Automatic Updates for VPP Apps on Supervised Devices

I finally got it to work – yay!

I stumbled across the solution whilst updating a set of iPad minis to the new iOS7 iLife and iWork, as one of the iPads already had the latest versions of the apps.  How did that happen?

It seems that perhaps the elusive ‘Updates’ slider under ‘Automatic Downloads’ on ‘iTunes & App Store’ in Settings does work after all.  What I think happens is that the updates are set to pending, and then when the iPad tries to install them it will ask for the password for the account you use with VPP on Configurator.  However, this isn’t much use when setting up multiple iPads as the conditions for triggering a pending App update aren’t quite clear.

Here’s what I did instead:

1. Make sure that the App Store is enabled on the iPad

2. In settings, sign into the App Store using a different Apple ID than the one used for Configurator.  I have one setup for each set of iPads so I used that.  Make sure ‘Updates’ is turned on.

3. In the App Store, tap on ‘Updates’ and then tap on ‘Update All’ in the top left of the screen.  It will ask for the password for the iPad’s App Store AppleID.  But then in a few seconds, it will ask for the password for the Configurator AppleID.  Enter this.

4. Done!  You are now in Automatic Updates heaven.

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5 comments on “Automatic Updates for VPP Apps on Supervised Devices

  1. Hi,

    This sounds like the fix I’m after!!

    However, I found it a little tricky to understand part 3. Any chance you’d be kind enough to clarify? Screen grabs would be greatly appreciated, but not not necessary.

    I am starting to become frustrated at having to constantly sign in to the configurator Apple ID to update our VPP purchased apps across 50 iPads.

    Best Wishes

    Ant

  2. Ok…

    1. Tap on the App Store app from the home screen. This will open up the App Store.
    2. Tap on ‘Updates’ on the bottom right corner.
    3. Tap on ‘Update All’ in the top left. You might have to tap it twice.
    4. It will ask you for the password for the AppleID you signed into the App Store in Settings (NOT the VPP one). Enter it.
    5. It will then ask for the password for your VPP AppleID. Enter this here.

    The app should then start updating, and will continue to update as an when they need to be.

    Does that help?

    Tim

  3. Hi Tim, Thanks for your speedy reply!

    When I’m signed into the App Store under the individual user Apple ID and I click ‘Update All’ (bear only VPP apps are on the device) the only authentication that pops up is for the VPP Apple ID. I guess you already had other apps on your iPad associated to another user, which is why you were prompted to enter those credentials first, or perhaps the app at the top of the update list was a personally purchased app??

    I think I have the same workaround, just in a different order…

    All our newly prepared iPads have the VPP Apple ID as the default account in the iTunes and App store Settings.

    If I turn on automatic updates then download a single app, followed by switching the VPP Apple ID to a personal Apple ID in the settings. The rest of the VPP apps (27 of them) will continue to download in the background, while I’m free to purchase new apps under the apple ID.

    It’s a shame this solution isn’t documented anywhere else yet. Apple seem to be behind updating their deployment guides. Hopefully they’ll publish the iOS7 deployment resources soon!

    Thanks again for you help.

    • I would be wary having the VPP Apple ID signed into the iPads under “iTunes & App Store” in settings as a user could download other apps from iCloud and things. Hence having a different Apple ID signed in there but still authorising the VPP AppleID for updates. Make sense?

      I don’t imagine this hack is in any way endorsed or recommended by Apple…

      • Hi Tim,

        I don’t hink I explained myself very well.
        Half of our iPads are on permanent loan to staff and ensuring they sign out of the VPP account (in App Store settings) and enter their own personal Apple ID’s is part of the check out process.

        The other half of our iPads are for short term loan (loaned the first 6 just 10 mins ago). Your comment made me realise that I hadn’t considered the need to manually sign out of each iPads App Store settings before they go out.
        Perhaps it would be best practice to create a back up of a master iPad that has already had the VPP account signed out. ( don’t know whethere this would affect the hack -if at all)

        I think I’ll try making another configuration profile specifically for the short term loan iPads that restricts purchases from the app store/itunes and ibooks. Probably easier than having to sign out of the App store for each one. Might even be easier just lock a selection of devices to the required app….anyway, I’m digressing now.

        Cheers!

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