Apple is getting really serious about using the iPad in large organizations. School and workplace admin people are going to be very pleased with Apple Configurator, a new Mac app which lets you — surprise! — configure multiple iPads at once, all from the comfort of your own computer screen.
Configurator lets you set up up to 30 iPads at a time and manage them from afar. You can install apps, backup and restore settings, copy and paste settings from one iPad to another and quickly reassign an iPad, wiping its data and replacing it with somebody else’s.
You can also dig deeper, syncing documents between Configurator and any iPad (handy in schools, and also if, say, your employees all need some new Keynote presentation or catalog). You can even remotely configure many options usually found in the Settings app, including Wi-Fi passwords, e-mail accounts, CalDEV and so on.
This is going to make things much easier for IT folks. On the other hand, I suspect many people are just buying their own iPads and taking them to work. I can imagine exactly what I’d say to Cult of Mac head honcho Leander Kahney if he told me to submit my iPad to his master computer (fun fact: Leander has never owned a MacBook. He still uses a G4 cube hooked up to a car battery when he travels*).