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How to configure 100's of androids automatically.

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by odaugaard, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. odaugaard

    odaugaard Lurker
    Thread Starter


    I am about to assist in deploying a large amount of android device. The requirement is, that the devices (700+) need to be charged, configured and provisioned with the relevant applications for the end-users before delivery.

    Device info:
    Android 2.3.3
    Samsung Galaxy SII

    This is not windows mobile, so I am unsure if I can code/design a solution to avoid this enormous manual task.

    Is it possible to code something for an sd-card that will be automatically triggered on insertion (as on WM)? This would then provision the device etc.

    Is it possible to bypass the initial prompts - To my knowledge you will be prompted for entering the info for your google accounts?

    If above is not possible, do I then need to create 700+ google accounts?

    Hope someone can help:)


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  2. B2L

    B2L Android Expert

    Welcome to AF! Personally I'm unsure of a way to configure multiple Android devices at the same time. I did quite a bit of searching around, and have found nothing that will do this. :/ I'll keep looking around, hopefully another user will have the answer you're looking for.
  3. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert

    Make an update.zip for apps .Copy on SD card .Boot in recovery . Apply update.zip.
  4. odaugaard

    odaugaard Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Can you direct me as to where I should look for guidance to make this update.zip? (I am new to Android)

    Furthermore, we have looked at a protocol used for communication between computer and the device. Maybe it would be possible to biuld a program that can connect and configure devices on a network. As using an USB active sync connection or via WLAN. Any thoughts on this?

  5. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    Wow...700+ Android devices eh? O.O

    Yes, you can use your phone without a Google account but that will limit you as you will be unable to access the market.
    Don't you need to root for this?
  6. Crashdamage

    Crashdamage Android Expert

    The suggestion to create an 'update.zip' or 'config.zip' file sounds about right and would not require root access. May even be possible to include automatic creation of Google accounts.

    Try going to:
    and posting your question in the appropriate section there. Many active, experienced Android developers there who should be able to help. Some may even have prior experience in a multiple deployment like this.
    Roze likes this.
  7. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert

    There are blank update.zip's available .
    You will need to create a folder structure first
    for apps I think you will require
    system apps will be locked to device .Data apps can be uninstalled .libs are required by some apps to run
    After placing the relevant files you will need to create a relevant unix script.
    Another method I use is a fairly simple one
    • install android sdk on a computer
    • create the list of apps in notepad
    • add adb install in front of each apk
    • save the file as a batch script like a.bat
    • Connect a phone
    • Run the script .
    mass app install in seconds or minutes
    Lets say I have 1.apk ,2.apk , 3.apk,4.apk in folder C:\apps,which I want to install on phone

    my notepad install.bat file should look like

    echo it begins
    adb wait-for-device
    adb install C:\apps\1.apk
    adb install C:\apps\2.apk
    adb install C:\apps\3.apk
    adb install C:\apps\4.apk
    echo it ends

    adb wait-for-device waits for usb connection .I
    This will actually install apps rapidly .(I have my backup script of 45 test apps)
    It's same for linux except it will be a bash script

    Now connect a device
    Run install.bat

    Done .One click customisation.

    And the most important thing use this method only on legitimate apks .
    This method shouldn't be used to evade licensed apps or warez .
  8. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery

    Great step by step Karandpr <3

    ^--*puts lots of emphasis on this :)

    Please support our beloved developers. Without them, Android wouldn't be where Android is today :)
  9. odaugaard

    odaugaard Lurker
    Thread Starter


    Thank you so very very much! This is definitely the direction I was aiming for. I will start fetching the SDK and start testing it.

    This is like an enterprise implementation, so there will absolutely positively be no evading of licensing etc. This is basically because the end-users need the device for work, but they might not even know what the Android market is. Thus it is a requirement that the Android phones are delivered with everything installed.

    Question 1: Would it be possible to connect multiple devices and deploy via ADB connection. Via like a USB hub ?

    Question 2: It might be obvious, but I just need to make sure. Does this method bypass the google account registration?

    Thanks again:)
  10. karandpr

    karandpr Android Expert

    Answer for question 2.

    Yes it totally bypasses the need for market account .
    You install .apk files directly like an installer file (But quicker )
    Some developers Have their .apks available for download on their website or you can contact them individually for .apk file .
    Open source .apks are usually freely available .
    By installing .apk you are agreeing to their terms and conditions and you have provided permissions relevant to each app installed .
    Or .apk is obtained when you backup a certain app after installing it from market with a File Explorer like ES File explorer/Filexpert/Super manager.
    You will still need to contact the author for his rules regarding mass install .

