10 Things to Know When Using Bushel With Apple Configurator

Posted by Charles Edge on December 8th, 2014

At Bushel, we use Apple Configurator for all kinds of things. We also used Apple Configurator for all kinds of deployment techniques before we came together like Voltron to form Bushel. So we feel like there are some simple things to keep in mind when using Apple Configurator that we’d like to share:

  1. What is Apple Configurator? Apple Configurator is a tool provided by Apple for managing iOS devices. Install profiles, enable Device Supervision, assign devices to users, send some data to devices (via check-in and check-out) and update/wipe devices for reuse.
  2. When will you use Apple Configurator? You can use Apple Configurator to manually manage iOS devices over USB. If you are using Bushel then you could use Apple Configurator to enable Supervision when needed if you’re not using DEP enrollment for devices (DEP devices automatically have Supervision enabled). You can also use Apple Configurator to mass update devices quickly (you can update devices using an ipsw file on the computer running Apple Configurator rather than over the air) and you can use Apple Configurator to re-deploy devices because Apple Configurator has an option to wipe devices.
  3. Do you have to use Apple Configurator? No, but when you’re working with a lot of devices it helps. You can skip the learning curve though, if you’re using Bushel or another 3rd party Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. Apple Configurator is a great supplement but not a replacement to MDM. And an MDM like Bushel is a great supplement but not a replacement to Apple Configurator.
  4. What can Apple Configurator do that an MDM can’t do? Because it connects via USB, Apple Configurator can update devices, set backgrounds, enable Device Supervision on non-DEP devices, restore actual data to devices and switch between operating systems. None of these features are available via a Mobile Device Management (MDM) suite. Supervision enables certain MDM features beyond what Bushel might support. These include managing AirDrop, iMessages, disabling the ability to manually install profiles, controlling the Global Proxy setting and Single App Mode. Currently, Bushel doesn’t manage any of these features.
  5. Can Apple Configurator force an enrollment Profile? No, the only way to force an enrollment profile is through Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP).
  6. What is the relationship between MDM and Apple Configurator? These two tools complement one another. One is used for initial deployment and wired connectivity (Apple Configurator) and the other is used for long-term management over the air (e.g. an MDM like Bushel).Apple Configurator
  7. Disadvantages of Apple Configurator? Apple Configurator requires a wired connection to run. This is easy when you’re working with a cart of iPads but difficult when you have a large cohort of devices distributed globally or even within a single office.
  8. Is Apple Configurator required for supervision? Devices leveraging Apple’s Device Enrollment Program (DEP) will not require Apple Configurator to enable Device Supervision. Devices that are not purchased under DEP will require Apple Configurator to enable Device Supervision. You would only need Device Supervision if you want to provide unattended app installations or allow a Find My iPhone Override.
  9. Where can I learn more about Apple Configurator? There’s a book that takes you through Apple Configurator at http://www.amazon.com/Instant-Apple-Configurator-How-Charles/dp/1849694060.
  10. Where do I get Apple Configurator? You can download Apple Configurator from the Mac App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/apple-configurator/id434433123?mt=12.