Implementing Android™ Player implementing-android-player

This section describes configuring the Android™ player. It provides information of the configuration file and the options available and recommendations as to which settings to use for development and testing.

Also, Watchdog is a solution to recover the player from crashes. An application must register itself with the watchdog service and then periodically send messages to the service that it is alive. In case the watchdog service does not receive a keep-alive message within a stipulated time, the service attempts to reboot the device. It does so for a clean recovery (if it has the sufficient privileges) or restarts the application.

Installing Android™ Player installing-android-player

To implement Android™ Player for AEM Screens, install Android™ Player for AEM Screens.

Visit the AEM 6.5 Player Downloads page.

Setting up Environment for AEM Screens 6.5.5 Service Pack fp-environment-setup

Set up an environment for the Android™ player if you are using AEM Screens 6.5.5 Service Pack.

Set the SameSite attribute for the login-token cookies from Lax to None from Adobe Experience Manager Web Console Configuration on all AEM author and publish instances.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Navigate to Adobe Experience Manager Web Console Configuration using http://localhost:4502/system/console/configMgr.

  2. Search for Adobe Granite Token Authentication Handler.

  3. Set the SameSite attribute for the login-token cookies from Lax to None.

  4. Click Save.

Ad-Hoc Method ad-hoc-method

The Ad-Hoc method lets you install the latest Android™ Player (.exe). Visit the AEM 6.5 Player Downloads page.

After you download the application, follow the steps on the player to complete the ad-hoc installation:

  1. Long-press on the top-left corner to open the admin panel.

  2. Navigate to Configuration from the left action menu and enter the location (address) of the AEM instance you want to connect to and click Save.

  3. Navigate to the Device Registration link from the left action menu so you can check the status of the device registration process.

If the State is REGISTERED, you can see that the Device id field is populated.
If the State is UNREGISTERED, you can use the Token to register the device.

Implementing Android™ Watchdog implementing-android-watchdog

Due to Android™’s architecture, rebooting the device requires that the application has system privileges. Sign the apk using the manufacturer’s signing keys, otherwise the watchdog can restart the player application and not reboot the device.

Signage of Android™ apks using Manufacturer Keys signage-of-android-apks-using-manufacturer-keys

To access some of the privileged APIs of Android™ such as PowerManager or HDMIControlServices, sign the Android™ apk using the manufacturer’s keys.

You should have the Android™ SDK installed before you perform the following steps.

Follow the steps below to sign the Android™ apk using the manufacturer’s keys:

  1. Download the apk from Google Play or from the AEM Screens Player Downloads page

  2. Obtain the platform keys from the manufacturer so you can get a pk8 and a pem file

  3. Locate the apksigner tool in Android™ SDK using find ~/Library/Android/sdk/build-tools -name "apksigner"

  4. <pathto> /apksigner sign --key platform.pk8 --cert platform.x509.pem aemscreensplayer.apk

  5. Find the path to the zip align tool in the Android™ SDK

  6. <pathto> /zipalign -fv 4 aemscreensplayer.apk aemscreensaligned.apk

  7. Install aemscreensaligned.apk using adb install to the device

Understanding Android™ Watchdog Services android-watchdog-services

The cross-Android watchdog service is implemented as a Cordova plugin using AlarmManager.

The following diagram shows the implementation of the watchdog service:


1. Initialization – At the time of initialization of the Cordova plugin, permissions are checked to see if you have system privileges and thus the Reboot permission. If these two criteria are met, a pending Intent for Reboot is created, otherwise a pending Intent to restart the application (based on its Launch Activity) is created.

2. Keep Alive Timer – A keep alive timer is used to trigger an event every 15 seconds. In that event, cancel the existing pending intent (to reboot or restart the app) and register a new pending intent for the same 60 seconds in the future (essentially postponing the reboot).

In Android™, the AlarmManager is used to register the pendingIntents that can execute even if the app has crashed and its alarm delivery is inexact from API 19 (Kitkat). Keep some spacing between the timer’s interval and the AlarmManager’s pendingIntent’s alarm.

3. Application Crash – If there is a crash, the pendingIntent for Reboot registered with AlarmManager is no longer reset. Therefore, it runs a reboot or restart of the app (depending on permissions available at the time of initialization of the Cordova plugin).

