xStand for iPad – The missing user manual
First published on Ka of Isis 150511
Note: Tested with xStand 2.1.1 in iOS 8.3 on an iPad 3 (retina). xStand is a fullscreen web browser developed by ADNX Software to be used as an Internet kiosk. The browser is based on the WebKit engine.
Important: When creating a web site ZIP archive for use with xStand, do not include any encapsulating folder. Only compress the contents of any folder holding the web site. The resulting ZIP archive can be named anything, but keep the
zip suffix. And: The main page of the site should be named
1. The “secret” way to log into the xStand preferences, is to swipe two fingers to the right and enter a password.
Privacy preference setting seemingly has an option to
clear history, cookies and cache ‘When an user return to the home page’ (sic). I have not seen any difference between the
OFF alternatives. I leave it
ON and observe the following:
If I quit xStand but leave the iPad running and use different apps, whenever I come back to xStand, the app will take me to whatever page I happened to be viewing when I first quit. It makes no difference if I let the iPad go to sleep (aka lock screen) and later return to the home screen.
In many cases this is OK and, for many, the expected behaviour. But what if I want unsuspecting users to enter the site through the main page? Well, as far as I can gather, there are two possible options to force the xStand splash page and be taken to the main page of the web site when xStand is booted:
2a. Turn the iPad itself fully off and then reboot both iOS and xStand.
2b. When on the home screen, press the home button twice in rapid succession to bring up a “floating” gallery of all the apps that have been used recently. Touch and swipe the image representing the xStand app, vertically up in such a way that the image disappears from the screen. This will clear the xStand history. Finish by pressing the home button once; this brings back the regular home screen. The next time xStand is invoked, it will show the index page.
Tip: Step 2b is a good cleaning routine to free up memory on the iPad.
3. It is possible to
Clear cookies and cache now (i.e. then and there) under
Privacy. This does not seem to be a good idea. The web site (aka app screen) turns white and void. When the preferences are closed, there is no way to do anything in the app as no web page is available. It does not help to quit the app and re-enter. The only way around this is to do Step 2a or Step 2b as described above.
4. Not immediately obvious when the iPad is in a vertical position: There are preference settings in addition to those for
Default website, and
Interface items available off-screen to the right. Touch, hold and drag left to reveal preferences for
5. It is possible to add several web sites (aka ZIP archives) to xStand via settings for the app and the iPad in iTunes. A new or different web site can be ordered via the preference panel in xStand. But, and this is a big but: To change from one web site to another, it is necessary to perform Step 2a or Step 2b.
6. To ensure that a web site (aka the app) is unaffected by the orientation of the iPad, physically lock the rotation with the switch on the upper right hand side of the device.
Fig. The iOS 8 rotation lock symbol.