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. These are ones we recommend: 

Disable Auto-Brightness

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 will falsely believe it is in a dark location and can dim the screen, making the device difficult for visitors to use. 
While auto-brightness feature is on by default, this can be disabled on the device:
  • in iOS/iPadOS 13, go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Auto-Brightness. 
  • in iOS 11 & 12, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Auto-Brightness. 
  • in iOS 10 and earlier, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-Brightness.  

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 Notification Center

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.  More information about Guided Access and Single App Mode can be found here and here.   

Disable Control Center

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/Lock 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.

Disable Multitasking Gestures

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.

Enable Restrictions

We recommend using Restrictions to put a passcode lock on most apps and settings, including purchases through the App Store, in case the Home screen or system settings are accidentally exposed to visitors. More information on  setting up restrictions on an iOS device are here.

Disable Siri

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.

Disable 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:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards
  2. Select "Edit" in the top right corner.
  3. Select the red minus circle to the left of "Emoji".
  4. Select "Delete" to disable it.

To enable it again, select "Add New Keyboard" from this screen and find "Emoji" in the list of keyboards.

Disable Predictive Text

There is a known bug in iOS 8 that causes Predictive Text to occasionally predict passwords, which is obviously a security risk.

This setting can be disabled within iPad 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.

Disable 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.

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