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Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

My latest Huffington Post article is up; this one on 10 Cool Things You Might Not Know You Can Do With Dropbox. A sample of the article:

You lіvе in an аgе whеn you wаnt (and ѕоmеtіmеѕ nееd) tо access іnfоrmаtіоn аt аll tіmеѕ. Thіѕ іnсludеѕ yоur оwn dаtа аnd fіlеѕ — text dосumеntѕ, рhоtоgrарhѕ, vіdеоѕ, music and mоrе. Thаt’ѕ whу ѕеrvісеѕ lіkе Drорbоx is so popular wіth thе соnnесtеd gеnеrаtіоn.

Free оf сhаrgе (wіth a раіd uрgrаdе орtіоn), Dropbox lеtѕ уоu uрlоаd уоur files tо fоldеrѕ ассеѕѕіblе аnуwhеrе thеrе’ѕ аn Intеrnеt connection. It еlіmіnаtеѕ thе hаѕѕlе of еmаіlіng уоurѕеlf attachments аnd runnіng іntо size limits. People can use Dropbox through the desktop арр, mоbіlе аррѕ оr via thе wеb.

Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-edge/10-cl-things-you-didnt-kn_b_9515912.html

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March 23rd, 2016

Posted In: Apps, cloud, iPhone, Mac OS X

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iOS 9.3 is out, with lots of new, cool features. For a list of them:

With this update your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch gain improvements to Notes, News, Health, Apple Music and a new feature called Night Shift that may even help you get a better night’s sleep by shifting the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum at night. New features, improvements, and bug fixes include:

Night Shift

  • When enabled, Night Shift uses your iOS device’s clock and geolocation to determine when it’s sunset in your location, then it automatically shifts the colors in your display to the warmer end of the spectrum and may even help you get a better night’s sleep.

Notes improvements

  • Protect notes that contain your most personal data with Touch ID or a passcode
  • Sort notes alphabetically, by date created, or by date edited
  • When sketching, quickly bring up a fresh canvas with a two finger swipe, or by tapping the New Sketch button
  • A new checklist button at the bottom of every note makes it easier to create lists
  • Show thumbnails instead of large images and attachments by long-pressing on any image or attachment in a note
  • Choose whether photos and videos taken within Notes are stored only in Notes, or also added to Photos
  • Long-press on an Evernote Export file to import its contents into Notes

News improvements

  • New Top Stories section in For You highlights the most important stories of the day
  • Discover something great to read in Editors’ Picks, a selection of channels and topics handpicked by our Apple News editors
  • Swipe left on stories in For You on iPhone to quickly share or save or swipe right for more options
  • Play video stories right from For You — without opening the article
  • Read stories and watch videos in landscape orientation on iPhone
  • Change the text size in articles to make reading easier

Health improvements

  • Related third-party apps for select data types such as weight, workouts and sleep are displayed in the Health app
  • Health dashboard adds support for move, exercise, and stand Activity data and goals from Apple Watch
  • Easy access to Dashboard and Medical ID using 3D Touch Quick Actions from the Home screen
  • Third-party apps now have access to Activity rings and summaries from Apple Watch through HealthKit

Apple Music improvements

  • Add songs from the Apple Music catalog to playlists without having to add them to your library
  • Watch music videos on iPad in full screen
  • See what’s playing on Beats 1 directly from the Radio tab — without having to tune in
  • Tap the name of the currently playing song in Now Playing to go to the album
  • See which songs are most popular on albums in the Apple Music catalog

Photos improvements

  • Extract the still image from a Live Photo by tapping Duplicate which will give you the option to duplicate the Live Photo, or just the still image
  • Improved download performance of full size original photos or videos stored in iCloud Photo Library
  • Share Live Photos between iOS and OS X through AirDrop and Messages

iBooks improvements

  • Adds the ability for iBooks to store your PDFs in iCloud, making them available across all of your devices
  • Adds support for downloading previously purchased audiobooks from the iBooks Store
  • Adds the ability to share your audiobook purchases with any of your family members using Family Sharing
  • New controls for reading Manga more comfortably with faster page turns and simple controls for enlarging text
  • Adds Apple Pencil support to highlight and save your favorite passages for later