    It's wise to read about permissions before your mass deployment
    Here is alostpackets' quick guide to permissions

    Answer Question 1 :
    No and yes
    adb install can only work on one device at one time .
    In fact if you say connect three devices at once ,you will get a multiple device error .
    Then you will have to specify the target device and use
    adb -s <serialNumber> install

    But you can automate the process by looping and some clever scripting .
    adb devices gives you the devices attached to the Hub
    e.g .
    say you have three devices attached to hub
    adb devices will give you

    I91002152652562 device
    I91002152652563 device
    I91002152652564 device

    now make the script so that the commands are directly automated to
    adb -s I91002152652562 install C:\apps\1.apk
    adb -s I91002152652562 install C:\apps\11.apk
    echo 1 over 2 next
    adb -s I91002152652563 install C:\apps\1.apk
    adb -s I91002152652563 install C:\apps\11.apk
    echo 2 over 3 next
    adb -s I91002152652564 install C:\apps\11.apk
    adb -s I91002152652564 install C:\apps\1.apk
    echo 3 over

    It actually depends on how much imagination you will use while scripting . :D
    odaugaard, Crashdamage and Roze like this.
  11. odaugaard

    odaugaard Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Again you've been very helpful. Thanks:)
  12. atraum

    atraum Member

    Cross post from XDA for those that don't frequent there:
    Similar situation here and am fielding any suggestions or ideas if things have changed in the last several months regarding deployment.

    Deploying approx 200 Asus Transformers in an educational setting

    Wish List:
    Setup all units using the same Google account, populate static name on the lockscreen, install 3 specific apps on each and the ability to identify each one individually on the market for individual app install by an "administrator".

    Currently we are doing each unit manually and then having to wait a few minutes for the Market to populate the new unit and then changing the nickname to the bldg/room number. If we don't wait for the Market to refresh for the new device they will all show as Asus Transformer TF101 and obviously we will not know which device to send specific apps to when they are requested.

    There just has to be a better way! I checked out SureMDM and it has a lot of features that we really don't need and it doesn't appear to accomplish what we do need.

    Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!
  13. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=

    Hmmm... hoping you'll get some informed responses to that, atraum. I'm wondering if Google Support has seen queries about deploying multiple devices with the same account.

    Contact Google
  14. Weaksid

    Weaksid Newbie

    I'm currently looking too for a good solution for mass droid roll outs. I work for a school district and it's a Apple Vs Droid thing right now and Droids aren't rolling out too well. iPads are taking over and they are hitting big for Special Education and administration is sneaking in even in the elementary level. Two of our techs have already gone to several Apple trainings and they came back with so much they can do with the iPads. Now my job since I'm a droid person is to see if I can do the same thing or do it better with the droid. I didn't want to make a separate thread since this thread deals with one of my issues.

    Apple has two tools called, Apple Configurator and MDM. They will push down configurations and images automatically, plus rename if set to do so. Trying to find something that will do something similar if possible.

    It seems like several people in this thread are looking for basically the same thing I am.

    Tresezk, your suggestion looks very promising at installing just apps in mass. The one big issue I see this way is that you would still have to set up each device individually.

    Like the tools above from Apple, it will give it the image, rename, and configure the devices the way you want through a client software. Another thing to compare to is like we currently use Symantic Ghost for our PCs and looking into Fog right now to roll out images. It would be so nice to do the same on the droids and I think this is what several of the other members are looking for too.

    Simple and Automatic are the two biggest factors into looking for the solution.

    odaugaard and atraum, did any of you two find the solutions you were looking for?
  15. ICSfan

    ICSfan Lurker

    I too have been tasked with deploying numerous stock ICS devices with three profiles - essentially a basic with three minor tweaks to meet the needs of 3 slightly different user groups.

    This is about 25 units per group for this volunteer association. I need to remove the bloatware and leave a basic/minimal footprint preferably linked to a designated service GMail account for each and the devices in these groups would remain like-configured although different data sets might be pushed to members of the same group.

    So the differences would be: different data set; and, one specific app would have a device specific key. The data and the app would need to be left alone rather than 'sync'd or backed up' and potentially removing these two unique bits of this configuration.


    It seems that there were a few requests here but the thread may have gone stale before a resolve was found...


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