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:
1. Understanding the Different Versions of Android and Knowing Which To Choose
Android is one of the most popular operating systems in the world and it is open-source at it's core. When Google created Android they wanted to create an open platform available for all developers and OEMs to make their innovative ideas a reality.
Because of this, there is a wide range of media players, telephones, tablets, and TV's all running a different type of Android. To help you make a more informed decision on which type of Android suits your needs best, continue reading about the differences below:
1.1. Android TV
Android TV is a version of Android Google created specifically for TVs and Android TV media players. The interface is designed with the consumer in mind as it is much simpler and user friendly. It is mainly used for home entertainment, kind of like Netflix but with apps. You will typically see this version of Android on Amazon Fire TV sticks or Xiaomi Mi Boxes.
You can defiantly use an Android TV media player or an Android-powered TV for your digital signage as it is perfect for beginners as the set up is fairly easy. Android TVs and Android TV media players have access to the Google Play Store. This gives you the option to download any third-party apps like ScreenCloud and start showing content immediately. Android TV also comes with additional features such as search assistance.
Although this simplified interface makes Android TV really easy to use, it does come with a few downsides like not being able to customize your launch screens. But most importantly Android TVs do not support business features like remote device management therefore if you are using this type of Android for your digital signage, make sure your devices are within reach in case you need to update your devices or switch out faulty parts.
1.2. Android AOSP
Android AOSP refers to the Android "Open Source Project". When Google first created the Android operating system, they decided to make the base of the source code public so that anyone can take it and modify it to create their own custom version of android. Google oversees the general direction and maintains the core functionality of the OS and will regularly release bug fixes and security patches. Many hardware manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, and Sony use this base-code and introduce their own unique features and ideas. That's why there are so many devices such as telephones, displays, and media players all with slightly different interfaces but all running android.
The main advantage of getting a media player powered by Android AOSP instead of your standard Android or Android TV is that it is very customizable and the user can keep total control over their own experience. Secondly, you can use remote device management to control your device or devices from afar. This is a great direction to go if you are planning to expand your business and branch out to multiple locations.
1.3. Android (Standard)
When we talk about "standard" Android devices, we mean Android-powered consumer devices like phones and tablets that you may 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 features like remote device management apps. 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.
2. How to Set Up ScreenCloud On an Android-powered TV or Android TV media player
The process of setting up either an Android-powered TV or Android TV media player 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.
2.1. Power up your TV or Android TV media player 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:
2.2. Next, locate and open the "Google Play Store" and search for the "ScreenCloud Signage Player" app and select "Download".
2.3. Once you have finished downloading the app, select "Open" to launch the app. When given an option to enable "Start at Boot", select "Yes".
2.4. Make a note of the pairing code - this is the code you need to enter into the "Screens" section of your ScreenCloud account.
3. 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 recommends Ugoos AM6 Android Box, Ugoos X3 Cube, and the Geniatech ACP395X. Click here to see what our minimum requirements are here.
Some great Android AOSP devices are 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 setup 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.
4. 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.
For a more detailed explaining, follow Samsung's guide here.
4.1. Assemble the power adapter with the provided USB cable and add power to your tablet by holding the lock button down. After your device turns on, unlock the device by swiping and select the Language from the drop-down menu.
4.2. Continue following the steps provided here until you fully set up your tablet customized to your preferences.
4.3. After you completed the setup process, head over to the Google Play Store, and search for "ScreenCloud" in the search bar.
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 email@example.com or give us a call at our toll-free support line at +18885575335