Apple Configurator makes it easier to mass deploy and manage iPhone, iPad for business and education

Configurator makes deployment and management of iOS devices easy

Apple has released a new Mac App Store app named Apple Configurator which allows businesses and educational institutions to more easily and massively deploy and manage iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads.You can sync and manage up to 30 devices at a time including updating the OS, managing applications, profiles, backups, and more. Even if you have a large family with many iOS devices (or you work as a developer or blogger who has to test a ton of personal devices), Configurator can make your life a lot easier than iTunes ever did.

Apple Configurator can be used by larger organizations and businesses to set up new devices, install enterprise apps, and enroll each device with a Mobile Device Management solution for remote management by an IT administrator. It is perfect for the classroom or student lab where devices need to be quickly refreshed and kept up to date with the correct settings, approved policies, apps and data. Apple Configurator can also be used to personalize devices with data and documents for specific users.

I spent a little bit of time today playing around with Apple Configurator and the many iPhones, iPod touches, and iPadsI have laying around the office. It's a free download from the Mac App Store, so it's a no brainer for any administrator, from enterprise to education to home, but it could still use some work. While the main implementation is nice and pretty easy to navigate through, when you get to installing profiles, a few things could be tweaked to make for a better administration experience.

I see this being an effortless tool for schools to use in conjunction with syncing carts. You'll be able to easily sync textbooks to devices based on any other classification you'd like to use. You also have the ability to assign users and only copy files to specific devices as well, or as a group.

This should make it easy for educational institutions to group grades or different classrooms together and install the same device backup on every device at the same time. If you add a new device you can simply restore it from a backup of a device from that group.

For larger businesses and any company that needs to have some pretty heavy permissions and profiles installed, it's a great start but could still use a bit of refining as well as a few more options. For small businesses and education purposes, and even home use, Configurator will make for a nice and easy way to get content to end users quicker and more efficiently.

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Allyson Kazmucha

Help and how to editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Apple Configurator makes it easier to mass deploy and manage iPhone, iPad for business and education

12 Comments

As a teacher and administrator of 25 iDevices, this is exciting indeed!! Question: Is this endorsed by Apple? Even though, technically, they only want you to sync up to 5 devices per iTunes account? Have they changed that policy? Does it require you to pay for multiple copies of apps or will you only have to pay for apps once and push to all devices?

You will have to use VPP (Volume Purchasing) to purchase a sufficient number of copies for your users. However, all purchases can be performed on the Mac and easily distributed to the devices.

Can you restrict apps from being used? As a math teacher, let's say I want my students to only use a particular app, (HMH Fuse: Algebra I for example), can I block all other apps so they are not distracted looking up web pages or checking their facebook?

Yes. You can specify what apps are installed and available as well restrict the builtin apps.

I have a preview app from a major publisher that will install just fine via itunes but the configurator just gives an error. This tool would be preferable to itunes and I hope that eventually itunes wont even be required to use my phone. We are so close already.

Hello everybody!
I've tried Apple Configurator and it seems that it forces your devices to update to iOS 5.1. Is there a way to keep iOS 5.0.1 after deployment? It's really annoying because our Applications aren't ready for 5.1 yet.
Best regards,
Amine

Great! Combined with iBooks Author for Mac and a revamped iTunes U interface, Apple has officially established itself as a conductor for the digital education experience. The WYSIWIG interface of the application means that even technologically green teachers will be able to develop customized coursework companions for their curricula. From soup to nuts, users are able to take part in developing educational tools for any level and also do it relatively cheaply. All of the apps iTunes debuted today are free from the iTunes or Mac App Store, and are available for immediate use.