iOS 9.3 will let IT managers define home screen layout, hide and blacklist apps

Posted:
in iPhone
For businesses and other organizations, Apple's forthcoming iOS 9.3 update will let them lock the layout of a device's home screen -- and exert more control over apps in general.




Layout lock requires OS X Server, Profile Manager, and supervision configured on a device, according to official documentation highlighted by developer Steve Troughton-Smith on Tuesday. With the option in force, apps can't be rearranged, for example allowing a company to ensure that apps it wants workers to use can't be moved into a folder or a different page.

Organizations will moreover be able to hide apps, or blacklist or whitelist specific ones, determining what can be downloaded to an iPhone or iPad in the first place.

Administrators will lastly be able to enforce notification settings, which may help them in circumstances where it's critical that some app notifications come through.

iOS 9.3 is still in beta testing. Large-scale deployments are a particular focus in the update, but mainly for schools, which will for instance have a universal management hub and a Classroom app so teachers can exercise more control over student iPads.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    dangaiohdangaioh Posts: 11member
    I've been waiting for Layout lock ever since my first iPhone 4. It's so annoying how apps get moved around, deleted, or get lost in folders simply by touching the phone by accident. The average consumer needs this feature not just big companies.
    edited March 2016
  • Reply 2 of 17
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,848member
    No more excuses for government IT administrators to claim they aren't responsible for the security of the phones they issue to all of the terrorists they seem to keep hiring.

    Also, parents should love these features.
    JanNLjfc1138magman1979moreckbadmonkbancho
  • Reply 3 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    dangaioh said:
    The average consumer needs this feature not just big companies.
    Also, parents should love these features.
    No more excuses for government IT administrators to claim they aren't responsible for the security of the phones 

    Nope, nope and nope. iOS 9.3 enables just 4-5 new features that are part of the enormously complex Profiles and Supervision installation process. Unless you want to invest in an OS X server and a publicly exposed network infrastructure, MDM server and a degree in Computer Science, this not for individuals or parents. As far as IT administrators and security is concerned these new Profile entries do not affect any of the exiting security features in Profile Manager and if the iPhone is locked or encrypted they still can't retrieve any data from it unless they know the passcode. Follow the link in the article to the documentation for more information. BTW many of the Profiles management values are supported by OS X as well.
    edited March 2016 muppetry
  • Reply 4 of 17
    Layout lock would and could be a pretty simple feature if implemented locally. Needing OS X Server is fine if you're managing business accounts, but for average users, choosing a layout and locking it down is pretty much a switch on/off feature. 

    Maybe these types of features will help OS X Server become a bit more common. Would need to come a long way to compete with its competitors though. I'm a big fan of it though. 
    moreck
  • Reply 5 of 17
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    dangaioh said:
    I've been waiting for Layout lock ever since my first iPhone 4. It's so annoying how apps get moved around, deleted, or get lost in folders simply by touching the phone by accident. The average consumer needs this feature not just big companies.
    huh?

    No more excuses for government IT administrators to claim they aren't responsible for the security of the phones they issue to all of the terrorists they seem to keep hiring.

    Also, parents should love these features.
    Good feature but this won't be available to the public. Would be nice to hide those annoying default apps we don't use though.
  • Reply 6 of 17
    dangaiohdangaioh Posts: 11member
    volcan said:
    Unless you want to invest in an OS X server and a publicly exposed network infrastructure, MDM server and a degree in Computer Science, this not for individuals or parents.
    Did you honestly think I meant the average consumer needs a Server setup. All I meant was adding a toggle switch under Settings for Lock Screen Layout. Apple always waits years to implement stuff that other phones already do.
    edited March 2016 sdrls
  • Reply 7 of 17
    To think that back in the day Apple was freeing us from the tyranny of Big Brother... Now they're helping him. I understand why they need to do this but it still makes me a little sad.
  • Reply 8 of 17
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    To think that back in the day Apple was freeing us from the tyranny of Big Brother... Now they're helping him. I understand why they need to do this but it still makes me a little sad.
    Ilf it's Big Brother's phone it's Big Brother's call.

