About VMware Workspace ONE Launcher

Workspace ONE Launcher is a fully integrated Android app launcher managed through the Workspace ONE UEM console. IT admins customize and build their device's Launcher home screen as a profile payload. Workspace ONE Launcher then automatically takes over as the device home screen and applies admin-defined device and application policies. Designed with frontline worker use cases in mind, Launcher's customizability gives admins the flexibility to serve any business requirement.

Workspace ONE Launcher Use Cases

Workspace ONE Launcher serves use cases across retail, logistics, and healthcare. You can use Launcher to lock shared Android devices into a single application or a customizable device home screen. Launcher also enables check-in / check-out functionality so users can log into Launcher and get access to only the resources assigned to them. You can apply logos and customize the UI color to match your company's branding guidelines.

Use Workspace ONE Launcher to...

  • Retail Kiosk Mode – Set up an interactive kiosk by locking devices into a single app. Customers can browse store products or place food orders without employee interaction.
  • Employee Shared Shift Device - Equip in-store associates with shared devices. Enable access only to apps, content, and settings they need to complete their work and deliver high-quality customer experiences.
  • Logistics Drivers - Equip vehicles with locked down shared tablets for order tracking and signature collection. Enable Launcher speed lockdown to prevent device access while on the move.
  • Education – Provide students with access to only a set of approved education apps. Disable students' ability to surf the Web. Enable access to the admin-managed Play Store to download more approved apps onto the devices.
  • Healthcare – Loan out devices with approved apps for patient-use, such as games and entertainment apps. Enable phone features and customize an address book with important hospital contact information.

Workspace ONE Launcher Modes

Admins often desire to lock frontline shared devices into one application or a customizable home screen. Workspace ONE Launcher services both use cases through three app modes:

  • Use Single App Mode to lock each device into a single app and manage access to other features or settings on the device.
  • Use Multi App mode to lock devices in a managed home screen layout and provide access to a set of allowlisted apps.
  • Use Template Mode to customize the user interface of the Launcher app by creating app spaces, images, and text.

Supported OS Versions and Management Modes**

Workspace ONE Launcher is only supported in Android 6.0+ Work Managed Device enrollment mode. Workspace ONE Launcher is not supported in Work Profile enrollment.

Workspace ONE Launcher supports the following OS versions:

  • 5.0.X
  • 6.0.X
  • 7.0.X
  • 8.0.X
  • 9.0.X
  • 10.0.X
  • 11.0.X (Launcher 4.8+)
  • 12.0.X (Launcher 21.06+)

Using Workspace ONE Launcher with Android versus Android (Legacy)

Each Android device in your deployment must be enrolled before it can communicate with Workspace ONE UEM and access internal content and features. Whether you use the Android Profile or Android Legacy profile depends on whether you use device administrator or Android Enterprise for device enrollment.

  • Deploy using the Android profile if you have completed Android EMM Registration and are using Android 6.0+ Work managed devices.
  • Deploy using Android (Legacy) if you opted out of Android EMM Registration with Google.

Deploy Workspace ONE Launcher to Devices

Workspace ONE Launcher is not distributed through the Google Play Store and is instead deployed as a seeded application. Admins can also upload Launcher as an internal application or deliver the app through Product Provisioning. This way, you can control when your devices take Launcher updates.

Deploy as Seeded Application

The simplest method of delivering Launcher to devices is the auto-installation of the seeded version of Launcher. Seeded versions of Launcher are automatically installed on devices if:

  1. A Launcher profile is assigned to an Android fully managed device.
  2. If a fully managed device is enrolled to a staging user.

Workspace ONE UEM console upgrades deliver new Launcher versions as part of the upgrade process. When new Launcher versions are made available through a console upgrade, they will appear under Groups & Settings > All Settings > Devices & Users > Android > Service Applications > Workspace ONE Launcher Version.

For CDN-enabled environments 21.07+, new Launcher versions are automatically seeded into environments.

For on-prem environments, Launcher APKs can be uploaded and seeded into the environment at the top-level OG. You can download new versions of Launcher from the My Workspace ONE resource portal.

Configure Seeded Launcher Version Settings

Determine which version of Workspace ONE Launcher is pushed to devices with the Launcher Version setting. Note: Only upgrade across one version at a time to prevent conflicts and dependency issues.

