How to Lock iPhone and Android to One App

    As per a recent report[1], a whopping 79% of employees admitted they weren’t productive for the entire workday. Even more striking, the average full-time employee reported only being fully productive for less than 3 hours out of an 8-hour shift.

    In modern workplaces embracing digital collaboration, the ability to focus on specific tasks is highly valuable, particularly when work models (remote, hybrid, on-site) vary from organization to organization.

    The concept of internet filtering is of utmost relevance in ensuring productivity and security in the workplace.

    Through the implementation of phone app locking, organizations may efficiently limit app usage on their smartphones, ensuring that staff remain focused on their assigned responsibilities without being distracted by unnecessary applications.

    This method is not just about control; it’s a strategic move towards enhancing workplace productivity.

    Within the scope of enterprise mobility, where safeguarding confidential data is of the highest priority, the capability to restrict a device to a single application assumes an essential function. It provides protection against unwanted access and protects the phone from any security breaches.

    Also, in industries where devices are shared among employees or utilized in customer-facing roles, such as in retail or education, the ability to keep a phone on one app can be invaluable. It streamlines the user’s interaction and ensures that the device is being used precisely for its designated purpose.

    What is App Locking?

    App locking is a technology feature used to restrict access to a single application or a specific set of applications on a smartphone or tablet.

    This function is particularly useful to prevent users from accessing unwanted apps for enhancing security, maintaining focus, and managing device usage in various contexts.

    Implementation Methods to Lock iPhone and Android on One App

    Built-in Features: Many smartphones come with built-in features to lock your devices to one app. For instance, iOS offers ‘Guided Access’ which allows the device to be locked to a single app.

    Android has a similar feature known as ‘App Pinning’ or ‘Screen Pinning’, which restricts the device to one app until a specific unlock sequence is performed.

    Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solutions: For corporate environments, MDM solutions like Scalefusion offer a more comprehensive approach. These platforms allow IT administrators to remotely set up app locking across multiple devices, tailor configurations to specific needs, and monitor device usage.

    Here’s a comparison of methods to lockdown a phone on one app, highlighting the differences between built-in features and Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions and explaining why MDM might be more suitable for certain situations:

    Feature/AspectBuilt-in Features (like Guided Access/Screen Pinning)Mobile Device Management (MDM) Solutions
    Ease of SetupSimple to activate directly on the device. Typically involves a few steps in device settings.More complex setup, usually requires IT administration. Involves configuring settings remotely.
    Control and CustomizationLimited control and customization options. Mainly allows locking to a single app.Extensive control and customization. Can set policies, deploy apps, restrict specific functionalities, etc.
    ScalabilityIdeal for personal use or small-scale scenarios. Not scalable for large number of devices.Highly scalable. Can manage and configure large fleets of devices simultaneously.
    Remote ManagementNot available. Any changes require physical access to the device.Available. Devices can be managed and monitored remotely. Ideal for distributed teams or devices in various locations.
    Security FeaturesBasic. Mainly restricts device to a single app.Advanced. Includes additional security features like remote wipe, data encryption, and compliance reporting.
    User Access LevelsTypically a one-size-fits-all approach.Allows different access levels and restrictions for different user groups or device profiles.
    CostFree, as it is a part of the device’s operating system.Varies. Often involves subscription fees based on the number of devices or level of service.
    Support and UpdatesLimited to the features provided by the OS, dependent on OS updates.Continuous support and regular updates. MDM providers often offer customer support and compliance with the latest standards and technologies.

    Step-by-Step Guide: How to Lock iPhones or iPads to One App

    Method 1: Using Build-in feature Guided Access

    Guided Access Mode is an inbuilt system features allows you to lock your iPhone and iPad temporarily to kiosk mode. 

