I wish to lock my iOS devices into running a single app only. I have surveyed Guided Access Mode, but it doesn't persist between restarts, and have to be re-configured (by pressing the Home button thrice).

The requirement here is for the iOS device to behave as if it is capable of running one app only. I wish to practically restrict the device to use a single specific app, unaffected by power interruptions.

Is it possible to enforce this behaviour using a MDM solution? (Starting the device with a specific app launched automatically upon device power up/restart and restricting user from suspending it by pressing Home button).

Since the use-case entails locking the device to run only a specific app, all the other required device settings will be configured using a MDM solution.

  • Just to clarify your requirements (at least in may mind), can you explain why the following example scenario would not suffice: (1) Setup iOS device as new, (2) Install only the app you wish to have on the device, (3) Delete all other apps, (4) Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and (a) disallow the ability to install apps, and (b) disallow anything else you wish to. – Monomeeth May 29 '18 at 23:50
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    The requirement is to deploy a big chunk of iOS devices, managed via DEP and configured to run a specific app meant to be used by field personnel. The devices will be shipped directly to users without us touching them. The field personnel will be trained to use only the specific app and are not expected to use the device for other purposes. – Nimesh Neema May 29 '18 at 23:54
  • Ah, okay, thanks. Is the specific app a web app, or just a custom iOS app? – Monomeeth May 29 '18 at 23:56
  • A custom/native iOS app, not published on the App Store and procured via VPP. – Nimesh Neema May 29 '18 at 23:57
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    I have a possible solution re using Apple Configurator and putting them into supervised mode. When I get a chance I'll formulate an answer and you can see if that'll do the trick or not. – Monomeeth May 30 '18 at 0:01

The desired functionality is called Single App Mode, and is available for supervised devices.

An iOS device can be setup for Single App Mode using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) software.

A few articles shedding light on this topic are quoted below:

How to use iOS Single App Mode

Single App Mode (SAM), often referred to as “Single App Lock” is a feature for supervised devices that restricts the device to running only one app. While Single App Mode is enabled, the selected app will stay in the foreground.

Set up your iPad to give tests and assessments

Autonomous Single App Mode is a feature of assessment apps that locks iPad in to the app for testing. If your app doesn’t support Automatic Assessment Configuration, you can set up your iPad for Autonomous Single App Mode using Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. Your MDM software installs a profile that identifies your testing app on the device.

How to Setup Kiosk Mode & Lock Your iPad to Just One App – Part 2

In iOS version 9, Apple introduced “Supervised Mode” which enables a feature called “Single App Mode” on your iOS device. Single App Mode is a feature for supervised devices that restricts the device to running only one app. While Single App Mode is enabled the selected app will stay in the foreground, even after the device is rebooted.

  • This answer should be accepted. This is EXACTLY what the OP asked for. I was going to answer the same thing until I found your post – JBis May 30 '18 at 4:37

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