Apple Configurator - iOS Management Tool User Guide


16 Φεβ 2014 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 3 μήνες)

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Apple Configurator Guide


Apple Configurator

iOS Management Tool

User Guide


The current OS requirements are: Mac OS X 10.7.2 or later

thus it requires a Mac
machine running Mac OS X, but not Mac OS X Server. There currently is no Windows OS
support, unlike for

and iTunes which do have Windows versions.

You can
download Appl
e Configurator

from the Mac App Store. It is a free application, but you
will need an Apple ID.

Product Highlights

Some of the functionality that I will document in this walkthrough:

Prepare devices:

∙ Configure up to 30 devices at a time

∙ Update devices
to the latest version of iOS

∙ Create and restore a backup of settings and app data from one device to other devices

∙ Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to new devices

∙ Use the built
in editor to create and install iOS configuration profil

Supervise devices:

∙ Organize supervised devices into custom groups

∙ Automatically apply common configurations to supervised devices

· Quickly reapply a configuration to a supervised device and remove the previous user’s data

∙ Import apps into Apple C
onfigurator and sync them to supervised devices

∙ Define and apply common or sequential names to all devices

∙ Restrict supervised devices from syncing with other computers

Assign devices:

∙ Add users and groups manually or auto populate via Open Directory

or Active Directory

· Check out a device to a user and restore the user’s settings and data on that device

∙ Check in a device from a user and and back up the data for later use, possibly on a different

· Apply custom text, wallpaper, or the user’s

picture to a device’s Lock screen

∙ Import and export documents between your Mac and Apple Configurator

∙ Sync documents between assigned devices and Apple Configurator

Apple Configurator Guide



The installation
is quick
and painless. During the installation the produ
ct prompted to upgrade
and install the latest iTunes 10.6 as well.

Once run after the installation a very nice welcome screen is show to educate you on the 3
main application functions:


Before we dive into each task in the application a quick

review of the all important Preferences
which can be important to configure.

Access the Preferences in the application menu:

The preferences have two sections, “General” and “Lock Screen”. It is important to use the
same Apple ID as configured and auth
orized in iTunes (Store
>Authorize This Computer) on the
same machine.

Apple Configurator Guide


The “Lock Screen” settings provide some nifty features to streamline a custom lock screen
wallpaper. Drag and drop a new picture, custom text, and automatic user images from the
tory service connected. This can only be applied to Supervised devices.

Tip: Reclick on the “Lock Screen” tab to update the wallpaper rendering.

Prepare Devices

Click on the Prepare icon.

Tip: If you have any devices connected to the Mac, you will see a
number indicator on the
right of the Prepare icon.

Apple Configurator Guide


The Prepare screen has two sections, “Settings” and “Apps”. The Settings screen provides the

Name: Device name that will be set. Defaults to a “No change”.

You have the option to start at
any number, just enter one, and click on the Number sequentially tick box. Here I entered 5 for
example and have 3 devices connected.

Supervision: Set this to OFF if you want to configure a device once. Set it to ON if you
want to
reapply a configuration repeatable, and also bring the device to a known state every time it is
connected. We will go into more of this in the next section.

iOS: Defaults to Latest, so you can upgrade automatically. You can choose Other, and point
to a
.ipsw file. The application will download the latest .ipsw automatically for every device type
connected if Supervision is used.

Tip: This could be handy if you want to install a new Beta iOS. If you selected Supervision OFF,
you can also select No Ch
ange. This doesn’t appear to be possible with Supervision ON.

If you are not installing a fresh iOS release, you can select “Erase all contents and settings”.

Restore: To install a backup to multiple devices choose it from the list. Please note that the
on’t Restore Backup” when Supervise is ON will still erase all content and settings.

Apple Configurator Guide


Tip: Set Supervision to OFF, then you can select “Back Up”, if you want to back up a connected
device with no Supervision features. Otherwise you need to configure a Super
vised device first.
iTunes backups can also be used for un
Supervised devices.

Tip: Make a “master” device with the iOS Setup Assistant already completed, and you can then
use the Prepare function with Supervise OFF to setup multiple devices with the same
and let it install the same profiles and application on each one.

Profiles: Here you can import an existing .mobileprofile file created previous with iPCU or
“Create new Profile” right in the Apple Configurator.

The v1.0 version has all the same iP
settings as in the recent new v3.5 version. See my previous article on that
. You can also
Export the profiles you ha
ve listed.

Apps: In the “Apps” section you can browse or drag’n’drop .ipa files (for example from Home
>iTunes Media
>Mobile Applications if you transferred purchases from a device
or a in
house developed application from Xcode).

If you add
an application that is not free of charge or in
house developed a prompt for the
Volume Purchase Program

(VPP) voucher codes will appear:

Please note that the VPP program is still not available for

all countries and requires enrollment
(businesses must have a


Dismiss the prompt(s) and review the applications you may have added:

Apple Configurator Guide


You can then click

on the “0” icon and import your VPP vouchers purchased for the selected
AppStore application. The spreadsheets can be downloaded with your VPP account at any time

Once you have imported your codes, the number will decrement as the codes are used on the
devices and you can track on which device they have been used on.

Click on the Prepare apply icon at the bottom of the screen when you are ready to start!