    To configure the Guided Access Mode on an iPad manually, follow to the following steps:

    Step #1 – Activate the Guided Access feature manually

    1) To temporarily enable kiosk mode on the iPad, manually access the settings, then go to Accessibility and select Guided Access.

    how to lock your phone on one app

    2) Enable the Guided Access feature and subsequently access the Passcode settings to set up the password that will be necessary to enable or disable the Guided Access mode.

    how to lock your phone on one app iphone 11

    Step #2 – Setting up an application for guided access

    1) Using Guided Access, select and launch the app that has to be locked into iOS kiosk mode.

    2) Now, press the home button three times now, then choose Guided Access.

    how to lock my phone on one app

    3) Choose the areas of the screen that you want to manually turn off, as well as the features of the device that you want to turn off. Next, select “Start.” This will start your iPad’s guided access session.

    how to lock your phone on one app iphone 12

    Step #3: Setting up the current Guided Access Mode

    1) Make three taps on the home button.

    2) If TouchID or FaceID is already set up, use it to approve the exit from the temporary kiosk mode. Alternatively, enter the passcode that has been set up for Guided Access.

    how to lock your phone on one app iphone

    3) The guided access session will now terminate.

    how to lock your phone on one app iphone

    Method 2: Using iOS Mobile Device Management

    Prerequisites for configuring an iPad to lockdown it into Kiosk mode:

    1. A personal or corporate-based Apple ID
    2. A supervised iOS device
    3. Scalefusion sign-up and access to the admin dashboard

    Step #1

    Open the Scalefusion browser and log in. You can use Office 365, G-suite, or your own email address to log into your Scalefusion account.

    On the dashboard’s left feature side, click Enroll Devices, then choose the iPad or iPhone platform. After setting up the device profiles to be pushed, follow the instructions on the screen to begin managing your devices virtually into kiosk mode.

    how to lock your phone on one specific app

    Step #2

    Go to Device Profiles & Policies on the dashboard’s feature tab, then select Device Profiles. You have the option to either create a new iOS profile or edit the current device profiles.

    how to put an ipad in kiosk mode

    Step #3

    Choose the app now that you wish to use in single-app mode. If not, you have the option to blacklist every app on your list save the one you want to use in single app mode. Select the app and then click “Next.”

    If you want to create a shortcut to a web page rather than an application, you can click Next and then follow the same steps. Since we will only be releasing one app, you can bypass the application order arrangement by clicking next once more on the Select brand/App order screen.

    how to lock phone to where it stays on one app

    Step #4

    Make sure the Single App Mode is preset on the restrictions tab, and then click Create a profile in the dashboard’s upper right corner. It will build and store your profile.

    You may now push the saved device profile to the managed iOS devices registered in step 2 through the feature tab>Device profile section on the holistic dashboard.

    how do i put an ipad in kiosk mode

    Step #5

    Choose the single app mode-created device profile, push it to iOS devices, and publish it. Your iPads will enter kiosk mode as a result.

    how to lock your phone to stay on one app

    Step-by-Step Guide: How to Lockdown Android Tablet or Phone to One App

    Method 1 – Android built-in Screen Pinning Feature (Pin App), i.e., Guided Access for Android

    1) On your Samsung Android device, navigate to “Settings.”

    2) Click “Other security settings” after selecting “Security and Privacy.”

    how to lock your phone on one app samsung

    3) Look for the “Pin App” option and turn it on.

    how to lock your phone on one specific app for s9

    4) To pin a Android app, choose it, then either slide up from the bottom of the screen and hold it, or hit the recent button. Choose “Pin this app” by tapping the icon above the application.

    android how to lock phone on one app

    Using Android Mobile Device Management Software

    The kiosk mode is now active. Without changing the Google Chrome on Android OS user experience overall, you can deploy devices running limited browsing and setup Android Chrome kiosk mode using the Scalefusion kiosk software.

    Unlocking the Potential of Single App Mode in Various Scenarios

    In the dynamic world of enterprise mobility, the strategy of locking a phone to one app, known as single app mode, finds its utility in numerous scenarios, each with its own unique set of benefits.

    Let’s delve into some of these situations to understand the profound impact of this feature.