Education improvements

  • Introduces a preview of Shared iPad that enables multiple students to use the same iPad at different times throughout the day
  • Adds support for signing into iCloud with Managed Apple IDs
  • Adds compatibility for the new Classroom app
  • New configuration options to control the organization of apps on the Home Screen
  • New controls to determine which apps to show or hide on the Home Screen
  • Adds support for new restrictions for iCloud Photo Library and Apple Music

CarPlay improvements

  • Apple Music members now have access to their For You and New content in CarPlay
  • New Nearby screen in Maps to quickly find Gas, Parking, Restaurants, Coffee, and other driving essentials
  • Siri speaks more concisely when reading back and composing messages in CarPlay
  • Equalized sound levels between different audio sources in CarPlay

Dolby Digital Plus

  • Adds support for playing video encoded with Dolby Digital Plus audio streams with support for multichannel output using the Apple Lightning Digital AV Adapter

Hardware keyboard improvements and fixes

  • Enables the use of arrow keys to navigate through lists in Spotlight, Mail and Safari
  • Enables the use of space bar to scroll in Mail
  • Improves performance when using the space bar to scroll in Safari
  • Adds the ability to bring up the software keyboard from the Shortcut Bar when a hardware keyboard is connected
  • Fixes an issue that could prevent unlocking an iPad using the hardware keyboard
  • Fixes an issue that caused hardware keyboards to become unresponsive in captive login pages
  • Fixes an issue that could cause the Messages input field to disappear behind the Shortcut Bar when connected to a hardware keyboard

Other improvements

  • Maps adds support for getting a highlighted view of destinations and stops for a specific transit line by tapping on it
  • Maps now displays whether there are multiple transit line options for each route suggestion
  • Wallet app adds the ability to view the app related to a card or pass in the Wallet app by tapping an icon on the card or pass
  • Apple Pay adds support for signing up for store rewards programs with Apple Pay at point of sale terminal
  • Podcasts adds support for fullscreen video playback
  • Activity app adds a new Workout tab with monthly summaries of key metrics and the ability to filter by workout type
  • Move to iOS now offers app suggestions from the App Store based on apps installed on your Android device
  • iCloud Storage adds proactive status information and in-app notifications to let you know before you run out of space
  • Two-factor authentication is now available for all iCloud accounts
  • Support for Spanish (Latin America) system language
  • Siri support for Finnish (Finland), Hebrew (Israel), and Malay (Malaysia)

Enterprise bug fixes

  • Resolves an issue that could prevent some VPP purchased apps from launching after being updated
  • Adds iCloud backup support for device-assigned VPP apps
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent certificates from installing correctly when updating configuration profiles
  • Fixes an issue for some IPSec VPN configurations that could cause the internet connection to be interrupted after a VPN session was ended
  • Fixes an issue to prevent iBooks from emailing enterprise managed PDFs from unmanaged accounts
  • Resolves an issue for some Exchange users that caused Calendar to send multiple responses to the same invitation
  • Improves reliability for devices connecting to OS X Caching Server

Accessibility bug fixes

  • Improves 3D Touch reliability with Switch Control Accessibility option
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver interferes with speech after dictation
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver users could not write a review on the App Store
  • Resolves an issue where VoiceOver becomes unresponsive when receiving a phone call with a Bluetooth headset
  • Fixes an issue where large text was unreadable in Reminders

