I want to take an old android phone and turn it into a dedicated calculator. In other words, I'd like to make it so I boot up the phone and my calculator app is running, and there is no way to access any other app, the home screen, app drawer, anything. No lock screen either. Just this app and the settings app, which there would be a shortcut too in this app.

Is this possible? Is android the best OS for this project? Is there an easy way to make this happen?

  • 1
    You can come close to the goal at least. Remove or disable the launcher so the app drawer would be gone; use Tasker to launch Calculator after boot is completed (there will a short span where you will see a black screen because launcher is missing and so the home screen) and disable the home button after that (needs root access); settings can be accessed from the quick settings always; lock screen can be set to none under settings which is same as disabled. (Note: It's a theory and I haven't tested it yet).
    – Firelord
    Jul 23, 2015 at 22:15
  • 1
    But why do you want to restrict Android this much? May be kiosk-mode can also help here.
    – Firelord
    Jul 23, 2015 at 22:17

2 Answers 2


If you didn't have the requirement of being able to access the settings (the settings app is part of the launcher in some ROMs), this would probably be easier. In that case, you could simply build a custom ROM that boots straight to calculator. The main disadvantage would be the absence of even a battery indicator.

  • and how to do that? where to start? any link or tutorial?
    – Saqib
    Apr 6, 2018 at 15:42

There is screen pinning in lollipop which you can access from the recent apps screen. This will keep the pinned app open. The home button will be disabled, no notifications will show, and the lock screen is bypassed. If you need to unpin the app, you hold the back and recent apps buttons for about a second.

You did mention this is an old android phone, which will most likely not have lollipop (Android 5.0+), so unless you can somehow update it or flash an updated ROM, then you can't use screen pinning.

  • Does the screen pinning stay active even if the device is forced rebooted?
    – Firelord
    Jul 23, 2015 at 22:18
  • I think you would have to re-pin it when you reboot.
    – Alex
    Jul 23, 2015 at 22:21

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