“Single App Mode” on tvOS – digital signage

TL;DR: Single App Mode Configuration Profiles created by Apple Configurator for Apple TV have an “Unknown Payload”, and don’t do anything. They would be very useful and enable many kinds of apps to exist in places tvOS may not otherwise be used.

Hi, I’m about to start building a simple digital signage app for tvOS. I’m sure many others are too.

To make it viable in more use cases, I need a way to have the Apple TV start up my app on power on. Say it’s set up in an office or shop, and the power goes out for a minute – people have better things to do than baby-sit the digital signage. It needs to be able to come back on to where it was.

For iOS devices, Apple has a solution – Apple Configurator app can generate a Configuration Profile that turns on “Single App Mode” where a device will boot into that app, and not allow users to even leave it. Now, Apple Configurator 2.1 beta already supports Apple TV, and can generate a single app mode profile for Apple TV! Awesome! Problem is, it doesn’t seem to do anything. The profile shows up in settings, but has an “Unknown Payload”.

If this worked, it would allow tvOS to be used in installation environments, in large numbers. Apple Configurator is already a great tool to deal with these scenarios.

Without this working, tvOS digital signage apps are limited to very simple installations, where there’s no more than 1 or 2, and there is a knowledable person around to babysit them whenever power gets cut off.

I have filed a radar – see rdar://23083234


I am curious about this too! I am also working in something and played arround with Config 2.1 beta. Question, were you looking to do this publicly, b2b, or enterprise? I am trying to do this via enterprise and I found that enterprise-signed apps are not yet supported.

Please go to the bug reporter and file and enhancement request for this. I spoke with our apple rep and he told me I wasnt the only one who was requesting this be added and recommended that I file an enhancement request. I did and it was closed as duplicate, meaning others want it. The more people want it, the more likely it is to be included.

EDIT: Never mind. I see that you already did file a radar. 🙂 To others who want this feature, please also file enhancement requests

Great to hear I’m not the only one asking!

My radar got marked as a duplicate of 23128657

I haven’t built the app yet. I’m planning to release it publicly on the App Store for a reasonable price – but need to support "enterprise" IT department kind of deployments, to be competitive with other digital signage solutions. It’d be impractical to deploy without a tool like Apple Configurator and Single App Mode.