How to remotely manage content on multiple iPads

Discussion in 'iPad' started by neutrino23, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I'm not asking to have this solved for me here, but if someone can point me to some places where this is discussed or explained I'd be very grateful.

    I will be managing a group of perhaps 5 to 20 people with iPads. My responsibility is to set them up with content. We are not too worried about security. The content is not especially secret.

    What I would like to know about are ways to remotely manage the content on those iPads. I spoke to a business manager at an Apple store and was pointed to the iPhone Configuration Utility. This is interesting but it mostly deals with setting passwords, restricting operations, remote wiping and such. Unless I missed it there is not an option for managing content.

    My current idea for a workflow is this.

    1. Each individual buys or receives an iPad.

    2. They sync the iPad to their computer.

    3. I provide a link to all the PDFs, movies and presentations they need.

    4. They download these and side load them onto their iPad with iTunes.

    Going forward they are responsible for updating their own content. In other words, I'll supply them instructions for downloading and installing content or apps but it is up each individual to get it done.

    This will work, but if there are other ways to approach this I'd like to be educated about it.

  2. ZilogZ80 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 5, 2010
    Not saying this is a better idea, but an alternative:

    Open a "global" DropBox account that all the iPad users can connect to and download content from. DropBox can send most files to the correct iPad app.
    Several disadvantages though:
    1. All files would have to be downloaded individually.
    2. As far as I can see, there is no "read only" mode on the iPad DropBox client, so it is possible that someone could quite easily modify/delete the "master" files.
    3. You would be limited to the 2GB free on DropBox unless you wanted to pay for extra space.
  3. neutrino23 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    Thanks. I'm considering DropBox and some other third party apps such as Airshare HD. This still requires the end user to move content onto the iPad. This is not a deal breaker. As the iPad is so new I'm still trying to get my head around some of the subtler features.

    A higher end approach would be to write our own app. The app can then go out and check for content on a daily basis. This is more than we are ready to tackle just now.

    Along similar lines I'm looking at creating richer content combining videos, slide shows and text. There seems to be four solutions.

    1. Write our own app.
    2. Use Adobe's solution.
    3. Use the Aquafadas solution.
    4. Use the Baker Framework solution.

    Nos. 2 and 3 involve creating content on a Mac, exporting it to a new kind of file format, loading the file on the iPad and playing it with either an Adobe or Aquafadas app.

    No. 4 is an open format that supplies app source code. You add some pointers to your html content and compile it. Minimal programming knowledge required and you wind up with a custom app.
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Do you have a local network with a wifi router the iPads can use to connect to the network? If so, there's an app called File Browser, that allows the iPads to browse the shared folders on the network, and download files to the iPads. I think it also has options to configure what kinds of permissions a user has when accessing the network files, though I haven't looked too closely at the options. The app also has basic doument viewer functions, so you can open pdfs and video files from within the app, and you can pass files on to other apps if needed.
  5. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    What about putting the content on your company's webserver and having simple HTML page(s) that link to each document/file?
  6. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    .. and installing good reader.. you could preload the url's on the ipad per department.

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