  1. Navigate to Devices > Device Settings > Android > Service Applications.

  2. Configure the applicable settings.

    Setting Description
    Always use the Latest Version of Workspace ONE Launcher The latest version of the app automatically pushes to devices when it becomes available. Once this setting is enabled, it applies across all devices you have enrolled into Workspace ONE UEM using Launcher.
    Workspace ONE Launcher Version Manually choose the version you want to deploy from the drop-down menu. Select Upload to seed a new Launcher version. Once uploaded, the Workspace ONE Launcher APK will be listed in the dropdown so you can select it immediately.
  3. Select Save.

Deploy as an Internal Application

You can upload a Workspace ONE Launcher APK as an internal application which allows you to manage assignment through the Workspace ONE app assignment engine.

See our documentation on how to upload internal applications from a local file.

Note: Auto-update is not supported for Launcher versions uploaded as an internal application. To update Launcher on a device to an internal app version:

  1. Navigate to Devices > List View > (Select the target device) > Apps
  2. Select the checkbox next to Launcher.
  3. Select Install from the actions.

Deploy through Product Provisioning

Product provisioning allows for removal and installation of applications based on Product rules. You can upload the Workspace ONE Launcher APK to provision as a product. This provides more granular management over app installation and the recommended tool for staged rollouts.

Learn more about uploading apps as Products and Product Provisioning.

Configure Workspace ONE Launcher Profile

Workspace ONE Launcher is configured through device profiles.

  1. Navigate to Resources > Profiles & Baselines > Profiles > Add > Add Profile > Android.

    • Alternatively, select Android (Legacy) to configure the Launcher profile if you've opted out of Android EMM registration.
  2. Name the device profile.

  3. Navigate to the Launcher payload tab and select Add.

  4. Choose the desired Launcher mode: Single App, Multi App, or Template Mode.

  5. Set a passcode for entering Administrative Mode and exiting out of Launcher lock down. Admin mode enables extra access and features for Launcher troubleshooting.

  6. Determine if your devices need to be used in Offline Mode or Guest Mode.

    • Offline mode is used when devices are being used in check-in check-out mode. It allows users to access the Launcher home screen even when they are unable to log in as themselves or are in areas where network connectivity is unstable.
    • Enabling guest mode allows users to check out the device without full authentication.
    • This setting should be applied to both the end-user and staging user or an organization group that includes both. Assigning to all users ensures the offline mode profile is present when moving between users.
  7. For multi-app mode, Admins can set the app grid icon size to Small, Medium, or Large. Admins can also choose to prevent icon rearranging.

  8. Workspace ONE Launcher can enable controlled access to specific native settings. Enable the settings to which you'd like to give end-users access. On the device, these settings can be accessed from the Launcher settings screen.

    • This feature requires the Appear on Top (Draw Over Other Apps) Permission and Usage Access (or Focus Monitoring on Samsung) Permission.
  9. Choose which native device utilties and features to enable on the device.

    Utilities Feature Description
    Allow App Manager Enable access to the app control page for ending app processes under Launcher settings.
    Allow Keyguard Allow native keyguard features. Disabling keyguard disables the lock screen.
    Allow Notification Bar Enable access to the native notification panel.
    Allow Power Option Allow end users to access the power option menu by long-pressing the lock button.
    Allow Recent Task List Enable the native recent tasks list feature.
    Allow Status Bar Enable the native status bar.
    Allow Stay Awake Allow the device to stay awake by default if connected to a power source.
    Allow Widgets Allow widgets to display on the home screen. Widgets can only be added by the end-user.
  10. Select Configure Layout to navigate to a new screen for configuring the app grid, device wallpaper, orientation preferences, and more.

    Setting Description
    Orientation Set the default home screen layout to either Portrait or Landscape.
    Lock Disable auto-rotate and lock Launcher into the selected orientation. To disable auto-rotate system-wide, Launcher must be granted the write settings permission on the device.
    Grid Choose a grid size for the home screen layout. The drag-and-drop grid will reflect your selection.
    Minimize Title Bar Select to hide the title bar on the user's device.The user van still swipe down on the screen to access the title bar and additional settings.
    Add Row for Pinned Apps Select to create a bottom bar in the launcher configuration to pin application icons that will remain visible on every screen. Multi App mode only.
    Title Bar Icon Upload a customized icon to appear in the title bar. Available on Multi App Mode only.
    Wallpaper Upload a custom wallpaper to display in the background of the Launcher setup. Available on Multi App mode only.
  11. Move to the Apps tab and use the Quick Filters pills to select Public, Internal, Web Bookmarks, or Miscellaneous apps.

