No doubt IT departments today are testing the Apple Configurator with freshly upgraded iOS 6 devices. The Apple Configurator is an iOS management utility that runs on the Mac and gives mobile admins the ability to prepare, supervise, and assign multiple devices.
By configuring as many as 30 devices at once, the Apple Configurator saves mobile administrators from having to recycle devices one at a time.
Early adopters of the utility reported some buggy inconsistencies, but with an Aug. 23 update and the iOS 6 upgrade, Apple and IT departments are hoping they have a reliable tool to manage the increasing number of Apple mobile devices in the enterprise.
After the free AirWatch app is installed on OS X 10.7.2 or later, a profile is prepared on the utility and is then transferred to the devices via USB.
At once all devices can:
- Be sequentially named.
- Get upgraded to the latest iOS.
- Create and restore backups.
- Sync documents between assigned devices.
- Apply custom text, wallpaper, or the user's picture to a device's lock screen.
- Get a profile delete date or timeframe.
Admins will also use it to enroll devices in their mobile device management solution--the Apple Configurator is a roaming profile manager, but it's not an MDM.
Mobile device managers such as AirWatch provide ways to remotely manage devices. Specifically, AirWatch:
- Tracks devices through GPS device locating.
- Creates detailed reports and notifications.
- Performs a device lock or wipe.
- Locks down a device to a single app and disables the home button.
- Forces all device network traffic through a global HTTP proxy.
- Prevents installation of certificates or unmanaged configuration profiles.
- Disables iMessage, game center, and iBookstore.
- Does it all over the air.
AirWatch also improves mobile security by adding advanced authentication, policies, and access control.
It's a cloud-based service or installs on Windows. There isn't a Windows version of Apple Configurator, which is one sneaky way to get Mac OS in the enterprise.