Revision of Apple Configurator vs. MDM from April 12, 2012 - 10:20pm

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Your rating: None (22 votes)

Is Apple Configurator a cheap substitute fo true Mobile Device Management? Or is it something else entirely We hope this comparison answers the question.

Some notes: when we write "MDM", we are speaking about the combination of ActiveSync, MobileConfig Profiles, and Apple's interface for MDM commands that is used by most vendors in our Comparison of MDM Providers.

Apple Configurator is listed twice, since it can be used in two different ways. Devices can be unsupervised -- which means the are simply prepared for deployment -- or supervised, something altogether different.

  MDM Configurator (unsupervised) Configurator (supervised)
Installation web page or (sometimes) app USB USB
Delivery of Updates OTA Push USB from original computer USB from original computer
Multi-user devices? No No Yes, with short backup-and-restore cycle
Set up mobileconfig restrictions, web clips, email, VPN, etc.? Yes, with push updates and changes Yes, only during initial config Yes, only during initial config
Update iOS No Yes Yes
Set Lock Screen Image No Yes, with optional device name Yes, with device and/or user name and/or user photo
Set Wallpaper No Yes Yes
Install free apps Yes Yes Yes
Owner (Apple ID) of free apps End User Installer Installer
Install Paid Apps with VPP Codes Yes Yes? Yes
Owner of Paid Apps End-User ? Device
Revokable and Reuse VPP Codes? No No Yes
Passwords entries needed for N app installs on a single device? N (most implementations) or 1 (some implementations) 0 0
Can push documents? Not through MDM (some have companion app) Yes, as part of initial image Yes, per-user docs backed up and saved
Query installed apps Yes No No
Remove Wipe Yes No No
Ideal for BYOD and/or widely-dispersed users Initial configuration and deployments, especially when paired with MDM Classrooms, loaner units, trainings, kiosks

Share your ideas

Allister's picture

Allister

Joined: Sep 6, 2011

Would iBooks be an exception to 'Can push documents?'

Your rating: None

Would ePub/PDFs/iBooks be considered 'documents', since they live in the iBooks app, now that JAMF can push notifications for them? Not sure how to best put the asterisk and point out that one exception, although iBooks itself isn't included in a stock iOS device.

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nikbronder's picture

nikbronder

Joined: Jun 20, 2012
WWW

Install Paid Apps with VPP Codes

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Install Paid Apps with VPP Codes - MDM should read: Somewhat.

You can't push out apps OTA. You can send a web clip with a Redeem Code/URL but then the app is owned by the user not the VPP account.

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richb's picture

richb

Joined: Mar 21, 2012

Typo

Your rating: None

Typo: "Remove Wipe" should be "Remote Wipe."

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jlambert's picture

jlambert

Joined: Apr 30, 2012

You can, and VPP codes can be

Your rating: None
Quote:

Install Paid Apps with VPP Codes - MDM should read: Somewhat.

You can't push out apps OTA. You can send a web clip with a Redeem Code/URL but then the app is owned by the user not the VPP account.

You can, and VPP codes can be redeemed entirely transparent to the user as of iOS 5.

The current Apple ID in use on the device then owns the app.

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amitsbajaj's picture

amitsbajaj

Joined: Sep 19, 2012

Corporate Signed Apps

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We can push apps to the device and this works a treat. However some organisations (bigger ones especially) have their own internal corporate "AppStore" where by they have an Enterprise Developers Account, they create applications internally for iOS and it's signed by themselves - so it's not part of the AppStore, but it organisations to push their own Apps out to their users.

Can this tool be used for that as well?

Thanks,
Best regards,
Amit

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jlambert's picture

jlambert

Joined: Apr 30, 2012

Configurator can load them,

Your rating: None (1 vote)

Configurator can load them, but keep in mind it only works via USB. So you can't push out updates OTA, which especially for enterprise apps is a concern since they expire every 12 months.

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Dirk_Heimann's picture

Dirk_Heimann

Joined: Dec 6, 2012

Thank you for this awesome

Your rating: None

Thank you for this awesome overview!

There are some changes since the overview has been created:
Multi-User Device:
MobileIron added Multi-User support for iOS.
They add / remove Corporate Data (E-Mail Configuration and MDM managed Settings)

Install Free Apps: Is possible on iOS BUT with user interaction.
Install Inhouse Apps: Without user interaction possbile

Owner paid Apps: Apple-ID (Corporate or Users Apple ID)

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Techspert2000's picture

Techspert2000

Joined: Jun 8, 2013

Having been forced to use

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Having been forced to use configurator - i cant believe people are opting to use this by CHOICE! I had nothing but a long, terrible nightmare that only ended when i was given the OK to research MDM's.

I feel like im missing something LOL

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rachana's picture

rachana

Joined: Dec 9, 2015
WWW

You can also have a look a

Your rating: None

You can also have a look a comparison from Hexnode on Apple Configurator vs MDM

regards,
Rachana Vijayan

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Uroshnor's picture

Uroshnor

Joined: Nov 5, 2012

Needs updating

Your rating: None

MDM has been able to do everything on the list for quite a while.

You almost need 3 columns for MDM - User-enrolled, DEP w/o supervision (although god knows why you would do this), and DEP W/supervision.

MDM with DEP supervised devices is basically the default mode of operation for everything company owned these days.

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