We've updated our huge Comparison of MDM Providers for iOS 7

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We've spent a good number of hours over the last week updating our Comparison of MDM Providers for iOS 7. We've removed some of the more arcane sections that were getting in the way and have made the list easier to navigate. This was no small feat: there are over 100 points of comparison and 48 MDM providers.

Here are some of the many new fields we're now including:

  • Info Last Updated (date)
  • Supports iOS 7 (Y/N)
  • Enrollment by Configurator
  • Enrollment by Apple Device Enrollment Program
  • Geofencing
  • Allow Custom XML profiles
  • Supervised MDM features: Prevent Game Center, Prevent iMessage, App Lock (iOS 6), Global HTTP Proxy (iOS 6), Web Site White & Black-Listing (iOS 7), Prevent Manual Profile Installation
  • App Management: Push Enterprise Apps, Separate Managed and Unmanaged Data, Per-App VPN, Push App Configuration, Pull App Feedback, App Wrapping, App Developer SDK
  • VPP Licensing Integration
  • Reassign VPP Licenses
  • Support for other devices: Apple TV, Samsung, Nexus, HTC

So how do we learn about every MDM provider on the planet? Our secret is that we crowd-source the data. Much of it comes from the providers themselves, but other parts are added by a dedicated group of MDM aficionados. And if you see an incorrectly-ticked box, please edit the page and fix it. Hey, it's a wiki!

So I'm extra proud that here, on Day 1 of iOS 7, our chart has been updated for the following MDM providers:


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If your favorite isn't on this list, just log in and update it! I'll announce updates as you do.

How to use DNS to block iOS 7, and other updates too

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[updated 6:16 PM EDT]

iOS 7 is arriving tomorrow. Those of you with many devices and little bandwidth (I'm looking at you, education) may be worried about those multiple 1GB+ downloads. Apple's caching server (currently in beta) isn't going to help yet — iOS 6 doesn't know how to use it. So here is something that may help.

iOS devices check for new versions by polling the server mesu.apple.com. This is done via HTTP, port 80. Specifically, the URL is:

If you block or redirect mesu.apple.com, you will inhibit the check for software updates. If you are really ambitIous, you could redirect the query to a cached copy of the XML, but I haven't tried that. Please remove the block soon; you wouldn't want to prevent those security updates, would you?

Good luck. For the rest of you, happy updating tomorrow! We be here with plenty of news.

App Store allowing legacy app downloads to support older hardware/software

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According to a story in 9to5mac.com, the iOS App Store is allowing downloads of older versions of apps if the newer versions would be incompatible. So say you are running the iPod touch 4 and you won't be able to upgrade to iOS 7. Even if your apps are upgraded to iOS 7-only, you'll still be able to download and use the older iOS 6 versions.

Anyway, the picture explains it better than I can.

Hey Configurator, Get Me Some Logs!

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318's Charles Edge has discovered a way of getting more debugging info from Apple Configurator:

  1. Close Configurator
  2. In Terminal type: defaults write com.apple.configurator LogLevel ALL
  3. Open Configurator
  4. View logs in Console

To go back to normal logging use the command defaults delete com.apple.configurator LogLevel.

Thanks, Charles!

Profile Manager SDK?

wakaka's picture
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I am working in a company that is extremely interested in deploying an in house MDM solution to administer iPhones for our employee. After a day of work, I have set up a Mac Mini with the server app and successfully enrolled an iPhone to the MDM and able to push profiles over the air.

However, using the server app provides us with an web interface which we believe to be not as flexible. As such I am wondering are there SDK or API which I can use to write some programs to automate the process. Currently, I do not have an Enterprise Account with Apple yet and I want to confirm if all these are available before signing up.

The iOS 7 Apple Event for the Enterprise (that never happened)

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Why do the consumer features get all the attention? Join us in the land of make believe as we imagine what an enterprise focused Apple keynote event would have been like....

7 iPad Deployment Mistakes

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These are the slides from my presentation at the 2013 MacIT Conference and AirWatch Connect conference. Thanks to everyone who attended! A packed room each time!