    In Kiosks: Streamlining Customer Interaction

    A common sight in retail and information centers, kiosks often employ single app mode to enhance customer interaction.

    By locking an Android device to one app or utilizing Guided Access on iOS, these kiosks become foolproof information points, guiding users precisely where they need to go without the risk of them navigating away or tampering with the device settings.

    This focused approach not only secures the device but also streamlines the user experience, making it more engaging and efficient.

    Educational Purposes: Facilitating Focused Learning

    In educational settings, the ability to lockdown a screen for kids on a particular educational app is a game-changer. It helps maintain the sanctity of the learning process by eliminating distractions.

    Whether it’s to conduct assessments or to engage students in interactive learning modules, app locking ensures that the educational content remains front and center, providing a distraction-free learning environment.

    Retail Environments: Enhancing Operational Efficiency

    Retail employees often use shared devices for inventory management, customer service, or processing transactions. Locking these devices to specific apps ensures that employees use them solely for work-related tasks, thereby boosting operational efficiency.

    It’s a straightforward yet effective way to keep the focus on customer service and store management without the worry of personal use during work hours.

    Dedicated Work Tasks: Ensuring Task Compliance

    In corporate environments, where certain tasks require undivided attention, locking a phone to a certain app can significantly improve productivity.

    Employees handling sensitive information or engaging in time-sensitive tasks can benefit from a single app focus, reducing the risk of errors and enhancing task compliance.

    Business Benefits: Security, Focus, and Enhanced UX

    The benefits of locking a phone to one app in points can provide a clearer, more digestible format for readers. Here are the key benefits:

    • Enhanced Security: Locking a phone to a single app significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information, ensuring that only permitted applications are used.
    • Improved Focus and Productivity: By restricting access to only work-related apps, employees are less likely to be distracted by social media, games, or other non-essential applications, leading to increased focus and productivity.
    • Simplified User Experience: In scenarios like kiosks or retail, users interact with a single, specific application, making the process straightforward and user-friendly, which can improve customer satisfaction.
    • Prevention of Misuse: This approach ensures that company devices are used strictly for their intended purpose, preventing personal use or access to unrelated apps during work hours.
    • Efficient Device Management: For IT administrators, managing devices becomes more straightforward when each device is restricted to specific functionalities, making it easier to deploy, update, and troubleshoot.
    • Enhanced Compliance and Control: In regulated industries, locking phones to specific apps can ensure compliance with policies and regulations by controlling how devices are used.
    • Customized Work Environments: Different roles may require different applications; app locking allows customization of the work environment to suit specific job functions, leading to more efficient workflows.
    • Reduced Training Time: When devices are locked to one app, training time for staff is significantly reduced, as they only need to learn how to use one specific application.
    • Resource Optimization: Limiting devices to essential apps can improve performance and extend battery life, as fewer background processes are running.
    • Data Conservation: By restricting app usage, companies can also save on data usage costs, particularly important for businesses with large fleets of mobile devices.

    Each of these points highlights how locking a phone to one app can be a strategic move in enterprise mobility, offering a blend of security, efficiency, and user-friendliness that’s crucial in today’s business landscape.

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    Key Takeaway

    Understanding and implementing the method to restrict a phone on one app is essential in today’s digital-centric work environment.

    Whether it’s for enhancing security, boosting productivity, or ensuring focused device usage, the right approach can make a significant difference.

    If you’re looking to explore how Mobile Device Management solutions can be tailored to meet your specific business needs, we invite you to experience the full potential of our offerings.

    Book a demo with us at Scalefusion today, and discover how our intuitive, comprehensive MDM solutions can transform your enterprise mobility strategy, ensuring optimal device usage and security.

    1. Gallup

    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan Ghosh
    Abhinandan is a Senior Content Editor at Scalefusion who is an enthusiast of all things tech and loves culinary and musical expeditions. With more than a decade of experience, he believes in delivering consummate, insightful content to readers.

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