Struggle to unleash the power of Chrome kiosk apps
Our company is engaged in the design of museum exhibits and visitors, and my main task is to develop applications for touch screen kiosks. In love with VIDI featured in kiosk apps using chrome drawers I quickly got my boss to test. Since then, I've gotten a solid understanding of the Chrome App structure that goes through the google tutorials (manifest files, MVC, etc.), and found the performance of our little HP Chromebox plus HTML5 development to be pretty impressive. I am developing on my Macbook using Chrome Canary to run and test apps.
I am adding to this reference so you can better understand my goals. We desperately need these apps to run full screen on power up. It is desirable that you do not log in to the system. I prepare boxes in my office, set them up at the exhibition, at the end. We certainly don't want our media apps to sit in the Chrome Web Store for others to download and install.
So I got to the point where I want to install a simple kiosk app on our HP Chromebox. Unfortunately, Vidia did not go into details of this part. The page of her article only deals with adding
kiosk_enabled" : true
to the manifest file.
So here's what I've tried so far: I moved my app folder to the SD card and moved it there on our HP Chromebox in the Downloads folder (apparently the only folder). I log into the Chrome Browser on the box with my company account ( do I need to do this? ) And download chrome: extensions. I click "download unpacked extension ..." and select my application folder. The app installs and I can start it manually by clicking Run. Then click the Manage Kiosk Apps ... button and enter the app ID in the box. This is where I get stuck. Clicking "Add" throws an "Invalid Application" error.
Looking around the internet I found a lot of confusing information:
- I have to "erase" the Chromebox in order to use the Ctrl+ Alt+ key command Kto actually activate kiosk mode. (Google's instructions on how to do this stop with Samsung and Asus drawers, I have HP, not to mention the Manage Kiosk Apps button is already visible to me).
- I have to upload my app to the web store as both generic and unregistered and then download and install it on my Chromebox. Indeed? I don't want to sell my app or make it available to everyone. It is intended only for participation in our exhibition. Our apps can be HD video data guides!
- I have to make my Chromebox "Managed" or "Enterprise" or "Register" it for Job and Education Administration. In most cases, we will install one or two of the boxes so that users can navigate static HTML pages. I don't need to remotely control the fleet (at least not yet). So the above complications seem unnecessary and expensive if I understand things correctly.
Can someone point me to the final process for achieving my goal of auto-launching a full screen kiosk app on my Chromebox?
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I'm not an expert on this, but kiosk apps are defined with "kiosk_enabled": true in manifest.json. However, it's important to know that from what I've seen, they can work in three different modes:
- If installed as an unpacked extension (for example, in development), they will be available as applications in your registered environment and run, but in full screen mode. They are essentially "normal" applications, except that they are full screen.
- If installed using the "Manage kiosk applications ..." button, they are available without login. On the login screen at the bottom, you will be able to see the application and click to launch it without registering. but they don't start automatically. AFAIK you also cannot load a prepackaged extension this way.
- If you enable kiosk mode for Chrome OS, you can automatically launch kiosk apps. At least on Asus CB you need to do CTRL-ALT-K BEFORE recording for the first time. This is for an unmanaged device. Now when you load an application using "Manage kiosk applications ..." in chrome: // extensions and hover over it in the dialog box, you should see "enable autoplay" or similar button. You need to choose this. Now, when you reboot the system, the application should start automatically. If you want to undo this as soon as the application loads, you can press CTRL-ALT-S. This message is also displayed on the screen.
Hope it helps Simon
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Can't help you with anything kiosk related, but you can create a CRX file from the Extensions page on your development system, get it on the Chromebox, put the Chromebox Extensions page in developer mode, and then drag the CRX to the Extensions page "and leave him. You should see a dialog asking if you want to install it. This is a completely different form of installation than downloading an unpacked extension and can bypass all the restrictions you see.
UPDATE: (1) The extension page on the Chromebox does not need to be in development mode, (2) the CRX to be dragged must be in the Downloads directory, not Google Drive. Didn't test external device (SD card or USB drive).
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To add an app from the Manage Kiosk Apps app, you'll need to publish your app to the Chrome Web Store. If you don't want your app to be publicly available, you can publish it as "Forbidden," which means anyone with a link can install it. Unfortunately, if the app is published as Private, you won't be able to add it as a kiosk app. [ source ]
Also, the only thing you need to do to create a kiosk app is include it
in your manifest.json file.
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