Thanks for the post Mary, its been on my to-do list for too long… Finally made some time to beat on things a bit.
The diversity in the Android family is both a good thing and a bad thing. If you are into all things 'Droid, I don’t need to explain myself.
When it comes to having a Kiosk mode, that diversity is a bit of a thorn in our side.
Long story short, there are a few ways to lock things down a bit.
- Run an app.
- Root your device.
In the past, I have unlocked a few devices and run some different ROM’s, but in the end, I’m not sure I gained much.
Not only that, but I have come to see that requiring someone to root their device if they want to use it in a given application is not much of an incentive and it can be a time sink. (Not to mention you can brick your device if you are not on top of things).
So, I crossed that one off the list. Did not even go there.
This leaves some apps.
The groov View for Android has a kiosk mode built in, so what about that?
Here is the doc download page for the groov View apps;
The kiosk option prevents the user from going back to the list view of configured groov devices (even if that list has only one groov device).
In other words it disables just the back button. The home and recent apps buttons still work their magic. (Along with the power button).
While we are at it, it seems odd to me that here we are in 2014, and there is still no option to disable the display auto power off in Android… Im running 4.4.2, and my options are still only a few settings between 15 seconds and 30 minutes… that’s nice, but where is my disable??? <I still love you Android, I really do… I just wish you would catch up with this decade!>
I would love to be corrected, but it seems that the profiles that Android introduced with Jelly Bean (4.3) are not a kiosk solution.
Yes, you can restrict some apps from going some places, but none of the profiles it would seem truly lock the tablet/phone down to a kiosk level.
Which brings us to Apps!
There are two main contenders it would seem;
These guys seem to be out there, but not on the Google Play Store (you have to side load them);
Only have only tried the first one from 42Gears.
At 50 bucks, its not cheap, but the trial mode was not so annoying that I could not live with it, so try it before you buy it.
You might find it does the job… Or that its too hard to live with.
(Trial mode flashes up a quick message about once every 15 minutes, and I do mean its quick, I could not get a screen shot of it, it was just too fast).
Bottom line SureLock gives us what we need.
It disables the back button, disables the recent apps button, disables the notifications pull down, disables the screen timeout.
It can optionally disable the power button. It can run your nominated app (groov of course) on power up.
All things to all Androids?
It seems to be.
Let me and rest of the forum lurkers how you go and if you try this or any other app.