So I finally managed to pin down how to do this, though it took a while, and I'm going to have trouble in the future till Apple fix their entire operating ethos.
The problem, is that Apples configurator program, for mass deploying iOS devices, now only support the Apple Volume Purchasing Program. This is bad, because that is only available in the US for fully registered companies with a DUNS ID (cant be bothered to explain, but it's a database in the US for businesses to register themselves.)
This means, that only free apps can be deployed as part of Apple configurator, not paid apps, unless you are in the US, where you can buy volume licensing for them.
So this is what I've had to do to get around it.
I recommend that you either run seperate accounts for your different device sets, or, if you have what I have, and that's a single account, make different itunes libraries (it might be worth doing anyway even if you have multiple accounts)
To do this, hold down Alt + click on the itunes icon. Then create library...
This means, that for the different ipad varieties, yes you have to keep multiple copies of the same apps, but it makes your life a lot easier to manage the apps on your device.
The general process flow to follow is this
-Update iOS to latest version using Apple configurator; you can either let it go and download it, or you can download it yourself and point it at the upgrade file. You can plugin as many ipads as you've got USB ports (or hubs), but even better, once you set it up, you simply unplug the ones that were done, and plugin the next one(s) and it just carries on going till you hit the 'stop' button.
-From the apple configurator window (Prepare Tab > Settings), only select from the dropdown the iOS version you want. Do not change anything else in the window.
-Swap in/out till done.
NOTE: HIT THE STOPP BUTTON WHEN YOUR DONE! I forgot at one point, and nearly factory wiped my master ipad when i plugged it in for imaging!)
-Install all apps, books, music, movies etc and arrange the way you want (NOTE: it's best to do this using Itunes. I'll explain later.)
-Transfer purchases from the ipad to itunes/the pc. This makes sure your PC has all the apps you want if any were added via the device rather than itunes.
-Hit sync. This makes sure what your ipad has, so does the PC and vice versa.
-Right click the Ipad in Itunes, and do a backup.
This will now give Itunes a full backup of the SETTINGS. Note, this does not save the apps themselves.
Now, the reason I said above that you need to use Itunes to setup the layout, is that there are 2 kinds of restore for the ipad.
If you use the summary page restore, it is a factory reset, and reinstalls the iOS from scratch, giving you a vanilla ipad. It will then apply your settings/preferences. The problem is, that it hasn't put all your apps back on at this point. And if you were unlucky enough to have ticked 'sync apps on setup' and/or 'sync new apps', then it will put every single App on your account (that you've downloaded to the PC) on the device.
Now this is not really that cool. At one point we had more than 270 apps in our library here, most of it junk, and we ran out of home screens to put them all on. This is why I suggest having different libraries. Seperate libraries means you keep each library with only the apps you need for that set, and applying the app sets is as simple as shift selecting all the apps and dumping it onto the ipad.
Onto the restore part:
-Stick in your new ipad with nothing on it, fire up itunes, and then tick to sync apps (suggest unticking auto install new apps, this gets annoying if your trying out apps etc.) along with anything else you want to sync up. Because you have a seperate library with just the apps you want in it, you can just shift select all the apps, and dump them on the ipad!
-Wait till this is done syncing
-Once it has all the apps you want on the device, Right click the ipad in itunes, and select Restore.
THIS IS IMPORTANT.
This right click menu option does NOT reinstall the iOS! It ONLY restores the settings, therefore all apps on the device are left alone. Since all the apps you want are on the device, it can create your home screen layout the way you want it. Anything on the device it's not sure of, it'll dump it loose on the home screen (so you can have some customisation where required)
-Once this is done for all your ipads, it's time to go back to the configurator.
-Setup profiles the way you want (To create a profile, click the '+' at the bottom of the window). You can set restrictions, wifi settings, mail settings, whatever is in the settings on the device, you can control it here.
From the top:
-Give the set name. Tick the 'number sequentially starting at 1' button. If you want the numbers to start from a different number, tick it, then change the number and it updates itself.
-Supervision on/off means if you set it, only your PC can alter the settings on the device.
-iOS: assuming you did it earier, don't touch this setting.
-Restore: don't touch this setting, you did this stage during itunes.
-Profiles: Tick next to the profile you want to apply
-Hit prepare, and swap in/out devices till all are done.
This will give you a set of ipads all with the same layout, same iOS, same app sets.
-From Apple config, select from the restore drop down: 'Backup'
This makes an Apple config backup file for later use. label it appropriately.
In the event of needed to reinstall from scratch, follow the processes above entirely.
If you just want to reset the layout/settings, and assuming no apps were removed/added, you can simply hit 'restore' from here and it'll restore back to your master. If you update your app set, you'll have to do it all from scratch again.
Couple of notes, from doing the bulk setups so far:
-iOS update took less than 5 minutes for 6 ipads at once, using a pre-downloaded iOS update.
