Apple releases first beta for the Vision Pro, visionOS 1.1, which includes MDM support

Apple Vision Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple may be very much a consumer-targeted company. But during Apple’s most recent earnings call on February 1, 2024, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the tech giant is focused on enterprise use-cases, as well. “When I look at what is coming out of enterprise,” said Cook on the earnings call, “it's some of the most innovative things I've seen come out of enterprise in a long time….  I think there's a nice opportunity there for Vision Pro, as well.”

Cook's statement may help explain why when Apple announced its first beta for visionOS yesterday, it also shared news that the upcoming visionOS 1.1 developer beta would support for MDM, or mobile device management.  

But what exactly is MDM? And how does it help the Apple Vision Pro be more enterprise-friendly?  

The abbreviation, "MDM," stands for “mobile device management,” and Apple says that with MDM, “you can securely configure both user- and organization-owned devices by sending profiles and commands to the devices through wired, Wi-Fi, or cellular connections." All of Apple’s operating systems—iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, watchOS, and, now, visionOS—"have a built-in framework that supports mobile device management (MDM). MDM lets you securely and wirelessly configure devices by sending profiles and commands to the device, whether they’re owned by the user or your organization.”

What is MDM?

Apple also said, “MDM capabilities include updating software and device settings, monitoring compliance with organizational policies, and remotely wiping or locking devices. Users can enroll their own devices in MDM, and organization-owned devices can be enrolled in MDM automatically using Apple School Manager or Apple Business Manager. If you’re using Apple Business Essentials, you can also use the device management that’s built right in.”

The tech giant is also currently working with MDM developers to support the feature set: According to Matt Vlasach, vice president of product management at Jamf, a company that helps enterprise manage and secure Apple products that are used for work, “Apple Vision Pro offers businesses an exciting opportunity to transform the way employees get work done. And importantly, it supports all of the core foundations of an enterprise-grade device, from Secure Enclave, to device management, to biometric authentication, to zero trust networking. We are looking forward to helping our shared customers adopt each of these foundations on Apple Vision Pro by leveraging native APIs and the complete Jamf platform, enabling organizations to explore new ways of working while maintaining security, performance, and privacy.”  

Apple said it knows businesses want to be able to manage identity, deployment, management, security and privacy for devices in their organizations. It also noted that they're working to ensure Apple Vision Pro can be managed at scale alongside iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.

The MDM features for Apple Vision Pro in visionOS 1.1 beta include account-driven enrollment and important management features, such as app installation, managed Apple IDs, network configurations, single sign-on, support for Exchange and Google Workspace — and more.

Terry Sullivan

Terry Sullivan has tested and reported on many different types of consumer electronics and technology services, including cameras, action cams, mobile devices, streaming music services, wireless speakers, headphones, smart-home devices, and mobile apps. He has also written extensively on various trends in the worlds of technology, multimedia, and the arts. For more than 10 years, his articles and blog posts have appeared in a variety of publications and websites, including The New York Times, Consumer Reports, PCMag, Worth magazine, Popular Science, Tom’s Guide, and Artnews. He is also a musician, photographer, artist, and teacher.