With ScreenCloud, you can show your digital signage content using a wide range of supported Android devices, including Android powered TVs, tablets, and media players.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to set up ScreenCloud’s digital signage software using an Android device, plus a step-by-step guide to adding your content to your screen quickly and easily.
Table of Contents:
Section I: Understanding the Different Versions of Android and Knowing Which To Choose
Android is the most popular operating system in the world and at its core is also open source. What this means is that Android is used in all sorts of different ways on a wide range of computing devices, with everything from TVs to tablets and TV boxes to industrial PCs being powered by Android.
Because of this, there are a wide range of different versions of Android, with different versions being a better choice for different use cases. Let's take a look at the key versions of Android used to power digital signage devices, and which one to choose for different use cases.
Android TV is a version of the Android operating system by Google designed for TVs and TV boxes. It's specifically designed with consumer use cases in mind like home entertainment and because of this the interface has a more simplified interface than the Android versions you would find on a phone or tablet.
This simplified interface makes Android TV really easy to use but does come with a few downsides, specifically that it only supports Android apps designed for Android TV, meaning it doesn't support business apps and features like remote device management apps. Because of this, TVs and TV boxes powered by Android TV are perfect for digital signage setups where you will have access to the device, but aren't good for setups where your TVs and TV boxes will be in remote locations.
To summarize, using a TV or TV box powered by Android TV is a great way to get started with digital signage using ScreenCloud, specifically for more simple setups.
Android AOSP refers to the Android Open Source Project. Android is developed by Google until the latest changes and updates are ready to be released, at which point the source code is made available to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), an open source initiative led by Google. Many hardware manufacturers use this source code as the starting point for their own custom versions of Android used to power their devices, likes displays and digital signage media players.
As Android AOSP devices are custom designed by their manufacturers, there are some great Android AOSP devices specifically designed for use cases like digital signage. The main advantage of getting, for example, a digital signage media player powered by Android AOSP instead of Android TV is that it's not as simplified as an Android TV device and does support business apps and features like remote device management apps. Because of this, displays and digital signage media players powered by Android AOSP are perfect for a wider range of digital signage setups than devices powered by Android TV, including use cases where your setups are in remote locations and you will not have access to the device.
To summarize, use an Android AOSP display or digital signage media player if you need a device that doesn't have as simplified an interface as an Android TV device and supports a wider range of use cases like remote device management.
When we talk about "standard" Android devices, we're talking about Android powered consumer devices like phones and tablets that you may be more familiar with and use on a day to day basis. In a sense these devices are not that different from Android AOSP devices in that their manufacturers use Google's source code as a starting point for their own custom versions of Android, but the difference is that they are available from manufacturers (like Samsung) and run Android skins (like Samsung's One UI) which you may be more familiar with.
The most common "standard" Android devices used for digital signage are consumer tablets, which can easily be turned into digital signage displays. Like devices powered by Android AOSP, Android tablets that run a more standard version of Android are very full featured and aren't as simplified as devices powered by Android TV meaning they do support business apps and features like remote device management apps.
To summarize, you'll probably find a more "standard" version of Android when using devices like consumer tablets for digital signage, which shouldn't be a problem as it won't have as simplified an interface as Android TV and will support a wide range of use cases like remote device management.
Section II. How to Set Up ScreenCloud On a TV or TV Box Running Android TV
The process of setting up either a TV or TV Box running Android TV is basically the same as both essentially run on the same operating system. The reason for this is that only certified OEMs can run official Android TV, which is provided by Google. You can see the full list of the certified OEMs that provide hardware running Android TV here. There are some differences though, namely that not all hardware available will be running the latest version of Android TV (the latest currently being Android TV 11, as of the time of writing this article), but this guide should get you through things without much issue.
To see which TVs running Android TV we recommend for our customers, take a look at our article on that topic here.
1. How to Set Up ScreenCloud On a Device Running Android TV
2.1.1. Power up your TV or TV Box running Android TV and follow the necessary startup steps if you are using a new device, such as selecting your language preference, setting up your WIFI configuration, and signing in to your Google Account.
After you have completed the necessary set up steps, this is what your TV or TV Box running Android TV will look like:
2.1.2. Next, locate and open the "Google Play Store" and search for the "ScreenCloud Signage Player" app and select "Download".
2.1.3. Once you have finished downloading the app, select "Open" to launch the app.
When given an option to enable "Start at Boot", select "Yes".
