Apple Configurator with charge 'n' sync cart.
Just a quick poll to see what do you use in your schools to centrally manage iPads...
If you use Meraki, do you restrict students/teachers to installing apps?
Apple Configurator with charge 'n' sync cart.
j224 what do you do with respect to the 10 device limit on a single apple ID? Im wanted a single apple ID on 20 ipads in my school but not sure if it will be an issue?
Im looking to get a mac mini I think and using the config utility, currently using Meraki
Where does it say about a 10 device limit for a single apple ID?
I used a single gmail address to sign up for an iTunes account (not linked to credit card). I called it [ourschoolname]email@example.com. We have 16 iPad 2's and 20 iPod Touches all setup using Apple Configurator and using that same iTunes account. Not had any issues.
I also setup a VPP manager account- [ourschoolname]firstname.lastname@example.org and a facilitator account [ourschoolname]email@example.com. I've just bought an app using that facilitator account and am currently installing it on all the devices.
Your Apple ID is Limited to 10 Devices )
Is it worth getting in a Mac Mini then would you say to manage the ipads with configurator?
Do you use the facilitator account to install the apps on the devices or a different 3rd one? Im not familiar with configurator so not sure if you have to put an apple id on each ipad or not?
That's strange. I've not seen that article before, but we've not had any issues with using one account.
A Mac mini is fairly cheap so if you're school is willing to buy one then Apple Configurator is pretty good. You do need a sync and charge cart though, because all of the devices need to be connected via USB. Configurator doesn't do wireless installation of apps. For the small number of devices we have it's not a problem. You said above that you're currently using Meraki- why do you want to change?
Sorry for not being clear in my previous post. You basically have 3 different accounts. I setup a gmail account first for each one. Then I went to iTunes and downloaded a free app and it asked me to create a new iTunes account. So one of the gmail addresses- firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the same account I use when Apple Configurator asks me to sign in (when importing apps into it).
The second gmail account I used to sign up to the VPP programme and the third I used for the facilitator account. You don't use the manager account after that, unless you want to create another facilitator account. The facilitator signs into the VPP to buy apps. Free apps can be downloaded via iTunes using the itunes gmail address and imported into Configurator.
I've also created a fourth email account [schoolname]email@example.com and used this to setup an email account on all of the iPads. Just incase we want to send anything to or from the devices.
One big pain in the bum with Configurator is that it prevents the 'Supervised' devices from being plugged into any other computer. So you can't use the USB to copy photos off the device unless you use the computer with Configurator on. We've got around this by using the free SimplTransfer app which works very well.
I'm in a position of having ipads forced upon me at the moment, long story short..head had left over funds so he went out and bought 35 iPads with the possibility of 25 more incoming.... now my manager was shown the quote for am iQ 32 lock n charge trolley, which included a macbook pro (we have no macs in school) he said "nooo you don't need that" so they struck it off the quote. Am i right in thiniking that was a poor mistake and we do actually need that in order to configure them en-mass? (looking at the Apple Configurator page it says requires MAC OS X 10.7 or later)
Also when you say you say all the devices need to be connected via USB for app install, is this likely to be a pain in the nethers for >50 iPads? Would you say in your experience of using apple configurator that buying an MDM solution would be worth it for more iPads?
Last edited by mrbios; 27th February 2013 at 03:41 PM.
That's exactly the same trolley that we've got and it's a beautifully made product.
Your manager is right- you don't need a trolley and Apple Configurator to manage multiple iPads/iPods. We already had a Mac with OS X 10.7 so that saved us a bit of money. Many others on this forum are using the free MDM solution called Meraki. I've heard good things about it but unfortunately haven't tried it myself so I can't compare it to our setup. As far as I know, it does install apps/profiles wirelessly and works with the VPP codes.
We knew we'd need a charging trolley even if we didn't want to use Configurator and sync all the devices at the same time. But even trolleys without the syncing feature are quite pricey. I would say it's definitely worth looking at wireless management if you've got more than 50 devices, but you do have to consider how they will be charged- somebody will have to plug them in every few days. Of course, if you go the wireless route you'll also need a pretty decent wireless network.
So you say we don't need the Apple configurator? So how would we manage the settings across multiple iPads and app deployment?
I know you could use the sync functionality of the trolley but if we had say 10 iPads that weren't in one of those for example, is that what we'd want the configurator + laptop for?
I think we're getting our wires crossed!
You've got a couple of options-
- Use an MDM solution. Meraki a free one that a lot of people on this forum use (as I mentioned in my previous post). As far as I know, it will send apps/settings to the iPads wirelessly and you don't need a Mac to install it (like you do with Configurator). However, it does take a bit of setting up- there's a bunch of IPs you need to let through the firewall before it will function correctly. I've not used Meraki so I can't say much more about it, but if you do a search on the forum, you'll find loads of posts about it. You will need some way of charging the devices though and a normal charging trolley is probably best to keep them safely stored aswell.
- Or use a PC and install the iPhone Configuration Utility. But you will need a trolley with the sync feature if you want to do them all at the same time.
- Or get a macbook (or Mac mini is a bit cheaper) and a charge and sync trolley (like the iQ one you mentioned), install Apple Configurator on the Mac and plug all of the iPads into the trolley. Apple Configurator is basically a replacement for the iPhone Config Utility and has a lot more functionality.
The iQ trolley basically has two sync hubs sat inside two drawers. Each hub has 16 USB ports to connect to the iPads. There's also 2 USB leads from those sync hubs that you plug into the Mac. You then fire up Configurator and go through the process of naming, updating, settings restrictions, installing apps, restoring from backups, setting the wallpaper, etc.
mrbios (27th February 2013)
Ah that makes more sense, cheers
Well it looks like we're getting the iQ 32 trolley no matter what, and i've told them to get the macbook with it so that we can setup the first lot of ipads using that method. Once we've evaluated how well that works we'll go from there Still going with the macbook method instead of a mac mini as we'll be moving it about between our office and finance i think.
Cool, give me a shout if you need a hand. I was like you a few months ago- confused by the amount of options and the differences between them.
If you're wanting all of the iPads to be identical (as much as possible), then there's a certain procedure to go through with Configurator which involves 'Preparing' the devices, setting restrictions/profiles, setting up one 'master' iPad and creating folders on the device itself, making a backup of that master and then restoring that to the remaining iPads.
It's quite a lot to do for the initial setup but is fairly quick after that when you just want to install or remove a couple of apps. Try to make a list of noteworthy apps to install before they arrive. I put about 120 free apps on each iPad and let the staff play with them to decide which apps to remove and replace with better, paid apps.
We use the apple educational volume licencing with Meraki for our 50 odd ipads. Works fine - took a bit of tweaking to ports on firewall to work properly but its all sweet now.
We don't allow the students or staff to use the apple ID though. So when they want a new app, we buy through educational portal, allocate with meraki, and just bob over and type in the password.
However..... on the staff ipads, we created separate individual apple IDs which they do have access to, its only the student ipads which are really considered locked down.
Biggest pain is the updating of iOS - have to collect ipads in and bulk sync for that not found any way around that yet.
This is why I might recommend the school buy something rather than going for the free alternative, really want to be able to assign an app and have it install seamlessly without any user interaction, is this possible with things like mobile iron or sophos etc?
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