OMG! Apple Configurator 1.4 is out — Supports iOS 7, Multi-Host Supervision, Simple MDM Enrollment

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Hey you guys! All 30,000/month of you. I have something to say, and I want the world to know.

I ❤️ Apple Configurator!

Don't you too? No? I understand. Configurator could very well be Apple's most misunderstood software. Most people who try Configurator will be under the impression that Configuration's forte is "accidentally erasing my iPhone." But when used properly Configurator does stuff with iPhones and iPads that no other software will do.

For starters, Configurator is the only way to supervise iOS devices. I'm going to write more about supervision in an upcoming article, because it is a really important concept in iOS 7. Briefly, supervision is Apple's way of saying that an iOS device is institutionally owned. Supervision unlocks additional management features that would be inappropriate on an individually-owned device (in Apple's opinion).

(A note of caution: in order to underline the gulf between institutional and personal devices, Configurator will always erase your device when either supervising and unsupervising. In fact it erases EVERY DEVICE that is plugged into your Mac when you hit "Prepare." Did you hear that? So unplug your newly-updated iPhone and iPad now, and plug in a spare iPod or something like that. Because when you are testing Configurator I promise you will be erasing lots of devices.)

If your devices are institutionally-owned and supervised, Configurator 1.4 packs a lot of new goodness:

  • Disallow AirDrop
  • Disallow iMessage
  • Disallow manually installing configuration profiles
  • Disallow modifying mail & calendar settings
  • Disallow modifying Find My Friends
  • Configure Web Filtering to whitelist or blacklist any sites -- pretty powerful stuff.
  • Allow or disallow pairing with other computers

Did you catch that last one? Previous versions of Configurator would always allow pairing only by the Mac it was originally supervised with. All other computers would be prevented from connecting to the device. That was good for many smaller implementations. But it was a big obstacle in some larger deployments. Now you have the option of allowing supervised devices to connect with any host.

Even if your devices aren't supervised, Configurator 1.4 is a very powerful tool. It has always been helpful with large deployments. Now it can automatically enroll devices it prepares into MDM without user interaction, and it even waits until WiFi is up to do that. It can manage new iOS 7 features such as managed open in, configure AirPlay and AirPrint, and install fonts.

So try it, and maybe you'll ❤️ Configurator too.

Apple Configurator 1.4 is available today for free on the Mac App Store. It is Mac only, and requires Mac OS X 10.8 and iTunes 11.1. Also see the release notes.

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