Fact Sheet: iOS 7

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Over at TechRepublic, Erick Eckel has created a concise list of what's new in iOS 7. Anything missing?

Apple Configurator 1.3.1 restores mass profile installation (if you know the secret key)

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Apple Configurator 1.3.1, released a couple of weeks ago, improves stability on OS X Lion and partially restores the "mass profile installation" feature that had been removed from Configurator 1.3. However, this feature is hidden behind the "Option" key. Please allow me to explain.

When Configurator installs a configuration profile on an unsupervised iPad, the iPad will prompt you to confirm installation. (Supervised devices as assumed to be institutionally managed, so profiles are installed without protest.) This must have been confusing to some Configurator users, because Apple decided to simplify the feature. In Configurator 1.3, the process was changed to a sort of step-by-step wizard, where profiles could be installed only on a single iPad at a time. Now some would say that the entire point of Configurator is to scale iOS deployments, so this one-by-one approach was quite a step backwards.

Apple has read our bug reports, and Configurator 1.3.1 has restored the ability to mass install profiles on all your unsupervised iPads at once. Well, only one profile at a time, but it is a step in the right direction.

How to do it
So now, on the Prepare pane, click "Install Profiles..."

You'll need to connect an iOS device to get past the first screen of the wizard.

Now, create the profile to deploy. Alternatively, you can import previously saved profiles from your local drive.

When you are done, don't click "Next". Click "Cancel" instead to return to the Prepare pane. Now hold down the "Option" key on your keyboard, and click "Install Profiles..." again. The result is quite different from before.

You can use this popup menu to select the profile (one one at a time!) to install on all connected iPads.

That sly Option key
By the way, Configurator makes liberal use of the Option key to reveal secrets. Here are a few I know about.

Device Menu (normal / with Option). This allows you to import local copies of IPSWs.

Control-click on supervised device (normal / with Option). This one is great to remove any phantom devices from your supervision list.

Supervise > Restore > Edit Stored Backups... (normal / with Option). This allows you to import and export iosdevicebackup files.

Apple Configurator Mass Enrollment In Airwatch

inferno's picture
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Currently conducting a large deployment of iPads utilizing Apple Configurator. Airwatch allows you to download a profile for enrolling devices silently by selecting a 'default enrollment user' and enabling 'shared enrollment user'.

Does anyone know a way these can be linked to actual Airwatch user accounts after a mass enrollment with the default enrollment user. I assumed creating a batch uploads of accounts with the specific UDIDs and serial numbers would link the devices that match that criteria with a user account but that doesn't seem to be the case.

Otherwise, anyone know the pros/cons of enrolling all devices under one user account in Airwatch as the 'default enrollment user' does? I am having a hard time accepting the fact that I can manage devices from a device perspective rather than from a user account perspective.

Thanks in advance for any input!

Apple promoting new iOS 7 features for Business & Education: Here's what used to be NDA.

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Apple today added two new webpages highlighting the specific iOS 7 improvements for business and education. This is the great stuff we learned about at WWDC but weren't allowed to mention. And here it is for you!

Managed open in

The "Open In" button really means "Make a copy," and can be a nightmare for data security. iOS 7 allows admins to restrict the apps that appear in the Open In panel. This allows you to construct a security wall between business apps and personal apps. It's kinda like the "dual personality" feature that some phones have, but with both personalities active at once. Big win!

Per app VPN

Apps can phone home through a VPN tunnel as soon as they are launched, and send all their network traffic (and only their network traffic) through it. This is controlled by the MDM admin, not the app developer. It's like that dual-personality again, but for network traffic.

App Store license management

Huge improvements for Apps Store licenses. First of all, you now purchase licenses not apps. Using a MDM server, businesses can assign those licenses to employee. The apps then simply show up in the employee's purchase history in the App Store. It couldn't be simpler. And on a supervised device enrolled in MDM, VPP apps can be pushed to the device without user interaction. The licenses can be revoked at any time and re-assigned to another employee. And VPP now works for iBooks too.

