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:
krypted February 5th, 2016
Posted In: iPhone
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.
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.
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.
At the Emergency Call screen, you’ll see Medical ID. Tap here to see the information provided earlier, even when your phone is locked.
krypted November 20th, 2015
Posted In: iPhone
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.
Choose a Blueprint and right-click on it. Choose Profiles…
Browse to the profile and then click on Add Profile.
The profile is then applied to any devices that the Blueprint is applied to. For more on Blueprints, view this article.
krypted November 15th, 2015
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.
It’s not completely done, but it will be shortly. Hope this help someone. Enjoy!
krypted November 14th, 2015
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:
Apple Configurator 2 does have some caveats, including the following:
I see a number of uses for Apple Configurator. Some of these use cases include:
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.
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.
Next, we’ll go ahead and enter a name for our Web Clip and the URL that the device will point to.
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.
Go ahead and close the window and you’ll be prompted to save the profile.
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…
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!
krypted November 13th, 2015
Apple Configurator has always been able to upgrade devices. But it can also now upgrade apps that are on devices. To run an upgrade, first open Apple Configurator 2.
Once open, right-click on a device and click on the Update… option.
You can update all assets on the device concurrently, using the default option. Here, we’re going to select to update only the items we need to in the drop-down menu.
Select Only Some Apps and then you’ll see a list of each app that needs an upgrade on the device. Check the box for the apps to be updated and then click on the Update button.
Apps are updated using an iTunes account. Here, you will need to authenticate using an account on the app store that owns these apps.
Once entered, Apple Configurator will cache the apps and install them on a device or devices. The apps are only downloaded once, and then applied to many devices. These function even if the app store is disabled on devices.
krypted November 12th, 2015
Posted In: Apple Configurator
Blueprints are a new option in Apple Configurator 2. Blueprints allow you setup a template of settings, options, apps, and restore data, and then apply those Blueprints on iOS devices. For example, if you have 1,000 iOS devices, you can create a Blueprint with a restore item, an enrollment profile, a default wallpaper, skip all of the activation steps, install 4 apps, and then enabling encrypted backups. The Blueprint will provide all of these features to any device that the Blueprint is applied to.
But then why not call it a group? Why call it a Blueprint? Because the word template is boring. And you’re not dynamically making changes to devices over the air. Instead you’re making changes to devices when you apply that Blueprint, or template to the device. And you’re building a device out based on the items in the Blueprint, so not entirely a template. But whatever on semantics.
To get started, open Apple Configurator 2.
Click on the Blueprints button and click on Edit Blueprints.
Notice that when you’re working on Blueprints, you’ll always have a blue bar towards the bottom of the screen. Blueprints are tiled on the screen, although as you get more and more of them, you can view them in a list.
Right-click on the Blueprint. Here, you’ll have a number of options. As you can see below, you can then Add Apps. For more on adding Apps, see this page.
You can also change the name of devices en masse, using variables, which I explore in this article.
For supervised devices, you can also use your Blueprints to change the wallpaper of devices, which I explore here.
Blueprints also support using Profiles that you save to your drive and then apply to the Blueprints.
Blueprints also support restoring saved backups onto devices, as I explore here.
For kiosk and single purpose systems, you can also enter into Single App Mode programmatically.
You can also configure automated enrollment, as described here. Overall, Blueprints make a great new option in Apple Configurator 2. These allow you to more easily save a collection of settings that were previously manually configured in Apple Configurator 1. Manually configuring settings left room for error, so Blueprints should keep that from happening.
krypted November 11th, 2015
One of the more common tasks performed in Apple Configurator is to create a backup of a device and restore that backup to multiple devices. This backs up the icon placement on screens, the settings on the device and anything not stored in the operating system or secure enclave of a device. Once you’ve created a backup, you can assign that backup to a blueprint or deploy the backup to individual devices.
To create a backup, first open Apple Configurator 2 and tether a device to the computer running Apple Configurator.
Next, right-click on a device and then choose the Back Up option.
Once you unlock the device (if locked) the backup process will start.
That’s it. Nice and easy. You can now use the backup to restore devices or assign the backup to a blueprint so it will be used to restore devices that the blueprint is applied to.
krypted November 10th, 2015
Posted In: iPhone
One of the common tasks to perform when doing some larger iOS deployments is to restore an iOS device as part of setting the device up for users. Restoring a device will retain a few things like icon placement on a device. To restore a device, we’ll first create a backup, described here. As of Apple Configurator 2, you can use iTunes and Apple Configurator 2-sourced backups of devices. You can also now assign the restore task to a Blueprint or do so manually.
To get started with restoring a device, first plug in a device and open Apple Configurator.
Right-click on a device and then choose the Restore from Backup… option.
You’ll then be prompted to verify that you want to restore the device. To restore the device, click Restore.
At the “Restore from the backup screen”, select the backup to use as your restore point and click Restore.
When prompted, provide the password for the backup and click on the Restore Backup button.
If the device has been prepared, you will be prompted to approve the restore. Assuming you actually want to restore the device, click on the Restore button.
You will need to accept the iOS licensing agreement. Click Accept when prompted.
The restore will start.
You can also assign a Back Up to a Blueprint. Then, any time the Blueprint is assigned to a device, you will restore the selected backup. To do so, bring up the Edit Blueprint screen and then right-click on the Blueprint to edit.
Select Restore from Backup… from the menu and select the appropriate backup. Then, when the Blueprint is applied to a device, the device will be restored using the selected backup.
krypted November 9th, 2015
One of the primary use cases for Apple Configurator 1 and Apple Configurator 2 is to get apps on devices. Even with MDM, you can use Apple Configurator 2 for app deployment. The value here might be that you end up transferring 10 gigs of apps over a USB cable, rather than over the air in larger deployments. Here, we’ll look at a basic app deployment using Apple Configurator 2.
To get started, first download the app and get it in iTunes. This can be accomplished by copying the .ipa file for an app onto a device, or syncing an iOS device with iTunes that has the app installed. Take care that the Apple ID associated with the app will be applied on the device. Then, open Apple Configurator 2 and choose a Blueprint (View -> Edit Blueprints) you’d like to apply, or deploy, this app to. Once uploaded and assigned, any device that you apply the Blueprint to will receive the app. Right-click on the Blueprint and click on Add and then choose Apps in the submenu.
You will need to authenticate to the iTunes Store using an Apple ID. Notice that if you’ve previously connected Apple Configurator 2 to the iTunes Store that you will routinely get prompted to reconnect when the key expires (seems to be after a good 4 hours of inactivity, but not sure yet exactly when to expect – this might be a bit annoying for environments that have students that don’t have that password doing some of the work).
The when you authenticate, you’ll be prompted for a list of apps to install. Here, we’re just going to choose some generic app and click on Add Apps (yes, that’s plural, you can choose more than one).
The app will be listed. Any device the Blueprint is applied to then receives the app.
You can also assign an app to a device manually. To do so, control-click (or right-click) on a device and then use Add to choose the Apps… option. The rest of this process is pretty much the same.
Overall, these options are similar but a bit more matured than they were in Apple Configurator 1. There are a few other pretty cool options that we’ll explore soon, but for now this should get you started in getting apps as a part of your Apple Configurator 2 deployment.
krypted November 9th, 2015