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Self-Enablement of Non-GMS device management with enhanced Kiosk experience

By PRATYUL KAPOOR posted Wed April 10, 2024 07:30 PM


Enterprises today use devices powered by Android Open Source Project(AOSP) also called as Non-GMS devices for various reasons including having better control over them. These devices could be used as point of sale devices, in warehouses, hospitals etc. A non-GMS android device excludes all the Google services and apps like Google Play-Services, Google Play-Store, Gmail, Chrome etc. Many enterprises who use such AOSP devices put them into Kiosk mode. In Kiosk mode there is no access to settings app and typically there is person to perform maintenance activities.

Are you someone who is facing challenges in managing such devices in Kiosk mode? Do you need to contact MaaS360 support and get management of Non-GMS devices enabled for your account? Will you like an ability to be able to remotely disable kiosk mode due to a maintenance needed on the device?
If yes, this blog demonstrates some newly launched capabilities which will help addressing above pain points. Some of the capabilities mentioned ahead are not limited to Non-GMS devices but applicable to GMS android devices as well.

Support to enable non-GMS device management as a self-service

MaaS360 has been supporting management of Non-GMS devices for quite some time now. The solution has been stabilized and hardened over the years. With the recent release MaaS360 added an option allowing customers to enable non-GMS management capabilities as a self-service. Earlier customers needed to contact MaaS360 to get the same enabled.

To activate non-GMS device management, navigate to MaaS360 Portal > Setup > Services > Mobile Device Management and then select the Enable non-GMS/AOSP device enrollment option. Same is described in the screenshot below:

Using ADB or QR Code based mechanism to enroll Non-GMS device

non-GMS management is enabled, next question which comes up is how to enroll Non-GMS devices. For this one can go to Android Device Enrollment dropdown under Enrollment. One can select Non-GMS Device as described in the screenshot below and use the same.

Thinking about how exactly the enrolment will be done from here?? Thinking about which enrolment mode to use?? There are two popular mechanism of enrolling Non-GMS devices with MaaS360.

Enrollment using QR-Code

First one is using QR code. Google supports Device Owner enrolment using a QR code  where one can tap 7 times on the welcome screen after factory. This will open a QR code scanner. Once the QR code is scanned, MaaS360 will get enrolled into Device-Owner. The unfortunate part is that this is part of the GMS package on the device. Hence on a AOSP which does not has the GMS package – this functionality is not available by default. But everything is not lost – a number of Non-GMS device manufacturers have custom built this functionality in their ROMs. If your device manufacturer supports the same – QR code is one of the most effective ways of enrolling such devices.

Enrollment using Android Device Bridge

Does your device manufacturer does not support QR Code based Device Owner enrollments yet. If yes, then Android Device Bridge is another effective way to enroll such devices. This needs the device to be connected to a laptop using a USB cable. This way is not so convenient for maas deployments but is an effective way to try the management capabilities and complete all the setup POCs.

Update Device Data Option with Kiosk Launcher

Once the enrolment is done, what are the next set of capabilities that need to be addressed? The answer to this question is ability to push actions and policy updates to devices. For this these devices need the ability to pull these actions in a real-time way. For non-Kiosk devices end user can go to MaaS360 settings and click on Update Device Data menu option. But within Kiosk mode since MaaS360 app was not available. With the latest 8.50 version release of MaaS360 launcher the option to perform Update Device Data has been added within the launcher.

Explicitly Enable/Disable Kiosk mode action

Next required capability is the ability to perform maintenance. This can be done by the end user using the admin by-pass. But a lot of time this capability is needed by the IT Administrator. Within the recent release MaaS360 added an ability to Enable Kiosk Mode and Disable Kiosk Mode for android devices remotely from the portal. This can be done via the device-view from the action drop-down. One can go to the device details in the portal, click on More on the top-right and select Enter Kiosk as action. Action status can be viewed in action history just like any other action.

What question comes to mind now? Is it really required to login to MaaS360 portal to perform the enable/disable kiosk action? Do we want to ability to perform this from another system via an API? Do we want to schedule exit during the midnight and want schedule the entry to Kiosk mode after a few hours? If answers to above questions is yes – then for such customers, this capability will also be provided via an API.


Management of purpose built or Non-GMS is a challenging process. These enhancements from MaaS360 are a step forward in making the management process easier. Do stay tuned for more feature enhancements.