Device Management Modes In Single Purpose Devices

  • October 23, 2019

Special-purpose digital devices are extensively used in everyday life for business, services as well as education. The use of technology for day-to-day living has been optimized with special-purpose, mission-specific digital devices. You can find these devices everywhere around you- from ticket booking counters to retail kiosks, transport hubs displaying up-to-date travel information to schools, kiosk browsers at waiting areas to wayfinders in shopping malls. These single purpose devices are configured to run single or multiple applications to fulfill the desired purpose for business, education or entertainment.

Single Purpose Devices: The Definition

Single purpose devices are digital devices used for a specific use-case, are fully-managed by the company IT using an MDM solution and are locked to few applications. These devices can belong to diverse operating systems including Android, iOS and Windows. These devices are configured in various device management modes and are centrally controlled by the company IT teams to drive business purpose as well as device and data security. For Android Enterprise devices, the term ‘Single Purpose devices’ is interchanged with ‘dedicated devices’. Formerly known as corporate-owned single-use, or COSU, these devices are fully-managed and are configured to perform a single use-case- be it employee-facing or customer-facing.

Device Management Modes In Single Purpose Devices

When single purpose devices are configured with usage policies, they are divided into two distinct device management modes:

  • Single-app mode
  • Multi-app mode

Let us discuss each of these management modes for single purpose devices in detail:

Single-app mode

In single-app mode, the devices are configured to run a single application. This application can be an application from the Playstore (for Android devices), the Appstore (for iOS devices) or Microsoft Store (for Windows devices), a browser application or a private application developed for a particular business.

In single app mode, the end-users cannot access any other application on the device, and cannot exit the app, locking the device to the app configured by the IT admin.

Common use-cases:

  • Devices used by frontline workers & field force
  • Digital signage
  • Web kiosk browsers at airports
  • mPOS systems
  • Service kiosks in the hospitality industry
  • Ticket booking kiosks

Multi-app kiosk mode

In multi-app kiosk mode, the single purpose devices are locked into two or more applications allowed and configured by the IT administrators. In multi-app kiosk mode, the end-users can access and navigate between multiple apps in a controlled environment. These apps are pre-configured on the device and end-users cannot access any other applications except the ones allowed on the device. This configuration is necessary for business operations where two or more apps are needed simultaneously or successively.

Common use-cases

  • Devices used by delivery executives & service industry employees
  • Devices deployed for education
  • Devices used by floor & factory employees

Device Management Modes In Single Purpose Devices using Scalefusion MDM

Device management modes in Android devices

By configuring Android devices into single-app or multi-app mode, IT admins can convert the devices into kiosks. Along with the same, the IT admins can also configure Homescreen settings, enforce screen orientation and full-screen mode. To set an Android device into single or multi-app mode, Scalefusion has to be set as the launcher. 

Here are the two different types of device management mode in Android kiosk mode by Scalefusion.

  • Single-app mode

In Android single-app mode, IT admins can configure any app from Google Play store to run on the managed Android device. Private enterprise app can also be configured to run into single app mode. Alternatively, IT admins can run any Scalefusion browser or Google Chrome browser to run into single app mode.

Learn more: How to lock Android tablets into single-app mode

  • Multi-app mode

For Android devices, multi-app kiosk mode can be configured using Scalefusion. Administrators can allow two or more applications on the device and the device owners can toggle between these applications.

Device management modes in iOS devices

For iOS supervised devices, IT admins can enforce single-app to run at all times on enrolled iPhones and iPads. IT admins can choose from an existing application, install an application using Apple VPP or also upload a private application using an IPA file or Plist link on Scalefusion. Administrators can also choose a browsing application such as Safari or ProSurf kiosk browser to run into single or autonomous single app mode on iOS devices managed with Scalefusion. 

  • Single-app mode 

In iOS devices deployed for a single-purpose, IT administrators can set a single application to run by default. One the iPhone or the iPad is set into single-app mode, IT admins can also control auto-lock, hardware buttons and device rotation on the device. 

  • Autonomous single-app mode 

The multi-app kiosk mode is known as autonomous single-app mode in the Scalefusion dashboard. IT admins can set multiple applications on the device in autonomous single-app mode and users can access any of the apps on the device. Only allowed applications can be set into autonomous single-app mode.

Further reading: Single app mode vs Autonomous single-app mode

Kiosk Mode in Windows 10 devices

With Scalefusion, IT admins can configure single-app kiosk mode in Windows 10 devices. With this configuration, administrators can configure a browser application, a pre-installed application, a win-32 application or a third-party application to be set as the single app on the Windows 10 devices.

Scalefusion MDM understands the needs of dynamic businesses and extends multiple device management modes for Android, iOS and Windows 10 devices. Enrolling and deploying these devices with appropriate device policies helps in driving the desired business benefits from the digital devices.

Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has a 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web based startups.

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