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What is Kiosking?

What is a package disabler Kiosk Mode?

Kiosk mode is a mode of operation on software systems to lock down the target device to run with specified restrictions. This is cheapest way to convert consumer device to a bespoke solution.

The end user of the device is exposed to very limited functionality. The user will not be able to alter the device settings ( connectivity, accessibility, display etc).

A most traditional form of kiosk is ATM machines. It is made up of windows machine displaying a BANK APP. The user has a special keyboard to withdraw cash and enter pin

For example, when an android tablet is used in a retail store it has to run just one application, commonly known as  Android Kiosk. The application that is kiosked is referred as the Kiosk App.

In a kiosk mode of operation, the controls are set via an EMM ( Enterprise Moblity Management) app that is resident on the tablet. Settings are fetched from the remote server.  The kiosk app can be updated via the EMM. All device application configurations including email, vpn, proxy can be remotely configured and applied.

When a device runs in kiosk mode the main assumption is that there is no user physically present to attend the device so the controls has to be performed remotely

Can external peripherals be connected to a kiosk mode device?

Kiosk mode devices are connected to various peripherals such as Bluetooth scanners, weighing machines, heart rate monitors, keyboards etc.

Does kiosk mode add to device security?

Kiosk mode also improves security as it stops the user from installing any malware apps, USB ports can be blocked. In Android kiosk options such as “ unknown  sources” can be blocked. This means user cannot install non play store apps on the device.

The kiosk mode devices can gather many information from its usage such as the time spent on the kiosk, user inactivity, application usage, website metrics etc. These information is sent to the EMM backend where reports are generated.

How is memory managed in a kiosk mode?

In a kiosk mode of operation especially in an android kiosk, it is recommended to disable all the un-used application packages that resides on the device. Even system application that are not used must be disabled. This will ensure that all the memory is used by the kiosk mode browser app, or the application that is under kiosk ( kioak app). Whenever the system reboots , the kiosk app is automatically started by the kiosk mode emm solution that resides on the device to manage kiosk modes.

What are the recommendation while running a kiosk mode for an android app?

It is recommended that all unwanted applciations are uninstalled or disabled. All device hardware keys are disabled. Camera, Bluetooth,gps and all connectivity that are not used be disabled. Play store must be disabled if not in use. Disable s-voice, bixby or other sound based activations. Disable notification and annoying popup. keep the required brightness and volume settings.  Disable multi-window, emails , stylus and multiclick on home key.  Set the device timeout the maximum possible.

 

What is Browser kiosk mode?

Most enterprise do not have applications to run in a kiosk mode but have an website or an url that can be used. In “Browser kiosk mode” the device is locked down to a website. User dow not have access to the url. There can be custom menu options to move forward,backword,refresh and reload the page. Browser kiosk mode is mostly seen a place to display information, conduct surveys, restaurant menus etc.

Browser kiosk mode also comes with various configurations to whitelist and blacklist websites. Ability to clear cache, delete user data based on user inactivity is widely sought after.

There are many links to download applications, so downloading actions must be disabled/ blocked. Email and screenshot must be disabled.

 

Does kiosk mode manage hardware keys and keyboard?

Yes, all hardware keys , this includes volume up, volume down, home, recents, power key. Most of the devices won’t have keyboard device, but software keypad can be enabled. Keyboard is one of the most hacked element on any operating system. A kiosk mode device will have the system defined keyboard for peace of mind.

 

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