One of the most exciting weeks of the year for us in the Apple ecosystem is almost here. Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference kicks off next week. Although it’s virtual once again, we’re all looking forward to an exciting week of announcements as we get a look at what’s coming in iOS 15, iPadOS 15, macOS 13, and hopefully some announcements for tvOS. On the enterprise side, I am looking forward to the “What’s new with Apple device management” session that usually happens in the middle of the week. We’re coming up on a year since Apple’s acquisition of Fleetsmith, so it’s going to be interesting to see if we hear any news about it. Even that withstanding, here are some things I’d love to see from Apple in regards to enterprise and K–12 device management for this round of software upgrades.
Table of contents
Bulk subscriptions in VPP
Purchasing enterprise software is a pain, but it doesn’t have to be. I’d love to see Apple implement bulk subscriptions through Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager. Buying enterprise software should be more accessible, and Apple can do that.
Large businesses buying 100+ seats likely wouldn’t use it. Still, it would be ideal for organizations with less than 15 or so employees to be able to license their software for iOS and macOS right through Apple’s business and K–12 portal.
Remote Wi-Fi logging
Wi-Fi is the default communication technology for all of Apple’s products now. However, it’s possible to add ethernet to Apple’s laptops using USB-C adaptors, and even the new iMac has removed ethernet from the actual computer in favor of building it into the power cord.
With that being said, in the age of remote work, troubleshooting Wi-Fi is difficult. It’s always not immediately clear what’s causing the issue, and while it’s possible to create logs on the end of the user, I’d love to see this be an option inside a mobile device management API.
How I envision this working is that when the option is selected on the MDM side, the user must agree to their connection being logged. No actual browsing data would be collected but rather the RF environment around the device. This collection would stay active for 36 hours and then automatically disconnects.
This data would help IT teams troubleshoot remote Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
Remote clear cache
One of the biggest issues in a cloud-based world is sometimes caches fill up locally and can cause issues when devices need to run updates, etc. I’d love to see an MDM command to clear any local cache or delete pending system updates in order to free up hard drive space.
Clever badge login integration with iPad multi-user
I am sure this _ won’t_ happen, but I’d love to see Apple integrate Clever badges into Shared iPad in K–12. Clever is a single sign-on service aimed at K–12 schools that is free. Clever has a genius business model: they work with schools for free, but they charge application developers. For schools, this pitch is a no-brainer. For application vendors, I think it’s a win-win. Their pitch to Clever customers will be a much simpler deployment compared to competitors who are not developing for Clever. Purchase and connect to Clever is all a customer will need to know.
For logging into Clever, students use QR code badges are used, so no passwords are needed. If Apple integrated Clever into Apple School Manager, Shared iPad would be even easier to deploy and manage.
What’s next for Apple device management wrap up
I cannot wait to see what’s coming up next week at WWDC. Although the new Apple mobile device management session isn’t the most widely talked about in the technology news section of the website, but it’s critical for companies who use Apple products in the enterprise.
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