Bulk Provisioning of Android™ Player bulk-provision-android-player

When rolling out the Android™ player in bulk, there is a need to provision the player to point to an AEM instance and configure other properties without manually entering them in the Admin UI.

This feature is available from Android™ player 42.0.372.

Follow the steps below to allow bulk provisioning in the Android™ player:

  1. Create a configuration JSON file with the name player-config.default.json.
    See an Example JSON Policy and a table that describes the use of the various Policy Attributes.

  2. Use an MDM or ADB or Android™ Studio file explorer to drop this policy JSON file to the sdcard folder on the Android™ device.

  3. When the file is deployed, use the MDM to install the player application.

  4. When the player application launches, this configuration file is read and points to the applicable AEM server where it is registered and then controlled.

    note note
    This file is read only the first time that the application is launched and cannot be used for subsequent configurations. If the player is launched before the configuration file was dropped, simply uninstall and reinstall the application on the device.

Policy Attributes policy-attributes

The following table summarizes the policy attributes with an example policy JSON for reference:

Policy Name
The URL to the Adobe Experience Manager server.
The resolution of the device.
The schedule to reboot applies to all platforms.
Enable the Admin UI to configure the device on site. Set to false once it is fully configured and in production.
Enable the channel switcher UI for users to switch channels on the device. Consider setting it to false after it is fully configured and in production.
Enable if you want to show the progress of activities such as download and sync. Enable for troubleshooting and disable once it is fully configured and in production.
Enable if you want to use native hardware acceleration for video playback (Android™ only).

Example JSON Policy example-json

  "server": "",
"device": "",
"user": "",
"password": "",
"resolution": "auto",
"rebootSchedule": "at 4:00 am",
"maxNumberOfLogFilesToKeep": 10,
"logLevel": 3,
"enableAdminUI": true,
"enableOSD": true,
"enableActivityUI": false,
"enableNativeVideo": false,
"enableAutoScreenshot": false,
"cloudMode": false,
"cloudUrl": "",
"cloudToken": "",
"enableDeveloperMode": true
All Android™ devices have an *sdcard* folder whether an actual *sdcard* is inserted or not. This file when deployed would be at the same level as the Downloads folder. Some MDMs, such as Samsung Knox, may see this sdcard folder location as Internal storage.

Bulk Provisioning of Android™ Player using Enterprise Mobility Management bulk-provisioning

When deploying the Android™ player in bulk, it becomes tedious to register every player manually with AEM. Use an EMM (Enterprise Mobility Management) solution such as VMWare Airwatch, MobileIron, or Samsung Knox so you can remotely provision and manage your deployment. AEM Screens Android™ player supports the industry standard EMM AppConfig to allow for remote provisioning.

Naming Android™ Player name-android

You can assign a user-friendly device name to your Android™ player, thus sending the assigned device name to AEM (Adobe Experience Manager). This capability not only lets you name your Android™ player but also lets you easily assign appropriate content.

You can choose the Player name only before registration. After the Player is registered, the Player name cannot be changed anymore.

Follow the steps below to configure the name in the Android™ player:

  1. Navigate to settings > About device
  2. Edit and set your device name to name your Android™ player

Implementing Bulk Provisioning of Android™ Player using Enterprise Mobility Management implementation

Follow the steps below to allow bulk provisioning in Android™ Player:

  1. Ensure your Android™ device supports Google Play services.

  2. Enroll your Android™ player devices with your favorite EMM solution that supports AppConfig.

  3. Log in to your EMM console and pull the AEM Screens Player application from Google Play.

  4. Click the managed configuration or related option.

  5. You should now see a list of player options that can be configured, such as server and bulk registration code.

  6. Configure these parameters, save, and deploy the policy to the devices.

    note note
    The devices should receive the application along with the configuration. It should point to the correct AEM server with the selected configuration. If you chose to configure the bulk registration code and kept it the same as configured in AEM, the player should be able to register itself automatically. If you configured a default display, it can also download and show some default content (which can later be changed as per your convenience).

Also, you should check with your EMM vendor on AppConfig support. Most popular ones such as VMWare Airwatch, Mobile Iron, SOTI, BlackBerry&reg; UEM, IBM&reg; Maas360, and Samsung Knox among others support this industry standard.

Using the Screens Remote Control using-remote-control

AEM Screens provides Remote Control functionality. Learn more about this feature here: Screens Remote Control