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Ask Slashdot: Making a Tablet Run Only One Application? 260

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the write-your-own-exokernel dept.
An anonymous reader asks "I'm working for a medical centre who want to make a tablet with various videos and webpages about smoking cessation available in their waiting room. The tablet can't access the Internet because of security policies. I'm planning to use a local server with copies of the (Creative Commons) videos and pages accessed through local webpages using the tablet's browser. How can I make only the browser be available to the tablet users? Ideas? Suggestions?"
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Ask Slashdot: Making a Tablet Run Only One Application?

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  • easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:33PM (#39027087) Homepage Journal

    Easy if the tablet runs Windows or Linux. Much harder on other platforms. Maybe you should narrow the problem domain.

    • Re:easy. (Score:5, Funny)

      by jessecurry (820286) <jesse@jessecurry.net> on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#39027111) Homepage Journal
      Stop being so reasonable!
    • Re:easy. (Score:4, Informative)

      by networkBoy (774728) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:42PM (#39027197) Homepage Journal

      Since they could run other apps on the tablet even if you trap all HTTP requests, first step is to root the tablet and uninstall everything else, then make the browser autostart. Password protect anything you don't uninstall.
      -nb

    • by bragr (1612015) *
      This pretty much. Unless you want to get down and dirty in Cyanogenmod or some other Android community release (and your tablets run Android), I don't know how you would do it. You might try stripping out everything you can from the tablet, locking down what you can with security and parent control settings, setting up a wireless network that doesn't hand out a gateway with DHCP, or doesn't even have an internet connection, would get you close to you want. Still won't keep people from exiting the browser an
      • Re:easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by markkezner (1209776) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:54PM (#39027839)

        Still won't keep people from exiting the browser and bumping around the system.

        Well, if it's an Android tablet you could just create an app that acts as a replacement home screen. Just implement the appropriate intent and display a browser control to the user.

        • by bragr (1612015) *
          But unless you are already up and running with Android development, that is kinda non trivial. And this question reeks of management coming to the IT department with a stack of tablets and saying, "Here, do magic, and we need this done by next Wednesday." Which usually rules out non-trivial development.
    • Re:easy. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Spiridios (2406474) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:57PM (#39027401) Journal
      Bruce Schneier linked to this post on iPads [speirs.org] just a few days ago....
    • Re:easy. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by chromeronin (914748) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:04PM (#39027919)
      Actually, I think the technology he is looking fore here is called a pamphlet, or maybe a DVD player hooked to a tv on a loop.
    • by MightyYar (622222)

      If the unit runs Android or iOS, it's trivial to jailbreak/root and delete or move the built-in applications.

    • Easy if the tablet runs Windows or Linux

      Yeah, just deploy the tablet without a window manager. Make your viewer run full-size on the root window.

      I did something like this at a hospital c. 1996. It was pre-802.11 and the hardware was a Vadem Clio, but essentially one the connection got through to the VNC Server, the problem is the same.

  • WAP Portal / VLAN (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#39027121) Journal

    Put it on a VLAN, and Make HTTP(S) Go straight to the web server and only the web server. There are portal WAPs that do just that. Securing the tablet from running anything else would be as easy as installing a custom version of CyanogenMod or similar. Heck even Apple might be able to make an iPad that did just that.

    I'd also tether the thing to the room, or it will walk away.

  • Curious... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by interkin3tic (1469267) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:36PM (#39027123)
    I do not have a solution to your problem. I am curious about the situation though. Is there a reason your organization wants this to be easy-to-steal-and-expensive tablets? Especially when there's the security policy. And you'll have to keep them charged too. Why not just a cheap laptop. Or a pamphlet and TV?

    I realize it's difficult to get people to stop smoking, but fancy technology isn't always the solution.
    • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:43PM (#39027211)

      Is there a reason your organization wants this to be easy-to-steal-and-expensive tablets?

      The hospital management is being treated well by the tablet manufacturer, who would very much like this hospital to become the envy of the `non-tablet' hospitals. Plus, it's healthcare; they have money to burn.

      • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:00PM (#39027429)

        If the hospital management is being treated well by the tablet manufacturer, then why isn't the tablet manufacturer helping with a solution to lock down the tablet? Surely of anyone they should know best how to lock there own tablets down.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        " Plus, it's healthcare; they have money to burn."

        Yet the bastards whine they are not paid enough...

        • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:06PM (#39027479)

          generally speaking, the ones burning the money are not the ones complaining about the pay

        • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:11PM (#39027509)

          " Plus, it's healthcare; they have money to burn."

          Yet the bastards whine they are not paid enough...

          Don't confuse money that's available to be burnt with money that's available to pay said illegitimate children. I work in healthcare. We have a LOT of money available for goofy stuff like this that increases somebody's adoption of something electronic related to healthcare. It all comes from the federal government, and is earmarked for those specific types of projects. What we don't have is money to actually pay the people that provide healthcare service, in large part due to that same entity.

      • Re:Curious... (Score:4, Informative)

        by hey! (33014) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:08PM (#39028341) Homepage Journal

        The hospital management is being treated well by the tablet manufacturer....

        Hmm. Since that narrows the universe of possibilities down to a single vendor, you should probably tell us what OS the vendor uses on the tablet, otherwise people will waste their time giving you advice you can't use.

        If you don't want to identify the vendor, and you can't tell us the OS without doing that, just say so. We'll pretend we don't know who you're talking about (although we will).

        • Re:Curious... (Score:4, Interesting)

          by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Tuesday February 14, 2012 @01:47AM (#39029663)

          The hospital management is being treated well by the tablet manufacturer....

          Hmm. Since that narrows the universe of possibilities down to a single vendor, you should probably tell us what OS the vendor uses on the tablet, otherwise people will waste their time giving you advice you can't use.

          If you don't want to identify the vendor, and you can't tell us the OS without doing that, just say so. We'll pretend we don't know who you're talking about (although we will).

          Using utterly reasonable powers of deduction, we know the tablets are NOT iPads. First Apple hasn't really tried to court companies, and don't really have any sort of enterprise management system in place, according to everyone who's asked about iPhones, iPads and such in the workplace.

          Which means the OS in question is either Windows or Android. Since Windows would be utterly trivial to put into a kiosk mode (you don't even need a tablet to demo this) and there'll be a half-dozen ways to do it (probably writing a custom app hosting the IE COM control, for example), it's unlikely the question is about Windows.

          So most likely, it's Android.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Plus, it's healthcare; they have money to burn.

        Ahh, another "Only in America" quote...

      • Healthcare doesn't have money to burn. The insurance companies have seen to that by erecting absurdly complex reimbursement obstacles. It can be so expensive to pursue these debts, that a lot just goes uncollected.

        Next time you need surgery, ask how much it would cost if you paid up front with cash. They'll drop thousands to avoid dealing with insurance.
      • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ktappe (747125) on Monday February 13, 2012 @11:24PM (#39028875)

        Is there a reason your organization wants this to be easy-to-steal-and-expensive tablets?

        The hospital management is being treated well by the tablet manufacturer, who would very much like this hospital to become the envy of the `non-tablet' hospitals. Plus, it's healthcare; they have money to burn.

        The reason the tablet manufacturer is throwing money/product at the hospital is because they know they don't have the right solution but want you to shoehorn it in anyway. Sometimes free is not the best solution.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by LeoDeSol (1323269)

      I do not have a solution to your problem. I am curious about the situation though. Is there a reason your organization wants this to be easy-to-steal-and-expensive tablets? Especially when there's the security policy. And you'll have to keep them charged too. Why not just a cheap laptop. Or a pamphlet and TV? I realize it's difficult to get people to stop smoking, but fancy technology isn't always the solution.

      I am curious about this too. I also work in IT and with several hospitals as customers. The IT staff in the hospitals I work with, small, medium, and large, all talk about things walking away from rooms, lobbies, etc. Surely there is a better solution, possibly more cost effective too... Besides, you will need to be able to recharge it anyway, so why not look for something that can be put on a table with a long core for recharge? If you can do that, then you could possibly look at touch screen media display

      • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bgibby9 (614547) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:38PM (#39027709) Homepage

        Besides, you will need to be able to recharge it anyway, so why not look for something that can be put on a table with a long core for recharge?

        TBH I think the OHS people would shit themselves if they ran into tablets connected to long cords for recharging.

        I think the better idea is a kiosk which has more functionality, connected to power and is less likely to "walk away"

        • by cgenman (325138)

          People are not going to pick up a kiosk. To be fair, they're not going to pick up a tablet either. The only real solution where people actually watch the video, would be to have it up and running on a wall, either VIA TV or projected. If you really needed to be "Web 2.0" ey about it, attach a camera and let people interact with a projection through motion. Or make a tabletop with a touchscreen, and have people interact with it that way.

