How to prevent devices from installing iOS Beta software

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Ever since Apple announced the iOS Beta Program, corporate iOS administrators have been fretting how to keep beta software out of their environments. While it is critical to test pre-release software for compatibility with enterprise apps and processes, most of us want that to be done in a way that is as controlled as possible. We don't want users upgrading corporate-liable devices to pre-release and possibly unstable software.

So is it possible to prevent this? Yes, but only on supervised devices. With supervision, you are able to push out the restriction preventing the manual installation of configuration profiles. (Supervise with DEP, Configurator, or GroundControl.)

If your devices aren't supervised, well good luck. The best you can do is a compliance policy in your MDM to quarantine devices with unapproved iOS versions.

Which MDM's support iOS Managed App Configuration?

Jan Melander's picture
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Hi,

We have a couple of apps functioning as lightweight clients to selected tasks in our Enterprise system, and to ease the deployment we are adding the option of pushing certain configurations using the technique Apple defined in iOS7.

But now I'd like to test this in the real world and thought I could find a MDM system that has a trial version were I could try this out on. But so far I haven't found many MDM's that actually say that they support this feature?

What are Your experiences?

Which MDM systems lets us manage App configurations?
(I'd to tell our customers which systems works and which don't)

And are there any that has a free tier/trial version?

Regards,
Janne

Going to the HIMSS Healthcare IT conference in Chicago?

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Headed to Chicago next week for the HIMSS Healthcare IT Conference? I'll be there too — as GroundControl — sharing a booth with our generous friends from Bretford in booth 6427. (Bretford makes some of the most dependable USB hubs and cabinets on the planet.)

Come by Monday to say hi and see a demo of GroundControl. Or catch me one of the days after the show and I'll buy you a drink. You can use reach me using this form.

About the security content of iOS 8.3

Your rating: None (1 vote)

It is a whopper: 58 security vulnerabilities fixed. Get those devices updated.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204661

iOS 8.3 Configuration Profile additions (and one removal)

Your rating: None (2 votes)

So far, Apple's hasn't updated the Configuration Profile Reference for iOS 8.3. But we did a diff on Configurator-generated restrictions, and here is what we found:

'New to iOS 8.3

  • forceWatchWristDetection
  • allowFingerprintModification (Supervised only)

Removed from iOS 8.3

  • allowYouTube

If we figure out more we'll let you know.

iOS 8.3 fixes...everything?

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Apple today released iOS 8.3, adding support for Apple Watch and many dozens of bug fixes. Oh, and new emoji too. Our database of iOS Devices includes direct download links. The release notes follow.

Quote:

This release includes improved performance, bug fixes, and a redesigned Emoji keyboard. Changes include:

Improved performance for:

  • App launch
  • App responsiveness
  • Messages
  • Wi-Fi
  • Control Center
  • Safari tabs
  • 3rd-party keyboards
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Simplified Chinese keyboard

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes

  • Fixes an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials
  • Addresses an issue where some devices disconnect intermittently from Wi-Fi networks
  • Fixes an issue where hands-free phone calls could become disconnected
  • Fixes an issue where audio playback could stop working with some bluetooth speakers

Orientation and rotation fixes

  • Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented rotating back to portrait after having rotated to landscape
  • Improves performance and stability issues that occurred when rotating the device between portrait and landscape
  • Fixes an issue where device orientation appeared upside down after pulling the iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket
  • Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented apps from rotating to correct orientation after switching apps in multitasking

Messages fixes

  • Addresses issues that caused group messages to sometimes split
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes removed the ability to forward or delete individual messages
  • Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented a preview from appearing when taking a photo in Messages
  • Adds the ability to report junk messages directly from the Messages app
  • Adds the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts

Family Sharing fixes

  • Fixes a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices
  • Fixes a bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps
  • Increased reliability for Ask to Buy notifications

CarPlay fixes

  • Fixes an issue where Maps could come up as a black screen
  • Fixes an issue where the UI could be incorrectly rotated
  • Fixes an issue where the keyboard could appear on the CarPlay screen when it shouldn't

Enterprise fixes

  • Improves reliability of installing and updating enterprise apps
  • Corrects the time zone of Calendar events created in IBM Notes
  • Fixes a problem that could cause web clip icons to become generic after restarting
  • Improves reliability of saving the password for a web proxy
  • Exchange out-of-office message can now be edited separately for external replies
  • Improves recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems
  • Improves compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions
  • Allows use of physical keyboards to log into Safari web sheets, such as for joining a public Wi-Fi network
  • Fixes an issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated

Accessibility fixes

  • Fixes an issue where using the back button in Safari causes VoiceOver gestures to not respond
  • Fixes an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages
  • Fixes an issue where Braille Screen Input cannot be used to type text in forms on webpages
  • Fixes an issue where toggling Quick Nav on a Braille Display announces that Quick Nav is off
  • Fixes an issue keeping app icons from being moveable on home screen when VoiceOver is enabled
  • Fixes an issue in Speak Screen where speech will not start again after pausing

