custom Android launcher development

Custom Android launcher development

Launcher application in Android is the main app of the operating system where the user installs and runs other apps. Since Android is based on the open source concept, the built-in Android launcher can be replaced by the app developed according to the customer’s requirements.

Custom Android launcher could fit the gadget to the corporate style of the customer company as close as possible. More important feature of the custom launcher is access control to the installed apps.

How does it work?

Launcher app overrides the Home button tap event as well as some other actions processed by system apps (such as device search or “Open URL” action).

Single-task (kiosk) mode

Kiosk mode is the most popular (and most limited) type of the custom Android launcher. Kiosk app starts the single child app after the device boot and disables exiting the app. If the child application is closed unexpectedly due to software fault, the launcher automatically restarts it. Android gadgets in kiosk mode are widely used, for example, in point-of-sell services, demo gadgets at the conferences, waiter terminals in restaurants.

As a cheap and affordable kiosk solution, we can recommend the recently developed by HardKernel ODROID device. This microcomputer could be easily used as a kiosk terminal.

Child mode or corporate usage: limitation of the accessible apps

More complicated example of the Android launcher is the limitation of the app installation and running. Custom configuration could control the list of Android apps accessible by the user. If this list doesn’t include Google Play and File Manager, the user can not install apps or games. This feature is very useful for the development of corporate gadgets, because the user is limited to his job functions. Such mode is also called “Child-mode” because parents can control the apps of their children and disable unsolicited installations of harmful of undesirable apps.

Password protection and user roles

Android device could be more safe and corporate-friendly when the launcher protects the access to the device by a password and determines user access rights (limited user, manager, administrator).

Additional features: system-privileged launcher

Some functions of Android operating system, such as

  • Hiding or adjusting the system status bar
  • Protection of access to system settings
  • Disable “Show recent” feature

are not available to the standard launcher and couldn’t be overridden. If the customer requires these options, we are developing the launcher with system privileges, which is installed in the Android OS as the custom firmware update. To install the system apps, a rooted device is required. However, the root access can be disabled in the production firmware.

A very useful option of the launcher app with system privileges is the automatic update of corporate apps from the remote website.

How to order the custom Android launcher development?

Our company develops custom launchers for corporate usage within 5 years. Before the coding, we analyze the customer requirements and determine the most effective solution of the customer’s tasks.Custom Android firmware development is rarely required. In most cases, the appropriate solution is the development of a customized launcher or an ordinary app which starts after the OS boot.

To start the development of corporate app limiting the unsolicited usage of the gadget, or build a sample of the gadget for conference or exhibition, or customize the operating system in accordance with the corporate style, you can contact us and tell us your requirements.