-the initial sync of books/apps etc, I had to do that to no more than 3 at a time. I had 3 more ipads plugged in ready to go, but before I could set the 4th syncing, my mouse died (USB powered!) so I had to disconnect the other 3 ipads then dis/reconnect the mouse before it came back to life.
-I would probably recommend getting a powered USB hub if your looking to do them in bulk, the higher the quality the better... My poorly Mac mini is roasting hot on the back of it over the USB ports with just 3 of them going.
-In theory, a lot of this can be done via your wireless (at least the updating and syncing). But I've had troubles with this, mostly due to the nature of my network. Firstly, vlan's mean the ipads can't see the server. Secondly, our ISP/LEA have messed with things, and our mac itunes cannot update via the web, only the windows version, and this goes for our ipads as well (wireless update just errors out).
You anwered my post at the end there, was going to ask about wireless sync, i think we will be able to manage it here, as we dont have those issues. Although itunes was a little funny at first connecting via proxy.
Your whole post just goes to show, that doing things the apple way is meant to be easier, but instead has created a bunch a hoops to jump through.
Just a quick question, on if you are accessing shared folders etc on these ipads, and if so what method are you using?
Great guide by the way, should save people a lot of time, trying different ways, like i have been for the past 12 months on how best to manage these ipads in school.
I had planned to write up a whole guide on Apple and Windows network integration, but frankly I couldn't work out how I did it in the end, and until I do I wasn't willing to make a fool of myself writing a guide for it.
Apple firstly don't actually care (yet) about the business/education/enterprise iOS market, though they are moving towards it slowly, and really don't care much for anywhere that isn't the US, and at a push Canada. This is a shame, as there is some call for these things over here, only time will tell if this gets corrected.
Yeah i must admit documenting what your actually doing at the time, is hard, especially if like me, you try about 20 things before it actually works, and then just being satisfied that is actually working!
Hopefully might get some time at some point before half term to play with the webdav setup a bit more. Please post how you get on if you get to it before
And as for apple in education/business, it was quite clear there intentions when they decided to drop the true enterprise server products. But seeing as though ipads seem to be in every school i know of these days and more and more by the top, and still hope for a better solution for them.
To some extant there are a number of offerings out there to manage devices as commercial MDM solutions ... they come at a cost in the same way that middleware such as RM CC3/CC4 (other middleware is available) can be used to reduce support time and simplify the situation.
Apple make it clear that this process can't be used for non-enterprise apps as it breaks their terms/conditions. The concern here is that this approach will hide from the developer community the number of downloads they would have otherwise have witnessed.
How have you got around that / have you confirmed with Apple this this approach is within the terms of your agreement with them (i.e. via agreeing to use ACU, iTunes or an AppleID?)
Source: Managing iOS Devices with Apple Configurator « KryptedApple Configurator has some caveats:
- Paid apps need to use VPP codes to DRM apps. These VPP codes are purchased through a centralized program for an entire organization. To enter the VPP, you need to be a business with a DUNS number or an educational institution. You also basically need to be in the United States.
- Free apps can be deployed but the AppleID is in the IPA, meaning that to do an OTA update through App Store requires entering the password for the Apple ID the app was purchased with.
- In order to push apps through Apple Configurator, the system running Configurator needs access to Apple’s servers and Apple Configurator needs an AppleID associated with it that is not the VPP facilitator if you are leveraging any paid apps.
- You can use Apple Configurator “off-line” or without an AppleID to Prepare devices with Profiles, just not to
- If you push Trust and Enrollment profiles to automatically join Profile Manager (or another MDM vendor) the device isn’t associated with a user unless the MDM has been prepped to designate each UDID or Serial Number to a given user.
- Apple Configurator doesn’t work with Video or Music due to different DRM limitations.
- If you accidentally plug in your iPhone to a machine you’re using Apple Configurator on it and you’ve chosen to Erase in the application, then it will wipe your phone along with the 30 iPads you’re wiping. It’s awesome and scary like that (yes, I’ve accidentally wiped my phone).
Wow, this looks very promising... thanks for such a detailed procedure!
So I'm testing Apple Configurator on two new iPads and am curious about one thing. I deployed a free app (Pandora in this case) that I'd downloaded using my personal iTunes account ages ago. Once the iPad booted, I went to the App Store to check for updates. Pandora did need an update, but when I attempted to do so it wanted my personal iTunes credentials. I could not use another iTunes account, so it clearly remembers what iTunes account was used to originally download the app and requires that account to apply updates in the future.
suppose I could create one iTunes account to manage all the devices of a particular client, but what happens when you try to use one iTunes account on, say, 30 devices? I thought there was a limit as to how many devices could be associated with one iTunes account.
If so, any other way to work around this?
I have 100+ devices on one account. No issues so far.
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