Making a Dedicated Player


Full kiosk mode

Simple vs Full kiosk mode

Both modes aim at confining the user to within the app to protect him or her from the complexity of the Android system and other apps.

The full kiosk mode is much more robust than the simple one (see the video below) but it is also more difficult to set up, the exact steps are described below.

Requirements: The full kiosk mode requires Android version 5.0 or newer and it cannot be enabled on a Kindle Fire. Older devices and Kindle Fire are limited to the simple mode only.

Preparation

You will need:

  1. A tablet or smartphone with Homer Player already installed and configured.
  2. A PC or Mac computer with Internet access.
  3. A USB cable to connect the Homer Player tablet to your computer.
Let's start!

1. Remove all accounts

In order for step 4 to succeed, you need to remove all the accounts registered in the system.

Go to SettingsAccounts and remove all the accounts.

2. Enable USB debugging

You need to enable USB debugging on the tablet so that it accepts commands from your computer.

  1. Go to SettingsAbout tablet and tap on the Build number 7 times.
  2. Go back, enter the newly added Developer options and activate USB debugging.

You are a hacker now ;)

3. Install ADB

The adb command is needed on your computer to perform the next step. The software installed here can be uninstalled later.

Download and install the (unofficial) package from this post.

If you prefer, you can of course install the Android SDK Tools or even Android Studio but it's a bigger download and more work.

Install adb with the following command:

sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb
  1. Open the Terminal app.
  2. Copy and execute the following command to install Homebrew (on one line):
    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
  3. Copy and execute the following command to install the adb command:
    brew cask install android-platform-tools

4. Make Homer Player a privileged application

In order for Homer Player to take full control of the UI it needs to be given special privilege - it needs to be made a so-called device owner. This doesn't change the software in any way, it does not void the warranty and it can be easily reversed.

  1. Attach the device with a USB cable to your computer.
  2. On your computer start a terminal (Linux/Mac) or the command prompt (Windows).
  3. Execute the following command (on one line):
    adb shell dpm set-device-owner com.studio4plus.homerplayer/.HomerPlayerDeviceAdmin

You should see:

Success: Device owner set to package com.studio4plus.homerplayer
In case of errors see troubleshooting.

5. Enable the full kiosk mode

Now you can enable and disable the full kiosk mode at will.

  1. Start Homer Player.
  2. Tap 5 times on the screen to enter settings.
  3. Tap Prevent from exiting the application (kiosk mode).
  4. Enable Full mode...
  5. Go back to leave the settings screen.
Now it's impossible to leave the player application (you can revert this by disabling the "Full mode..." option).