Connect iOS mobile devices

You can connect iOS devices to the Mobile Center server, or to a connector machine.

Before you start

From version 2.00, Mobile Center introduced full device automation capabilities. The testing flow can now be designed to include the following:

  • System apps such as settings
  • Apps that were uploaded by Mobile Center
  • Apps that were pre-installed on the device

Note: This advanced feature requires that the Agent and Agent Launcher apps be signed with a development certificate of an Apple Developer Account. Signing the Agent and Agent Launcher apps with an enterprise certificate is not supported.

Before connecting devices to Mobile Center, check that your devices are supported, and remove all apps that were installed using a previous version of Mobile Center.

Re-sign the Agent and Agent Launcher apps

The Agent apps are standard iOS applications that needs to be installed on each device that you want to use with Mobile Center. These provides a communication channel between the device and Mobile Center.

The Agent apps must be re-signed with a development certificate of an Apple Developer Account, and a development provisioning profile belonging to the same account. These provide the identity of the developer, and the list of devices on which distribution of the app is allowed.

For details on how to re-sign these apps, see Re-sign the Agent apps.

Back to top

Initial device configuration

The first time that you connect a device, perform the following steps on each device you intend to connect to Mobile Center. These are one-time settings. After the initial connection has been set up, the device is "plug-and-play".

  1. In Settings > Display & Brightness > Auto-lock set the maximum time. When using a device running on iOS 11.1 or higher, make sure to insert a SIM card or a dummy SIM card in the device. Alternatively, set the Auto lock option to 30 seconds.
  2. Set your preferences (such as iCloud) to avoid unnecessary pop-ups.

  3. If required by the apps that you are testing, make sure that there is an active Internet connection.
  4. For iOS 8 and higher, make sure UI Automation is enabled (Settings > Developer > UI Automation). If you perform this step after connecting the device, you will need to restart the device, or unplug it and plug it in again.
  5. Turn off the passcode on the device.
  6. For Safari browser support: Enable Javascript and Web Inspector in Settings > Safari > Advanced.
  7. Make sure that the Display Zoom, under the Display and Brightness settings, is set to Standard, and not Zoomed.

Back to top

Connect devices to Mobile Center

If you have not already done so, make sure that you have re-signed the Agent and Launcher apps with your development certificate. For details, see Re-sign the Agent and Agent Launcher apps.

Devices can be connected via USB cable to the Mobile Center server or to a connector machine. For iOS devices that support cellular networks, a SIM card should be in the device. If you are connecting devices to a connector machine, see Install the connector on a Linux machine, Install the connector on a Windows machine or Install the connector on a Mac machine.

To connect a device to the Mobile Center server:

  1. Connect the device to the server machine using a USB cable.
  2. Note: On some devices, when you connect the device, there may be notification, trust, or location pop-ups. Accept these pop-ups.

  3. Wait until the Agent is running on the device.

    When using a device running on iOS 11.1 or higher without a SIM or dummy SIM card, configure the Agent as follows:

    1. Open the Agent app on the device.
    2. Tap the Mobile Center icon seven times. The developer options tab bar is displayed at the bottom.
    3. Tap the VNC icon and set Avoid Device Lock to 1 minute.
  4. If the agent does not start up on the device, verify that the devices are recognized:

    If the devices are connected correctly, but the agent does not start up, try to manually launch the MC Launcher app:

Additional considerations for iOS devices

Back to top

Troubleshooting iOS devices

iOS device best practices

Known issues and problem solving

Back to top

See also: