iPad kiosk mode
Apple iPad Kiosk Mode
One of the lesser-known features introduced in iOS 6 is Guided Access. Hidden deep within the Settings page, this new feature is designed to help children and students with disabilities stay focused while using iOS devices.
Guided Access allows an administrator to limit access to specified portions of the touchscreen and deactivate hardware buttons and other input methods (such as motion control).
There’s been a lot of talk about the feature’s uses in the classroom and at home—but Apple hasn’t really played up its potential in the enterprise.
Guided Access works great for setting up iOS devices as “kiosks” on the fly. For example, at our booth at this year’s Maker Faire, we used an iPad on which attendees could sign up for our email newsletter and enter a raffle for an iPod touch. Using Guided Access, we turned off all the hardware buttons so no one would be able to switch apps or put the iPad to sleep. We also restricted access to the settings button within the app, so no one would be able to configure it differently—Guided Access makes it remarkably easy to highlight specific portions of the touchscreen to disable.
Before this accessibility option was available, setting up kiosks like this was complicated, requiring special profiles to be installed on the device. Now, with Guided Access, the process is really quick and easy—and everything you need is built into the operating system (with iOS 6).
Here’s a basic walkthrough of how it works and how to set it up:
- In the Settings app, navigate to General > Accessibility, and then then tap Guided Access
- Switch it on using the toggle, and then set a passcode (it doesn’t have to be the same as your device passcode)
- Navigate to the app you want to restrict and press the Home button three times quickly
- A screen will pop up where you’ll be able to configure your settings—you can turn off hardware buttons, motion, and touch control, and you can even circle areas of the screen you want to disable
- To turn Guided Access back off, press the home button again three times, enter your passcode, and tap “End”
Let us know if you’ve come up with creative uses for Guided Access of your own—add your story to the comments below. And stay tuned for a follow-up post on how we used FileMaker Go to quickly develop our newsletter-signup app, as mentioned above.