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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Apple Configurator - Anyone have some experience with it yet? in Technical; Hello, Like many others here we've had several educators express interest in bringing iPads into the schools. We have thus ...
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    Question Apple Configurator - Anyone have some experience with it yet?

    Hello,

    Like many others here we've had several educators express interest in bringing iPads into the schools. We have thus far tried to be relatively hands-off with them but now the idea of a cart or lab of iPads has come up and we need to look at mass sync/configuration.

    Apple recently released the Apple Configurator (not to be confused with the iPhone configuration tool) for bulk management and sync of iPads. It is OS X only, not available for Windows. Has anyone tried it yet?

    Cheers.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Anything you want to know specifically about it? Been looking at it recently for use within our school too, but the big issue comes back to you need a VPP (Volume Purchasing Program) for use with all the configuration tools. Not standard accounts etc, As well as a MDM server etc etc.

    Steve

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    We've spoken to our local Apple rep and have been told the VPP is not yet available here in Canada. So this at least I know may be a roadblock for us. What MDM server requirements are there? I'm hoping we can use Apple's provided tools rather than paying for a 3rd party MDM server.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Destinova View Post
    We've spoken to our local Apple rep and have been told the VPP is not yet available here in Canada. So this at least I know may be a roadblock for us. What MDM server requirements are there? I'm hoping we can use Apple's provided tools rather than paying for a 3rd party MDM server.
    It doesn't have to be 3rd party, it's part of Lion server too.

    Apple - Support - Lion Server - Profile Manager

    Steve

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    Destinova (15th April 2012)

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    So still an additional expense since we're entirely a Windows organization. I suppose the good news is we can run OS X Server in VMware...

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    The lack of VPP is frustrating me the more I think about it. Assuming we want to centrally manage these devices rather than just hand them to staff and students and let them to what they will - we really only have two options:

    1 - Use the Apple Configuration and VPP to centrally manage and control the iPads and apps.

    2 - Without the VPP we'd have to use the popular workaround of syncing all iPads to one iTunes account. An obvious software licensing violation, but the only present alternative.

    I suppose there's a third option and that's to have an iTunes account for each and every iPad, but that's an administrative nightmare.

    What's interesting is Apple is having a seminar here on April 26th regarding iPads in Education and the Apple Configurator. I may have to put the speaker on the hot seat.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destinova View Post
    The lack of VPP is frustrating me the more I think about it. Assuming we want to centrally manage these devices rather than just hand them to staff and students and let them to what they will - we really only have two options:

    1 - Use the Apple Configuration and VPP to centrally manage and control the iPads and apps.

    2 - Without the VPP we'd have to use the popular workaround of syncing all iPads to one iTunes account. An obvious software licensing violation, but the only present alternative.

    I suppose there's a third option and that's to have an iTunes account for each and every iPad, but that's an administrative nightmare.

    What's interesting is Apple is having a seminar here on April 26th regarding iPads in Education and the Apple Configurator. I may have to put the speaker on the hot seat.
    Pretty much the reason why no schools have ipads for lots of students (unless it's a 1 to 1 device who each have personal itune accounts).

    Even with itune accounts there's a limit (10?) devices per account. So picking random figure, 100 ipads, that's still 10 accounts etc. Unless it's changed recently.

    Steve

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    You can actually sync an unlimited number of iOS devices to a single iTunes account. The 10 device limit is for iCloud, and the 5 device limit is for authorized computers.

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    Steve21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Destinova View Post
    You can actually sync an unlimited number of iOS devices to a single iTunes account. The 10 device limit is for iCloud, and the 5 device limit is for authorized computers.
    Isn't that only for "home" use. Else you could buy 1 app, for 0.69 and put it on a million ipads? And you can't buy multiple copies of the app on a single account? (May be wrong here, never tried )

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve21 View Post
    Isn't that only for "home" use. Else you could buy 1 app, for 0.69 and put it on a million ipads? And you can't buy multiple copies of the app on a single account? (May be wrong here, never tried )

    Steve
    Exactly. That's the "popular workaround" due to the lack of VPP I mentioned earlier. I don't want to go that route, but any other option seems to run the risk of managing 50 iPads becoming a full time job. I'm honestly going to pose this question to the Apple rep speaking here on the 26th. I expect I'll hear a lot of "coming soon" garbage, but it'll be fun to watch him squirm.

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    Theoretically, if you have an AppleID registered per device and purchased the app each time on each AppleID then you could argue that you have enough licences ... the problem being that you still are in breach of T&Cs by using one AppleID to licence a hundred devices ... one of the problems with no VPP available outside of US.

    I had thought about getting someone to look at automator to script purchasing a single app multiple times on different AppleIDs ... possibly I suppose.

    Apple do get asked on a regular basis by ADEs, ASEs and AASPs outside of US about what is happening with VPP and repeatedly get stonewalled. Then again ... if you can find out who the VP for Education worldwide is then go and ask.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Then again ... if you can find out who the VP for Education worldwide is then go and ask.
    John D. Couch is currently Apple's Vice President of Education - I'll see if I can dig up an email address.

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    We are currently using it with carts, the Apple ID's can do 5 carts of 30 iPads. So thats 150 ipads per account for VPP apps. It has not been easy to use it with MDM at this point where everyone is playing catchup to Apple.

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