iOS 9.3 lets your boss lock apps to the Home screen and impose other restrictions

By , Mar 1, 2016

iOS 9 teaser iPhone iPad image 003

Apple’s upcoming iOS 9.3 software update will allow employers to lock apps to the Home screen of company-issued devices, preventing them from being moved around, as first discovered by Irish developer Steven Troughton-Smith.

Buried within Apple’s documentation for developers, the Home Screen Layout Payload, which defines a layout of apps, folders and web clips for the Home screen, is supported on iOS 9.3 and later.

“Presumably this means you can permanently hide system apps on iOS 9.3 with the right profile,” Troughton-Smith commented.

In addition to enforcing Home screen layouts, your boss will also be able to blacklist and whitelist specific iOS apps on your device and enforce notification settings. For instance, administrators can define on a per-app basis whether notifications can be shown in the Notification Center and the Lock screen, the type of alert used (None, Banner or Modal Alert), whether badges and sounds are allowed for alerts and more.

The Shared Device Configuration Payload, supported on iOS 9.3 or later, permits IT administrators to specify optional text displayed on the login window and the Lock screen, such as “If Lost, Return To” types of messages.

Another thing enterprise users and classrooms might be able to do in iOS 9.3 is force a change on default apps like Safari and Chrome on controlled devices, disable iTunes Radio, restrict users to save passwords in Safari only from URLs matching the listed patterns and more.

These configuration profiles require an OS X Server, Profile Manager and supervision configured on the phone.

Source: Steven Troughton-SmithApple via The Next Web

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  • Tom

    I guess it was made for school & students….

  • Alex Wilson

    If I were buying and supplying phones to my team I can see this being a good feature. Staff may not like it but, to an employer it’s a tool not a toy.

    • QuarterSwede

      Unless the way it’s locked down doesn’t work well for the user. That’s my issue with a work issued device I have. I have to use extensive workarounds at times just to do my job. It kills my efficiency. I understand why they lock them down but locking down the home screen would be overkill for a work issued device. Makes sense for certain use cases (demo unit for devs apps at a trade show, etc).

      • Alex Wilson

        Agreed, but that’s an employer issue. Having issued phones in the past and had staff using them for non-business functions it drove my crazy. Now I just offer a reimbursement plan based on usage. They get the cash and I don’t have to care or worry as long as they get the job done.

  • Kenneth Delgado

    Any ETA on the public releas?

    • Burge

      After or around when Apple launch the iPad Air 3

  • Sohail Wahab

    God, we need a jailbreak for 9.3

    • nyangejr

      You mean that on a none enterprise phone, right?
      You bossing you

    • John

      You mean on an operating system that hasn’t been released yet?

  • Nolan I.

    Let’s not forget we can permanently hide system apps for the first time ever (on a jailed device) with a profile

    • John

      You mean on a non-jailbroken device?