iOS 6 Single App Mode and Guided Access

Update: For details on how to set up and use Guided Access, look here.

Apple’s Scott Forstall introduced iOS 6 yesterday at WWDC 2012, giving customers and developers a look at the future of their iPhones, iPod touches and iPads. After showing off the new Maps, Siri updates and Facebook integration, Forstall talked about Guided Access and Single App Mode. As a parent, I’m eagerly anticipating both.

These features will let customers with disabilities use their iPhones, iPod touches and iPads like never before. Scott explained that many students with autism have benefited from using the iPad. That’s something I relate to, as I was a teacher at a school for kids with autism and other developmental delays for eight years. We used all sorts of assistive communication devices, and ran into a problem that Forstall described: the kids often tapped buttons that they shouldn’t, usually inadvertently. It was frustrating for the students, the teachers and the parents.

Guided Access, a new feature in iOS 6, address the issue. It lets you identify and disable certain controls before handing over the iPad. Fantastic. Additionally, Guided Access locks the iPad into a single app. That way, the Home button can’t be pressed, pushing the student out of the app s/he should be using.

Scott mentions other use cases. For example, typical students can be “locked” into an electronic test, preventing “cheating” with Google. Likewise, it’s a great setup for a kiosk iPad at a museum.

I’m looking forward to using Guided Access and Single App Mode with my own kids. Sometimes I’ll let them play around but don’t want them switching into SMS, email or what have you. Now I can do that easily. Well done, Apple. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time.

WWDC 2012 keynote: the summary slides

I love watching Apple make major product announcements. They’re just fun. A big part of the fun is finding little tidbits that are mentioned in passing or breezed over entirely. Apple’s presenters typically end their segments with an overview slide. Those slides often contain the very tidbits I’m talking about: fun and compelling. Here’s a look at what was on the slides during today’s keynote presentation at WWDC 2012.

Here’s the slide that wrapped up the Mountain Lion presentation. On it you’ll find:

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Steve Jobs discusses remote computing at WWDC in 1997

Here’s a clip of Steve Jobs taking questions from a WWDC crowd in 1997. Jump to the 13′ mark and hear him discuss his vision for what we call cloud computing today:

“Let me describe the world I live in. About eight years ago 1 we had high-speed networking connected to our NeXT hardware. Because we were using NFS, we were able to take all of our personal data — our “home directory” we called them — off of our local machines and put them on a server. The software made that completely transparent…a professional could be hired to back up that server every night.

In the last seven years, do you know how many times I lost any personal data? Zero. Do you how many times I’ve backed up my computer? Zero.

I have computers at Apple, at Pixar, at NeXT and at home. I walk over to any of them and log in as myself. It goes over the network, finds my home directory on the server and I’ve got my stuff, where ever I am. And none of that is on a local disc. The server…is my local disc.”

Expect to see a full realization of this vision on Monday.

[Via The Tech Bench]

  1. This would have been about 1990