Table of Contents:
Section I: Introduction
When it comes to managing digital signage screens, the ability to remotely manage your digital signage devices can be important. When you have digital signage devices in remote locations it’s important to have control of them in case something goes wrong. Windows and Chrome OS devices come with remote device management capabilities built-in or come with support for 3rd party remote device management apps and services, but on Android, it’s a bit more tricky. Many Android-powered devices like Amazon’s Fire TV Stick devices or Android TV devices like Xiaomi’s Mi Box do not support remote device management apps and services, but Android-powered industrial PCs specifically made for business use cases come with a more full-featured version of Android that does.
We’ve tested a wide range of remote device management services for Android and we recommend AirDroid Business as the best option for managing digital signage media players. AirDroid Business makes it possible to remotely view or control your device, which gives you control in the scenario that something goes wrong. You can also get additional features via their Kiosk Mode and Application Management add-ons.
Note: As noted earlier, if you want to use an Android-powered device that supports remote device management apps and services, you’ll want to use an Android-powered industrial PC specifically made for business use cases. We recommend Geniatech’s APC395X, Ugoos AM6, and Ugoos X3 Cube, which we have tested with both ScreenCloud and AirDroid Business (you can read more about it here).
In this guide, we’ll outline how to get started with AirDroid Business and set it up with your Android-powered digital signage device.
Section II: Signing Up For an Account
2.1. You can get started with AirDroid Business by signing up for a free trial on their website. Go to https://www.airdroid.com/en/bizHome.html and click on the “Get Free Trial” button on the main banner.
2.2 Next, fill in the necessary information like an email, password and other information for your account and then click “Submit”.
2.3. After that, you will see a notice saying that “a verification mail has been sent to your email account”.
2.4. Check your email and click the “Start Now” button in the email you received.
2.5. The link will take you directly to the AirDroid Business admin console and log you in, giving you the opportunity to add some more information about your account. Enter the required information and select “Save”.
2.6. You will then be taken to the main page of the AirDroid Business admin console, where you can get started using AirDroid Business.
Section III: Purchase & Pricing
In order to use AirDroid Business, you will need to buy licenses for each of your devices. Prices start at $10/device/year for the Basic license. If you want additional features such as the App Management and Kiosk Mode features (which can be useful for managing digital signage devices) it will cost an additional $5/device/year for each feature.
To see full pricing and feature information and the difference between the Basic, Ultimate and Enterprise licenses you can visit AirDroid Business’ Pricing & Features page here, or you can read this blog post from them that explains their pricing in more detail.
3.1. To purchase licenses, select your account name in the top right of the AirDroid Business admin console and then select “Purchase”, or go to this link here.
3.2. Next, select the “Purchase” next to the license type you want to purchase and on the next page choose how many licenses you want to purchase and your payment details and then select “Purchase” at the bottom of the page.
Section IV: Adding a Device
Once you’ve purchased licenses, it’s time to add the Android-powered devices you want to manage.
4.1. On the homepage of the AirDroid Business admin console, select “Add Devices”.
4.2. Then on the Devices page select the “Add Device Wizard” or “Add” button.
4.3. Next, keep this page open and switch to your Android-powered device to follow the steps shown on screen.
Note: As noted earlier, we recommend Geniatech’s APC395X, Ugoos AM6, and Ugoos X3 Cube, which we have tested with both ScreenCloud and AirDroid Business (you can read more about it here). The following steps will not work for some other Android-powered devices.
Note: The Geniatech APC395X, Ugoos AM6, and Ugoos X3 Cube are referred to as an Android-powered industrial PCs specifically made for business use cases, which it’s used much in the same way another PC like a Windows PC would be used. As such, it’s easier to use with a keyboard and mouse combo, connected to your device via a Bluetooth USB dongle. When using a mouse with this device, use the left-click button to select things and the right-click button to go back.
4.4. There are a few different ways to load the AirDroid Business app onto your Android-powered device, including downloading the APK from the AirDroid Business admin console and bulk binding options. Unfortunately, AirDroid has recently removed its application from the Google Play Store, so to simplify these steps as much as possible we created a direct download link that will help you install the AirDroid Business app.
