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Old Jun 18, 2013, 04:40 PM   #1
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Apple Updates 'Configurator' App With Improvements and Bug Fixes




Apple has updated its enterprise iOS configuration tool, Apple Configurator. The Mac app, originally released last year, allows anyone to mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices in an enterprise environment.

The new update provides Apple's usual "improvements and bug fixes" including the ability to cancel scheduled or in-progress operations.
Quote:
What's new

Apple Configurator 1.3 contains improvements and bug fixes including:

o Significantly improved reliability, scalability and performance
o A new status view that includes time estimates and error information with recovery suggestions
o Ability to cancel scheduled or in-progress operations
o Administrators can install apps on devices configured to not allow users to install apps
Apple Configurator is a free download from the Mac App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Apple Updates 'Configurator' App With Improvements and Bug Fixes
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 04:52 PM   #2
street.cory
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I was always curious how they configured iDevices on a large scale.

Very cool!
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 06:27 PM   #3
VoR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street.cory View Post
I was always curious how they configured iDevices on a large scale.

Very cool!
On a typical enterprise network, iOS is certainly not 'very cool' to manage
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 06:43 PM   #4
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Been waiting for an update for a while, let me guess they will not have given the option to disable alarms yet, the kids love setting those!
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 07:24 PM   #5
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I'm trying this out to see what it all does.

Thanks!
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 08:17 PM   #6
960design
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What!? I configured 265 iPads earlier today and NOW they release an update. I bet there is a single awesome feature that will NEED to be installed. Saweet...
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Old Jun 18, 2013, 11:03 PM   #7
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Reliability and performance are welcome improvements. I am also glad that I can install apps on a supervised device that has user installations disabled. I hope that Apple will come up with a solution that will allow supervised devices to easily transfer photos and videos to computers. I suppose this will have to be something in iOS 7, perhaps with AirDrop.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 05:45 AM   #8
funkaround
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I dont suppose anyone know yet if the limit to the number of devices you can configure in one go has gone up (I believe its 30 at the moment)?
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 09:40 AM   #9
street.cory
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VoR View Post
On a typical enterprise network, iOS is certainly not 'very cool' to manage
Oh I bet networking, printing, and the like is a nightmare!
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 12:29 PM   #10
fcphantom
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Updated, started the app, waited for the database to update, and then it crashed. Reopened. Crashed. Restarted. Crashed.

Every time. And I only have six devices on this.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 01:25 PM   #11
inkswamp
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Quote:
Originally Posted by street.cory View Post
I was always curious how they configured iDevices on a large scale.

Very cool!
Very cool? I take it you've never had to deal with Configurator and any number of iPads.

I love Apple's products, but my god, Configurator is so unimpressive. I got to use it for the first time earlier this year trying to set up a bunch of iPads for my workplace and was shocked to discover that it doesn't support OTA management. You have to physically connect the iPad to the server where Configurator is installed to manage things. If that's something you need to do daily, then great but really, who has time do that? Not only that, but you can't lock down half the settings that matter and users can very easily undo whatever you set up in it.

Apple gets a lot of kudos for their efforts with iOS in the enterprise, but as far as Configurator goes, it's undeserved. To properly manage iOS devices, you'll end up having to pay for a third-party MDM. This update to Configurator just makes it slightly less sucky.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 01:29 PM   #12
street.cory
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Originally Posted by inkswamp View Post
Very cool? I take it you've never had to deal with Configurator and any number of iPads.

I love Apple's products, but my god, Configurator is so unimpressive. I got to use it for the first time earlier this year trying to set up a bunch of iPads for my workplace and was shocked to discover that it doesn't support OTA management. You have to physically connect the iPad to the server where Configurator is installed to manage things. If that's something you need to do daily, then great but really, who has time do that? Not only that, but you can't lock down half the settings that matter and users can very easily undo whatever you set up in it.

Apple gets a lot of kudos for their efforts with iOS in the enterprise, but as far as Configurator goes, it's undeserved. To properly manage iOS devices, you'll end up having to pay for a third-party MDM. This update to Configurator just makes it slightly less sucky.
Yeah, I haven't. I've always been curious how they setup iDevices on a large scale. Setting them up individually would be a nightmare. And from what it sounds like, Configurator just makes it a slightly less bad nightmare.

I guess I should have put "It sounds very cool depending on if it is well implemented or not".
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 03:50 PM   #13
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... and it looks like they took away the ability to configure multiple unsupervised devices. I used Apple Configurator to push a certificate, WiIf config, and web clip. This allowed me to quickly enroll new devices with our MDM server. Can't do that anymore.

Thanks, Apple. One step forward, two steps back.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 04:18 PM   #14
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... and it looks like they took away the ability to configure multiple unsupervised devices. I used Apple Configurator to push a certificate, WiIf config, and web clip. This allowed me to quickly enroll new devices with our MDM server. Can't do that anymore.
WHAT!!!

Loading right now. Looks exactly the same, wait, supervised looks different. Let me manage a couple of devices and I'll be right back.