Other bug fixes, performance and stability improvements

  • Fixes an issue where manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier could prevent your iOS device from turning on after a restart
  • Fixes issues that could prevent some iCloud Backups from completing
  • Fixes an issue for some users where Health data was incomplete after restoring from iCloud Backup
  • Fixes an issue where an inaccurate battery percentage could be displayed
  • Addresses an issue that prevented iMessage or FaceTime activation for some users
  • Addresses an issue that could prevent displaying the Phone interface while receiving a call
  • Fixes an issue that enabled overriding restrictions applied to cellular data toggle
  • Fixes an issue that caused notification settings to appear in the Watch app for apps that were not installed on Apple Watch
  • Improves reliability when using 3D Touch on the keyboard
  • Improves stability of the Phone app when setting up voicemail
  • Improves stability of the Mail app when your device is low on storage
  • Improves stability in Mail while using Mail Drop to send large attachments

Some features may not be available for all countries or all areas, for more information visit: http://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability and http://www.apple.com/ios/updates/

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

Sent from my iPhone

March 21st, 2016

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

Tags: , ,

Posted a new swift command line tool to accept serial number data from an Apple device and respond with warranty information about a device at https://github.com/krypted/swiftwarrantylookup. This is based on pyMacWarranty, at https://github.com/pudquick/pyMacWarranty.

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March 16th, 2016

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

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Thanks to Josh for pointing this out. Apple has a page that lets you look up whether your device has Activation Lock enabled. This way, even if you don’t have it, you can confirm that it’s locked after you, for example, remotely wipe it. The page is available at https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/.

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March 12th, 2016

Posted In: iPhone

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When I plug my iPad in, Photos opens. I want it to stop opening when I plug it in. To make it stop, write a disableHotPlug key into com.apple.ImageCapture as true:

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug -bool true

To enable Photos opening when you plug in a device again, just delete the disableHotPlug key:

defaults -currentHost delete com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug

February 7th, 2016

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

Tags: , , ,

There are a lot of payloads that MDM and profiles can manage in iOS. Restrictions are probably the one I get the most questions about. And most are pretty self-explanatory. Sooooo, rather than open Profile Manager every time I need to see the list, here it is:

  • Allow use of Camera
  • Allow FaceTime
  • Allow screenshots and screen recording
  • Allow AirDrop (supervised only)
  • Allow iMessage (supervised only)
  • Allow voice dialing while device is locked
  • Allow Siri
  • Allow Siri while device is locked
  • Enable Siri profanity filter (supervised only)
  • Allow user-generated content in Siri (supervised only)
  • Allow iBooks Store (supervised only)
  • Allow installing apps using Apple Configurator and iTunes
  • Allow installing apps using App Store (supervised only)
  • Allow automatic app downloads (supervised only)
  • Allow removing apps (supervised only)
  • Allow in-app purchase
  • Require iTunes Store password for all purchases
  • Allow iCloud backup
  • Allow iCloud documents & data
  • Allow iCloud Keychain
  • Allow managed apps to store data in iCloud
  • Allow backup of enterprise books
  • Allow notes and highlights sync for enterprise books
  • Allow iCloud Photo Sharing
  • Allow My Photo Stream (disallowing can cause data loss)
  • Allow automatic sync while roaming
  • Force encrypted backups
  • Force limited ad tracking
  • Allow Erase All Content and Settings (supervised only)
  • Allow users to accept untrusted TLS certificates
  • Allow automatic updates to certificate trust settings
  • Allow trusting new enterprise app authors
  • Allow installing configuration profiles (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying account settings (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying device name (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying Find My Friends settings (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying passcode (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying Touch ID fingerprints (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying restrictions (supervised only)
  • Allow modifying Wallpaper (supervised only)
  • Allow pairing with non-Configurator hosts (supervised only)
  • Allow documents from managed sources in unmanaged destinations
  • Allow documents from unmanaged sources in managed destinations
  • Treat AirDrop as unmanaged destination
  • Allow Handoff
  • Allow Spotlight Suggestions
  • Allow Touch ID to unlock device
  • Force Apple Watch wrist detection
  • Allow pairing with Apple Watch (supervised only)
  • Require passcode on first AirPlay pairing
  • Allow predictive keyboard (supervised only)
  • Allow keyboard shortcuts
  • Allow auto correction (supervised only)
  • Allow spell check (supervised only)
  • Allow Define (supervised only)
  • Allow Wallet notifications in Lock screen
  • Show Control Center in Lock screen
  • Show Today view in Lock screen

