How to Run Progressive Web Applications (PWA) in Kiosk Mode

  • May 15, 2020

Ever since the world leaped into the mobile-first revolution, or rather since the invention of the first-ever iPhone, web apps have been the go-to strategy for businesses to make their product available to a large audience without extensively investing in the development of iOS or Android apps. No matter how many applications a user downloads on the phone, PWAs continue to be a popular choice for a seamless, investment-less experience for mobile users.

pwa kiosk mode
PWA in Kiosk Mode

In this article, let us discuss how to run Progressive Web Applications (PWA) in kiosk mode on Android devices. But let’s first start with the basics:

What are Progressive Web Applications (PWA)?

Progressive Web Applications or PWA is mobile-friendly application software that is delivered using a web browser. PWAs are commonly built on HTML, CSS, and Javascript and can work on any standard browser. They are built with the functionality to work offline, enable push notifications, and leverage device hardware and software capabilities such as a native app. The biggest advantage of PWA is that since it is essentially a web page or a website, it doesn’t need to be distributed via conventional apps purchase stores like App Store or Google Play Store.

Progressive Web Applications for Businesses

Generally, the biggest hurdle to native app popularity is storage space. Users who are not sure about the application’s usage do not want to tie up their mobile storage space by installing an application. PWAs are known for mimicking the features, functionality, and speed of a native app and hence, they are immensely popular with businesses that do not necessarily want to invest in native web app development or do not want to turn away users simply because of storage space.

From video streaming platforms to retail eCommerce and hospitality, several small and large businesses opt for Progressive Web Applications to put across their services. PWAs ensure fast installation, better performance, lower development costs, no updating issues, seamless offline use and are platform-device agnostic.

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Just like native apps, PWAs can also be configured on several customer-facing Android kiosks to improve customer experience. Scalefusion MDM helps in configuring PWAs to run in single/multi-app kiosk mode on Android devices.

Let’s see a step-by-step guide to how PWAs are configured on Android kiosks for business.

Running Progressive Web Applications on Android Kiosks using Scalefusion

Step 1: Getting Started on the dashboard

Signup, login and enroll Android devices on Scalefusion MDM. Create an Android device profile to set access control, allow/block apps and websites, and enforce a password policy for Android kiosks. Make sure you whitelist Chrome Browser in your app list.

progressive app android

Step 2: Navigate to the enterprise section of the dashboard.

In the Enterprise section of the Scalefusion dashboard, select the My Apps section. In this section, you can see a list of Scalefusion native apps, as well as the apps purchased/made available for your device fleet. You can also upload your private apps in this section.

pwa android

Step 3: Move to the Play for Work Section

In this section, you can find all the Android apps available from the Play Store. You can search and add any app of your choice before pushing it on the devices/device profiles.

progressive app android

Step 4: Select your Progressive Web app

Now to add your Progressive Web app to the list, click on the Search and Add button in the top right corner. Enter the name of the app you want to add. In this example, we are choosing the Starbucks progressive web app.

progressive android app

Step 5: Approve the app

Once you’ve chosen your app, click on the Approve button. The app will ask for certain permissions, click on Approve to continue.

pwa mode

Step 6: Configure future permissions

Choose the app behavior for updates. If you keep the permissions approved, the app will be auto-installed after updates on the device. Alternatively, you can revoke the app permissions till it is reapproved after updates.

progressive web apps android

Step 7: App added to your enterprise collection

The app will now be available in your apps section and you can push it on any device fleet.

progressive web apps for android

Step 8: Publish the Progressive Web app on Android kiosks

To publish the app, click on publish the app and select the devices/device profiles/device groups. It will now be available on the Android kiosks for use.

pwa kiosk mode

Step 9: Run the Progressive Web app in Single App Mode

If you want to run the app in the single app mode, navigate to the Device Profile section, choose the profile you have published the app on and move to the kiosk launcher settings. In the drop-down menu for single app mode, you can select the PWA and set it in single app mode.

progressive web apps kiosk

Step 10: Save the profile settings

Once you make your kiosk selections, save the profile settings. The Android kiosk device will now run the progressive web app in single-app mode.

progressive web app android

With Scalefusion MDM, you can run any Progressive Web app (PWA) in single app Android kiosk mode.

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Thousands of businesses rely upon Scalefusion for managing their mobile device, desktops, laptops and other endpoints

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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