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Setting up an iPad Kiosk With iOS 6: Five Easy Steps


By Kevin Hart, Tekserve

Take a look around your store. Somewhere, likely near the register, there’s a clipboard where you collect customer email addresses for your mailing list. You probably think this clipboard method is the most efficient way to collect this information since it’s worked for you up to this point. Or has it? Do you really have the time to retype all of these email addresses? How many of those email addresses are actually illegible? It may be time for you to upgrade from your paper data collection process to an iPad.

With the iPad filling a growing role in our work and personal lives, it’s a logical next step for retailers to use these increasingly familiar devices to interact with consumers in the form of a mobile kiosk. It was a laborious process to transform an iPad into a kiosk prior to the launch of iOS 6. It was possible, but required special profiles to be installed onto the device, which was complicated for the average user.

One of the lesser-known features introduced in iOS 6 is Guided Access. Hidden deep within the Settings page, this new feature is designed to help children and students with disabilities stay focused while using iOS devices. By allowing an administrator to limit access to specified portions of the touchscreen and deactivate hardware buttons, Guided Access is also a great new tool for setting up an iPad kiosk on the fly. Using Guided Access, a retailer can easily turn off all hardware buttons so no one can switch apps or put the iPad to sleep. The feature also allows restricted access to the settings button within the app, so customers can only access the app the retailer wants them to see. Utilizing these features, a retailer can focus the consumer on one particular app to accomplish their intended goal, for example, gathering customer contact details or assisting the customer in finding additional product information.

Here’s a basic walkthrough of how Guided Access works and how to set up an iPad kiosk:

1. In the Settings app, navigate to General > Accessibility, and then tap Guided Access;

2. Switch it on using the toggle, and then set a passcode (it doesn’t have to be the same as the device passcode);

3. Navigate to the app you want to restrict and press the Home button three times quickly;

4. A screen will pop up where settings can be configured — the user can turn off hardware buttons, motion, and touch control, and even circle areas of the screen that they want to disable; and

5. To turn Guided Access off, press the home button again three times, enter the passcode, and tap “End.”

That’s it – just five easy steps. Now your retail customers can use iPads to collect and distribute valuable information to consumers like never before. Not only is the set up process simple for retailers, but using these familiar devices can serve as another way for a company to be more relatable to its audience – and gather important customer data along the way.

Kevin Hart is CEO of Tekserve.

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