          Or, and I'm sure everyone would hate this option, remove all of the

    • Re:Curious... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tompaulco (629533) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:45PM (#39027237) Homepage Journal
      Absolutely. The solutions is a cheap PC running windows, which can easily be configured to allow one and only one app to run at login, and to log off if the application is closed.
      Please stop using technology for the sake of technology to increase my already outrageous healthcare costs.
    • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:52PM (#39027323) Journal

      Is there a reason your organization wants...easy-to-steal-and-expensive tablets?....Why not just a cheap laptop. Or a pamphlet and TV?

      Pamphlets are easy to steal also. I have 800 at home. Just for the hell of it.
           

    • ... take two tablets and call me in the morning.

  • by Suddenly_Dead (656421) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:39PM (#39027149)

    If using Android: create a replacement launcher app, set your new app as the default launcher, and... profit?

    • I guess that would probably only work on something less than 3.0, though, since they've added a shortcut on the status bar to launch the Settings app.

      But then, why would you need something on a new version of the OS? Cheap Chinese tablets running 2.2 or 2.3 can be had for = $100.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:40PM (#39027153)

    Just roll your own AOSP build that only has /system/app/Browser.apk along with essential system UI apks and include none of the networking drivers that the device needs.

  • You have a bigger problem there, how do you keep them from being stolen, add to that topic some phone home theft software too, want to inspire people to stop smoking? get a terminal lung cancer patient in the waiting room. wont fail.

    • by Andy_R (114137)

      The solution to this is part of the solution to making the device only run 1 app - you put it in a locked metal frame that both secures the device and physically obstructs any switch or button that could be used to exit your app.

      • Some (at least) tablet OSs have app switching multitouch gestures.

        The real answer is use a kiosk. Or to do it on the cheap, put a PC on a table.

    • Most sick, emaciated cancer patients won't spend their last breath as a cautionary statement to others.
      Yul Brynner excepted.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#39027171)

    I mean seriously - the first time someone thinks they can walk out the door with the tablet, it's gone. Don't think it wouldn't happen.

    Why not instead just make a dvd with those videos and print out the text of the websites? You could have a small tv hooked up to a dvd player, have the dvd available to those interested, etc....

    It wouldn't be as convenient to steal, and it is a technically easier way to set something like this up. Why are you going to such great lengths to make something more complicated than necessary?

  • by Brew Bird (59050) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#39027179)
    You need digital signage, not a tablet. Only one person at a time can use a tablet. A couple of flat screens off a cheap PC hidden up in the ceiling or a closet, and use Xibo.
    • by anubi (640541) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:11PM (#39027989) Journal
      That sounds just like a job long ago for a restauranteur.

      He wanted one of those hi-tech looking displays showing his food, menus, and prices. He had the "high tech display": his projection TV.

      What he ended up with was his old PC-AT home computer yanked from a pile in his garage and loaded with a bunch of GIF's and JPG's he created to his heart's content on his nicer home computer. Loaded all the images he wanted to display in a subdirectory, along with a DOS slideshow program. A little edit of Autoexec.bat and config.sys, and every time the computer was turned on, all it knew to do was start the slideshow and run it until power was turned off at the end of the day.

      It was a no-brainer being he plugged the whole shebang into his beer-sign lighting circuit. There was no change to the routine for his help in opening shop for business. When they turned on the beer-sign circuit as usual, his "high tech display" would start up and run until they turned off the beersign lights at the end of the day.


      He was aware of the limitations of the system, so he made his images with that in mind. He could create anything he wanted for it to display, with no more intervention from me.

      He seemed happy enough. He was ready to toss it all anyway, and all it cost him was a dinner for me and my buddy.

      I wanted so bad to do something for a '50s style diner in my area to retrofit those table-controlled jukeboxes as a serial terminal so I could queue up .MP3 requests for a DOS MP3 player, but the owner had other vendors in mind.

      That would have been fun, as I wanted to keep all the old vacuum tube amplifiers running, and even the record selector, but what would actually go through the system would be a MP3, not what was coming off the tone arm... the spinning record being "played" would be just for show. It would not make any difference at all what 45rpm record was in the slot... its just there for people to reminisce seeing things behave and hearing that 120Hz hum in it, just like it did when they, like I, was a kid.