2.1.4. Make a note of the pairing code - this is the code you need to enter into the "Screens" section of your ScreenCloud account.
2. How To Reset the Pairing Code On a Device Running Android TV
2.2.1. While inside the ScreenCloud app, press the menu button on the remote (note that on some devices you may need to long press the center button as their will be no menu button).
2.2.2. The side menu will appear. Select "Reset Pairing" to reset the pairing code. You'll be shown a new pairing code and can now re-pair this device.
Section III. How to Set Up ScreenCloud On a Device Running Android AOSP
As mentioned earlier, manufacturers use Google’s open-source code to build their own Android boxes therefore there are countless Android AOSP on the market, all looking slightly different from one another. ScreenCloud has thoroughly tested a handful of them and as of right now only recommend Ugoos AM6 Android Box, Ugoos X3 Cube, and the Geniatech ACP395X. Click here to see what our minimum requirements are here.
As mentioned earlier, many hardware manufacturers use the source code made available by Google as part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) as the starting point for their own custom versions of Android used to power their devices.
The result of this are some great Android AOSP devices specifically designed for use cases like digital signage, but it also means that each one is different, including having different, custom interfaces for their Android operating systems. As such, it's difficult to outline the exact set up steps for each device running Android AOSP. Here at ScreenCloud though, we have tested a wide range of Android AOSP devices and have selected a few that we recommend for new purchases.
To learn more about how to set up each of the Android AOSP devices we recommend, follow these articles:
It's also possible to use other Android AOSP devices for your digital signage. To find out which Android devices we support, please read this article about our minimum requirements and check with the hardware manufacturer for information on how to set up an Android app on the specific device.
Section IV: How to Set Up ScreenCloud On a Tablet Running Android (Standard)
Tablets are a great option for creating one-to-one digital signage experiences, such as in a showroom or warehouse setting. They allow viewers to get closer to information and to digest it in real time. This is a great option for displaying data to operatives, key sales information within showrooms and stores, and even timetables or meeting room signage within an office or corporate setting.
1. How to Set Up ScreenCloud On a Samsung Galaxy Tab
4.1.1. Assemble the power adapter with the provided USB cable and add power on your tablet by holding the lock button down.
4.1.2. After your device turns on, unlock the device by swiping and select the Language from the drop-down menu.
4.1.3. Next, select the network you would like to use and enter the password.
4.1.4. Next, you must agree to the Terms and Conditions, select “Next” then select “agree”.
4.1.5. Using the on-screen keyboard, go ahead and sign in to your Google account and provided password, then select “Next”.
4.1.6. Select the Date and Time then select “Next”.
4.1.7. If you prefer to use back up and sync features through your Samsung account Select “Next” If you do not have a Samsung account or you prefer to start fresh select “Later”.
4.1.8. Download the ScreenCloud app. Open up the App Store on your Android device and download the ScreenCloud Player app for Android.
2. How To Reset the Pairing Code On a Samsung Galaxy Tab
If you want to pair your Android device with a different ScreenCloud Signage account, or if you need to reset the pairing for any other reason:
4.2.1. Swipe from the left of your Android tablet or phone while viewing the ScreenCloud app.
4.2.2. A menu will pop up - press Force Pairing to reset the pairing on the device. You'll be shown the pairing code (see step 4, above), and can now re-pair this device.
Section V: How To Set Up Your ScreenCloud Account
Learn how to use ScreenCloud with our full walkthrough article, follow step-by-step to get started on how to use ScreenCloud for digital signage. This will help you become comfortable with the setup process and the main features of using ScreenCloud.
5.1.1. Once you have your pairing code you’re ready to go, log in to your ScreenCloud account at https://studio.screencloud.com on your laptop or PC and sign up for a free trial. If you already have a ScreenCloud account you can log in now.
Once you’re in, you'll see the ability to add a new screen within the Screens panel.
5.1.2. Next, click 'Screens' in the left-hand navigation.
5.1.3. Select the 'New Screen' button located in the top right corner.
5.1.4. Enter the pairing code that you see on your screen, along with a name for your screen. You can also choose to add the screen to a group at this point if you want.
5.1.5. Once you do this, you'll see your new screen turn up in the list of screens.
You can now add and manage the content shown on this screen using your ScreenCloud account.
If you have any additional questions on using Android with ScreenCloud, 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