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Setting Up Guided Access

When setting up eKeypad to run full time on a dedicated iOS device, there are several recommended iOS configuration settings. The goal of these settings is to ensure that eKeypad remains running without interruption. The typical method used to achieve this is the Guided Access functionality.

Related iOS Settings

Before using Guided Access there are several related configuration settings that should be performed. These are settings are all related to how iOS behaves related to software update and power. Please note the following list refers to the location found in iOS 12. It is possible they may be moved in future iOS versions. If you have trouble finding them contact us for help.

  • All of these settings are located in the iOS Settings Application.
  • iOS Updates. Navigate to the General -> “Software Update” screen. Turn the “Automatic Updates” setting OFF.
  • Application Updates. Navigate to the “iTunes & App Store” screen. Turn all settings under the “Automatic Downloads” section OFF.
  • Auto-Lock. This setting is located on the “Display & Brightness” screen. Set the “Auto-Lock” setting to NEVER.
  • Smart Cover. This setting is located on the “Display & Brightness” screen. Turn the “Lock / Unlock” setting OFF.

Enabling Guided Access

There are several options related to how Guided Access behaves that must be set appropriately before use it.

  • All of these settings are located on the General -> Accessibility -> “Guided Access” screen.
  • Guided Access. Turn the “Guided Access” setting ON.
  • Auto-Lock Mirror. Turn the “Mirror Display Auto-Lock” setting to ON.
  • Guided Access Passcode. This setting is located in the “Passcode Settings” screen. Define the code required to exit guided access.
  • Touch ID support. This setting is located on the “Passcode Settings screen. Turn the “Touch ID” setting OFF.

At this point Guided Access mode is ready to be used. The method to enable it varies depending on the device.

  • For devices with a physical home button, triple tap the physical home button.
  • For devices without a physical home button, triple tap the side button (power button).

When Guided Access mode is activated for the first time, the screen will shrink slightly and expose the Guided Access controls. The Start button will activate Guided Access mode and restore the screen.

If Guided Access mode has been previously activated for an application, Guided Access will start automatically and display a brief popup stating so.

Disabling Guided Access

Once activated, to exit Guided Access mode will require entering the passcode defined earlier.  The method to exit it varies depending on the device.

  • For devices with a physical home button, triple tap the physical home button.
  • For devices without a physical home button, triple tap the side button (power button).

Both methods will result in the display of a passcode screen. Entering the correct passcode will shrink the screen slightly and expose the guided access controls. There will be options to both resume Guided Access mode and to end it.

Limitations to Guided Access

It is useful to be aware of the limitations surrounding the use of Guided Access mode.

  • Power Loss. If the iOS device is disconnected from power and the battery drains completely, the device will shut down.  When power is restored and and the device restarted, it will return to the iOS Home screen and Guided Access will be disabled.
  • Overheating. If the iOS device exceeds certain temperatures, it will power down automatically. Once it has cooled and the device restarted, it will return to the Home screen and Guided Access will be disabled.
  • Home Button. While Guided Access mode disabled the normal function of the Home button, triple tapping it will display the passcode screen. Entering an incorrect code will start a lockout timer. Consecutive failures will increases the lockout duration. There is no limit to how large this lockout duration can grow. In extreme scenarios a factory reset of the iOS device may be required to exit guided access.
  • Power Button. While Guided Access mode disables the normal function of the Power button, pressing it will display a brief popup message at the top of the screen.