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CS401 Learning and Progress Second Task

February 19, 2013

My post is late this week due to several unfortunate circumstances and some poor timing on my own part.  This also prevented me from joining in at the irc chat meeting this week on Monday.

For my research, first found that there is no issue with the sleep mode on iPad as it can be disabled through normal settings.  So my time this week was spent searching for alternatives to kiosk pro that would allow us to make our program into an app instead of leaving it as a website.  I found that the only free and effective alternative is actually already built into ios6.  It’s called Guided Access.

It was designed more to help those with learning disabilities stay focused on task but it will work for what we need if very minimally.  It doesn’t disabled the hardware buttons as well as Kiosk Pro but with a kiosk enclosure that is not an issue.  It will keep the currently running app from being closed, and it can be used to disable certain parts of the touch screen.  So if menus or address bar can’t be removed they can be made unusable.

The down part is that this is all that guided access does.  It has no other functionality to it.  It is really just additional settings on the iPad itself.  So on the good side is that it will give us the minimum of what we need to have the kiosk stations and it allows us to use our program as an app.

The downside from a customer point is that it does not revert to the main page if idle, so new customers will find the app at where ever the last person left it.  I am unsure if this can be resolved through our own code or not.  From the clients view it doesn’t have any of the convenience functions.  The settings can’t be changed remotely, updates will have to be done to each iPad individually.  And the guided access doesn’t save settings so each time it is turned off or closed down, the settings will have to be redone.  There is no power saving options so they will have to keep them on all the time or shut them down manually each night and set them back up in the morning.

So Guided access will work but it will also be more work to run.  Depending on WAM’s plans on how to use it these drawbacks may be minor and acceptable.  Still while I could not find anything else that looked good for what we need I’m not ready to say these are the only two options.  I plan this week to find and call up some other museums and similar locations that have iPad kiosks and ask what they have used and any problems they have run into.  I will also contact people at Apple to ask them for better information on Guided Access and if they have suggestions on alternatives.

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