    • Miscellaneous apps allow you to manually define the App Name or App ID you'd like to add to the Launcher home screen or allow in the background.
  12. Organize the Launcher Canvas with apps, view App Attributes, remove apps, and create folders for apps to group apps together.

    Canvas Settings

    Settings Description
    Title Bar Customize the title bar with custom text or select a custom attribute to display dynamically depending on the user or device.
    Remove Select an app in the layout to remove the app from the layout.
    App Attributes Select an app in the layout or apps list to display the properties of the selected app.
    Create Folder Select create folder to add a folder to the apps grid.
    Layout Click to configure Launcher layout elements such as icon grid and orientation preference.

    View App Attributes

    Settings Description
    Application Name Enter the name of the application displayed to the user. For a public or internal app, the application name is static and is pulled from the Application name present in Apps and Books. For Miscellaneous apps, the name is editable and the app on the device will show the name that is entered in this field.
    Application ID Enter the unique identifier for a given Android application. The format is com.app name. For example, for Workspace ONE Launcher's app ID is com.airwatch.lockdown.launcher. For a public or internal app, the application name is static and is pulled from the Application name present in Apps and Books.
    For Miscellaneous apps, the name and app ID is editable. Launcher will attempt to allow-list any app ID added to the layout. For Miscellaneous apps, you can add a wildcard * character to create a dynamic rule for automatic allow-listing. This will automatically add all the whitelisted apps for this App ID package without having to repush the Launcher profile everytime a new app is added.
    Caution: Minimize conflicts by ensuring apps do not share the same application IDs.
    Launch App on Start Up Enable to force an app to automatically start on Launcher start up or reboot. If your Launcher profile has more than one app, you can only set this field for one app.
  13. Configure Hidden Apps, if needed. Apps added under hidden apps are not displayed on the Launcher home screen, but can be launched if another application enables access to it.

    1. Select the Hidden App tab.
    2. Drag and drop apps to add them to the canvas. You can also select the desired app and select Add To Launcher.
    3. Select the app and hit Remove to remove any apps you do not need.
    4. Note: Hidden apps are useful for adding file viewers. For example, if an end-user would like to open a PDF file, Launcher will not allow access to any PDF viewer that was not added to the canvas or the hidden apps.
  14. Select Save to save the layout.

  15. Select Next to proceed with profile assignment.

Once the profile is on the device, Launcher will automatically apply your configured settings. If no Launcher profile is found on the device, Launcher will display "Profile Not Found" (Launcher 21.10).

Advanced Launcher Settings

Advanced Launcher settings includes features previously only configurable through custom XML. Learn more about these features in the documentation for custom XML.