On your Android-powered device, go to the Google Chrome app and type in this URL https://airdroid.at/824477. This URL will bring you to a page where you can download the APK file.
4.5. The page will ask you if you would like to download this APK file, use an attachable mouse or the available mouse mode on your remote to select “Download”.
4.6. Select “Install” when prompted. After the app finishes installing, select “Open” to open it.
4.7. After the app opens for the first time, it will most likely show that there is an “Update available”. Select “OK” to download the update.
4.8. After the update finishes downloading, the installer will open. Select “Install” to install the update and once it finishes installing select “Open” to return to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
Note: These next steps (4.9. - 4.12.) are specifically for the Geniatech APC395X device because you must enable a feature in the settings menu. If you are using an Ugoos AM6, Ugoos X3 Cube, this step can be done within the Biz Daemon app so simply continue following the steps from 4.12.
4.9. Next, exit the app by selecting back, which will bring you to the Google Play Store where you were previously. Continue to select back until you get to the home screen.
4.10. Here select the “Settings” app in the bottom left, on by opening the app drawer and selecting the “Settings” app.
4.11. Here we will need to set one permission for the AirDroid Business Daemon app that it cannot set from inside the app. Use the search function in the top right and search for “accessibility” and choose the “Accessibility” result that shows at the top.
In Accessibility select the second item “Biz Daemon”, turn the option from on and select “OK” when prompted.
4.12. Next, go back to the home screen by selecting back until you are back at the home screen.
Now, open the “Biz Daemon” app. Look back at your AirDroid Business admin console and enter the deployment code you see there in the available space in the AirDroid Business Daemon app and then select “OK” to start the process of binding the device to your AirDroid Business account.
You will be asked to “confirm binding”, just select “OK”.
4.13. You will see a notice that “the device is bound successfully”. Next select “OK” to start the process of giving the AirDroid Business Daemon app permissions to device resources.
The app will start by “checking necessary permissions”.
4.14. The app will then show you a list of permissions you will need to grant. You will need to turn each one from off to on and follow the necessary steps.
If you are using an Ugoos device, you can enable the "Accessibility Settings" directly through the Biz Daemon app.
4.15. Select the "Accessibility" button and it will bring you to a separate page.
4.16. Select the "Biz Daemon" button located underneath the Downloaded services section and enable the "Use Service" button when prompted. When you are done, click the back button until you are brought back to the Biz Daemon app and the permission will be enabled.
These next steps are applied to all devices. Start by turning the “Screenshot” option on. A dialog will appear. Select “don’t show again” and then select “start now”.
4.17. Next, turn the “Location” option on. On the next screen, select “Mode”, then change the option from “Device only” to “High accuracy”. Select “agree” when prompted and then select back until you return to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
4.18. Next, turn the “Device admin apps” option on. On the next screen, select “Activate this device administrator”.
4.19. Next, turn the “Allow collect app usage data” option on and select “OK” on the pop-up that appears.
On the next screen, select “Biz Daemon” and then turn the “Permit usage access” option on, then select back until you return to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
4.20. Next, turn the “Apps notification” option on. On the next screen turn the “Biz Daemon” option on and select “Allow” when prompted, then select back until you return to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
4.21. Next, turn the “Set as default launcher” option on and select “OK” on the pop-up that appears and then on the next pop-up select the first option and select “Always”.
On the next screen, select the “Home app - No default app” and then select the “AirDroid Business Kiosk” option. Then select back until you return to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
4.22. Next, turn the “Ignore battery optimizations” option on, choose to complete the next action using “Battery optimization”, then select “Always”. Then select “Yes” on the next pop-up.
4.23. Finally, click the “Complete” button at the bottom of the page and then click “Complete” on the pop-up that appears.
Good work, you’re done installing the AirDroid Business Daemon app, binding it to your AirDroid Business account and giving it the necessary permissions to operate optimally.
4.24. If you return to your AirDroid Business admin console you will see that on the Devices page a new device has been added.
You can change the device name by clicking the edit button (the second button for the device under “Operations”) and setting a “Device Name”.
Section V: Remote Controlling a Device
Now that you’ve set up your AirDroid Business account and adding a device, you can remotely control this device at any time using the AirDroid Controller app on your Windows or macOS PC, or Android or iOS (beta) tablet.
Note: If you are a company that has a fleet of devices in numerous locations, you may need to remotely access your devices to either refresh your screens, set certain settings or make changes to your content.
Airdroids “Restricted Access” is a safety measure programmed into the app that forces the user to manually accept using a mouse or remote to give permission, allowing you to remotely access a device using the Airdroid Business app. This is very useful and gives a second layer of security for customers, but this can cause many problems if the location of the screen is in a different city as there is no one to manually accept this permission.
To disable this feature follow the next couple of steps. If you would like to keep this feature enabled and learn how to remotely control your device continue to steps 5.5.
Disable "Restricted Access" Feature
5.1. Open your Business Airdroid web page and select “Devices” next select the “Default” group on the left-hand side.
5.2. Next, select the “Permissions” button and ensure the box is NOT ticked to Disable the “Restricted Access” feature, then click OK.
5.3. Now head over to your Android-powered device and open the Biz-Daemon app.
5.4. Scroll down the list of enabled permissions until you see the "Restricted Access" button and select "Off" like so:
By disabling these two features, you will no longer have to manually select accept to remotely control your device.
How to Remotely Control your Device
5.5. In your AirDroid Business admin console, click the download button in the top right.
5.6. Next, scroll to the bottom of the download page and download one of the available Controller app (for the purpose of this guide we will be downloading the Windows version).
5.7. Once the installer file has downloaded it, open it and run the installation. After the installation is completed the AirDroid Business Controller app will automatically open.
5.8. Enter your username and password to login to your AirDroid Business account.
5.9. Once logged in, you will see your available devices on the left. Select the one you would like to remotely control to see all the control options, which include “Remote Camera”, “Files”, “View Mode” and “Remote Control”.
To remotely control your device, select “Remote Control”. The AirDroid Business Controller app will connect to your device and allow you to control the device with the mouse, keyboard and/or touch.
You can use the remote control feature to control the ScreenCloud player app, access and change the device’s settings and more.
5.10. If you would like to reboot the device, use the remote control feature to open the Biz Daemon app, click the three-dot menu item in the top right and select “Reboot device” and then select “Confirm reboot”.
While the device reboots you will see a “Connection failed” message.
Give the device some time to restart and then select “Retry”. The AirDroid Business Controller app will re-connect to the device.
Section VI: Kiosk Mode
AirDroid Business has a Kiosk Mode add-on which allows you to lock down the device environment of your Android-powered devices.
The Kiosk Mode add-on allows you to replace the default launcher and homepage with on from AirDroid Business which allows you to do things like only show and allow certain apps to be opened, auto-launch a specific app on startup, hide system settings and block access to the device’s system with password protection. This is useful for scenarios where your Android-powered devices are in a public space and you do not want them tampered with.
To find out more about AirDroid Business’ Kiosk Mode add-on, check out the following guides:
- What is Kiosk Mode?
- What features does Kiosk Mode include?
- How to set up your Kiosk
- Other Kiosk Mode guides
Section VII: Application Management (AMS)
AirDroid Business has an Application Management (AMS) add-on which allows you to manage installing apps on your remote devices.
The Application Management add-on allows you to create a library of apps that you manage and install, force install apps, manage app updates with scheduled releases and staged rollout features.
To find out more about AirDroid Business’ Application Management add-on, check out the following guides:
- Getting started with AMS
- How to create and update apps
- App release on demand
- Staged rollout
- What is forced installation?
- What is scheduled release?
Section VIII: Additional Guides & Support
AirDroid comes with a wide array of other features, management, and organizational options. You can find out more at their help center here or submit a support ticket here or by clicking the “Ticket” text link at the top right of your AirDroid Business admin console.
If you have any additional questions on [title or summarization of the article here], or any other questions or feedback about ScreenCloud, feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335.