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Apple unveils major update to iOS mass-deployment tool Configurator

updated 06:08 pm EDT, Tue June 18, 2013

Offers 'significantly improved' reliability, scalability and performance, more

Apple has updated its iOS mass-deployment configuration and management tool, Configurator, to version 1.3. The free app works with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, and now offers "significantly improved" reliability, scalability and performance, the ability to cancel scheduled or even in-progress operations, and more. There is a new status view that includes time estimates and error information with recovery suggestions, and administrators can now install apps on devices configured to not allow users to install apps.

Configurator features three workflows to let administrators prepare new iOS devices for immediate distribution, supervise devices that need to maintain a standard configuration, and assign devices to users, according to the company. Adminstrators can update, configure, install apps and data and set limits for as many as 30 devices at a time. It allows devices to be enrolled in third-party mobile-device management solutions, and can be used to personalize devices for specific users.

The free app includes a built-in editor to create and install configuration profiles, the ability to import apps and sync them to new devices (requires membership in the Volume Purchase Program for schools or businesses), can add users automatically via Open Directory or Active Directory, organize supervised devices into custom groups and sync documents between assigned devices and Configurator. Admins can also import and export documents between their Mac and Configurator. The program requires OS X 10.7.5 (Lion) or later.

by MacNN Staff



  1. cashxx

    Junior Member

    Joined: 04-13-09

    I would still like to be able to put apps on a device and then have users have the ability to update those apps or take ownership of them so they can update them. I want to get an order of iPads in, customize them, install apps, limitations, etc and then hand them out. The iPads are included in the students tuition so they own them. Currently if you do that the users get pested to update the apps and they can't because the apps were installed by an admin.

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    I'm not familiar with Configurator, but surely that's because you've tied them to a specific iTunes account instead of their own? If the students own the machines, why are you setting limitations on them?

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Apple doesn't "get" the real world whether it's the iPad or the desktop. From an IT standpoint, it's almost impossible to manage these things.

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    If by that you mean, "'s almost impossible to manage the things we can't manage." then yes. There are aspects of the devices that currently can't be managed easily/at all. Mostly regarding Apps though.

    I believe the situation is relatively the same for Metro apps on Windows 8 tablets. I can't confirm that situation still exists, but it was the case "recently". So that shining example of enterprise friendliness hasn't fared all that much better...

    Regardless, I do understand your overall issue and hope Apple can step up to the challenge soon. There was a push from Apple to "just let the users do it." which sorta makes sense, unless you can (easily indeed) imagine the user won't understand how, and will clog up your processes with support requests and new documentation requirements. :P

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