How can I configure Android tablets to open chrome in kiosk mode to a specific URL automatically?

Lung_TWX
Here to help

How can I configure Android tablets to open chrome in kiosk mode to a specific URL automatically?

On a tight timeline, trying to accomplish these simple goals with Meraki MDM. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

Kiosk mode: Open directly to the homepage, which is a static page that I define, and block access to all other sites.

 

What is preventing me from doing this:

The flag "HomepageIsNewTabPage" does not work on Android as per the Chrome Enterprise Policy list:

Lung_TWX_0-1629837598485.png

 

 

While the flag that we have available, "Homepagelocation", is supported and changes the home page, but doesn't affect the new tab page, which chrome opens to.

Lung_TWX_1-1629837598350.png

 


How can I accomplish what I want to do (which seems like something a lot of other people want to do) without installing more third party software? Seriously please don't reply with a solution if it's not Meraki SM + Chrome only.


Oh yeah and the bug with Samsung tablets where you can't get a settings dropdown is really horrible - is there a workaround for that?

 

I have lots of hardware to test on. Android 9,10,11 tabs, various makes and models, and I have a Lenovo tablet that is officially supported by "Android Enterprise" coming in later this week.


Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

9 REPLIES 9
Tom_Price
Conversationalist

Facing similar issue. Did you find a solution?

No. Had to go with a third party kiosk app. 

Thanks!  I'm curious which one. I've briefly looked at Simply Kiosk and Kiosk Browser Lockdown. Both have proprietary browsers that seem to require that the network be up for the application to launch. Chrome seems to work if the connection is down.

PaulF
Meraki Employee

In the list of settings I found, as you did.

 

HomepageLocation

 

Setting the policy sets the default homepage URL in Google Chrome. You open the homepage using the Home button. On desktop, the RestoreOnStartup policies control the pages that open on startup. If the homepage is set to the New Tab Page, by the user or HomepageIsNewTabPage, this policy has no effect. The URL needs a standard scheme, such as http://example.com or https://example.com. When this policy is set, users can't change their homepage URL in Google Chrome. Leaving both HomepageLocation and HomepageIsNewTabPage unset lets users choose their homepage. On Microsoft® Windows®, this functionality is only available on instances that are joined to a Microsoft® Active Directory® domain domain, running on Windows 10 Pro, or enrolled in Chrome Browser Cloud Management. On macOS, this functionality is only available on instances that are managed via MDM, or joined to a domain via MCX.

 

I've highlighted two bits of the text that appear relevant.

 

There appears to be more detail here: https://chromeenterprise.google/policies/

 

 

 

While they appear relevant - they in fact do not resolve the issue.
The "homepageisnewtabpage" flag is not available for chome on android - it was only a developer test feature and was then removed.
I don't know why I would want to let users choose their homepage, when this thread is 100% about forcing a page to launch with chrome on startup.

Did you even read the first post in this thread? 

PaulF
Meraki Employee

Wasn't aware that the "homepageisnewtabpage" flag was Dev only, so thanks for pointing that out. As the description above is hosted in Google Play (That's where the managed app config descriptions come from), and there's obviously a deficiency in Google's Chrome which doesn't fit your use case (a use case that I fully understand), then you have two options

 

1) Use a product whose sole purpose is a browser that can be systematically control through managed app config

2) Raise your requirement with Google and have them create a feature request

 

As per your last point: There are many people who wish to manage Chrome on Android. I felt that giving some context as to why it appears not to be possible would be helpful for them

Tom_Price
Conversationalist

Not all products support the Angular service workers properly. I've tried a couple of other MDM kiosk packages and they fail to launch if the network connection is down.

It was a dev flag, now it has been completely removed.


1)  As stated above, I ended up purchasing a third party kiosk app to fill the gap because Meraki SM does not have the required feature set to accomplish the task.

 

2) If you would really like context, I believe the price we pay for Meraki MDM licensing should put the burden on Cisco to develop its product functionality to be competitive with a 5 dollar app off of the play store. 


To put it in perspective - Hexnode, ManageEngine, TinyMDM, Scalefusion, 42gears, and many more MDM platforms have this functionality built in.

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