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.
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?