How to enable Android Kiosk Mode?

Android Kiosk Mode is a lock down mechanism that enables IT admins to run a single app or a pre-defined set of apps on Android smartphones and tablets, allowing these devices to function as kiosks. Upon enabling single or multi-app Android Kiosk Mode, all other apps and device functionalities like status bar, notification bar are disabled and users will also be restricted from making changes to any device settings. Additionally, on certain device models, the admin can even restrict the use of hardware like the volume, power and home buttons on the Android device during Kiosk mode.

With mobile devices like tablets and smartphones being employed as information kiosks, point of sale devices and digital displays in various sectors such as retail and hospitality, it's essential for organizations to lock down devices into Android Kiosk Mode for better user experience and enhanced security. 

This Android Kiosk Mode guide covers the following:

What is Android Kiosk?

Android kiosks are customer facing Android devices that serve a single purpose by running only a single app or a specific set of apps. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets can now be used as Android kiosks by locking down devices to run a single app or a specific set of apps, using Android Kiosk Mode. Organizations use Android kiosks as customer facing kiosks, digital signage, patient check-in devices etc. Generally, a dedicated Kiosk app is used to enable Kiosk mode on these Android devices. Enabling Kiosk mode on Android devices using MDM allows these devices to function effectively as dedicated devices that ensure security while enhancing user experience.

How to setup Kiosk Mode on Android devices?

While Screen Pinning enables single app Kiosk Mode on Android devices by locking down devices to a single app or screen, for a more permanent Kiosk Mode on Android devices, it's recommended to use an Android Kiosk Mode software, which involves installing a separate Kiosk app on the Android device to deploy it as a Kiosk. ManageEngine's Mobile Device Manager Plus is a mobile device management (MDM) solution that doubles as an Android Kiosk software and supports Android tablet Kiosk Mode along with provisioning mobile devices as Android Kiosk.

To enable Android Kiosk Mode on Android tablets, mobile devices and TVs, create a Kiosk profile using Mobile Device Manager Plus (an Android Kiosk Mode app) by following the steps given below:

Step 1: Navigate to Device Mgmt -> Profiles and create an Android profile. Provide the required name and description for the profile

Android Kiosk Mode profile creation in the MDM console

Step 2: From the left pane, select Kiosk to create an Android Kiosk profile for enabling Kiosk Mode in Android devices

Step 3: Select single app for enabling Android Single app kiosk mode or multi-app for provisioning devices into Android Kiosk Mode with multiple apps

Step 4: Select either a single app or multiple apps to be provisioned in Kiosk Mode for Android, based on the selection made in the previous step

Adding Android Kiosk Apps to the Android Kiosk Mode profile to allow apps to be used within Kiosk mode

Step 5: While enabling Kiosk Mode on Android devices, you can also configure other optional settings such as:

    • Device Restrictions: Configure the device functionalities that must be enabled or disabled once device is provisioned in Android Kiosk Mode.

      Android Kiosk Mode with device restrictions

    • Custom Settings App: Select whether you want to distribute a custom settings app to the devices to allow users access to basic settings such as Wi-Fi, brightness, screen orientation etc in addition to Android Kiosk Mode app(s).

Customizing Android Kiosk Mode with custom settings app to deploy kiosks with adjustable settings

Step 6: Click on Save and Publish to save the Android Kiosk Mode profile.

Step 7: Test if the Android Kiosk Mode profile meets your requirements by distributing it to a device before distributing it to your production group. This way, the Android tablets and smartphones in your organization have Kiosk mode enabled on them in a secure manner.

NOTE: You can also enable Android browser kiosk mode using the Web Content Management feature for iOS and Android devices in Mobile Device Manager Plus.

Prerequisites for enabling Android Kiosk Mode

To enable Kiosk Mode on Android devices such as tablets, mobile devices and Android TVs, using an Android Kiosk software, ensure the following pre-requisites are met:

Benefits of Android Kiosk Mode software

In addition to a more secure Kiosk, Android Kiosk Mode app/software provides a few other benefits over Android's built in Screen Pinning feature: 

  • Support for multi-app Kiosk Mode: With Screen Pinning, it's possible only to lock devices into Android Single App Kiosk Mode, whereas with an Android Kiosk Mode app/software, devices can be locked into a single app or a set of multiple apps. 
  • Auto-distribution of Kiosk apps: While provisioning devices into Android Kiosk Mode, admins can ensure the apps are automatically installed on the devices if they are not already present on the devices
  • Custom settings app: By default when Android devices are provisioned as Android Kiosks, the access to settings and other device functionalities is disabled. When Android Kiosk Mode is enabled using an Android Kiosk software, admins can distribute a custom settings app which will give the users control on basic device settings such as Wi-Fi, brightness and volume control.

Applications of Android Kiosk

Android Kiosk Mode helps in improving productivity and user experience. Here are a few sectors where Android Kiosk Mode proves to be useful:

  • Hospitality: Many restaurants and hospitality chains use Android Kiosk Mode enabled devices for inventory managements, placing orders and obtaining customer feedback.
  • Retail: Retail stores use devices provisioned with Android Kiosk Mode at self-checkouts and also as digital signage to display current discounts and offers.
  • Education: Many schools and universities lock Android devices to Kiosk Mode and use them for conducting examinations as the use of device functionalities and other apps can be restricted.
  • Transport and Logistics: Many logistics company provide their drivers with mobile devices and track the location of these devices in real-time, while restricting the drivers from modifying any device settings.
  • Hospitals: Hospitals use Kiosk Mode enabled Android devices for check-in and as patient monitoring tools while preventing access to other confidential data on devices.
Deploy Android smartphones and tablets as Kiosks in your organization today with this 30-day free trial of Mobile Device Manager Plus!