Apple Configurator is a new free tool that let’s you manage iOS devices in business or education settings. The app can be used simply as an initial deployment tool or as an ongoing management solution. It’s particularly well suited to environments where iPads and other iOS devices will be shared among multiple users since it can be used in “lending library” fashion with users checking out devices because Configurator backs up user data on check-in and applies to a new device on check-out.
This guide covers each part of Configurator with step-by-step instructions.
The sheer volume of available apps is one selling point for iOS. For those using the iPad or iPhone in the workplace, there is an ever-growing selection of business and productivity tools. Some of these, like the apps from Salesforce.com, tie into existing business solutions and are available at no charge. Others may not be free but fill critical business needs like those that provide the ability to view and edit Office documents (examples include Quickoffice, Documents to Go, Office2, and Apple’s iWork apps).
This presents a conundrum to some IT professionals. In business environments most desktop applications (Mac or Windows) are purchased using volume or site licenses and delivered to workers using mass deployment tools. The software, or more accurately the license to run it, is purchased as and remains company property.
iOS apps, on the other hand, are treated by Apple much like music tracks or TV episodes. They’re purchased using an iTunes Store account and can be installed on any iOS devices tied to that account. Essentially, they become the property of the person who has purchased or downloaded them. That flies in the face of traditional IT tactics – a point reported by Network World as a constant source of issue to IT departments and a point of discussion at the MacIT conference that ran alongside MacWorld | iWorld last week.