Help with App Store App Deployment, Licensing & Costs

maxwell's picture
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Hello there,

Can anyone help share their experiences with deploying App Store apps in a business? I thought it would be best to summarise my experience and knowledge so far:

  1. Firstly we have a Mobile Device Management server in place (www.soti.net), which we use to manage our fleet of 200 Windows PDAs. It also happens to support iOS devices, we are happy with the level of control but are struggling with App Store apps.
  2. Under Apple's Terms of Sale I understand that apps can only be used for "personal, non-commercial use". So I take it that we cannot buy apps for business, without breaching the agreement? It really doesn't make any sense that there is a "Business" section in the App Store either. I don't think I'm the only one to struggle
  3. Even if there was an enterprise agreement or it was ok - how would we deploy the Apps centrally? It seems the only ways are:
    • have the employee create a personal iTunes account, and then re-imburse the costs
    • have the employee create a business itunes account, and then cover the costs as expenses on company credit card
    • create a central IT dept account, and the "gift" the app

    In any case, the user ends up as the owner of thes software, and so when they leave they take it with them - which isn't what we want.

  4. Having an employee own the software, I understand this means there is a UK benefit in kind tax liabilty on the company. Does any one else have a method for managing this?
  5. Given the above would HM Revenue & Customs view the device as mixed use and then create another tax liabilty?
  6. Is it right that the only way to back up the device, documents, and app data is through iTunes?

If anyone can help, or share their experiences it would be greatly appreciated.

I am currently speaking with Vodafone, an Apple consultancy firm, Apple Business, and our Tax Officer - so I will update when I have any more info.

Thanks

Max

iOS 4.3.3 Stunts Location Services Caching

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In response to the recent publicity concerning location services caching, Apple has released iOS 4.3.3 (and iOS 4.2.8 for you poor Verizon folks). From the release notes:

This update contains changes to the iOS crowd-sourced location database cache including:

  • Reduces the size of the cache
  • No longer backs the cache up to iTunes
  • Deletes the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4 (GSM model)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

This update is available via iTunes.

As always, e-lite.org has direct download links.

Raise a Glass at the 1st Ever WWDC Enterprise iOS Meetup

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Are you one of the lucky 5,000 going to WWDC? Well then, come out for a beer, won't you?

Wednesday, June 8 @ 7:30 PM (and on)
Tunnel Top Bar
601 Bush Street

It is easy to get there. From the Apple Store on Market just walk up Stockton 5 blocks. All iOS administrators are invited. Best of all, Group Logic is generously buying the drinks. Thanks also to Tekserve (my employer) for organizing.

The owner of the Tunnel Top is a guy named Ludvig, who says the bar in "the style of Northern France/Spain." I have absolutely no idea what this means. Come find out on June 8!

List of Apps That Support Open In

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iOS doesn't have a user-accessible file system. But apps are often narrowly focused, and they ought to work together. For example, how can you annotate a PDF from your cloud-hosted private storage? Ether your PDF annotating app must support your particular cloud, or your cloud app must support PDF annotation. Or, alternatively, your cloud app should be able to pass a file to your favorite PDF annotator, which can send the file back when done.

The best feature we have for this now is the "Open In..." button increasingly present in apps. Although not ideal (it ought to be called "Send a copy to...") it is what it is.

This is a list of apps that support saving copies of their files into other apps via the iOS "Open In..." functionality. Please add your favorite apps.

