Just found out about another things snuck into today's updates after the Apple Event ... the Apple Configurator.
Mac App Store - Apple Configurator
I am still trying to find the help section for it as the app appears to have gone live before the help or documentation has!.
I'm not going to get a chance to try this out until the weekend but would be interested to see / hear what others do with it or think of it.
mentions it will wipe your phone if you use it and only for new phones as per the comments at the bottom so if you try it on the weekend, golden rule number 1 applies aka make a full backup before you muck around with it
This sounded and looked really promising when I found out about it last night, but after reading about it this morning the last paragraph really did just throw a spanner in the works same as usual.
" Installing paid apps from the App Store requires redemption codes from the Volume Purchase Program for Education or Business. The Volume Purchase Program is not available in all regions."
While it may provide a better solution for actually updating and configuring ipads in the first instance, the issue of pushing out apps will (by the sounds of it) remain (at least in the UK), until they sort us out with a Volume Purchase Program which as outlined on many occasions is easier said than done in Europe.
Seems a very small step in the right direction from Apple with regards to iOS device management in education.
Such a same the the VPP isn't available here yet.
Looking at the app it looks like a cross between the old iPhone Configuration Utility and the a small portion of the Mobile Device Management module from Lion Server.
Having had a run through preparing a couple of devices and installing some free apps it seems a bit of a let down. It took longer setting the devices up using the configuration than it does with the iPhone Configuration Utility and restoring a device from backup via iTunes.
Unless I'm mistaken the tool seems to be focused around deploying the apps via VPP and nothing more, any one know if app deployment will be done Over The Air or will the device need to be plugged in.
You still can't lockdown the settings icon, reset pass codes or wipe the device unless I'm being stupid and missing the settings, but you can set a custom lock screen image!
We have just got 30 new ipod touch and parasync docks so we are going to test it this morning. I can't see it working for us because of VPP. It would be nice though if it would work for paid apps until Apple have sorted out VPP being available in the UK. Also annoying that it wont apply setting restrictions, apart from syncing this is the most time consuming thing we do on our iPods.
Managing iOS Devices with Apple Configurator « Krypted
Apple 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).
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