the policy.

    The policy will be automatically associated with the device.
    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Kiosk policy

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    2.2. Enable Kiosk Mode

    In Android Marshmallow (6.0) and above, you’ll need to allow ‘Draw over apps’. To allow this,

    1. Go to Settings > App Settings > Configure Apps.
    2. Select Draw over apps.
    3. Select Hexnode MDM and turn on Permit drawing over other apps.

    Note: Skip this step in older Android versions.
    When the policy is applied, Hexnode MDM will be launched and you’ll be asked to

    1. ‘Enable usage access’ on some devices. If you don’t have an option to enable usage access, just ignore.
    2. Activate Kiosk. Tap on the button, select Hexnode Kiosk in the ‘complete action using’ popup and choose Always Select.

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    3. Advanced Bulk Deployment Options

    If you are on to shipping, like, thousands of devices to several other industries, they won’t be willing to download Hexnode app and enter the server address on every device they have. In such a case, you can make the Hexnode MDM app as a system app, MDM pre-configured and kiosk mode pre-activated.
    A system app will have access to and permission to edit root directories and files, so you’ll have additional benefits.
    You can either root the device and install the app to the system folder or make a custom ROM with Hexnode MDM app as the system app, both processes are explained below:

    3.1. Additional Benefits

    You will benefit from these additional features if you add Hexnode MDM as a system app.

    1. Silent app installation: Add Hexnode MDM to root or as a system app to enable silent app installation feature, even on non-SAFE devices.
    2. Non-removable MDM app: Add the app to /system/app/ folder (the process is explained below) and unroot the device to make Hexnode MDM app non-removable.

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    3.2. Root the Device and make Hexnode MDM as a System App

    This method still needs Hexnode MDM app to be installed on every device.

    1. Root the device in whatever way you want. However, one of the easiest methods is to use Kingo Root app for either Android or Windows.
      1. Kingo Root app for Windows – This method is the fastest and have the most success rate.
        1. Download Kingo Root app for Windows and install it.
        2. On your Android device, turn USB Debugging on from Settings > Developer options. If you don’t have Developer options, then go to Settings > Device info and tap Build Number 7 times, and Developer options will be displayed in Settings.
        3. Connect the device to your PC with a USB cable.
        4. On Kingo Root, click on Root.
      2. Kingo Root app for Android – If you don’t want to connect the device to PC or don’t want to bring up Developer options, then you can try this method.
        1. Download and install Kingo Root app on your Android.
        2. Open the app and tap Root.
    2. Download Hexnode MDM app from https://www.hexnode.com/mobile-device-management/download/HexnodeMDM.apk and install it.
    3. Copy the app to /system/app/ folder. Use a file explorer to do so. In the case of ES File Explorer,
      1. Open ES File Explorer.
      2. Grant root permission when asked.
      3. Go to Options > Root Explorer > Mount R/W and set everything as RW.
      4. Tap on the SD card icon and then on ‘/‘.
      5. Now, navigate to system > app and paste Hexnode MDM app there.
    4. Unroot the device (optional).

    Use SuperSU or SuperUser app to remove root access, or use Kingo Root to remove root. The process is same for both Windows and Android apps, all you need to do is select the Remove Root option.

    Note: Hexnode MDM app need not be in the /system/app/ folder unless you unroot the device.

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    3.3. Make Hexnode MDM a System App before the Device is Turned On

    This method makes Hexnode MDM a system app even before the device is turned on.

    3.3.1. Basic Steps Involved

    1. Create ROM Image.
      1. Add Hexnode MDM app’s APK file to ROM.
      2. Vendor signs Hexnode MDM app with their system certificate.
      3. Add the vendor-signed APK file to ROM image.
      4. Give root privilege to Hexnode MDM app.
      5. And below optional privileges/configurations for kiosk.
        1. Give the permission for Hexnode MDM app to Draw over other apps.
        2. Give permission on Launcher.
        3. Set Hexnode MDM as the default Launcher app.

    Create a ROM image with above configurations.

    1. Use this ROM image to flash all Android tablets.
    2. Turn on the device.
    3. You will have Hexnode MDM’s kiosk screen without any apps added.
    4. Connect to the internet. If required, use the PIN to exit the kiosk screen and connect to WiFi.
    5. Once you connect to the internet, the device will get registered as a new device in Hexnode MDM.

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    3.3.2. Create a ROM by Modifying an Existing ROM

    You can try this method to build a ROM from another ROM built for your devices. There are other methods available, and you can try any of them.
    Requirements:

    1. A computer running Windows or Linux-based Operating System.
    2. Cygwin (required only on Windows).
    3. Android Kitchen.
    4. Java for Linux (x86) (on both Windows and Linux).
    5. Android custom ROM.

