Setting up an iPad in Single App Mode

Last week, we spoke about how to set up an iPad for public access using Guided Access. This week, we talk about how to use the Single App method for putting an iPad into a Kiosk mode.

Which method should I use?

The answer lies in what your exact requirements are and how much effort you are willing to put into setting the iPad up. Single App mode means that it locks your iPad to a single app. This is a more advanced method and you need to use Apple Configurator or a mobile device management server to enable this feature. You can only disable the mode using the same tool that you used to enable the feature.

If you don’t have access to the Apple Configurator, then you can only use the Guided Access method. In this method, the mode is secured with a PIN. The downside with this is that people can try to guess your PIN number to use other apps or to reset your iPad.

So make your decision on which method to use based on access to the Apple Configurator and how secure you want the device to be.

Kiosk mode with the Single App mode.

To start using your iPad in a Single App mode, you first need to put your iPad into a Supervised mode. To do this, go to the iTunes Store and install the Apple Configurator. if you don’t already have the Configurator.  You have to install the Apple Configurator on a Mac as it does not work on Windows. Once the Configurator is installed, use it to place your iPad into Supervised mode. Then you use the Configurator to enable Single App mode.

The entire process can be done in 3 steps.

Step 1: Turn off the Find My iPad feature

Turn off the Find My iPad feature
Turn off the Find My iPad feature

Click on Settings and then on iCloud. Now slide the Find My iPad button to the Off position. This will disable the Activation Lock that will prevent Apple Configurator from setting up your iPad. Have your iCloud password handy to complete this step.

 

 

 

Step 2: Place your iPad in Supervised mode

Start Single App Mode
Start Single App Mode

First, connect your iPad to your Mac via a USB cable. Once your iPad is recognized, open the Apple Configurator and select Supervised Mode.

Now, click on the Actions menu, then click on Advanced and select “Start Single App Mode”.

 

Step 3: Select the Single App from the list

Single App selection
Single App selection

Now your iPad is in Single App Mode. You’ll be shown a list of all the apps on your iPad, including the system apps and the apps that you have already installed. Select the app that you want to lock the iPad to. You can click on the “Options” button to enable/disable specific features such as Touch, Motion, Volume, Sleep/Wake etc.  You can choose to enable only those features that make sense for you. Click the Select App button when you are done. And now your iPad is truly locked to just this one app.

Disabling Single App mode

To Disable the Single App Mode, connect the iPad to the Mac. Open the Apple Configurator. Select the Actions menu > Advanced > Stop Single App Mode.

So make your decision on which mode makes sense for you and set up your iPad to work safely and securely in a Kiosk mode for public use.

Setting up an iPad for public use.

Last week, I was speaking with one of our nonprofit customers who use the Kiosk version of V4S Mobile for tracking volunteers. One of the issues that she was wrestling with was how to keep the iPad secure, both physically and from an app usage perspective. So I researched some options for her. I figured that the information would be useful for other iPad app users, using iPads for public use in a Kiosk mode. So here goes:

Physical security.

There are plenty of devices available for managing the physical security of any iPad that you want to use in a public setting. Just look on Amazon.com and

Physical security for iPads
Physical security for iPads

there are plenty of options to suit any budget range and your specific physical needs. And these physical security devices are available for desk, wall, floor and rail mounting options. Whether you need a floor mount for your iPad, a wall mount for your Android tablet or a desk mount for your Windows Surface device, you have many options. With options for rotate, tilt and switch, these devices give your users the flexibility to use the iPad/Android device in a multitude of ways. Starting in price at around $ 50 going all the way up to $ 500, security devices span a large price range.

The next thing you need to think about is application security. How do you prevent users from switching apps on your iPad either accidentally or because they quickly want to check out their Facebook page?

How do I lock down my iPad for just one app?

There are two ways to lock down your iPad to a single app. Guided Access and Single App Mode. Guided is the quickest, fastest way to put an iPad in a Kiosk mode and is often thought of as parental control mode.  It allows you to temporarily lock and iPad or iPhone to a single app. To leave that app, someone will have to enter your PIN or provide your fingerprint.  The Single App Mode locks your iPad to a single app. This is a more advanced feature and this is what we suggest to our V4S Kiosk users.

Guided Access mode.

Guided Access is a quick and dirty method of locking your iPad to a single app. To do this first enable this feature by going to the Settings app and going to General > Accessibility > Guided Access. Slide the Guided Access slider to the On position.

Guided Access for iPads
Guided Access for iPads

Next, tap the “Passcode Settings” to set a PIN for guided access and choose whether or not you can exit Guided Access with a Touch ID, if your iPad has a Touch ID sensor. You can choose to use the same ID that you use to unlock the iPad or use a different one. Just make sure that you note down the ID in a safe place, in case you forget it.

Next, launch the app that you want to lock your iPad to. Quickly press the “Home” button three times. You have now entered the Guided Access mode. There are 3 main options to set up here: Hardware buttons, Touch and Motion.

Hardware Buttons

You can enable or disable specific hardware buttons including the Sleep/Wake buttons and the Volume buttons. If your app needs audio playback, then you should disable the volume buttons to prevent users from accidentally turning the

Hardware buttons for Guided Access for iPads
Hardware buttons for Guided Access for iPads

volume down. Similarly, you may want to disable the Sleep/Wake button to prevent the iPad from going to sleep (or powering off), if someone touches that button. The OFF state means that those buttons are disabled and will not respond when pressed, once you have started the Guided Access mode.

Touch

You can turn touch gestures (taps on the screen) on or off, depending on your specific situation. If your app needs to be interactive (as with V4S Kiosk), then keep Touch enabled. If you are playing a video in a loop and don’t want people to stop it, then disable Touch.

Motion

Use this option to prevent your iPad from changing orientation when the user rotates the device. To do this disable this option, slide the Motion option to off. If your app relies on a particular Portrait or Landscape mode, then rotate your iPad to the particular orientation, then switch Motion off. Now the display will remain fixed, even if the user rotates the device.

Starting Guided Access

Once you’ve set up all the Guided Access setting to the way that you want it, tap on the “Start” button on the top right of your screen. Your app is now running in the “Guided Access” or “Kiosk” mode! Try tapping on the Home button or the volume buttons. Depending on how you’ve set them up, you’ll see that they make no difference. You will see a small message on the screen letting you know that Guided Access is enabled.

Exiting Guided Access

Triple-click the Home button. Enter the passcode that you configured. You’ll be taken back to the Guided Access setup screen, where you can End or Resume Guided Access.

And that’s all there is to put your iPad into a “Kiosk” mode. Next week we’ll talk about how you can use the Single App Mode on your iPad.