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Guided Access Bug in iOS 12 – Fixed in Flow Kiosk 1.1

Guided Access Bug in iOS 12 – Fixed in Flow Kiosk

About a week ago, we heard from one of our users that she was experiencing an issue with iOS 12. She is using Flow Kiosk at a museum and placing the iPad in kiosk mode and Guided Access. The Guided Access bug in iOS 12, as reported here on Reddit and here on Apple’s discussion boards causes the iPad to go ‘black’ after 20 minutes of inactivity. This happens even if the iPad ‘auto-lock’ display setting is ‘never’. This is an unfortunate bug for kiosk use cases as the only way to make the screen active, is to press the home button.

guided access bug in iOS 12
At Flow Kiosk, we take securing iPad kiosks seriously and work tirelessly to ensure they are secure.

We began to investigate and research the problem. We wrote our contacts at Apple, we filed a bug with Apple, and we’re now waiting to hear back from Apple on a timeline for a solution.

Flow Kiosk Has a Solution to this Bug

We can’t let our customers down. It’s a very busy time of the year and the only other ‘solution’ is to use an iPad running an earlier version of iOS, like iOS 11.3. Or, take the iPad out of Guided Access which then allows visitors to get into your other apps and makes it NOT secure. So, we quickly crafted a temporary fix** as we hear back from Apple and/or we build a more permanent fix. We didn’t want our customers to be scrambling for a solution to this problem.

It is also possible to fix this issue by placing your iPad in ‘supervised mode‘. Here are instructions on how to place your iPad (or iPhone) in ‘supervised mode’.

We essentially trick the iPad into thinking that it is not inactive. It’s simple, it’s effective and it’s available, right now.

Go and get the latest version of FlowKiosk 1.1 here.

Thanks to Betty at Stanford for making us aware of this problem. Please let us know if you find any issues with our current fix, or if you have other ideas on different solutions to this problem.

We will update this post as we hear back from Apple or others on the status of this issue.

[Updated – October 15, 2018: Added a link to Apple’s discussion boards on an active thread discussing the issue.

We made initial contact with Apple, and waiting to hear back on timeline and solution. ]

[Update October 25, 2018 — We have only heard from Apple that this is a ‘Priority 1’ issue and they are investigating. We continue to monitor the Apple Developer Downloads site for the latest iOS betas to see if a fix has been posted.

**We have also discovered that our solution only works when there is an autoplaying video on the first screen, it’s set to loop and in Flow Kiosk ‘kiosk mode‘. This video replaying keeps the iPad active and prevents it from going black. 

 

 

One thought on “Guided Access Bug in iOS 12 – Fixed in Flow Kiosk 1.1

  1. We’ve worked around the issue by triggering a UNUserNotification as the app is backgrounded due to the sleep. Although it prevents the iPad from sleeping and keeps the app front and centre, it isn’t perfect – for one the iPad will temporarily go black before recovering.

    I’d love to know what you’re doing to trick the iPad – I tried a few approaches (such as regularly playing a sound effect which used to work in older versions of iOS)!

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