Other improvements and bug fixes

  • Introduces a redesigned Emoji keyboard with over 300 new characters
  • iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3 and is now out of beta
  • Improves the pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps
  • Includes support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays
  • Improves the display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on
  • Adds Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard
  • Adds the ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay
  • Additional language and country support for Siri: English (India, New Zealand), Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey)
  • Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel)
  • Improves stability for Phone, Mail, Bluetooth connectivity, Photos, Safari tabs, Settings, Weather and Genius Playlists in Music
  • Addresses an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices
  • Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen
  • Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
  • Fixes an issue where selecting Clear History and Website Data in Safari Settings did not clear all data
  • Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting "FYI"
  • Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply
  • Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode
  • Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented an iPad backup from completing with iTunes
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Podcast downloads to stall when switching from Wi-Fi to cellular networks
  • Fixes an issue where remaining time on timer would sometimes incorrectly display as 00:00 on Lock screen
  • Fixes an issue that sometimes prevented adjusting call volume
  • Fixes an issue that caused the status bar to sometimes appear when it shouldn’t

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

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

Apple Configurator updated to 1.7.2 supporting new iOS 8.3 restrictions

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A big day for Apple updates today. Along with OS X 10.10.3 and iOS 8.3, Apple's released Configurator 1.7.2.

Quote:

New in Configurator 1.7.2
This update requires OS X Yosemite v10.10.3 and iTunes 12 or later. It includes the following improvements:
Improved stability in OS X Yosemite v10.10.3

Support for the configuration profile options listed below

Restrictions    
Accept cookies from websites I visit, or current website only iOS 8 and later  
Allow predictive keyboard iOS 8.1.3 and later Supervised only
Allow auto correction iOS 8.1.3 and later Supervised only
Allow spell check iOS 8.1.3 and later Supervised only
Allow definition lookup iOS 8.1.3 and later Supervised only
Force Apple Watch wrist detection iOS 8.2 and later
Allow modifying Touch ID fingerprints iOS 8.3 and later Supervised only
VPN options    
IKEv2 Certificate Type: RSA, ECDSA256, ECDSA384 and ECDSA521 iOS 8.3 and later  
IKEv2 EncryptionAlgorithm: AES-128-GCM and AES-256-GCM iOS 8.3 and later  
IKEv2 Diffie Hellman Group numbers: 19, 20 and 21 iOS 8.3 and later  

How to install
Apple Configurator 1.7.2 is a recommended update for all Apple Configurator users. This update is available from the Updates pane of the Mac App Store.

About Configurator
To create or install an iOS configuration profile, use Apple Configurator or a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution like Profile Manager (included with OS X Server).

Apple Configurator replaces iPhone Configuration Utility. With the the release of iOS 8, iPhone Configuration Utility is no longer supported or available for download. The ability to view the iOS console log (previously available in iPhone Configuration Utility) is a feature of the Xcode development tool and third-party applications.

(As an alternative to Apple Configurator, consider GroundControl.)

Resigning 3rd party apps.

TheUnix's picture
No votes yet

Hi Guys,

I've been sent a app from one of our clients to upload to our enterprise app centre. It needs resigning with our enterprise certificates but when using iresign and apple codesign it returns the error Product identifiers don't match. has anybody run into this problem before or have a working way of resigning apps via apple codesign? We have all of the enterprise certs etc, and are resigning an app sent by developers who signed it with their development certs first.

Any advice or links to tutorials would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Script with localization for Italy and China

EvanGS's picture
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Just wanted to throw out there that I've localized the script for ITALY and CHINA: https://github.com/ChickenBeard/Apple-ID-Creator-Plus

I'm not sure if the original creator (gerrya100) wants me to make a pull request via GitHub but he is welcome to integrate my code into his "Universal"

Managed applications in Apple AppStore

AlexKS's picture
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Hi All,

I have been recently requested to add MDM application configuration logic into existing public iOS application available in AppStore.
The application is working fine as a separate IPA file signed with an Enterprise provisioning profile and I'm wondering if it is possible/allowed to submit the updated application to AppStore (signed with a standard Developer provisioning profile) and then install and configure it via a MDM server (e.g. AirWatch) from the AppStore?

I understand that it could be a problem with a Developer profile used for AppStore, but AirWatch still can download and install this application on any managed device.

For some reason I could not find an answer on the Internet and testing this approach is very time consuming.
So all answers/suggestions are much appreciated.

Thank you!

Remote iPad Support

tomkc's picture
No votes yet

We have deployed our own custom native iPad app interfaced to SAP for 125 remote sales people. I would be interested what other organizations are doing to remotely support their iPads and any custom apps they might have.

Depot service?
Remote options, I've looked but doesn't seem there are any good options for remote iPad support (i.e. like RDP for Windows, etc.) mainly due to Apple's architecture. Any suggestions?