      I could rip all the MP3's I needed because he already had licenses from all the copyright people to play copyrighted music in his place. So I could load up the machine with anything. I thought it would be a nice touch if he kept his customer's favorites on the machine, as well as honoring requests. I even have an old mechanical typewriter so I could make more of those tags for the table units so they still looked like they came from the '50s.

      Boy, did I ever date myself with this post.
  • mediakiosk (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:41PM (#39027187)

    If you are using iPad, there is an app called MediaKiosk. This is used with metal kiosk housings that prevent the 'home' button from being pushed and will allow the charge cable to always be connected. Not really helpful for portable.

  • Operating System? (Score:5, Informative)

    by agent_vee (1801664) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:42PM (#39027199)
    Without knowing what Tablet OS you are targeting it is difficult to give you advice. You can just search on google for the terms "kiosk mode" + whatever OS and that should give you what you are looking for.
  • by billDCat (448249) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:43PM (#39027215) Homepage

    A couple of options. One, you could probably bundle the files up into an app like one created using PhoneGap, which would make everything local. Two, you could set the proxy setting to point to a server that you control, that will direct you only to an internal web server that you control. Regardless of how you do it, you will need to physically block the power and home buttons, and for non-iPad tablets, any other button that might take you home like the back button with something like a lockable case. Seems silly to block the internet, though, considering how many people in that waiting room are going to be browsing with their iPhones anyways.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This seems like a terrible idea! People in a hospital are going to be smearing their fingers all over this device, and passing it around. It seems to be a very convenient disease vector. I would not touch it with a 20 foot pole.

    • This seems like a terrible idea! People in a hospital are going to be smearing their fingers all over this device, and passing it around. It seems to be a very convenient disease vector. I would not touch it with a 20 foot pole.

      Don't worry, 20 foot poles aren't very common in waiting rooms, therefore it's unlikely that you'll touch it with one.

    • The thing with touch screen is that it's obvious they are filled with grease from fingertips and mucous from sneezing. So it might actually get wiped down once in a while.

      But remember, ever other surface you touch is going to be similarly filthy, and because it isn't so obvious, it's probably not going to get cleaned as often.

    • On android you can also open an activity in front of the lock screen, or just replace it. So you could have your application appear immediately when the screen turns on, and build a password-ish way of getting to the underlying android OS.
    • Aside from looking for the keywords "kiosk-mode" when searching for a solution tailored to the OS you have in mind, I'd suggest you revisit this entire tablet idea in the first place. Your tablet will most likely be locked down to some heavy furniture for security reasons, so what is the point of making it an expensive fragile tablet anyway. Also, it will require headsets unless you want to bother all the employees and fellow patients with the sound of those videos.

      If I were you, I'd make a real kiosk and I

      • Best idea yet to target smoking areas. And set volume to painful level so they can't get out of earshot.
        /Smoker, Likes to torture others.
        • Yes, I realize you're kidding to an extent, but the entire point of this exercise would be not to antagonize those people you're trying to help quit smoking.

          If you make the videos too annoying, or the designated area(s) too annoying, the kiosk will get vandalized in no time, the area(s) will get avoided and ignored by your target audience. Or may be worse, those people your'e trying to help may get so annoyed -- they'll light up more cigarettes than usual just and they'll make it a point of pride to combat

  • ... should do the trick. Preferably one without any hardware buttons (other than volume/power).

    In the app you can already disable the back button and menu button. The trick will be removing the Home button, Task Switcher button and notifications.

    Now that Honeycomb/ICS source is available you should be able to find where they have the "fullscreen" code. This code is designed so that an app like YouTube can go full-screen -- but, once the user touches the screen, the soft buttons will return.

    Hardware manufa

  • Chrome/ChromiumOS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by micheas (231635) on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:47PM (#39027259) Homepage Journal

    http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os

    The only app that runs is the browser, it is based on gentoo so you can install pam modules to meet your site requirements needs (ldap, kerberos, etc),

    And it is designed so you can easily force an enterprise wide os refresh whenever you need/want.

  • Really not an expert in Android so I am just throwing ideas here.

    Since Android is based on Linux, chmod a-rwx would be an easy staring point. If the application cannot be read and executed, it cannot be started.

    Better, erase the unwanted apps with 'rm' and keep only the one you want, the browser.

    • by lucm (889690)

      Really not an expert in Android so I am just throwing ideas here.

      Since Android is based on Linux, chmod a-rwx would be an easy staring point. If the application cannot be read and executed, it cannot be started.

