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Hints and Tips

This part of the SiteKiosk Android Quick Start Guide provides a few useful hints and tips for running your tablet in kiosk mode.

1. Increasing the watchdog timeout

SiteKiosk Android is equipped with various safety features. These features also include a software watchdog that is launched every time SiteKiosk is opened and runs in the background.
SiteKiosk is required to report back to the watchdog after certain (adjustable) intervals. If SiteKiosk fails to report, this is, more likely than not, due to the fact that the browser or SiteKiosk is overloaded or has crashed. If this is the case, the watchdog will restart SiteKiosk, making sure that there is little or no downtime of the application.

By default the timeout period allowed by the watchdog is 30 seconds (30000 milliseconds). This should normally be sufficient even for loading more complex websites.
Should the interval be too short the timeout can be increased by manually editing the configuration file SiteKiosk Android is using. You can either do this under the configuration tab of your SiteRemote team, if you use the remote monitoring feature, or by opening the file locally with an editor. The local file can be found on most tablets under ../SiteKiosk/config on the internal storage drive and is named settings.skcfg. Look for the value <MaxLastPongAge>30000</MaxLastPongAge>
and change it to meet your requirements. It is recommended to not select a value below 30000.

2. Disable status bar and system restart (requires root rights)

Options that require root rights are only visible on tablets that have been rooted.

SiteKiosk can hide the default Android status bar, this option is available under Security. It can also perform a system restart at a specific time, this option is available under System -> Restart -> System Restart. In order to be able to hide the status bar or reboot the system SiteKiosk requires root rights.

The way to acquire root rights depends on the tablet in use. There is no unified method to achieve it. In most cases rooting a tablet is not officially supported by the manufacturer of the tablet. A rooted tablet may also run less reliable.
PROVISIO cannot assist you in rooting your tablet. Rooting is done at your own risk.

While an unrooted tablet will show the default Android status bar, the functions of the bar are restricted by SiteKiosk. This means the home button will not open the default Android home screen while SiteKiosk is running. You are also not able to select anything from the bar that will enable a user to edit system settings.
This means you are on the safe side, even if your tablet is not rooted and the status bar is visible. As a side effect your tablet may even run smoother and more reliable than with a rooted Android tablet.

3. Export/Import the local configuration file

Since version 2.1 of SiteKiosk Android you can export/import the local configuration file. The options to export or import the configuration can be found under System.

The configuration will be exported on most tablets to the internal storage in the folder ../SiteKiosk/config and is named settings.skcfg. It contains the SiteKiosk Android settings in XML format. You are free to edit the file at your own risk.
To import a configuration file place it with the same name at the same location and then use the import function.

The configuration file can also be saved as a backup and it can be copied to other tablets with the same version of SiteKiosk Android. Note that the more comfortable way to distribute the configuration is using SiteRemote.

4. Allow downloads

In the configuration under Application -> Browser and Application -> Fullscreen Browser you can allow downloads. You need to tab on the Settings icon then to allow an appropriate application that will handle the downloaded file. Note that SiteKiosk will only start a download of a file if an application has been allowed that is registered under Android to handle that file type. For example Foxit or Adobe Reader for pdf files (note that since SiteKiosk Android 2.6 an internal pdf viewer is included).
The downloaded files are temporarily stored until a session ends or SiteKiosk is closed.
Note that SiteKiosk cannot monitor what is happening inside another application. For example another application might allow a user to delete files or folders. Please choose allowed applications wisely.

5. Preparing Android for usage with SiteKiosk

Normally you do not need to specifically prepare your Android device, when you want to use SiteKiosk. SiteKiosk itself will take care of the required changes and settings. On some devices though the manufacturer is offering additional features that may interfere with SiteKiosk.

Here are a few things you should check.

Make sure that the home button has no extra features assigned to it, e.g. when pressed more than once. Should that be the case, please deactivate those special features if possible.

Some Android versions allow the creation of more than one user. If you plan on using SiteKiosk you should only use one user on the device.

If your Android version allows it, you should disable the feature that lists recently used apps.

It is recommended to remove all icons from the Android home screen.

If possible you should use an Android version that has very little manufacturer specific changes applied to it. Some manufacturers offer default Android versions that do not include the customizations they made to their usual retail versions.

A lot of the above applies to Samsung devices. Please also have a look at our Samsung specific FAQ.
Important Note:
When using Android 8 and higher the lock screen must be deactivated. It will also not be activated by SiteKiosk. This is due to restrictions of Android 8 and higher.

6. Showing local PDF files

Local PDF files need to be stored in the SiteKiosk folder on the Android client. Local PDF files can only be opened with an assigned app that is capable of showing PDF files, the internal SiteKiosk Android PDF viewer is restricted to online PDF files.

See also

System Requirements
Installing SiteKiosk Android
Configuring SiteKiosk Android
Uninstalling SiteKiosk Android
Required Android Permissions
PROVISIO Contact Information

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