New MDM configuration options

MDM now supports fonts, accessibility options, AirPrint printers, and AirPlay screensharing.

Streamlined MDM enrollment

IT can now specify MDM enrollment at the time of purchase. This is a game changer, and we'll be discussing this more as we get closer to launch.

Enterprise single sign on

This is just cool. Users can authenticate once and the credentials will be shared among multiple apps and Safari. (Of course Apple's not so dumb to actually share your password among apps. Standard authentication tokens are used, backed by Kerberos.)

Locally cache apps, iBooks, etc.

Put the $20 Mac OS X Server on any old(ish) Mac and you can have your own caching server. This bandwidth savior will be a must for anywhere more than a dozen iOS users congregate.

Additional features

  • Third-party app data protection (i.e., encryption) is now turned on by default for all retail apps.
  • Smart mailboxes in Main
  • View PDF annotations
  • Exchange 2010 note syncing

As you can see, the changes to iOS 7 are much more than skin deep.

Apple Configurator 1.3 speeds iOS deployments and supervision

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Apple today updated Apple Configurator, it's unique Mac app for the development and assignment of iOS devices. The new version, 1.3, includes the following changes:

  • Significantly improved reliability, scalability and performance
  • A new status view that includes time estimates and error information with recovery suggestions
  • Ability to cancel scheduled or in-progress operations
  • Administrators can install apps on devices configured to not allow users to install apps

Configurator is free on the Mac App Store.

AIDAB Beta 1: Known Bugs

Eight_Quarter_Bit's picture
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These are the current known bugs for beta 1 of the Apple ID Automation Builder. If you have encountered a bug not listed here, and are using beta 1, please reply to this thread!

  • If the sidebar in iTunes 11 is activated, AIDAB crashes with an error. Workaround: hide sidebar (View > Hide Sidebar).
  • AIDAB doesn't perform a sanity check on the version of iTunes. AIDAB only supports iTunes 11 (all release of iTunes 11 work as of Jun 15 2013)
  • If the store hiccups and fails to load (presenting a dialog box) an AIDAB constructed process continues trying to create accounts, failing until the dialog box is manually cleared.
  • If the first UI element to set on a new page is a pop-up button, AIDAB can sometimes try to set the pop-up button before the page finishes loading. Workaround: don't set pop-up buttons as the first UI element on a new page.
  • Some as-of-yet unsolved issues relating to loading CSVs (still trying to replicate)
  • Occasionally something in OS X related to AppleScript will hang up, and an AIDAB constructed process will crash instantly on launch. There seem to multiple causes for this. Sometimes a reboot will clear the issue. If you have encountered this bug, please go to applications > utilities > console, and report any messages that appear when launching your constructed process.

Apple's iOS 7 Features for Business and Enterprise IT

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I was going to write a long post about iOS 7, which was announced today at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference. But then I realized that Ryan Faas already wrote it for me.

It is difficult to add to Ryan's article. I mean, there is more to know, but at this point it is all under non-disclosure. But I am quite satisfied that Apple is listening to businesses and making changes. iOS 7 will have lots of improvements with enterprise in mind. It's even mentioned on Apple's site:

iOS 7 includes many new features designed to make it easier for businesses to put iOS devices in the hands of employees. Features such as better protection of work and personal data, management of app licenses, seamless enrollment in Mobile Device Management, wireless app configuration, enterprise single sign-on support, and default data protection for third-party apps.

We are looking forward to seeing much more in the fall.

iPad Apple ID Management

izi45's picture
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Hi everyone,

I've been doing a ton of research and have even called Apple about this. What is the best way to do Apple IDs when deploying about 20 or so iPads? Our company does not need VPP and we already have a way to manage security and settings using Microsoft ActiveSync. We don't want to have the employees use their personal Apple IDs, but don't wish to tie a corporate credit card to the accounts. Is there a way to create IDs without having to add any kind of credit card?

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