Configurator v. DEP and Managed Distribution

New Contributor

The landscape for iOS management changes very quickly and I am dizzy. For shared devices, we use a cart-based model with configurator station and separate institutional Apple ID for each station. We have 9 separate configuration stations. We use DEP and Managed Distribution via Casper, for our 1:1 iPads, and I am wondering what advantage do I gain by keeping the configurator station model going for shared devices when Managed Distribution is so much easier? What am I overlooking? We have no limitations on Device Enrollment (all of our devices are eligible), but we have several hundred purchased apps via VPP still in service.


Contributor III

Today, you're probably best off sticking to using Configurator for shared devices.

With the upcoming changes in VPP announced at WWDC, using Managed Distribution for shared devices becomes more viable. The short of it is that you'll be able to assign apps to devices without an Apple ID. Once that happens, in my opinion, using DEP and Managed Distribution for shared devices becomes the obvious choice.

Valued Contributor II

@kitzy @jutz4244 what has me worried about the new shared model, app developers need to opt in to be able to allow you to assign to devices instead of apple ids according to the WWDC vid.

Seems like it could be VERY messy if only some app developers opt in and then you're looking at still putting apple IDs on devices if the clients you support want those apps that didn't opt in.

We use configurator to update iOS and iTunes to load apps still. I think it's way easier than dealing with Configurator for app distribution. I'm sure hoping to move to the new model next year though after testing this coming year.

Honored Contributor II
Honored Contributor II

@CasperSally wow I missed that bit in the presentation. You're right, that is likely to make a big mess.

We still use configurator for shared device setups or (sometimes) 1:1 deployments when the setup is very tightly controlled.

Other than that it's DEP all the way.