App Category Vendor Version Explanation
Adobe CreatePDF Business Adobe 1.0.2 Accepts supported document types via Open In...CreatePDF which converts them to PDF files via a cloud service; Exports converted PDF files via Open In for viewing/editing in other Apps
Adobe Reader Business Adobe 10.3 Adobe's PDF viewer for iOS; Exports PDF files via Open In for viewing/editing in other Apps
Box.net Business Box.net TBD TBD
Breezy Print and Fax Productivity Breezy All Provides secure printing and faxing functionality for documents opened in the app.
Coaxion Productivity Moprise All Coaxion is a priority inbox for documents. It supports real time sharing of documents to iPads and access to SharePoint, Office365, BOX and others. Supports Open In and Save Back.
Documents to Go Productivity DataViz TBD VIEW/EDIT/CREATE Word & Excel files(Office 2007/2008/2010)
VIEW PowerPoint, PDF, iWork, Text, .RTF
DropBox Productivity DropBox TBD TBD
Evernote Productivity Evernote 4.0.2 In the Preview pane only.
FileApp Business DigiDNA TBD TBD
FileBrowser Utilities Stratopherix TBD TBD
Filer Lite Productivity Hammock District TBD TBD
GoodNotes Productivity GoodNotes 2.5.1 TBD
GoodReader Productivity Goodiware 3.6.0 TBD
iAnnotate Productivity Aji Dev 1.5 TBD
iFortress Utilites CommandHub TBD The App allows users to make notes and take pictures, as well as import, organize and view documents. Once the data is inside the App, the user need no longer worry about data security, leakage and loss.
iPhoto 1.1 Apple Photo & video Can export JPG via Open In to all Apps registered for that file type.
iUnarchive Utilities De Voorkant 1.6.2 Extracts files from archives including Zip, rar, 7-zip, tar, gzip, bz2/BZip2, LhA and StuffI! including passworded files
Keynote 1.6.1 Apple Productivity Can export Keynote, PowerPoint or PDF via Open In to all Apps registered for the selected file type.
Mail Built-in Apple TBD Can export nearly any file type via Open In to all App registered for that file type.
mobilEcho Business GroupLogic 4.2 Exports all file types via Open In for viewing/editing in any App registered for that file type; accepts all file types via Open In for saving in local or network file system
Numbers Productivity Apple 1.6.2 Can export Numbers, Excel or PDF via Open In to all Apps registered for the selected file type.
Office2HD Business Byte2 TBD TBD
Pages Productivity Apple 1.6.2 Can export Pages, Word or PDF via Open In to all Apps registered for the selected file type.
Papers Productivity Mekentosj TBD TBD
PDF Expert Productivity Readdle 2.5 TBD
Photos Pro Photography Applgasm-Apps 2.01 Can export photos via Open In to any JPG, NEF, RAW, PNG, BMP, or TIFF registered apps.
Photo Shack Photography Applgasm-Apps 3.4 Can export photos via Open In to any JPG, NEF, RAW, PNG, BMP, or TIFF registered apps.
Photo Shack Pro Photography Applgasm-Apps 5.75 Can export photos via Open In to any JPG, NEF, RAW, PNG, BMP, or TIFF registered apps.
PrintCentral Pro Productivity Eurosmartz 2.3 Can Import or Export nearly any file type via Open In to all Apps registered for that file type.
PrintnShare Pro Business Eurosmartz 5.3 Can Import or Export nearly any file type via Open In to all Apps registered for that file type.
Safari BuiltIn Apple TBD Can export PDFs via Open In to all PDF registered apps. Can save images into Photos.
Save2PDF Productivity Eurosmartz 1.4 Can Import or export nearly any file type via Open In to all App registered for that file type.
Scanner Pro Business Readdle 4.0 Can export scanned documents as either JPG or PDF via Open In and other methods
SignMyPad Productivity Autriv 3.9 Opens PDFs from Email, Dropbox, and has download feature. Can send files out to Email, DropBox, and other PDF registered apps.
SIGNificant Signature Capture Productivity xyzmo 1.1.6 Opens PDFs from Email, Dropbox, Evernote, Box. Can send files out to Email, DropBox, and other PDF registered apps.
WritePDF Business Eurosmartz 2.2 Can Import or Export nearly any file type via Open In to all Apps registered for that file type, view here.

List of Apps That Support Apple Data Protection

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This list of “Apple Data Protection enabled” apps will help you find an app that meets your requirements for mobile data encryption. Please add your favorite Data Protection enabled app.

App Category Vendor Version Explanation
AbsoluteSafe Business Absolute Software 1.0.2 Secure document distribution & management
Account Vault Business NPC Unlimited 1.0
Box Business Box 2.5.3 Encrypts all files
Briefcase Business Colligo 2.0.35 Secure SharePoint iPad app with encrypted offline storage
CameraSafe Lite Utilities Bicartel 1.5.2 TBD - note, not found on the US App Store
ClinPix Medical Fleming Dermatopathology 1.1 clinical photoarchiving application
Colleagues Business Taptera 1.2 Connect securely and utilize your company’s existing LDAP or Active Directory system.
DocuSafe Utilities App Chefs 1.1
Events Business Taptera 1.1 Attendees of conferences & meetings attendees stay informed easily & securely while organizers measure the success of their event.
EMC Atmos iSafe Utilities EMC 1.0 TBD
GoodReader Productivity Goodiware 3.10.2 TBD
iAnnotate Productivity Aji LLC 1.5 TBD
iMedicalOffice Dental Medical NextGenerationTeam 1.3.5
Mail Built-in Apple TBD TBD
mobilEcho Business GroupLogic 4.0 Encrypts all files and configuration all the time
MicroStrategy Mobile for iPad Business Microstrategy 9.2.1.0 TBD
Rooms Business Tapterra 1.0.2 The fastest way to check conference rooms availability & amenities & then to reserve one in your company’s existing Microsoft Exchange or Google Calendar system.
Priority Matrix Business Appfluence LLC Version: 2.2
PrivateInfo Utilities Jacob Burns 1.2 TBD
Private Pics Px Photography David Earnest 6.6 TBD - no indication this app supports Apple Data Protection.
SharePlus Business SouthLabs 2.9.7 Your local data is protected using the built-in hardware encryption system that Apple recommends and uses in their own applications
USB Disk Pro Utilities Imesart 1.1.3 TBD
Vablet Business Vablet 1.34 TBD - note, not found on the US App Store

Sybase Afaria joins our massive comparison of iOS Mobile Device Management Providers

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We've added our eighth MDM provider to our Comparison of Mobile Device Management Providers -- Sybase Afaria.

Mobile Device Management is a must-have technology for iOS administration. The basic form allows for something like "parental controls" of your iPads and iPhones. But the differences among providers are actually quite vast.