Feature Description
Use Legacy Launcher APIs Enabling this feature allows Launcher to use Workspace ONE's legacy methods in place of native Android's lock task APIs for device lockdown. Starting with Launcher 4.0, Launcher uses lock task mode by default to restrict device access.
Default to Usage Access On Samsung devices, Launcher defaults to using the Samsung Focus Monitoring API. This allows Launcher to automatically foreground applications without the user having to grant the Android Usage Access Permission. Disabling this feature on Samsung devices will require users to grant the usage access permission on the first launch of Launcher.
Require Write Settings Permission Show the "Write Settings Permission" prompt during initial setup. Note, the write settings permission allows users to modify settings you give access to. This permission is already required for screen orientation lock changes to take effect device-wide. By default, the write settings permission is requested when a user attempts to modify settings.
Enable App Data/Cache Clearing The Workspace ONE UEM console setting labeled "Clear App data on logout" clears the data of all assigned applications after logging out. Admins can specify package IDs to skip clearing.
Enable Admin Mode on CICO Screen Enable the admin mode option on the check-in check-out screen. Users can exit the Workspace ONE Launcher from the check-in/check-out screen by entering the password specified in XML. After checkout, the admin passcode will be replaced by the end user profile admin passcode. Note: In order for this setting to take affect, this profile must be applied to the staging user.
Allowlist Custom Staging Activities Allow specific activities that Launcher may otherwise block when on the check-in check-out screen (when Launcher is assigned to the staging user). This includes native popups or UI elements. This feature requires the Appear on Top (Draw Over Other Apps) Permission and Usage Access (or Focus Monitoring on Samsung) Permission. Note: In order for this setting to take affect, this profile must be applied to the staging user.
Allow Dynamic Activities Allow specific app activities to come to the foreground that Launcher may otherwise block. This includes native popups or UI elements. This feature requires the Appear on Top (Draw Over Other Apps) Permission and Usage Access (or Focus Monitoring on Samsung) Permission. Note: In order for this setting to take affect, this profile must be applied to the staging user.
Add Custom Device Settings Admins can provide access to any native settings menu by defining the package and class name. These settings will populate as a row item in the Launcher settings page. This feature requires the Appear on Top (Draw Over Other Apps) Permission and Usage Access (or Focus Monitoring on Samsung) Permission.
Customize Single App Floating Button In Single application mode, Launcher provides a Floating Action button for users to access different launcher settings. You can configure the behavior of this button. This feature requires the Appear on Top (Draw Over Other Apps) Permission.
Add Launcher Branding Add color branding to Launcher UI elements. When this field is enabled, additional fields to configure displays. Due to an interface redesign in Workspace ONE Launcher 21.09 and above, Title Bar Color, Title Text Color, and Status Bar Color are deprecated features and no longer supported.
Enable Speed Lockdown Disable access to Launcher when the device is traveling over the specified speed threshold.
Set Launcher as Default after Reboot Allow Workspace ONE Launcher to open and lockdown the device after reboot regardless of the previous state. By default, if Launcher was in admin mode or un-pinned to the Home Screen before the device was rebooted, the device reboots to the default native Launcher. This setting only applies to Honeywell, Zebra and Samsung devices.
Remove Floating Home Button Setting Disable the floating home button. Note, the floating home button serves as an alternative home button when the native home button is unavailable.
Allow Popup Notifications Admins can generate popup notifications regardless of channel priority. To show popups, the notification bar cannot be disabled. Admins can create popups regardless of how the app sending the notification prioritizes its notification channel.

Monitoring Workspace ONE Launcher Status

The Device Details page in the console displays the status of Workspace ONE Launcher on a device which helps you quickly and easily view and check the Launcher status on multiple devices.

When the Workspace ONE Launcher is pushed to devices under a standard Android deployment, the Launcher is set as the default with no additional steps required from the user. For Android (Legacy), most OEMs will push the Launcher automatically with the help of the signed service such as the Platform OEM Service (POEM).

The Launcher status only displays when the following criteria is met:

  • User is multi-user staging user
  • Launcher payload is assigned to the device through Profiles or Products.

The status will show as follows:

Status Description
Launcher is the Home App Workspace ONE Launcher is set at the default launcher for the devices.
Launcher is not set as the home app or is not installed This status indicates the profile push failed, did not install, or is not set as the default launcher on the selected device. If Launcher fails, you can check the network requirements for CDN to make sure it is up to date.

Apps for Workspace ONE Launcher

Workspace ONE UEM classifies applications as internal, public, and miscellaneous and you upload applications depending on the type.

Public and internal apps are pulled from your managed apps list from Apps & Books menu in the Workspace ONE UEM console. Miscellaneous apps are only used for built-in native device apps. You will need the Application Name and Application ID to allow-list miscellaneous apps.

Note: When deploying Workspace ONE Launcher with Android for Work, make sure apps are approved for Android.

Approve Applications for Android

Approve applications for integration so that you can upload them to the Workspace ONE UEM console.

  1. Navigate to Google Play for Work, https://play.google.com/work.

  2. Login to the site using an Enterprise account for Google Play for Work.

  3. Search for applications you want to add to the integration and select the Approve option.

  4. View the permissions for the applications and follow the prompts to confirm approval. Check to make sure the application has been imported after approval.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks provide users a simple way to access a URL directly from the Workspace ONE Launcher home screen. The end-user sees the bookmark icon and title similar to any other app on the Launcher home screen. When a user taps on a bookmark icon, Launcher navigates to the specified URL.

