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WHEN:
October 13-15, 2015

WHERE:
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WHY:
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Last year, nearly a thousand Apple admins took over the Guthrie Theater for the JAMF Nation User Conference (JNUC) to learn new and better ways to manage Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV in their environment. This year, help us break the thousand mark!

The JAMF Nation User Conference is not a sales expo or a tradeshow. Instead, it’s a welcoming, three-day rally of user and community presentations, hands-on labs, instruction, and developer training. You will leave with practical information you can take back to your organization and use to make an immediate impact.

Registration is free and open to members of the Apple IT community. We hope you can make it and look forward to seeing you in October.

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May 28th, 2015

Posted In: Mac OS X

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I keep looking for more and more ways to have my Apple Watch be really functional without having it talk to my phone when I need the function it’s performing. One of those can easily be looking at photos. One of these is to sync some photos to the watch so that if my battery dies or I leave my phone on my desk, I still have access to photos if I want to get to some. To sync pictures from your

First, open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone. Then tap on Photos in the list of apps under the default My Watch tab.

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From the Photos screen, choose to be notified of alerts. I leave this set to Mirror My iPhone. Then, set the Synced Album to any album on the phone that you’d like to sync to the watch. This might be Camera Roll, the default, or you can select any album that you’ve created. After I did this, I’ve created a new album call watch that syncs all the pictures I want on my watch.

IMG_3927

Tap on Photos Limit to configure how much space you allow the photo album to fill up on your watch. You can select 25, 100, 250 or 500 photos, which nets 5MB, 15MB, 40MB and 75MB respectively. Then tap

Then wait. The photos will be sync’d to your Watch.

May 28th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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When I first got it, the battery on my Apple Watch didn’t last throughout a day. I knew that I had to charge it every night before I bought it, but I thought it would have lasted me all day. Now it does. Don’t kill the functionality that you want from an Apple Watch.

Apple-Watch-MagSafe-main

Instead, pick and choose the things you don’t mind loosing, otherwise the watch might just be somewhat useless to you. So here’s a list of the things I experimented with:

  • Put the device into Power Saving Mode: OK, so this basically kills the use of the watch. You could also put the watch into airplane mode. This stuff is really if you won’t be using the watch for awhile. You know, like on a flight.
  • Disable the heart-rate monitor on the watch during your workouts. This only helps during workouts and has a negative impact in that you aren’t tracking heart rate and you get less accurate active calorie data. But if you’re running an ultra-marathon, you probably wanna’ do this. To do so, open the Apple Watch app, tap on the entry for the Workout app and then tap on Power Saving Mode.
  • Reduce notifications. To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on Notifications. From here, check out this article for more information on managing notifications.
  • Disable wrist detection. I’m remiss to tell anyone to disable this option, but it is one way to make the watch battery last longer; especially if you gesticulate a lot! To do so, open the Apple Watch app and then tap on General. Then just slide the Wrist Detection entry into the OFF position.
  • Similarly, the Reduce Motion option reduces the number of automations when opening and closing apps. I love these animations and I’ve found that unless you’re doing a lot on the watch that this doesn’t really help with battery as much. But if you spend a lot of time during the day opening and closing apps, then this can be a nice bump.
  • Pick a watch face that isn’t a power hog. Watch faces with animation kill the power. I use the default watch face, which is bit of a drain because it pulls weather and shows your activity. But if you are really active, you might benefit from a very basic watch face that isn’t polling information on your phone to, for example, update the weather all the time. To switch between watch faces, Force Touch (press and hold) on a watch face and then swipe horizontally to select a new one.
  • Reduce the brightness on your device. One of the reasons that the Apple Watch is so awesome is that the screen is the prettiest on the wearables market. Reducing the brightness will only make the screen less and less awesome. But if you need more battery life, it will help! To turn down the brightness, open the Apple Watch app, tap on Brightness & Text Size and then slide the BRIGHTNESS entry to the level of brightness you can deal with. You can also go grayscale, on that same screen. It’s kinda’ sad to go this route, but if you’re about to do a Marathon with the watch, you might as well. You can always go back to a normal screen afterwards.