      Better, erase the unwanted apps with 'rm' and keep only the one you want, the browser.

      I looked on the AppStore and did not find neither chmod or rm, however there is a new Angry Birds

  • Using linux on a omap3230 with a zendframework php app that gets a db loaded with data, mysql..., serving over lighttp to a local browser firefox. The syncing can be done either through a usb stick or local network through a sync server... We served thousands of patients at their home through their platforms. Hope it helps
  • Seriously ... how will the people know to pick up the tablet? Answer - there'll be a poster or something. So, just user the poster to carry the message, and forget the tablet.

    Come to think of it, people at a doctors get enough tablets anyhow.

  • LCD Digitial Frame (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 13, 2012 @07:54PM (#39027363)

    The solution that you want may fully well exist without having to reinvent the wheel.

    Is there any reason you can not use a LCD picture frame?

    I don't know how well they deal with video but I suspect that you can put a good a presentation using stills on one of those.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:02PM (#39027445) Journal

    Just paint a black frame around some rectangular mirrors and put a big reversed brochure printout on the ceiling. Nobody will know the diff and you can keep the real tablets for yourself. (My experience at AOL is paying off.)

    • by lucm (889690) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:18PM (#39027561)

      Just paint a black frame around some rectangular mirrors and put a big reversed brochure printout on the ceiling. Nobody will know the diff and you can keep the real tablets for yourself. (My experience at AOL is paying off.)

      Brilliant! This has the side benefit of making the waiting room a very convenient place to snort coke! (my experience on Wall Street is paying off too!)

  • by lethe1001 (606836) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:03PM (#39027451)
    iOS has parental restrictions. Enable restrictions, enable Safari, leave everything else disabled. No step 3.
    • by lucm (889690)

      iOS has parental restrictions. Enable restrictions, enable Safari, leave everything else disabled. No step 3.

      But how do you get the parents of each patient to come down to the hospital to setup parental restrictions? That's the tricky part (especially if they are dead).

  • by subreality (157447) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:06PM (#39027475)

    Easier: Buy a portable DVD player. Dirt cheap and does what you want. Less likely to get stolen. No software to break.

    If using a Linux tablet, just run X with no window manager and start a fullscreen browser. Google keywords: "Maximus", "Devilspie", "Firefox kiosk mode".

    If you're using Android or iOS, it looks like HockeyPuck has you covered above.

  • Leave a bunch of tablets laying around, even cheap ones, they will disappear pretty quickly. Who's going to round them up and charge them everynight ? BTW: I dont think getting the message out to stop smoking on tablets out will do anything. They know they have a problem, they wont sit their and watch ads and videos telling what they already know. You will just get 50 people a day asking how they can get into their facebook on this thing.
  • And give it a bogus default gateway.

  • by Beardydog (716221) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:29PM (#39027633)
    Tablets are generally designed to be resilient, and usable by the unskilled. For that reason, they can't usually be locked down like this, because the feature, in and of itself, is more technical than tablets are meant to be.

    I don't know much about Androids, but an iPad makes a good example. Can you hijack DNS on the your wifi network? Yes... but it's incredibly easy to join another wifi network that isn't redirected, and there are no User and Administrator type accounts to keep people from doing so.

    If you jailbreak an iPad, there is an extension you can install that locks it into a particular app (the browser, in this case). But getting around it involves, I think, nothing fancier than rebooting the device. You could modify the Hosts file on it to redirect no matter which network the user is on, as well... but a dedicated goof-off could always resort to direct DNS entry to cause mischief.

    I would try to find out if anyone sells a wireless display with touchscreen capabilities. That could be linked to a computer that's locked down at an arbitrary level, and would prevent users from engaging in the kinds of shennigans they get up to when they have access to function keys and Reset buttons. If users can use the ctrl key or reboot the machine, you -will- end up with porn on your browser.

    As a bonus, the device would be borderline useless to anyone who walks off with it and isn't fairly gadget-oriented, and you might be able to run several of them off of one host machine.

    If this exists, someone should let me know, because I've made made want one.

