I have a Android tablet for which I want to do a factory reset, and then install some pre-defined applications.

This has to be carried out by someone who has no computer experience and no Android experience at all. All I get this person to do is connect the device to a computer by cable, and interact with a very simple interface with a couple of buttons.

All this has to be performed on a well known device and only for that model.

Is it possible to connect a device to a computer and with a couple clicks do all that?

If so, are there any suitable applications which do that already? Would it be necessary to create software for that?

Rooting is no problem.

  • possible duplicate of How to recover apps from a factory reset? Mar 2 '12 at 16:39
  • @Ryan Conrad it sounds like it's slightly different. The recover apps question implies the apps were previously installed. This question implies they weren't necessarily.
    – rob05c
    Mar 3 '12 at 13:50
  • @rob05c - the question is from the same person. the original question should have been modified, not a new question started. Mar 3 '12 at 16:50
  • @Ryan Conrad ah, I missed that.
    – rob05c
    Mar 3 '12 at 17:52
  • @RyanConrad I intended to ask both question separately. In fact, the plan was to obtain answers to the other question, and then ask this accordingly. Moreover, this question is more specific than the previous one, since here I'm asking for a solution for the whole procedure, while in the other one, I am asking the general thing. Mar 4 '12 at 1:00

Possible solutions, in descending order of idealism and difficulty:

  • Create a custom ROM, with the apps you want on it, which you can flash onto these devices. This question is a good starting place for that.
  • Write your own app, which automatically installs the other apps. The first answer to this thread provides the code to install apps programmatically.
  • The easiest solution, if it suits your needs, would to be to use one of many "installer" apps. If you can drop the apps on the tablets after installing your stock ROM (ideally on an SD card), you could then install an "installer" app. Then either run it yourself, or instruct your users to run it and install the listed apps.

In any of these solutions, you will have to write the desktop computer application which has the few-button interface for users, which does the flashing and installing. Whether you do a custom ROM or a stock one, you will have to automate its install. This thread has some help on automating ROM installation.

  • @MobileCushion I believe any solution to your problem will require development. I'm fairly certain what you want doesn't exist somewhere in prepackaged form. Just remember Android Enthusiasts is for Android users. For development questions, Stack Overflow is the place to ask.
    – rob05c
    Mar 3 '12 at 14:24
  • Thank you for answering, and yes that is somehow what I was fearing. Looks like this would be an harder task than what I was expecting. ;) Mar 3 '12 at 15:19

I know it's a late answer -- but it does not need any "special app" to be written:

As to your apps installation: Put all the .apk files into a directory (you can catch them e.g. using AppMonster Free Backup Restore). Add the basic stuff from the Android SDK (you don't need the entire SDK package, just a few files which you can find e.g. in the AndroidForums ADB Guide, for Mac, Linux and Windows). Write a tiny Shell/Batch script to adb install *.apk.

The factory reset can be accomplished in a similar way:

adb shell "recovery --wipe_data"

So put that as the first line of your script Optionally prepend it with an adb wait-for-device. As the wipe is followed by a reboot, better make it look like this:

adb wait-for-device              # in case the user starts the batch before connecting the device
adb shell "recovery --wipe_data" # factory-reset (includes reboot)
adb wait-for-device              # wait until device has rebooted
adb install com.foobar.myapp     # install the apps you want
adb install ...
echo "=========================" # let the user know the process is finished
echo "All done -- Cut the rope!"
echo "========================="

Zip it all up and send it to the user.

Instructions to the user:

  1. Unpack the ZIP to an empty folder (closer descriptions depending on the OS used)
  2. Connect your device with an USB cable (maybe add instructions on how to see whether the connection was established successfully. On windows, added trouble might be special drivers needed)
  3. Start the Shell script/Batch file

Taking a look at the ADB options might give you further ideas ;)

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