May 26th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Watch

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Apple’s Volume Purchase Program allows you to export a VPP token and then import that token into a server to create a connection between an MDM solution (e.g. Bushel, Apple’s Profile Manager, Casper, etc) and apps you purchase through the VPP portal. But what’s in a token? The VPP token is a base64 encoded file. You can cat the file and it will show you a bunch of garbly-gook (technical term):

base64 --decode /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken

But there’s more to it than all that. We can run the base64 command to see:

base64 --decode /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken

In some cases, this file can display improperly, if it fails use the following command:

echo `cat /Users/charlesedge/Desktop/kryptedcom.vpptoken` | base64 --decode

The contents of the file are then displayed, as follows:

{"token”:”AbCDe1f2gh3DImSB1DhbLTWviabcgz3y7wkDLbnVA2AIrj9gc1h11vViMDJ11qoF6Jhqzncw5hW3cV8z1/Yk7A==","expDate":"2015-07-03T08:30:47-0700","orgName”:”Krypted.com"}

This is a comma separated set of keys, including token, expedite and orgName. Do not edit any of this or you may spontaneously combust. The token establishes the trust but the expiration date will show you when a vpptoken expires and will need to be renewed by. The orgName is what you entered in the VPP portal when you setup the account and is also escaped and then used as the file name. These two pieces of data can help you if you have a bunch of vpptokens that you need to keep track of.

May 19th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

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Verbose logging can help you isolate a number of problems with Profile Manager. Turn on verbose logging by writing a debugOutput key with a value of 3 into /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ProfileManager.plist using the defaults command:

defaults write /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ProfileManager debugOutput 3

Once set, restart the daemon using killall:

killall -u _devicemgr

To disable, just write the key with a blank value:

defaults delete /Library/Preferences/com.apple.ProfileManager debugOutput

Then restart the daemon again:

killall -u _devicemgr

May 1st, 2015

Posted In: iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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Bushel is a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. We can manage all kinds of cool things, but there are a few things we can’t do. These include:

  • Controlling where app badges are on screens
  • Enrolling without first entering a wi-fi password
  • Supervising devices that aren’t managed using Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP)
  • Updating iOS devices (iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches) to the latest operating system

Apple Configurator can do many of these tasks, but has limitations. There’s a tool out there called GroundControl. GroundControl is super-simple to use, like Bushel. GroundControl can deploy a backup to a device, which is how it controls where badges are on screens. GroundControl can also provide the wi-fi credentials to get on a network, places devices into supervision (so Bushel can easily manage Activation Lock Bypass on non-DEP enabled devices), and can erase and update devices. In short, GroundControl closes a lot of the gaps we have. On the flip side, GroundControl cannot manage settings over the air, which is what Mobile Device Management is all about.

So let’s look at what all this looks like. Before we get started, if you’re going to follow along, know that you’ll need to wipe an iOS device in order to supervise the device, which GroundControl will want to do by default. And when we’re done, if you want to unsupervise your test device, you’ll need to wipe it as well. So, get a GroundControl account and login. Once logged in, we’ll create a Payload, associate it with a Launchpad and create a Policy to deploy it. The payload is a collection of all the tasks you’ll perform on a device. Click Payloads and then New Payload, to create your first payload. When prompted, use the “Add an item…” button to add tasks to what a given payload will do.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.00.44 AM

In this example, we’ve uploaded a Backup. and will now add a Restore from Backup task.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.01.08 AM

Then choose an image to restore or use the Upload new Restore Image option to upload a new one.

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Next, we’re going to add a Wi-Fi payload so that our devices will automatically join our wireless networks. To do so, use the Add WiFi button in the “Add an Item…” menu. When prompted, provide the information for your wireless network, or upload a profile with the information in it.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.01.52 AM

When you have entered all of the required information for your wireless network, click Save. Then let’s add an enrollment profile, which will automatically enroll devices into Bushel. To do so, open your Bushel account and click on Enroll this device. When prompted, provide a name and email address and then click on the button to Download Configuration Profile.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.34.54 PM

When the profile downloads, use the “Add an Item…” menu back in the GroundControl web interface and select “Add Configuration Profile.” Here, choose Upload new Configuration Profile in the Add Configuration Profiles screen.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.02.21 AM

When prompted, select the profile you just downloaded.

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Back at the Configuration Profiles screen, click on Save. Then, click Save Payload to save the changes you just made to your payload. Next, click LAUNCHPADS in the top menu bar. Here, click Download LaunchPad Mac 1.7.1 (or whatever version you see once a new one is released). Once downloaded, run and click on the button to Start Service.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 1.42.52 PM

Once started, you’ll see the LaunchPad listed in the web interface.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.03.17 AM

Click on your LaunchPad.

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Click on Edit LaunchPad. At the Edit Launchpad screen, choose the appropriate timezone and provide any tags that might be needed. You can also use the Name field to define which station that a given launchpad might run on.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.03.50 AM

Click Save and then click on Policies. The policy binds the payload to the launchpad. Here, we’ll use the default. click on it to

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.04.08 AM

At the Select a Default Payload screen, select the payload you just created and then click Save.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.04.17 AM

With the GroundControl Launchpad screen open, make sure the service is started and then plug in an iPad that is wiped and not yet activated into the system.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 9.04.44 AM

The device should skip activation, install your backup (aka image) and then apply the payloads you’ve configured. The end result should be a device enrolled into Bushel, complete with email, security settings and more.

