OSX Mavericks: Questions and Answers

I had quite a lot of questions after hearing all of the Mac announcements on Tuesday. But after playing around with it over the last few days, I’ve found quite a few answers too.

Does it work with Workgroup Manager?
Yes! I just installed it on one of the machines at school and all the managed preferences seemed to work fine.

Can you just upgrade it in place?
The hardened purists would insist on a clean image etc, but an upgrade seems to work fine too.

What do I do about getting the free update to iWork from an older iWork ’09 disc installation?
When you open the Mac App Store and click on Purchased, it allows you to put Numbers, Keynote and Pages onto your AppleID.

Do any apps not work?
The only app that wouldn’t load was Smart Notebook (not very surprisingly). But after updating to 11.3, it opened and ran fine.

Does Apple Configurator work?
Yes. In fact, I’ve found it much more reliable on Mavericks.

Why should I bother upgrading?
We want to upgrade for a few reasons, but mainly so we get version parity with iWork on the iPad. The new desktop versions seem a lot simpler to use as well, adopting a responsive sidebar instead of a floating inspector. But we also get Maps (yay), iBooks (handy for testing out from iBooks Author), SMB2 file shares (very big yay), Finder Tabs, performance improvements, continuous dictation, sparkly stars in LaunchPad when you upgrade an app…

Can you update using Munki?
Apparently, yes! I haven’t tried it but we’re planning on upgrading using it over half term. On Munki’s page you can download a tool to convert the installer into a package that Munki likes.

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Post iOS7

So, iOS7 is here.  Here’s a few reflections on how it’s been for us.

  • As I mentioned before, we were having some issues with charging our iPad minis.  After a summer of our reseller trying to figure out what was wrong and Apple finally acknowledging that it was an issue, it turned out that iOS7 had it fixed.  Which it has.  So that’s good!
  • Updating to iOS7 using Configurator I have found to be really quite reliable.  However, refreshing supervised iPads after this point as been a real mixed bag with me spending hours trying to convince iPads, one by one, to let apps be installed properly and so on.  Hopefully an update to Configurator will fix this.
  • Teachers have generally been ok with iOS7.  I can kinda tell which teachers use their iPads more by those who have upgraded and those who haven’t.  Teachers can actually be quite a conservative bunch, so not all have liked the change.  But the march of progress still progresses inexorably.
  • Automatic App Updates when using VPP apps held much promise but has failed to actually work.  What was worse was that the ‘Automatic Updates’ slider still tantalisingly appeared in the ‘App Store’ settings even when you weren’t signed in with an Apple ID.  But I could never get updates to actually update.  Oh well.  But I’ve not found a definitive answer on the Interweb, so maybe I’ll give it another go another time.
  • The promise of free iWork/iLife (minus Garageband) apps for new iOS devices apparently will work with the VPP programme.  At some point this autumn you will be able to request apps for those new iPads to be transferred to your VPP account and thus be distributed using Configurator.  Still waiting on that one though!  I think it’s all tied into the App Store licence management features which are still marked ‘coming soon’ on Apple’s website.

What has your experience been?