February 5th, 2016

Posted In: iPhone

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I was going through Red Cross training recently, and one thing that was mentioned was whether we have Medical IDs setup on our iPhones. I do. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I’d set it up a long time ago. I then asked around and no one else had one setup. So I grabbed my testing iPhone and decided to write it up.

To get started setting up your Medical ID on your iPhone, open the Health app. From the Health app, tap on Medical ID and then tap on Create Medical ID.

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At the Medical ID screen, enter allergies, medications you are on, add emergency contacts, provide your blood type, define if you wish to be an organ donor, and add your weight. Viola, you’ve now given all this information to first responders and medical professionals should they need it.

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To then access a Medical ID on an iPhone, swipe to unlock the phone. From there, tap on Emergency in the lower left corner of the screen.

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At the Emergency Call screen, you’ll see Medical ID. Tap here to see the information provided earlier, even when your phone is locked.

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November 20th, 2015

Posted In: iPhone

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One of the tasks you’ll need to perform in Apple Configurator 2, is to assign Profiles to iOS devices in order to set them up with features or restrict the device from using certain features. I cover creating a profile here. To get started applying a profile to a device, bring up the Blueprints screen.

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Choose a Blueprint and right-click on it. Choose Profiles…

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Browse to the profile and then click on Add Profile.

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The profile is then applied to any devices that the Blueprint is applied to. For more on Blueprints, view this article.

November 15th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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Apple Configurator 2 is a great new evolution in iOS initial and configuration management. And there are lots of great options. And to help you wrap your head around all this new fun stuff, I’ve written up a quick and dirty guide for using Apple Configurator 2.

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It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!

November 14th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

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Enter Apple Configurator 2, a free tool on the Mac App Store. This tool basically fixes most setup challenges for iOS, but does so over USB. This means that Apple Configurator is not necessarily a replacement for MDM. In fact, you can deploy Trust and Entrollment profiles for MDM and automate the MDM enrollment for a device through Apple Configurator 2. Instead, Apple Configurator 2 is a tool that can either help to manage iOS devices during a mass deployment and do so in a manner that is easy enough that you don’t need a firm background in IT to manage devices on a day-to-day basis.

Here is what Apple Configurator can do:

  • Update iOS devices to the latest version of iOS.
  • Rename devices using a numbered scheme (e.g. iPad 1, iPad 2, etc).
  • Erase (wipe) iOS devices.
  • Backup and Restore iOS devices.
  • Deploy profiles/policies (e.g. no Siri for you, disable cameras, setup wireless, etc) to iOS devices.
  • Export profiles.
  • Activate devices (after all a restore of a freshly activated device is an activation).
  • Push any kind of app to devices.
  • Track Volume Purchase Program (VPP) codes used on devices.
  • Manage the wallpaper on “Supervised” devices (more on supervision later).
  • Manage the names of devices en masse.
  • Load content to apps on devices.
  • Skip initial Activation steps on devices.

Apple Configurator 2 does have some caveats, including the following:

  • In order to push apps through Apple Configurator, the system running Configurator needs access to Apple’s servers and Apple Configurator needs an AppleID associated with it that is not the VPP facilitator if you are leveraging any paid apps.
  • You can use Apple Configurator “off-line” or without an AppleID to Prepare devices with Profiles, just not to Activate devices. For the initial device activation process, Macs running Apple Configurator will need to be online. Additionally, you’ll be prompted to enter your Apple ID routinely.
  • If you push Trust and Enrollment profiles to automatically join Profile Manager (or another MDM vendor) the device isn’t associated with a user unless the MDM has been prepped to designate each UDID or Serial Number to a given user.
  • If you accidentally plug in your iPhone to a machine and you’re using Apple Configurator on it and you’ve chosen to Erase in the application, then it will wipe your phone along with the 30 iPads you’re wiping. It’s awesome and scary like that (yes, I’ve accidentally wiped my phone).

