So, today we've been testing how the new way of app distribution without Apple ID behaves with data and iCloud backup. The results from today aren't good. Here's the process and the results:
I’ve made a video of the process after the iPad is reset to factory settings and restored from iCloud from the steps above.
How is everyone else's experience with this so far?
Thats not an issue I've had personally (yet), although it sounds like a bug / feature described during James Ridsdale's JNUC session this year.
It was along the lines of iCloud restores and DEP back onto the same device. I think he said it works if the iCloud restore is on a different device.
A quote from the Apple Support article (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205199) seems to state that its not possible to restore app data from device-assigned apps. Thats unfortunate :(
If you restore the device from a backup, assigned apps can be reinstalled using MDM, but any documents you created or settings related to the app aren't restored. If you use device-based app assignment, users of that device should store their documents using iCloud Drive or a similar service.
My understanding is device based VPP deployments are intended for shared devices, where iCloud backups wouldn't normally be used. We will certainly be using them in that scenario.
If its for a one-to-one deployment, user based assignment is still the more suitable route.
@davidacland I was hoping to bypass the hassle that is user-based assignment. I dislike there being multiple steps in purely assigning an user an app.
I don't believe this is an issue for free apps, which have always utilised device-based assignment?
I feel like the option of backup up app data to iCloud if an Apple ID is signed in should be available.
My understanding is device based VPP deployments are intended for shared devices, where iCloud backups wouldn't normally be used. We will certainly be using them in that scenario. If its for a one-to-one deployment, user based assignment is still the more suitable route.
The other concern is that device-based deployments should have been able to solve the issue for one-to-one deployments where students are under the age of 13 and can't have Apple IDs. These are the students that really need an automated backup solution such as iCloud.
@Simmo from the IT tech view I agree that fully functional device based deployments would be ideal.
Free apps have also required Apple IDs for deployment until this new functionality came around.
I can see apple's point of view though. They want to know who is downloading the apps as much as possible.
On the iCloud backup side, I'm not sure where they could direct the backup data to without an account to associate it with.
So, Apple says that if it doesn't suit our workflows, to file a radar report. We have submitted it, but please also do that, and make the iCloud backups available for device-based app distribution in the future.
@davidacland Ah yes, the free apps did, my mistake.
From my point of view I think if no Apple ID is signed in to iCloud then no data should be backed up, but if an account is signed in then the user should have the ability to back up device assigned app content.
There are always other backup solutions where users can manually save files to, if the app allows exporting that is, but many apps don't.
I believe the problem is, because the apps are distributed to a device, there's nothing that links those apps to a user. The user of the device can sign out and sign in with another Apple ID, and then what? Will they back up for both users?
Apple just needs a little more time to figure this one out. I hope rather sooner than later.
I've been testing backups of Device-assigned app data on iPads that are supervised by Apple Configurator 2. So far I have been able to backup and restore the user data successfully on two apps (Comic Life and Pages) using the Configurator backup and restore options. Not sure if anyone else was planning on this workflow, but I'd be interested to know if others can confirm my findings.
This may have been fixed, as the Apple support article (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205199) was update Mar 18, 2016.
In previous versions of iOS 9, app data is not restored when the device is re-installed. Users of those iOS versions should store their documents using iCloud Drive or a similar service.
We are planning to move to device-based assignments and keep the iPads logged in to individual iCloud accounts for data back-up and Find My iPhone features. Hopefully we will have fewer instances of students forgetting Apple ID passwords.