In addition to navigating to any webpage, you can use these icons to connect to internal content repositories or login screens without having to open a browser and type out a long URL.

Adding bookmarks differ based on the enrollment method of your device fleet.

How to Add Bookmarks for Android

You can add bookmarks in two ways. To create a web application:

  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Native > Public > Add Application and select Android from the Platform field.
  2. Select Next. The Google Play store appears.
  3. Once the Google Play store opens, add a web app by using the plus sign in the bottom right.
  4. Complete the app details, select Next, then click on the icon for the web app you just created.
  5. Assign the web app as you would any other native application.
  6. To add it to the Launcher screen, navigate to the Native tab in the Launcher configuration screen and drag this icon to the home screen.

Note: The native web app is only accessible through Google Chrome so be sure to add Google Chrome to the home screen or as a hidden app.

To create a web link:

  1. Navigate to Resources > Apps > Web Links > Add Application
  2. Select Android as the platform.
  3. Fill in the necessary fields and assign the web link to your target users.
  4. To add it to the Launcher screen, navigate to the Bookmarks filter in the Launcher configuration screen and drag this icon to the home screen.

Note: Modifying a web link bookmark will remove it from the Launcher grid layout and require you to re-add it.

Template Mode Settings

Template Mode is a customizable mode of Workspace ONE Launcher. You can add apps, images, text, and other layout settings to customize a device locked down in kiosk mode with Template Mode.

Template Mode Settings- Basic Properties

Setting Description
Size Drag the borders of the widget to adjust size of the icon.
Position Move the widget around the canvas to adjust the placement on the template.

Template Mode Settings - App Selection

Setting Description
Filter App List Search for Public, Internal, or Miscellaneous apps to add to the Launcher profile. For Public and Internal apps, select the desired apps that appear in the filtered list. These apps are pulled from your managed apps list from Apps & Books menu in the Workspace ONE UEM console . The Public and Internal apps are not whitelisted through Miscellaneous apps. Miscellaneous apps are only used for native device apps.
To add Miscellaneous apps Select Add an App and enter the Application Name and Application ID under the Miscellaneous option. Select the app to add it to the Launcher preview

Template Mode Settings - Text Properties

Setting Description
Text Enter the text display. The default text displays as Label View.
Text Color Change the text color by selecting the color icons and selecting the desired color.
Background Color Change the background color by selecting the color icon and selecting the desired color.
Text Position Align the text in the desired area by selecting the circle from the box.
Font Weight Select Bold or Normal.
Underline Select Yes or No to underline the text.
Font Style Select Normal or Italic.
Font Size Move the bar to determine the size of the text.

Template Mode Settings - Background Properties

Setting Description
Background Image Select Upload to load an image file from your desktop.
Background Image Size Select Fit To Wrapper, Keep Original, or Keep Aspect Ratio.
Aspect Ratio Size Move the bar to determine the aspect ratio. This option only applies if you have selected to Keep Aspect Ratio from the Background Image Size field.
Background Image Position Align the app in the desired area by selecting the circle from the box.

Template Mode Settings - App Icon Properties

Setting Description
App Image Size Select Fit To Wrapper, Keep Original, or Keep Aspect Ratio.
App Aspect Ratio Move the bar to determine the aspect ratio. This option only applies if you have selected to Keep Aspect Ratio from the App Icon Size field.
App Icon Position Align the app in the desired area by selecting the circle from the box.

Administrative Passcode

The administrative passcode allows users to access the device menu to add applications or to exit from the Workspace ONE Launcher mode. The passcode is required to perform all actions in Admin Mode from the device.

The Preference tab from each app mode allows you to establish the passcode. The Persist Admin Passcode If Kiosk Profile is Removed From Device check box prompts the user for the admin passcode if they are attempting to remove the Launcher profile from their device.

If someone tries to use the Exit Launcher setting from the device and enters the Administrative Passcode incorrectly, the option disappears after 10 unsuccessful attempts, you can restart the device and the option reappears.

There are two use cases for this option:

  • Remove Profile – Removes the Workspace ONE Launcher profile from the device. This option restricts users from using any launcher apps and the device will be locked down and display a standard screen saver
  • Check In/Check Out – Displays the Check Out credentials page when a user checks in a device after use. The user can access device side functions but not Launcher apps or settings.
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