How to use iOS Single App Mode

Last updated April 14, 2016

This article describes the Single App Mode feature for iOS when using SimpleMDM. If you don’t already have a SimpleMDM account, you can start a free trial today.

What is 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.

This feature includes a number of additional options, such as the ability to:

  • Disable screen touch actions
  • Disable device rotation
  • Disable volume buttons
  • Disable ringer switch
  • Disable sleep/wake buton
  • Disable auto lock
  • Enable voice over
  • Enable zoom
  • Enable inverted colors
  • Enable assistive touch
  • Enable speak selection
  • Enable mono audio
  • Allow voice over adjustments
  • Allow zoom adjustments
  • Allow inverted colors adjustments
  • Allow assistive touch adjustments

 

What is Autonomous Single App Mode?

iOS can be configured to allow some apps to enable and disable Single App Mode on their own, under certain scenarios. This functionality is referred to as Autonomous Single App Mode (ASAM). Since this functionality makes the app responsible for enabling and disabling Single App Mode, apps need to be designed specifically to support ASAM.

As a SimpleMDM administrator, you are able to specify a whitelist of apps that are allowed to place themselves in single app mode.

How Do I Configure Single App Mode and Autonomous Single App Mode?

Single App Mode is enabled by the MDM administrator in the SimpleMDM interface. To enable Single App Mode and/or Autonomous Single App Mode, complete the following steps:

  1. Visit Configs > Profiles and create a Single App Lock profile.
  2. Visit Devices > Groups and select a device group to view the group details screen.
  3. From the “Configurations” tab, select the Single App Lock profile and click “Save”.

Once you compete these steps, your supervised devices will enter Single App Mode and/or grant specified apps with Autonomous Single App Mode permissions.

Comments (10)

Could single-app mode be added to the quarantine group? I want to make it so that if users install a particular app, I can essentially lock their devices so that they are unable to use them, and single-app mode seems like a reasonable way to do that.

To clarify, I want to give users unrestricted access to the App Store but move the device to the quarantine group and disable touch events if a prohibited app is installed (I.e. Puffin, which bypasses our servers).

Absolutely. Simply edit the Quarantine group settings and select the single app mode configuration. It will apply to any device that is moved to a “quarantine” state and will be removed once the violation is resolved.

A few side effects worth considering:
1. If single app mode is enabled when a device breaks a rule, it may make it difficult for the user of the device to resolve whatever rule is being broken.
2. If a device does not have the app used for single app mode installed, single app mode won’t enable.

In Single mode Application i am getting one issue: with Local Notification,
It is working fine in case when app is not in single mode.
But if app is in single mode then after sleep device notification alert is not coming. Please suggest if anyone have idea about that.

Is it possible to enable microphone in single app mode it seems to disable the microphone so users cant make calls inside a VOIP app

Yes. We recommend creating a device group specifically for use with single app mode. Then, using the API, you can move devices to and from this group to enable and disable single app mode.

For an iPad with an app in single app mode (public display kiosk) the screen dims after 2 minutes and then the app restarts, is is possible to not allow the restart until the screen is touched or the home button pressed. I want to prevent screen burn in as the iPad will be on permanent charge and enclosed in a case preventing access to the sleep/wake button.

If the app is automatically restarting, it is likely crashing. We recommend contacting the app developer for further instruction.

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