    If it doesn't you cold even use one of these:
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/computing/usb-gadgets/c609/ [thinkgeek.com]

    Wireless is great, but the real goal is just something hand-held that each person in the waiting room can have one of. Run some USB cables out to each end-table in the waiting room, and attach them to these. They're cheap, so have them stolen is less of an issue... unplugging them makes the, stop working, which makes them less immediately temping... they have no keyboard and no buttons that affect the actual computer behind the scenes... They're a perfect solution if you don't mind a few cables.
  • If you are using iPads, besides enabling parental controls, you might also want to prevent access to the home button. I've seen this done at a few well put together installations. A few pieces of plexi-glass and some silicone adhesive will do the trick. If you use some other opaque framing material, you can even make it look like you paid many more thousands of dollars for custom technology.
  • by Shavano (2541114) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:46PM (#39027771)

    Wrong approach. People will walk off your tablets. Instead, have the users bring their own. Set up an open wireless connection that supplies the users with a captive DNS directing everything to your internal service that only serves up your content.

    Don't provide any other open connection. Then your crap shows up on everybody's ipad and android phone. Be prepared to fend off angry customers.

    But at least you save the cost and headache of managing all those tablets and don't have to.replace.them every week.

  • Assuming Android:

    Well, your container application would override some of the keys (onBackButton for example) to do nothing, making it harder to leave the app. Or you could use key events (http://developer.android.com/reference/android/view/KeyEvent.html) to have them fire an event when a key is pressed, that you'd have to configure to your liking. Your only problem would be the home button key, since it doesn't return any value when pressed.

    From what I gather from reading tidbits here and there ( http://sta [stackoverflow.com]

  • by certain death (947081) on Monday February 13, 2012 @08:59PM (#39027881)
    Go grab a copy of this - http://funambol.com/solutions/devicemanagement.php [funambol.com] Setup the DM server and make it do your bidding! :o)
  • I'm talking out my hat here, since I have not done anything with Android or iOS, but the following would work for any generic *nix.

    In Linux, BSD or any *nix (does iOS run a form of BSD, like Mac OSX does?), one can make any program the shell (the thing that comes up when you log in). So as soon as the tablet boots up, it will just be running the web client.

    The problem with that would be how much the web client needs the graphical user interface login. If it needs that, then you can make rsh or another re

  • by cynyr (703126) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:09PM (#39027957)

    Go take a look at the app "kid mode" for android. While not 100% security, if you make the "write here" zone small and out of the way enough, and make the patter harder than "Z", it aught to work well enough. Also you could modify ADW.Launcher or similar to only allow your app.

  • It was a kiosk style app to run on Android tablets - I had my programmer knock it up in a day.
    He built a basic wrapper for the regular Android browser.
    This app hid all the on-screen controls and went full screen. There was no address bar.
    It had a pre-configured URL that the browser went to, and auto-refreshed to after xx minutes of inactivity.
    There was a hidden way to get to the preferences where the URL could be changed.
    It also had the ability to load web pages off internal flash storage so it didn't need

  • change the shell from explorer.exe to your own application -- iexplore.exe would work, so would mshta, or your hta file. I think you can also make it an hta file.

    you can use .pac files to completely filter the internet by regular expression or any algorithm operating on the URL or filesystem, so you could wind up connecting to some internet sites if it becomes applicable.

    you don't need a local server, an hta will work cleaner, with all of jscript to access anything on the system, including the file system,

  • by netsavior (627338) on Monday February 13, 2012 @09:58PM (#39028283)
    Why not use one of the cheap ass video players that sell for 80 bucks and can hold video and PDF documents and pretty much nothing else?

    My kids have these Coby knockoffs [amazon.com] that they love and have no trouble using. They play video (in way more formats than most tablets) and PDF and picturse, and that's about it, no pesky browser or wireless networking to bother with. Best of all it isn't a 500 dollar item people will want to walk off with, and even if they do walk off with it, you are out 80 bucks instead of 500.

    Of course if what you are trying to do is show that you can throw thousands of dollars into the waiting room, that won't really accomplish what you are trying to do.
  • by s0litaire (1205168) on Monday February 13, 2012 @10:43PM (#39028597)

    ...he wants a digital photo frame with Wifi

    and for security... unplug the dam server from the internet! if it's only serving local file then no bloooooody net access is required. ^_^

    Simples!!!

  • iPhone Configuration Utility (free, allows you to lock down pretty much any feature of your iDevice). I've seen at least one deployment where an iPod Touch is used for a museums guided audio tour (because those specific IR devices cost a shit-ton more than an iPod Touch).

    Android has similar options (paid)

    Windows devices have similar options (but you must deploy Active Directory, Windows Server (to run it), SQL Server (backend), Exchange (remote wipe and push the policy) and pay for CAL's for all those)

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