    Here’s how to create ROM:

    1. Install Cygwin (for example, to C:\Cygwin). Skip this step if you are on a Linux-based OS.
    2. Copy the Java file (such as jre-8u111-linux-i586.tar.gz) to C:\Cygwin\usr\java (Windows) or \usr\java (Linux).
    3. Install Java.
      1. Open Cygwin (Windows) or Terminal (Linux) and navigate to usr\java.
      2. Type in tar zxvf jre-8u111-linux-i586.tar.gz where jre-8u111-linux-i586.tar.gz is the name of the package.
    4. Copy all files in the Android kitchen archive to C:\Cygwin\home\ (Windows) or \home\ (Linux).
    5. Copy the custom ROM zip file to kitchen\original_update.
    6. Switch back to Cygwin Bash Shell (Windows) or Terminal (Linux) and navigate to home\kitchen.
    7. Type in ./menu and Android Kitchen will start.
    8. Select option 1 to select a custom ROM and to set up a working folder.
    9. Hit Enter if nothing shows up.
    10. Select the custom ROM from the list. Change the name of the working folder if you wish to.
    11. It will take some time to extract content from the custom ROM archive. Sit back and relax.
    12. It is recommended to select the Amend format next and continue with the default options.
    13. In Windows Explorer, go to kitchen\system\app and paste Hexnode app there. Remove any unnecessary app.
    14. In Cygwin Bash Shell (Windows) or Terminal (Linux), press 99 and hit Enter to create the new custom ROM. It’ll take time to complete the signing process.
    15. You’ll have the custom ROM ready at the kitchen\OUTPUT_ZIP folder as a zip archive.

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    4. Disable and Uninstall Kiosk

    To disable Kiosk, you can either

    1. Tap the screen 10 times within 5 seconds and enter the kiosk password you’ve set,
    2. Disenroll the device from Management tab,
      1. Select a device.
      2. Click on Manage.
      3. Select Disenroll Device.
    3. Delete the policy, or
      1. Go to Policies tab.
      2. Select the policies, select Manage > Delete.
    4. Remove the device from policy target.
      1. Go to Policies and click on a policy name.
      2. Continue onto Policy Target.
      3. Click on the Remove option near the device name.

    To uninstall Hexnode app from the device,

    1. On your Android device, go to Settings > Security > Device Administrators.
    2. Tap Hexnode MDM.
    3. Select Deactivate.
    4. Now, you can uninstall the app as normal.

    Note: If Hexnode MDM is set up as a system app, then it cannot be removed even if Device Administration is turned off. In order to remove system apps, you should have root privilege.

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    5. Major Kiosk Features

    Hexnode Kiosk features are endless. Here’s a list of selected features that most of the industries are looking for. For a full list of features, see Hexnode Android Kiosk web page.

    5.1. Kiosk Browser

    Want to restrict access to URLs? Then Hexnode Kiosk Browser will be a better solution.
    To enable Kiosk browser in kiosk mode,

    1. In your Hexnode MDM portal, go to Policies tab, create a new kiosk policy (as explained before) or click on the existing kiosk policy and proceed to Android Settings > Kiosk mode > Configure.
    2. Check the Enable Hexnode Secure Browser option.
    3. Assign policy targets and save the policy.

    Android kiosk mode complete guide - enable kiosk browser
    Hexnode Kiosk Browser app will be installed on the devices in minutes in SAFE and GATE-enabled devices. In other devices, install Hexnode MDM Browser from Apps section in Hexnode MDM Android application.

    5.2. WiFi Configuration

    This configuration will allow the users to enable/disable WiFi network on the kiosk device, and to switch between WiFi networks as they wish.
    To enable/disable these features,

    1. Go to Policies tab, create a new kiosk policy (as explained before) or click on the existing kiosk policy and proceed to Android Settings > Kiosk mode > Configure.
    2. Check the option Allow WiFi toggle to allow users to switch between WiFi networks and Allow Connect to WiFi Networks to allow users to turn WiFi on or off.
    3. Assign policy targets and save the policy.

    5.3. Password Protection

    You can enable password protection on kiosks. If you enable this feature, the kiosk user will be asked to enter a kiosk password (previously set) if they try to exit kiosk manually. You cannot exit kiosk from the device if you disable this feature.
    To enable this feature,

    1. Go to Policies tab, create a new kiosk policy (as explained before) or click on the existing kiosk policy and proceed to Android Settings > Kiosk mode > Configure.
    2. Enter a 6-12 character kiosk passcode in the space provided.
    3. Assign policy targets and save the policy.

    5.4. Track Location

    Tracking a device’s location is fast with Hexnode Kiosk as you don’t need any preparations or setup needed for this feature. All you require is to turn on location services on your device.
    All recorded locations can be seen in Management > click on the device name > Location History. The same screen can be used to export these details into your system. For this, just click on the Export Location History button.

    5.5. App Distribution

    If your device is in kiosk mode, Enterprise apps are automatically downloaded and installed once you push them to the device. Apps from Google Play store needs further attention. Such apps are needed to be downloaded manually from the Apps section in Hexnode MDM Android app.

    5.6. Device Lock and Wipe

    Lock or wipe the device for security, if stolen or lost. To lock or wipe device remotely,

    1. Go to Management.
    2. Check all devices which are to be wiped or locked.
    3. Under Manage, select Lock Device or Wipe Device according to your need.

    5.8. Reporting

    Hexnode MDM stores the device, user and application data and can be accessed from Reports tab. Choose any report, click on Export and select the file format for it to be saved to your computer.
    Android kiosk mode complete guide - Reporting

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