Setting up an iOS device for public use
There are a number of system settings that can be configured when setting up an iOS/iPadOS device for use as a public kiosk.
In this article
Remove Device Passcode
As devices running Kiosk Pro are designated for a specific use and locked to Kiosk Pro (see below), we generally recommend not configuring any system passcode for the device.
If set, the system passcode is requested after any screen lock or power cycle. If members of the public or staff without the correct passcode attempt a series of incorrect system passcodes, it can brick a device, requiring a lengthy restore process and potentially losing data.
For security purposes, iOS/iPadOS disables a device if the wrong passcode is entered too many times. When an incorrect passcode is entered several times in a row, the iPad will first start adding timeouts between attempts:
After several more failed attempts, it stops offering the option to retry and forces you to connect the iPad to a Mac or PC to restore the iPad, which essentially wipes the device - there is no way around connecting to a computer and restoring the device once the failed passcode attempts get to this point. Apple's instructions for this process can be found here: https://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT211078 The app will need to be reinstalled and reconfigured after the device is wiped.
Lock the Device to Kiosk Pro
The Home button allows visitors to exit Kiosk Pro to the device's Home screen where they can then access system settings and other apps.
Currently, the only way to disable the Home button is to enable Guided Access or Single App Mode on your device.
The Notification Center overlay that can be pulled down from the top of the screen now includes an "Edit" button, allowing visitors to enable a handful of notifications or access the device camera. Some of these notifications can allow visitors to leave the app.
Currently, the only way to prevent access to the Notification Center is to enable Guided Access or Single App Mode on your device. This will completely disable the Notifications overlay so it cannot be opened.
Apple's App Switcher is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen or by double-clicking the Home button and allows visitors to force quit and switch between active apps.
Currently, the only way to prevent access to the Notification Center is to enable Guided Access or Single App Mode on your device. This will completely disable the App Switcher overlay so it cannot be opened.
Apple's Control Center gives visitors quick access to commonly used settings and apps like WiFi and Bluetooth settings, screen brightness, and the device camera.
Guided Access and Single App Mode both effectively disable the Control Center within the app automatically. To manually disable access from within apps, go to Settings > Control Center > Access Within Apps > Off.
Multitasking gestures allow visitors to exit or browse between apps with touch gestures on the screen.
Guided Access and Single App Mode both effectively disable Multitasking Gestures within the app automatically. To manually disable these gestures, go to Settings > General > Multitasking & Dock > Gestures > Off. In older versions of iOS, this can be found under Settings > General > Multitasking Gestures > Off.
If your device is plugged into a power source, Siri can be activated by saying "Hey Siri", allowing visitors to leave Kiosk Pro if enabled.
Guided Access and Single App Mode both effectively disable Siri voice controls within the app automatically. To manually disable Siri voice controls, go to Settings > Siri & Search > Listen for "Hey Siri" > Off. In older versions of iOS, this can be found under Settings > General > Siri > Allow "Hey Siri" > Off.
iOS/iPadOS devices use an ambient light sensor to adjust brightness levels based on the light conditions around the device, lowering brightness in dark locations and raising brightness in light locations.
Unfortunately, when the iPad is placed in an enclosure that covers the light sensor (as is often the case in kiosk use), the device can falsely believe it is in a dark location and can dim the screen, making the device difficult for visitors to use. More information on Auto-Brightness can be found here.
Auto-Brightness is automatically disabled within Kiosk Pro if Control Active Brightness Level is enabled.
It is not currently possible to disable auto-brightness remotely through MDM so this is important to configure prior to placing kiosks in the field.
Disable Certain Keyboard Settings
Emoji and other language keyboards
While alternate keyboards don't allow visitors to exit the app, they are potentially a source of confusion for visitors.
To disable this setting:
- Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards
- Select "Edit" in the top right corner.
- Select the red minus circle to the left of "Emoji".
- Select "Delete" to disable it.
To enable it again, select "Add New Keyboard" from this screen and find "Emoji" in the list of keyboards.
There is a known bug in iOS 8 that causes Predictive Text to occasionally predict passwords, which presents an obvious security risk. In later versions of iOS, this can still retain private data for one visitor and suggest it for another.
This setting can be disabled within iOS/iPadOS Settings, though if multiple keyboards are enabled, the option to enable Predictive text will appear if you long-press the Globe or Emoji icon from the keyboard.
To completely disable this setting, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and make sure you delete all but one keyboard and switch Predictive to off.
Auto-Correction & Auto-Capitalization
These features can sometimes be frustrating for visitors. While we disable these by default within Kiosk Pro, some websites may still have auto-correct enabled which can override our configuration, so we recommend turning these off in iPad Settings.
To disable these settings, go to Settings > General > Keyboard and toggle these to off.