There are three main screens in Apple Configurator:
In this article we’ll be looking at the Prepare tab.
The Prepare tab allows you to ready your devices for distribution or further configuration.
Here you can name your devices (for example, you might want to name them after your organisation or the location that the devices will be held) and can optionally allows Apple Configurator to assign each device with an incremental number. So, if you name your iPads “Science Trolley” iPads will be named “Science Trolley 1”, “Science Trolley 2”, etc.
Supervision is a very important option for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows Apple Configurator greater control over the device. Without being supervised you cannot bulk install apps, or assign users to devices. Secondly, if you are using an MDM solution to compliment Apple Configurator some configuration options will be unavailable. More on this later.
This allows you to upgrade all of your devices to the latest version of iOS, or choose an older version which you have downloaded. There is also an option here to erase your device before installing the new operating system.
A number of schools I have spoken to have had problems downloading iOS updates through proxy servers, in particular Microsoft Threat Management Gateway and Microsoft ISA Server.
Restore is a lot more useful that it first appears. It doesn’t just take backups of individual iPads, Restore allows you to configure one iPad to your specifications and then push that image out to other devices in bulk — essentially a basic system to image devices.
This feature is particularly useful to bypass the numerous configuration screens displayed when configuring an iPad for the first time. Do it once on one device and then push that image out to all other devices.
The profiles section allows you to push settings to all of your devices. Options available are Wi-Fi settings, mandating a passcode, restricting features such as the camera, and controlling access to functions like install applications, iMessage, and FaceTime, among others.
This feature can also be used to import profiles from other iOS management systems such as Apple Profile Manager and Meraki.
At the top of the window is also a tab labelled “Apps”. From here you are able to bulk install applications on iPads. For full instructions on how to use this feature take a look at the article here.
Coming up next, Supervising your devices >>