If you manage iPads or Macs at any sort of scale, then do watch this video from WWDC: What’s New in Managing Apple Devices.
Here’s a summary of some of the cool stuff that made me particularly happy…
No Apple IDs to install apps
If an iPad is Supervised (set up with Apple Configurator or DEP), you will be able to push out apps via your MDM without the need for an Apple ID on the device. Which is pretty cool! The app gets assigned to the device rather than a person. The installation, updating and management are all controlled by your MDM.
Push out iOS updates
In iOS9, you will be able to push out iOS updates. This is good news for me, as I’m still trying to get teachers to update their iPads from iOS7! Via an MDM, you will be able to schedule updates to happen, e.g. when the device is plugged in at night.
Fix wallpaper, passcode and device name
A new MDM restriction means you will be able to lock the wallpaper, prevent a user from adding a passcode and stop the device name being changed. This is very handy for shared devices in a cart-based deployment.
New Apple Configurator 2
They’ve ditched having a database (that gets very big and is prone to corruption) and are instead keeping ‘tags’ stored on the devices themselves. The demo looked quite nice and I can see it being handy for those synced-via-cable cart deployments. Apparently, you can also enrol a device via DEP using Configurator too, meaning a lot less tapping on devices.
There were lots of other nice features, so do watch the video or read a summary here (Amsys) or here (Enterprise iOS).
I like the fact that Apple are no longer insisting that the best and only way to use iPads in a school is 1:1, but are rather accepting that having a shared cart of iPads might actually be ok and are providing tools to help manage iPads in that way.
It’s a shame I won’t get to play with this stuff until we’re substantially into the new academic year, but I guess that is the life of an educational technologist these days!