Set Icon Arrangement

Created: Modified: Documentation

GroundControl can arrange the app icons on your devices. This action can be applied either before or after the apps have actually been installed on the device. If you set the icon arrangement before the app is installed, the app will appear in the position you had specified once it’s downloaded.

For devices using iOS 9.3+, app positions are now locked in place, which means they can’t be deleted or moved. Also, adding WebClips no longer breaks the arrangement.

A drag-and-drop GUI for this feature is under development. In the meantime, you can enter the icon arrangement is a specific format, that is described below.

About App IDs

App IDs the unique identifiers developers give their apps. Every iOS app has a bundle ID — public apps, enterprise apps, B2B apps. App IDs almost always use a sort of “reverse hostname” scheme to identify the app:

  • com.apple.mobilephone
  • com.air-watch.agent
  • com.google.chrome.ios

We have published a KB article with a list of common App IDs. For other apps, you can find the App ID within your MDM system. Note that capitalization is important.

Basic Icon Arrangement Structure

The structure of the Icon Arrangement is a formatted text string. Technically,  it is a JSON object with two items, Dock and Pages. Don’t worry if you don’t know what a JSON object is, as we support HOCON which is much simpler (you just need to make sure you use the square brackets correctly.) And while not required, you can add as many extra spaces, returns and even commas which may make it easier to read and arrange.

Dock: [ ]
Pages: [ ]

The Dock item is a simple array of App IDs. For example:

Dock: 
[com.apple.mobilesafari, com.apple.Preferences]

The Pages item is a double-array of App IDs. Each inner array represents a page on the device.

Pages: 
[ 
 [com.apple.mobilemail, com.apple.facetime] 
 [com.apple.mobilecal] 
]

The structure above puts “Mail” and “FaceTime” on the first page, and “Calendar” on the second page.

Folders

You can add a folder by using an array where the App ID would have been. The first item in the array will be the folder name. The second item is an array (again!) of App IDs. Additional arrays may be used, and these will represent additional pages within the folder.

[ Extras 
   [com.apple.MobileAddressBook, com.apple.videos]
   [com.apple.reminders, com.apple.news]
]

The structure above represents a folder named “Extras”. The first page of the folder includes the apps “Contacts” and “Videos”. The second page includes “Reminders” and “News”.

Overloading Apps

There is no problem if you include App IDs that the device will never see. This technique is useful so you can re-use the same structure with different workflows. iOS will automatically shift apps to remove any “blanks”. You can even put too many apps in the Dock, or in a folder. Any additional apps, once installed on your device, will move themselves to the last page.

Webclips

With iOS 9.3 method to set icon positions and lock them in place, Webclips no longer break icon positions. For older devices, webclips are not supported in Icon Arrangements. In addition, webclips pushed through MDM may cause the device to forget app placeholders, so that any new apps are installed on the last page.

Default Structure

The default Icon Arrangement has no apps in the dock, and all Apple apps in a folder named “Extras”. We have included a combination of apps from iPhones and iPads. You may find the list below helpful as you create your own arrangements.

Dock: 
[
 com.apple.Preferences
 com.apple.mobilesafari
 com.apple.camera
]
Pages: 
[
 [ 
 [ Extras
 [ 
 com.apple.mobilephone
 com.apple.facetime
 com.apple.mobilecal
 com.apple.mobileslideshow
 com.apple.MobileAddressBook
 com.apple.mobiletimer
 com.apple.videos
 ]
 [ 
 com.apple.news
 com.apple.MobileStore
 com.apple.AppStore
 com.apple.iBooks
 com.apple.MobileSMS
 com.apple.mobilemail
 com.apple.Music
 com.apple.Photo-Booth
 ]
 [
 com.apple.gamecenter
 com.apple.tips
 com.apple.podcasts
 com.apple.mobileme.fmf1
 com.apple.mobileme.fmip1
 com.apple.Maps
 com.apple.mobilenotes
 com.apple.Passbook
 ]
 [ 
 com.apple.Health
 com.apple.calculator
 com.apple.compass
 com.apple.VoiceMemos
 com.apple.Bridge
 com.apple.weather
 com.apple.stocks
 com.apple.reminders 
 ]
 [ 
 com.apple.mobilegarageband 
 com.apple.iMovie 
 com.apple.itunesu 
 com.apple.Keynote 
 com.apple.Numbers 
 com.apple.Pages 
 com.apple.tv ] 
 [
 com.apple.Home 
 com.apple.PlaygroundsBeta 
 com.apple.clips
 ]
 ] 
 ]
]