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How to enable Multi App Kiosk mode in Android devices

Multi-app kiosk mode locks down the device to a handful of applications pertinent to the corporate-work requirements. Configuring kiosk mode limits the device usage to the specified applications by running only those apps the user needs to access. Kiosk mode lets you exert complete control over the device-usage by ensuring that they are utilized for the intended purpose.

Create a Multi App Kiosk Policy for Android Devices

Multi-app kiosk policy for Android devices can be configured using two different methods: Basic View and Advanced View.

Basic View

The basic view provides a simple approach for creating a multi-app kiosk policy from the Hexnode MDM console. You can add the required apps and file shortcuts to be set in the multi-app kiosk mode. You can also customize the icon size for the applications and files to be displayed on the device’s home screen. To activate multi-app kiosk mode on the device using Basic View,

  1. Login to your Hexnode portal.
  2. Navigate to Policies.
  3. Select an existing policy or create a new one by clicking New Policy.
  4. Go to Kiosk Lockdown > Android Kiosk Lockdown > Multi App. Click Configure.
  5. Click on the + icon. Select either of the options:
    • Add apps: To add the apps you wish to set in multi-app kiosk mode.
    • Add file shortcuts: Add PDFs and video files as file shortcuts to access them from devices in multi-app kiosk mode. To add file shortcuts to the Kiosk lockdown policy, first, add them in Apps > File Shortcuts.

    The app/file shortcut added to the policy can also be deleted later if required. To remove an added item, hover over the app icon to display a close button and click on it.

  6. You can determine the icon size for the apps/file shortcuts under Customizations. The icon will be displayed in the specified size on the kiosk home screen. Choose from: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and Custom. ‘Custom’ option enables you to set app icon size in pixels. The minimum and maximum values are 36 and 150, respectively.
    Notes:


    The icon size selected here will be reciprocated at Launcher > Customizations > Icon Size and vice versa.

  7. Click Save.



Advanced View

Advanced View gives you a more user-friendly approach to create multi-app kiosks on Android devices. It helps you determine how the apps should be displayed on the kiosk home screen. This user-friendly interface enables you to customize the way the apps appear on the device – drag and drop apps to the virtual device screen, designate positions for each app, confirm how the apps are placed for various screen orientations, specify the icon size, and much more. This enables accurate visualization of the kiosk home screen.

  1. Login to your Hexnode portal.
  2. Navigate to Policies.
  3. Select an existing policy or create a new one by clicking New Policy.
  4. Go to Kiosk Lockdown > Android Kiosk Lockdown > Multi App. Click Configure.
  5. Click on Switch to Advanced View.
  6. Select the type of Android device. You can configure the multi-app kiosk policy interactively for Phone, Tablet, and TV.
  7. Advanced View displays the apps and file shortcuts under the Applications and Files section. All the apps in the Hexnode app inventory and files added as kiosk file shortcuts (Content > Kiosk File Shortcuts) appear here. You can search the apps and files individually. You can also filter out apps separately based on several app types: Enterprise app, Managed Google app, Web app, System app, Store app, and File shortcut. Any combination of the available filters can be used.
  8. Drag and drop the required app/file shortcuts to the virtual device screen displayed beside. Advanced View provides several features that can be used to customize the kiosk home screen.
    • As the apps and file shortcuts are positioned on the virtual device screen, you can see that they get arranged in grids. Grid View divides the device screen into a specified number of rows and columns. You can align apps and files by dragging them to any desired position within the grids. The available grid dimensions for Phone and Tablet are 5 * 3, 5 * 4, 5 * 5, 6 * 3, 6 * 4, 6 * 5 and Custom. In case of TV, the dimensions vary from 3 * 5, 4 * 5, 5 * 5, 3 * 6, 4 * 6, 5 * 6 and Custom. ‘Custom’ enables you to specify the grid dimension of your choice.
    • You can choose the screen orientation to be Portrait, Landscape, or Autorotate under Orientation, to preview the device screen and determine how the apps will be placed on the kiosk home screen when screen orientation changes.
    • By default, icons of the apps and file shortcuts are displayed in Medium size. Icon Size lets you select the size for app/file shortcut icon displayed on the device. Set up the icon size from: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, and Custom. ‘Custom’ option enables you to set app icon size in pixels. The minimum and maximum values are 36 and 150, respectively.
    • More pages can be added to the device screen by clicking on the ‘+’ button. You can also add/arrange apps to the newly added pages. Remove any page by clicking on ‘’. Navigation between pages is possible with ‘’ and ‘>’ buttons.
    • Apps and files added to the policy can be removed if required. Click on the close button displayed on the top right of the corresponding grid to remove the app.
  9. Click Save.

Associate Policies with Devices / Groups

If the policy has not yet been saved.

  1. Navigate to Policy Targets.
  2. Click on +Add Devices.
  3. Select the devices and click OK.
  4. Click on Save to apply the policies to devices.

Apart from devices, you can also associate the policies with device groups, users, user groups and domains from Policy Targets.

If the policy has been saved, you can associate it by another method.

  1. From Policies, check the policies to be associated.
  2. Click on Manage → Associate Targets and select the device.
  3. Click on Associate to apply policy to the devices.

Once the policy is associated, a prompt appears on the Hexnode MDM app requesting the user to activate the Kiosk mode.

Notes:

  • During enrollment it is necessary that the user enable ‘Usage access’ permission on the device to activate device lockdown.
  • If you are adding Store apps in kiosk mode, ensure that the application is already installed on the device.
  • Enterprise app will be installed silently on Samsung Knox, LG GATE, Kyocera business phones, devices with Hexnode MDM app as system app, devices with platform signed Hexnode MDM System Agent app, and on devices enrolled in the Android Enterprise program as device owner.
  • To lock down the device to handful of websites, create web apps and add them to the multi-app kiosk mode.
  • For devices running Android 10+ disable ‘Gesture Navigation’ by moving to Settings > System > Gestures and enable ‘three-key navigation’ instead.


Exception:

For all devices running MIUI versions that have MIUI optimization turned on, Write System Permissions cannot be enabled. This leads to several issues including kiosk exiting unexpectedly, apps not getting installed silently, and so on. MIUI optimization must be disabled to fix such issues. To disable MIUI optimization:

  • Go to Settings > Build Number.
  • Tap on the build number 6 to 8 times to enable Developer options.
  • Select Developer Options from Settings > Additional Settings.
  • Disable MIUI optimization from the list of available options.

Notes:


In Device Admin enrolled Android 10 or later devices, Hexnode MDM cannot be set as the default home app (launcher). You have to manually grant Hexnode MDM home app permissions, whenever kiosk is activated on the device.

Follow this procedure to activate kiosk in an Android 10 device enrolled as Hexnode MDM Device Admin,

  • In devices which do not permit silent kiosk activation:
    1. Once the policy gets associated with the device, the Hexnode MDM app opens up automatically.
    2. Activate kiosk mode by clicking on Activate.
    3. Now a pop-up tab opens up stating that the kiosk activation is incomplete and asks you to set Hexnode MDM as the Home app.
    4. Click on Set Default, this will take you to the Default home app pane.
    5. Click on Hexnode MDM, now the kiosk activation is complete.

    You have to repeat the whole procedure while enabling kiosk again.

  • In Samsung Knox devices, kiosk mode will get automatically activated upon policy association.

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