Apple Configurator Guide


After an “are you sure” prompt, all the connected devices connected through USB will be
updated and you can visually see their progress status:

Any issues will be marked, and successfully completion shown:

Supervise Devices

After you have Prepared yo
ur devices and have set the Supervise setting to ON, you can further
manage them within the Supervise icon:

Apple Configurator Guide


You can create groups and drag the devices into these groups. You can also add additional apps
to the devices/groups:

If you have installed paid
for Apps and uploaded the VPP .CSV spreadsheet with codes, you can
track and see which devices are using which codes and how many you have left:

Apple Configurator Guide


But the really
really cool thing is if you remove the checkmark in
front of an app, that is a paid
app insta
lled with a VPP code, that the redemption code count goes back UP, and you can
reinstall the paid app on another Supervised device!

Assign Devices

Last but at least of the 3 functions in the product, is the “Assign” function. Here you can
facilitate a ch
eck in and check out process to your Supervised devices, where the users’ data is
left intact

think Windows roaming profiles.

Apple Configurator Guide


Here you can add users and groups (even from a connected directory service) and drag and
drop users in those groups.

You can a
ssign and install documents to be used be specific users or a group of users. Click on
the “+” symbol at the bottom of the 3rd panel, and choose the appropriate application that is
installed on the device:

(mine has several options since I imported a larg
e number of apps, only
those that support iTunes file sharing are supported)

Apple Configurator Guide


Then browse to the files you want to be placed on each device the users are assigned to and
the document is now associated with the user and will be installed when a device is c
heck out
to that user.

When you are ready to assign and check out devices to users, click on the “Check Out” at the
bottom and pair the users to the available devices. When complete click on “Check Out”:

Apple Configurator Guide


When users return the devices, and you wish the
check in the devices again, attach them to the
machine running the Apple Configurator and click on the user and click on “Check In” at the

It will now transfer the files and any changes to those files that the user had made into
a backup, so upon
the next check out the files can be restored:

Unless you specified a backup in the Prepare stage as part of the device’s Supervise
configuration the user data will remain on the device until you check out the device to another

Using a Supervised

A quick verification on the Supervised device shows that the lock screen indeed has been set as

Apple Configurator Guide


It is clear that the Apple Configurator tool provides a self
signed certificate, and places a Profile
on each device that is Supervised.

f more concern is perhaps that the machine running Apple
Configurator and it’s Network MAC address is part of the certificate signature:

Apple Configurator Guide


It is also clear that the disabled iTunes tethering does work, and here is the prompt I received
when trying to tether the Supervised iPad to my iTunes 10.6 installation:

Export Information

Another useful feature in the application when in the Supervise
function is to provide detailed
asset information from the Supervised devices into a .CSV file:

Apple Configurator Guide


Use Cases

In the scenario where you have users checking in and our devices, you could lock the device
with profile settings so the AppStore and other functi
ons are disabled.

You would maintain the
apps and the VPP codes used on all the devices in a contained environment. There would also
be no need for individual Apple IDs for each user, unless they are using iTunes, and other apps
that require it.


As w
ith most new v1 applications there may be some bugs and steps to hash out.

I got some of these prompts while importing apps:

There is no detailed logging to see exactly which iOS apps are at fault in various stages in the

You may have to gue
ss or perform a process of illumination.

Apple Configurator Guide


If this example I added a document to Adobe Reader, which isn’t present on the selected


As with any device management system, the local database that the Apple Configurator uses is
critical to your

long term usage of the product.

You should properly back up the Mac you use
to manage all of your devices regularly.

Specifically this paragraph in the

port article stats

“If you lose the Apple Configurator database, your users will retain rights to use the apps
already installed on devices, and you can reimport any spreadsheets to install additional apps
on devices using unredeemed codes. But if an

app is deleted from a device after you lose the
database, Apple Configurator will be unable to determine the device’s rights to that app, and
you will need to redeem another code in order to reinstall the app.”

I’m also wondering about the self
signed cer
tificates that the devices have been setup with and
assume they would have to be re
Prepared if moved to another machine running Apple

Overall Opinion

I think Apple definitely has up the ante on the management features they provide. Above the
beyond the
rofile Manager

features released in Mac OS X Server, and those found in Xcode,
iTunes and

Apple Configurator Guide


It still lacks s
ome of the larger scale enterprise features found in the various Mobile Device
Management (MDM) products on the market (such as self
service Enterprise App Store, active
monitoring etc), or a Exchange ActiveSync remote wipe.

So it really depends on your
equirements (and money budget). It could easily make sense for a small to medium sized iOS
device deployment and management within a single facility.

Also if you have an educational or training type setup with a secure cart (as found from

, or
, etc) with a USB hub and connected MacBook, you can
easily manage a cart full of devices with the Apple Configurator and the basic features that it
can currently provide.

But if you have a larger deployment, and more dispersed geogr
aphic area, with additional
security requirements and processes around it, I would highly suggest looking at a more full
fledged MDM solution. The majority can be found here in a nice public
, although several are
still missing.

A hybrid use case could perhaps also work where non
Supervised or Supervised

devices also are
used with another MDM solution, but more testing is highly recommended.

Now if the special logic used to reuse VPP vouchers from one managed (Supervised) device to
another could also be found in the MDM solutions on the market you could h
ave some strong
new features..

Also the shared user aspects are a sore spot for many current MDM

It will be interesting to see if some of these new features get carried over.

Further information

Here are some further reference points:

Support articles:

Apple Configurator: Coordinating device names with labels or slot numbers in carts
and racks

le Configurator: Using Volume Purchase Program (VPP) Redemption Codes

Apple Configurator: Backing up and restoring data

Apple Configurator Help Online

Randy Saeks also posted a great 11 minute video walk through here:


and a nice 17 minute video here that goes more in depth on the Supervision aspects: