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 the 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 Biz Daemon app onto your Android-powered devices such as downloading the APK from the AirDroid Business admin console through bulk binding options.
Unfortunately, AirDroid has recently removed its application from the Google Play Store, so to install the Airdroid Biz Daemon app, follow the provided steps below.
4.5. On your Android-powered device, using an attachable mouse and keyboard, go to the Google Chrome app or any browser and type in this URL https://biz.airdroid.com and log-in to your Airdroid business console account.
4.6. Once you are signed-in to your Airdroid business console account, select the download button located at the top right section of the screen.
4.7. Next scroll down till you see the "Bulk Deployment" option and select "Download APK".
The difference between the Basic Version and the Bulk Deployment version is once you download the app, it will automatically be binded to your Airdroid Admin Console account, taking away the need to manually enter the deployment code in order to add your devices. This is very useful when adding numerous devices.
Your device may ask you to give storage access in order to download files. Go ahead and select "Update Permissions".
Select "Allow" to give Chrome the ability to open your settings menu.
You will then be directed to another page where you must enable installation from unknown apps. Select "Settings" when prompted and then enable the option that says "Allow from this source".
4.8. Next select back on your attached mouse or remote to return to the Chrome app where you will continue installing the Airdroid Biz Daemon app.
Once you are back on the Chrome app page, select "Download APK" again (as you previously did not download the app yet, given the need to enable some settings) and then select "open" when prompted like so:
4.9. You will be notified that the APK might be harmful to your device but go ahead and select "OK" as this application will not harm your device.
4.10. Next select “Install” when prompted. After the app finishes installing, select “Open” to open it.
4.11. 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.
4.12. After the update finishes downloading, the installer will open. Select “Install” to install the update. Once the installation is finished, select “Open” to return back to the AirDroid Business Daemon app.
4.13. At this point, your Airdroid Biz Daemon app will begin automatically binding the app to your Airdroid admin console account where you can control this device.
4.14. You will see a notice that “the device is bound successfully” to your company. Next select “OK” to start the process of giving the AirDroid Biz Daemon app permissions to device resources.
The app will start by “checking necessary permissions”.
4.15. The app will then show you a list of permissions you will need to grant. We recommend setting up a basic setup first for your device which only uses remote device management features. To do this simply scroll down to the bottom of the page and select "Skip", wait 5 seconds, and then select "Skip" again.
If you wish to use the extra Airdroid Biz Daemon features later on, you may do so by enabling features in the future.
4.16. Next name your device and click on "Complete".
After you will be brought to the Biz-Daemon main page. This process is a lot faster in deployment, and most importantly, the Biz-Daemon can be updated anytime there's a new package. The only downside here is your Biz-Daemon will see certain functions with the exclamation marks like so:
4.17. Please Note! Leave the "Restricted Access" feature in the OFF mode if you wish to access the device at any time. Turning this feature ON will require someone at the device to click on the screen and allow the remote session. This is usually used for privacy protection.
Note: If you do not see this feature it means your device is NOT rooted. An unrooted device means you do not have full control over your device.
4.18. To root your device go to the main home screen by selecting back. Locate the settings menu by selecting the gear icon, then select "X3 settings".
4.19. Next select "Root".
4.20. Next, you will see whether your device is rooted or not rooted. If it is not rooted select "Install Root".
4.21. Select the "Silent" option. This option will allow you to take control of your device automatically without any on-screen confirmation needed. This is important if you are controlling a device remotely and do not have any on-site personnel who can select confirmation when you want to connect.
Select back and you will now see your device is rooted.
4.22. Now head back to the Airdroid Biz Daemon app and select "Remote Control" and enable "Root".
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.
4.23. 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: Additional Airdroid Biz Daemon App Configurations
5.1. These next steps are applied to all devices. If you would like to enable Screenshots, start by turning the “Screenshot” option on. A dialog will appear. Select “don’t show again” and then select “start now”.
5.2. 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.
5.3. Next, turn the “Device admin apps” option on. On the next screen, select “Activate this device administrator”.
5.4. 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.
5.5. 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.
5.6. 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.
5.7. 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.
5.8. Finally, click the “Complete” button at the bottom of the page and then click “Complete” on the pop-up that appears.
Section VI: 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
6.1. Open your Business Airdroid web page and select “Devices” next select the “Default” group on the left-hand side.
6.2. 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.
6.4. 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
6.5. In your AirDroid Business admin console, click the download button in the top right.
6.6. 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).
6.7. 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.
6.8. Enter your username and password to login to your AirDroid Business account.
6.9. 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.
6.10. 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 VII: Kiosk Mode
AirDroid Business has a Kiosk Mode add-on that 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 VIII: 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 IX: 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 how to remotely manage your Android devices with AirDroid Business, 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.