    You want independence? Buy your own phone!
    morecksdrls
  • Reply 9 of 17
    hexclockhexclock Posts: 547member
    dangaioh said:
    I've been waiting for Layout lock ever since my first iPhone 4. It's so annoying how apps get moved around, deleted, or get lost in folders simply by touching the phone by accident. The average consumer needs this feature not just big companies.
    Actually, you have to *very deliberately* press and hold an icon to do any of those things, since iOS 1.0.
    nolamacguymoreckjony0loopless
  • Reply 10 of 17
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,116member
    To think that back in the day Apple was freeing us from the tyranny of Big Brother... Now they're helping him. I understand why they need to do this but it still makes me a little sad.

    Sorry, what the fuck are you even talking about?
    muppetryloopless
  • Reply 11 of 17
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,770member
    hexclock said:
    dangaioh said:
    I've been waiting for Layout lock ever since my first iPhone 4. It's so annoying how apps get moved around, deleted, or get lost in folders simply by touching the phone by accident. The average consumer needs this feature not just big companies.
    Actually, you have to *very deliberately* press and hold an icon to do any of those things, since iOS 1.0.
    I know what he means though. It has happened to me once. You reach in your pocket and grab the phone holding the Touch ID which unlocks the phone even before you pull it out. Then while removing it from your pocket, you might hold the screen long enough for the icons to shake and if you are not careful you could accidentally move something to another screen. But yeah, it seems like a one in a million situation.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    fmalloyfmalloy Posts: 105member
    It's ok for IT to have total control and access but not the FBI.

    Why can't I encrypt my phone against IT access then?

    Seems a double standard.
  • Reply 13 of 17
    hexclock said:
    Actually, you have to *very deliberately* press and hold an icon to do any of those things, since iOS 1.0.
    Have you used an iPhone before? You've never accidentally dialed someone by accident, deleted an app, moved apps simply by touching, holding the phone while it was unlocked. Happens to my friends and parents all the time.
    sdrls
  • Reply 14 of 17
    jony0jony0 Posts: 269member
    dangaioh said:
    hexclock said:
    Actually, you have to *very deliberately* press and hold an icon to do any of those things, since iOS 1.0.
    Have you used an iPhone before? You've never accidentally dialed someone by accident, deleted an app, moved apps simply by touching, holding the phone while it was unlocked. Happens to my friends and parents all the time.
    Yep, since the 2008 3G. Nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.
    My mon and all 4 of my siblings and 5 out of 9 kids are iOS users, nothing to report from a any of them. I can't speak for all of them but maybe it could be because I grab my phone by the side edges and not by pinching the home button or screen and back. I also tap on the icons intently rather than loiter on them before releasing.
    However my mom's 94 year old Italian friend did delete a Safari Home Screen shortcut I had prepared for him pointing to his Italian newspaper website back home, it was only his third time using any computing device though and I think he was a bit nervous with slightly shaky hands.

    OT, who's iPad is that with all the Google crap on it, why not just get an Android tablet. Maybe they just wanted a secure encrypted device.
    dangaioh
  • Reply 15 of 17
    fmalloy said:
    It's ok for IT to have total control and access but not the FBI.

    Why can't I encrypt my phone against IT access then?

    Seems a double standard.

    Seems like a double standard only because you don't understand the issue.

    IT has total control on phones given to employees by the company. The phones are owned by the company, so obviously they have total control over it. These are work phones we are talking about, not personal phones.

    In the case of the FBI, the phone is not owned by them.


    mattinozjbishop1039badmonkbanchosdrls
  • Reply 16 of 17
    Just imagine how useful this is for say airline pilots that use their iPads as very important flight planning tools. Now the airline can be assured that the "apps" they use are always in the same place and some one cannot delete them.
    sdrls
  • Reply 17 of 17
    For those interested in trying the new Home Screen Layout feature, you can create a free account with SimpleMDM and take it for a spin. This blog post details it: http://simplemdm.com/2016/04/11/arrange-app-icons-on-supervised-ios-devices/
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