ResearchKit & Apple – What they can teach the Enterprise

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Brian Katz posted a thought-provoking piece deconstructing Apple's work behind ResearchKit:

This is what is missing from most enterprises today. They don’t understand how to use mobile to enable their employees to be more productive and efficient while being more flexible and agile. Mobile isn’t about email, calendar and contacts. It’s about reimagining processes that can take advantage of the new tools that are already in people’s hands. The funny thing is that employees have already figured this out.

After four months in beta, iOS 8.2 now available for download

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Apple today released iOS 8.2, with an extensive list of improvements and fixes. The update is available over the air, and with direct download from our database of iOS Devices.

Release notes follow:

Quote:

This release introduces support for Apple Watch, and also includes improvements to the Health app, increased stability and bug fixes.

Apple Watch support

  • New Apple Watch app to pair and sync with iPhone, and to customize watch settings
  • New Activity app for viewing fitness data and achievements from Apple Watch; appears when Apple Watch is paired
  • Available on iPhone 5 and later

Health app improvements

  • Adds the ability to select the unit of measurement for distance, body temperature, height, weight and blood glucose
  • Improves stability when dealing with large amounts of data
  • Includes the ability to add and visualize workout sessions from 3rd-party apps
  • Addresses an issue that may have prevented users from adding a photo in Medical ID
  • Fixes units for vitamins and minerals
  • Fixes an issue where Health data wouldn’t refresh after changing data source order
  • Fixes an issue where some graphs showed no data values
  • Adds a privacy setting that enables turning off tracking of steps, distance and flights climbed

Stability enhancements

  • Increases stability of Mail
  • Improves stability of Flyover in Maps
  • Improves stability of Music
  • Improves VoiceOver reliability
  • Improves connectivity with Made for iPhone Hearing Aids

Bug fixes

  • Fixes an issue in Maps that prevented navigating to some favorite locations
  • Addresses an issue where the last word in a quick reply message wasn't autocorrected
  • Fixes an issue where duplicate iTunes purchased content could prevent iCloud restore from completing
  • Resolves an issue where some music or playlists didn’t sync from iTunes to the Music app
  • Fixes an issue where deleted audiobooks sometimes remained on device
  • Resolves an issue that could prevent call audio from routing to car speakers while using Siri Eyes Free
  • Fixes a Bluetooth calling issue where no audio is heard until the call is answered
  • Fixes a timezone issue where Calendar events appear in GMT
  • Addresses an issue that caused certain events in a custom recurring meeting to drop from an Exchange calendar
  • Fixes a certificate error that prevented configuring an Exchange account behind a third-party gateway
  • Fixes an issue that could cause an organizer’s Exchange meeting notes to be overwritten
  • Resolves an issue that prevented some Calendar events from automatically showing as 'Busy' after accepting an invite

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

The End of Generating Apple IDs

janeitzey's picture
Your rating: None (15 votes)

It took Apple long enough, but we may finally be rid of this horrendous process. It was nice talking to you folks and reading your posts, but I'm glad to be done with this mess. Hopefully, DEP and MDM will be enough.

http://9to5mac.com/2015/03/06/ipad-education-program-2/

In iPad one-to-one environments, schools are seeing more engaged students, better attendance, and higher test results. You can see this happening in districts and schools like Prince George’s County, and Essa Academy.

We understand that some schools are not able to give every student an iPad and are sharing devices across classes and students. We want to make learning with a shared iPad a great experience for these students as well as their teachers and administrators. We are already at work on significant changes to App distribution, Apple ID, and Apple Deployment Programs that we are planning to deliver next year to make using iPad in the classroom even better.

To simplify large deployments, including one-to-one and shared use, we want to make app distribution even easier. Today, Apple IDs are required in order to deliver apps and books to students. We are working to change this in the fall by allowing schools to assign and distribute apps to a device without an Apple ID. As currently planned, this will greatly reduce the number of steps needed to setup a device.

This change should eliminate the need to create generic Apple IDs solely for the purposes of getting content onto iPad. Schools will also have the option to prevent students from making personal purchases without approval.

We realize the complexity of obtaining parental consent for Apple ID for students under 13 can be a challenge, especially in large districts. We are working to change the Apple ID for Students program in 2016 – during the upcoming school year. With these planned changes schools will have the ability to create and manage Apple IDs on behalf of students that can be configured to access iCloud. It will also allow system administrators to reset student passwords. And, the new approach will still meet COPPA requirements.

We are improving the Apple Deployment Programs by unifying individual services into one program, simplifying the administrator experience. This will make it far easier to enroll, manage, and support a large deployment—and reduce many of the steps schools have to go through to get setup.

Today iPad is engaging students in their learning in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Alongside inspiring leaders, innovative teachers and engaged communities, we believe iPad is the best device for any student, grade and level. We will work to make it easy to get iPads into the hands of all students and teachers. The feedback we receive helps guide what we need to do to get there.

Whitelisted IP

mahdisnz's picture
No votes yet

Hi everyone And special thanks for apple id batch script
i don't know what does this mean ?
Where should i sign in?
IMPORTANT: Apple uses a velocity check to prevent too many Apple IDs from a single IP address. You must contact your Apple business representative to request that your IP address is whitelisted for a short time.

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