The new iOS 6 was announced this afternoon at Apple's Worldwide Developers conference, and the updated operating system looks to have gotten tons of new integrated features. One new feature that might be overlooked, but certainly deserves some attention, is the new Guided Access mode for iOS devices.
Guided Access is a form of accessibility software for iOS. Apple has always been at the forefront of technologies dedicated to helping those with disabilities interact with Apple products. Guided Access will allow a parent or teacher the ability to have full control of how an iOS device can be used. For example, the home button and all other hardware buttons can be locked, motion sensitivity can be disabled, or a certain portion of the screen can be made inactive toward touch. In addition, the device can be locked into a single app. This means that iOS device can now reliably be used to test students or give reading assignments, without fear that they will lose focus and end up playing Angry Birds. Apple also mentioned that the devices could be locked-down in this manner and used for museum information apps.
It's just like Apple to provide a simple, elegant solution to a tricky problem. It will be interesting to see what parents and teachers use Guided Access for, since the best uses for such technology are often found by the users rather than the designers.