The providers currently compared are: Absolute Manage, AirWatch, BoxTone, JAMF Casper, McAfee EMM, MobileIron, Sybase Afaria, and TARMAC. We invite you to help help contribute to this community effort by adding another provider or suggesting additional criteria.

Apple releases iOS 4.3.1

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Apple has released iOS 4.3.1 that fixes a few bugs in the software. TUAW has direct download links if needed. From the release notes:

About iOS 4.3.1 Software Update
This update contains improvements and other bug fixes including:

  • Fixes an occasional graphics glitch on iPod touch (4th generation)
  • Resolves bugs related to activating and connecting to some cellular networks
  • Fixes image flicker when using Apple Digital AV Adapter with some TVs
  • Resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services

Products compatible with this software update:

  • iPhone 4 (GSM model)
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPad 2
  • iPad
  • iPod touch (4th generation)
  • iPod touch (3rd generation)

This update contains security content originally included in previous iOS Software Updates.

iPhone Configuration Utility 3.3 adds support for "Custom" SSL VPNs

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Apple has updated its iPhone Configuration Utility for Mac and Windows to version 3.3. The release notes simply say "Minor updates and additions for iOS 4.3."

The only change I've come across so far may be a big one: There's a new "Custom SSL" option in the VPN Connection Type. I don't know which SSL VPNs this enables, but it sure looks intriguing.

Quote:

For other SSL VPN solutions, contact your vendor and ask if they have an app in the App Store that can be configured with iPhone Configuration Utility. Enter the configuration information you get from the vendor by choosing Custom SSL from the Connection Type pop-up menu. Make sure the Identifier field matches the identifier specified by your vendor’s VPN app and is in reverse DNS format (for example, com.example.myvpn). Your users must install both the vendor’s app and the configuration profile to connect to your network.

The end of IT? "Good riddance!"

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A notable response in ReadWriteWeb to last week's Computerworld article on the end of IT: "In the enterprise, IT can be a flat service that is self-serve for the people who have the right identity credentials. This may be what needs working on more than anything within the enterprise."

iPad 2 & iOS 4.3 Roundup

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Lots of iPad 2 news this week. As if you missed it. Here are some of the business-related articles that caught my eye.

I really enjoyed this article: Apple's iPad 2 provokes IT anxiety. Especially this bit:

Quote:

A company with workers using Apple products must either provide back-end support to a limited number of applications or reorganize their entire support model to meet Apple's way of doing business, Dulaney said.

Another option would be for companies to buy iPad 2s and other mobile devices from third-party integrators that would be charged with "doing their best to support Apple products." But, he added, such support "will always be limited."

I don't need to tell you, dear reader, how employees are pushing IT in ways we've never seen before. You are reading this because, well, employees are winning. (And maybe they are actually right!)

Eric Lai, who has gotten it for as long as anyone, says iPad 2 Will Continue the Enterprise Invasion Despite Delivering Zilch For Us.

Meanwhile, TUAW has a good roundup of what's new in iOS 4.3. The best bit for us iOS admins: the HDMI adapter is what's we've needed for presentations and training, and it works on the original iPad and iPhones too.

My company shipped a custom deployment of 335 iPads this week, just in time for the revision! I certainly hope iOS 4.3 and the new iTunes set the stage for easier deployment, but at this time changes are unknown.

MDM Comparison updated with official AirWatch details.

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Our popular Comparison of MDM Providers has been updated to include official data from AirWatch, who was kind enough to help us out.

iOS Reference Updated

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We've updated our reference of iOS Devices to include the announcements of the week. This compact guide includes minimum and (if known) maximum versions of iOS for all devices, plus links to Apple's spec sheets.

Compare 7 iOS Mobile Device Management providers by 90 criteria; now includes BoxTone

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Mobile Device Management is the best way to track, configure, and manage iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices. Although it is a lot of infrastructure for one or two phones, it becomes a necessity when you are administering more than a dozen or so devices. (Save yourself a lot of trouble and introduce the technology NOW.)

But choosing a provider can be difficult, since at first glance they all seem to do a similar job. This is why we created our Comparison of MDM Providers. We're happy to announce the inclusion of provider BoxTone, thanks to the help of Dan Dearing.

We sincerely hope that our comparison helps you choose between the many fine vendors. The list now includes:

  • 7 providers
  • 21 sections
  • 90 points of comparison

Please send us feedback on ways to improve the comparison.

iPad: One Year

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One year ago today, Steve Jobs announced the iPad. Although it didn't begin shipping until April 3, it became one of the best-selling technology products of the year.

So does your company have plans to deploy the iPad this year? Or have you already got them?

MDM Provider Absolute Manage Fills in our Blanks

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Mobile Device Management provider Absolute Manage has sent updated features for our 74-point Comparison of MDM Providers. Thanks to Absolute's Pam Seale for putting this data together.

She wants me to mention that the chart is current as of MDM 5.3. Absolute is getting an upgrade in mid-February, adding an app catalog and VPP features. We'll update our chart when it ships.

(If you would like an MDM Provider included on the chart, please copy and fill out our MDM Worksheet, even partially. Then E-mail it to me, and I'll add it to the chart.)

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