WOW!
1. I like the new prepare screen.
2. You DO NOT have to have a s p a c e between the sequential counter for it to auto increment!
3. It looks like you STILL cannot sort profile listing. ( I'm still searching ).
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Last edited by 960design; Jun 19, 2013 at 04:28 PM.
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Old Jun 19, 2013, 06:47 PM   #15
VoR
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Originally Posted by street.cory View Post
Oh I bet networking, printing, and the like is a nightmare!
Everything configurator and/or a full featured MDM server achieves isn't ideal, but it's workable at least. The real issues I find are VPP and iOS account management - That and managing the expectation that various unchangable policies aren't really compatible with the sandboxed, cloud-centric apps model. Unfortunately the model is what makes devices like this so excellent for home and 'simple business use' (which has nothing to do with the size of the deployment, I'm sure they work really quite well in many large companies).

(Not)printing is one of the biggest iPad sales points btw
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 08:09 AM   #16
960design
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superberg View Post
... and it looks like they took away the ability to configure multiple unsupervised devices. I used Apple Configurator to push a certificate, WiIf config, and web clip. This allowed me to quickly enroll new devices with our MDM server. Can't do that anymore.

Thanks, Apple. One step forward, two steps back.
1) I just prepared 10 iPads at the same time with the new configurator. I pushed a single WiFi profile.

2) Then I supervised the same 10 iPads and pushed the MDM. I didn't have any problems at all.

@street.cory: you are just kidding right? Printing from an iPad couldn't be easier. Well maybe if Siri would print via voice command, it could be a little easier.
Printing a Pages document from an iPad:
1) Tap wrench at top right
2) Tap Share and Print within the popup
3) Tap Print
4) Tap Printer to select one of your available printers ( if not already selected )
5) Tap Print

Easy Peasy
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Last edited by 960design; Jun 20, 2013 at 10:16 AM.
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Old Jun 20, 2013, 10:46 AM   #17
960design
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Here's my official review:
-Apple configurator has snazzier deployment & supervisor displays.
-It may be more stable, hasn't crashed in 30 hours. Which, if you've used the previous configurator for any large scale deployment, is pretty impressive. Normally, it would crash out every 100 devices or so.
-A space is no longer needed in the auto incremental.

That's all I could find. Anyone else?

They are still missing a couple of Educational and Enterprise features:
1) Profile Sorting: allow us to pick the order the profiles get applied to the devices. Frustratingly, the MDM profile wants to add itself before the WiFi profile causing the MDM to fail. We must first select only the WiFi profile, then apply it. Then select both the WiFi profile and the MDM profile and hope that the WiFi doesn’t timeout when configuring a large number of devices at the same time ( 30 or so ).

2) Add a setting to enable MDM app pushes even though the device has the iTunes store turned off. We turn the iTunes store off after setup and before deployment to students; because we have students literally downloading thousands of games to the devices. They then play the games during class and quickly switch back to work when the teacher walks by. Quite often a teacher will find that killer app. We will purchase 30 copies and would like to push them out the same day. Unfortunately the appstore is turned off via profile. Sure I can temporarily turn the appstore back on remotely via MDM profiles and push the app, but then we get #3 and for the 5 minutes the device’s app store is turned on the students will go into an app downloading frenzy.

3) Add a setting that allows silent pushes without the password required. This becomes a HUGE issue when a school contacts me and asks for me to push Pages to 300 iPads. The MDM does its job perfectly. The iPad pops up a message requiring a password to be entered. Now we sit around with 300 iPads and play ‘smack a mole’ as we tap install like crazy people. Or we could give the students the password and let them install Pages onto the iPad. Then they go home and layer the account and Pages app to their personal iPad, their mom’s, uncles’, next door neighboor’s and girlfriends’ iPads.

This seems like a big problem to me.

Bonus: add a 10 digit code to the iTunes store so that we can just enter the code and forgo selecting my title, typing my firstname, lastname, address, city, selecting my state, typing my zip and phone number over and over again for each device I configure. ~330 last week; I have 100 more iPads sitting behind me and about 300 more coming, not to mention updating all the currently deployed iPads. This code would also allow for more than 7 iTunes accounts to be created per hour; saving me a phone call/email to apple engineers to override a range of device accounts for creation.
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Last edited by 960design; Jun 20, 2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old Jun 21, 2013, 02:22 PM   #18
yukonluke
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Can no longer install Profiles on multiple unsupervised devices

Like someone else already said, this is a "1 step forward, 2 steps back" update. Working in a region with limited bandwidth, the only thing I was using configurator for was to push our MDM profile onto the devices. Now I can't even do that...

I would be happy to supervise the devices if Apple provided a means (other than iTunes) to install apps from a locally stored "ipa" file. Configurator doesn't do this, it essentially give the device (iPad in this case) permission to go download it from the App store.

This means that if I use Configurator to install apps, I then have a cart-load of 30 iPads all trying to download apps over wireless simultaneously. For any apps over say, 50MB, this becomes a big issue, especially in rural areas without broadband access.[COLOR="#808080"]

Last edited by yukonluke; Jun 21, 2013 at 02:24 PM. Reason: Accidentally duplicated post
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Old Jun 23, 2013, 07:05 AM   #19
Jane Colbert
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Does anyone apprehend if there's an inventory of bug fixes for the Sept. thirteen version? No purpose in putting in a version worse than the previous ones.
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