My Enterprise/Education iOS Wish List

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I wrote a blog post: here that I will repost:

With iOS 6 likely to be announced in a few weeks, I thought I’d explain my wish list from an education/enterprise perspective. Apple has quietly beefed up what mobile device management systems can do with each version of iOS (a lot of new things in iOS 5).

1. The ability to disable automatic Software Update (or require passcode to download)
While I love the ability to do over the air iOS updates, I also want to control when it happens. I don’t want a student to be able to install an update that I have not tested with our mission critical applications.

2. Install apps wirelessly with volume purchase program codes with no interaction from end user
While a lot of MDM providers have the ability to push apps to devices, they still require the end user to enter an iTunes password. I want to be able to silently install (and update) applications without an end user having to do anything.

3. Google Apps style iCloud account creation
While I love iCloud for personal use, it is tough use to use in an education/enterprise setup. The users either have to create their own account (most won’t do it) or I have to do it and then I will be responsible for keeping up with their information. Google Apps gives me all the benefits of a Google account while also being able to have control (set permissions, reset passwords, etc). I would love to be able to do this for iCloud

4. Require pass code to enter Settings.app (or a toggle switch to turn off each setting individually)
This has become an issue with students using school owned iPads (cart scenario). Some of the students have found their way into the universal access section and changed some of those settings. I’d prefer to be able to lock them out of Settings.app in general. Apple currently allows me to lock down Mail, Twitter, and iCloud.

Share your ideas

Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
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Great list

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This is a great list. I'll add one more: Centralized or at least device-centered management of Apple IDs. Today, multiple Apple IDs on centrally-managed devices is inevitable but loathsome.

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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Eight_Quarter_Bit's picture

Eight_Quarter_Bit

Joined: Jan 27, 2012

Items 2 and 3

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Item number two on your list may be a reality sooner, rather than later. I heard some rumblings from an Apple engineer about how they were taking with the JAMF Casper devs on how to implement app installs without requiring an Apple ID sign-in. These are, of course, just rumblings, so take them with a grain of salt.

Item number 3 has been on my list for a long time, and I almost always bring it up when chatting with our Apple rep or Apple engineers. I've got an AppleScript for mass-creating users right now, but it's ugly, hacky, and breaks any time Apple changes the sign-up process.

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bdogd's picture

bdogd

Joined: Nov 19, 2010

try that script out?

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Love to see that Apple Script. Can you send it over?

Thanks!

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Eight_Quarter_Bit's picture

Eight_Quarter_Bit

Joined: Jan 27, 2012

Apple ID Creation Script

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Mr. Freimark, this site's admin, actually contacted me about it. I'd be happy to share, but as I confessed to Mr. Freimark, it is reeeaaallly hacky. It's mostly GUI scripting iTunes with a few little tricks sprinkled in. I wish I was doing some sort of magic behind the scenes with secret API calls and whatnot, but alas, it is not so.

Nevertheless, after I can scrape out some time to clean it up, fix some of the stuff that broke when Apple changed the security question stuff, make it a bit more organization agnostic, and comment it better, I will definitely get it to you guys.

To give you a bit more information on it, the script pulls in a CSV file with all the user information (with dynamic column locating! Woo! Format flexibility!), pre-parses all the information into memory, launches iTunes, signs out any currently signed in Apple ID, goes to the iBooks App Store page (with a nifty little non-gui-scripting trick), launches a new account creation from the free app (the only way to create an Apple ID without payment information), and fills in the fields.

It's also intelligent enough to wait for page loads, fails gracefully if a page load times out, logs any users that had to be skipped for whatever reason, can skip individual users rather than failing completely, and upon completion spits out a CSV file with account creation statuses. It also manages to be almost entirely AppleScript, with just a dash of embedded shell script calls, and only GUI scripts iTunes. Even with the GUI scripting, I tried to write in a boatload of error checks to make sure everything is kosher.

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power091999's picture

power091999

Joined: May 16, 2012

I happened to stumble onto this site

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I am in charge of managing iPads in our enterprise and I decided to manage them with Airwatch.

Currently we are struggling with the 3 question security issue as we had created all of our users itunes accounts and now have no way of getting these questions out of the way other than having our users create their own itunes accounts and starting from scratch. it's really put us in a difficult position.

I wanted to add one thing to your wish list though.

Most of the MDM's that I have interacted with have ended up offering to black list specific apps. Why can't we black list all apps, and white list the ones we want our end users to have. That would prevent us from having to man handle the security on these devices, and ensure our end users are getting the app we want them to have.

Your list otherwise is right on the money.

Give enterprise a way to manage these IOS devices efficiently!

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
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Another addition

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Add a "find a time" function to iCal to show invitee calendars for group meetings.

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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eric1dat's picture

eric1dat

Joined: May 22, 2012

Apple ID Creation Script

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Hey how's that Apple ID Creation Script coming. I had someone ask me about such a thing just the other day. This would be great

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
WWW

Almost!

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I've got it running OK, but I want to do another largish test before posting. Next week I'm hoping to release it.

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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bwbos's picture

bwbos

Joined: Nov 10, 2011

Test Apple ID script.

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Hello! Tomorrow we have to deploy 500 iPads and have to create 500 AppleID's.
Is it possible that we can test your script?

Ben Bos
http://www.cloudyday.nl

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Eight_Quarter_Bit's picture

Eight_Quarter_Bit

Joined: Jan 27, 2012

500 eh? Chances are the

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500 eh? Chances are the signups will be halted part way through by Apple, as part of their anti-spam protection. You need to get in touch with your Apple Rep and ask that they call off the hounds for your public IP and email domain. That may take a bit, depending on how busy your Apple guy/gal is.

As for the status of the script, Mr. Freimark has done a fantastic job fixing it up while I have been otherwise preoccupied. Last I heard it was functional, but untested. I'll leave it up to him to deem it worthy of release.

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Aaron Freimark's picture

Aaron Freimark

Joined: Nov 6, 2010
WWW

Batch Apple ID Creator

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The famous script is now live! See this wiki post: Batch Apple ID Creator

--
Aaron Freimark, Enterprise iOS founder & GroundControl CEO

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eric1dat's picture

eric1dat

Joined: May 22, 2012

Batch Apple Id Creator

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Thanks alot fo putting in the work on the script. Ran a couple of test today it works great. thanks again. Smile

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