iOS 9.3 introduced the capability to fully control the home screen layout with AirWatch. This allows administrators to simplify and streamline users' iOS experience.

With AirWatch v8.3.3 administrators get a simple to use interface to control which applications should be visible on users' devices.
AirWatch administrators can now control the home screen layout with the following configuration options:

  • Applications in the Dock
  • Amount of default home pages
  • Apps on the home page(s)
  • Folders
  • Applications inside folders

The following screenshot shows a basic setup of the "Home Screen Layout" payload in the AirWatch iOS Profile screen.
The result on the device is that two new folders with the according apps are being created and all other items are automatically sorted alphabetically.

Control of the iOS Home Screen with AirWatch Result Control of the iOS Home Screen with AirWatch

Additionally administrator can define application white- and black-lists. Blacklists can include also Apple internal apps which otherwise cannot be removed from devices.

Technically applications are not removed/uninstalled from the device, but they are hidden from users', including the application settings

SETTINGS and PHONE icon (iPhone only) cannot be hidden.

The below screenshot shows the the section of the AirWatch restriction payload with white-list entries to only allow specific applications. This results in all other applications to be hidden.

Control of the iOS Home Screen with AirWatch - white-list entries
Result Control of the iOS Home Screen with AirWatch - white-list entries

Minimum Requirements

  • iOS 9.3 supervised device
  • AirWatch Console version 8.3.3



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About the author
Peter Giesa is AirWatch Certified Technical Post-Sales On-Prem Expert and works as Solution Architect & Senior Consultant for Aerion Solutions.

About Aerion Solutions
Aerion Solutions is AirWatch Elite Partner and VMware Enterprise Solution Provider in Finland with certified consultants and provides consulting and training services for AirWatch and VMware on-premise and SaaS implementations.