Overall, we find that Bushel is perfectly useable as a standalone tool. And we find that Apple Configurator can be a great tool according to what you need. But as Bushel makes it easier to own devices for Non-IT device administrators than does Profile Manager, GroundControl makes it easier to setup a lot of devices than does its free alternative. If you’ll be working with a lot of iOS devices, then we couldn’t recommend GroundControl more!

April 14th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone

Tags: , ,

I recently got the announcement of the new official Microsoft Office Accreditation through MacTech. I was lucky enough to sit in on the previous version of this, so thought I’d push out the information on it. It’s attached to the MacTech Pro Events that MacTech has been running:

MacTech_Pro_Events-150

As you know, Microsoft released a public preview of Office 2016 for Mac. MacTech and Microsoft have created a new accreditation for Apple techs called “Microsoft Office for Mac and iOS Accredited Support Professional, 2015.” Prior to the public Office 2016 announcement, we did a preview of this new course under NDA in Seattle earlier this month.

We’re now announcing the new accreditation — which covers not only Office for Mac (2011 and 2016), but also Office for iOS and Office 365. In short, anyone that supports others using Microsoft Offie on OS X or iOS should get attend and get this accreditation.

If you’re interested, check it out here http://pro.mactech.com/microsoft-office-accreditation/

PS – You can actually hear Neal’s voice when you read it! 😉

March 20th, 2015

Posted In: certifications, iPhone, Mac OS X, Microsoft Exchange Server

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My third podcast in the last couple of months, this time with Chuck Joiner again, of MacVoices. And we talked a pretty good bit about Bushel and Mobile Device Management. Thanks to Chuck formatting this whole thing pretty awesome and helping bring my explanations to a point where they actually make sense!

http://www.macvoices.com/macvoices-15055-charles-edge-jamf-software-discusses-mobile-device-management-bushel/

January 29th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, Product Management

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To manage a device from Bushel, it must first be added to your Bushel. The technical whiz-bang name for that process is Enrollment. We currently provide 3 ways to enroll devices into your Bushel. All three are available on the Enrollment page when you’re logged into Bushel.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.41.46 AM

The first and best way to enroll devices into your Bushel is an Apple program called the Device Enrollment Program, or DEP for short. DEP is a way of tying devices to your Bushel so that they cannot be removed from the device, even if the device is wiped. Other than through DEP,  all enrollment into your Bushel is optional on the devices and so devices can be unenrolled at will. DEP requires an actual DEP account with Apple, which you can sign up for at https://deploy.apple.com/qforms/open/register/index/avs.

The second way to enroll devices into your Bushel is via Open Enrollment. When you Configure Open Enrollment you create a link that allows your users to enroll without logging into the portal. Simply open Open Enrollment from the Enrollment page and click Enable. Once enabled, you’ll see the URL to enroll devices.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.43.44 AM

The third way to enroll devices is manually. Simply log into your Bushel, click on Enrollment and then click on the Enroll button for Enroll This Device. When prompted for “Who will this device belong to?” enter the username (e.g. the user’s name in front of their email address most likely or the username for your email system if it’s something different than that). Also provide the email address itself in the Email Address field and then click Enroll This Device. Now, if you want to enroll the device you’re using, simply complete the screen prompts for the profile installation and you’ll be good to go. Or, you can save the mobileconfig file that’s downloaded and send it to others in order to allow them to install it as well. Simply cancel the installation process (most easily done from a Mac) and distribute the Enroll.mobileconfig file as needed. You can also put a user’s name in front of the file name, so you know which will enroll each user. If you need to enroll 3 or 4 people in other countries or cities, this might be the best option!

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 11.48.46 AM

OK, so we basically gave 4 ways to enroll. But that’s because we’re trying to make it as easy as possible to enroll devices into your Bushel.

January 7th, 2015

Posted In: Bushel, iPhone, Mac OS X, Mac OS X Server, Mac Security, Mass Deployment

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When you’re flying, you might find that you’d like to let someone know here and there where you’re at. For example, someone who’s supposed to pick you up at the airport. Or someone who you’re supposed to visit when you arrive at your destination. So there’s a pretty cool new tool called Glympse. Using Glimpse, you can send an invite to someone you’d like to see your travel times; these are known as glympses.

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Once you send an invite, your friends can click the link and see down to the minute stats of when you’ll be at your destination. And they can keep the screen open for as long as they wish.

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January 6th, 2015

Posted In: On the Road

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