I see a number of uses for Apple Configurator. Some of these use cases include:

  • Company and education labs: manage devices end-to-end (no MDM, iTunes iPhone Configuration Utility or other tools needed), managed by the lab manager.
  • One-to-One environments (schools): Manage the distribution of infrastructure settings (mail, wireless networks, etc) for devices as well as Trust Profiles to make it faster to enroll in MDM environments and Web Clips to manage the links for enrollment.
  • Device distribution: Pre-load applications (that can’t be updated unless they’re cradled again), renaming, profiles, activation, iOS software updates, etc.
  • Backup and Restore only stations where you don’t interfere with later iTunes use.

These can enhance practically every environment I’ve worked with. But unless it’s a small environment (e.g. the labs), Apple Configurator isn’t a replacement for the tools already in use in most cases, like an MDM solution. Instead, it just makes things better. Overall, Apple Configurator 2 is a welcome addition to the bat belt that we all have for iOS management and deployment. Now that we’ve looked at the when/where of using it, let’s look at the how.

 

 

At this point, we’ll explore the Profiles options in Apple Configurator 2. To create profiles, use the File menu and click on New Profile.

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At the Untitled profile name, enter a name in the Name field. This is how it will appear in the Profiles section of Apple Configurator. Because you can deploy multiple profiles, I’m just going to configure the SSID and Web Clip and call it MDM Enrollment Staging. Optionally, give it some notes, organization name, etc.

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Click on Wi-Fi and then click on the Configure button. Here, enter the SSID of the deployment network (MDMEnroll in this example). We’ll use the Hidden Network field to indicate the SSID is suppressed and we’ll use the network type of WEP and throw the password into the Password field as well. Now, before we move on, notice that there’s a plus and minus sign in the top right of the screen? You can deploy multiple of each, so if you have 10 wireless networks, 4 Email accounts, 9 VPN connections, 29 SSL Certs etc, you could deploy them all easily with multiple entries of each.

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Next, we’ll go ahead and enter a name for our Web Clip and the URL that the device will point to.

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We’ll also disable certain features of iOS. To do so, click on Restrictions, and uncheck various boxes in order to disable features you don’t wish to use.

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Go ahead and close the window and you’ll be prompted to save the profile.

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You’ll then see MDM Enrollment Staging.mobileconfig in the Finder where you selected to store it. You can also save an enrollment profile from Profile Manager as we explained here. We could go that further further and actually enroll the device by exporting the enrollment profile as well, but again, I want each user to provide their username and password so I as an administrator don’t have to go through and attach each device to a user in this scenario. I’ve been looking at importing devices and associating them with users via postgres, but that’s going to be another 3am article, on another night…

Conclusion

Apple Configurator 2is really a great tool when used in the right scenarios. In learning how it works and interacts I actually learned a lot about both iOS and Mac OS X that I didn’t know before. I hope I did the tool justice with how easy it is to use. This is a fairly long article and it’s probably more complicated than it needs to be in parts, but that’s more my method of trying to figure out what it’s doing than the tool being complicated. It’s not hard to figure out at all. I am sure I could teach any non-technical iOS admin basic use of Apple Configurator 2 in less than an hour.

Overall, in Apple Configurator 2, we have a new, powerful iteration in our arsenal that makes up the iOS administration ecosystem. I also hope that no matter what, if you manage iOS devices, that you’ll take a look at it. I expect you’ll find it useful in some part of your management toolkit!

November 13th, 2015

Posted In: Apple Configurator, iPhone, Mass Deployment

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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