Question regarding using the new VPP managed apps with IOS devices

msnowdon
Contributor

I have been using Casper to manage our OS X devices for the last 2 years. Now I want to manage our IOS devices. They are all enrolled in Casper but I have a question about app distribution.

I have configured our JSS with our VPP account. All the IOS apps appear. From what I understand is that I have to invite users and then assign the apps to them. They then need to log on with an Apple ID to install the app. We have several iPad carts that I would like to use VPP but I want to just push out the apps to these devices without any user interaction. Is that even possible? I believe I can do that using the VPP code method but I like the idea of revoking the apps.

Thanks

8 REPLIES 8

chlaird
New Contributor III

We've been toying with the idea. It's.. complicated.

The issue I've seen is that since each iPad needs an AppleID, you would need to either sign each iPad in with "ipadcart@example.com" OR create appleIDs for each, like "ipadcart1@example.com" "ipadcart2@example.com" etc. Once they're signed in on each ipad, you can enable automatic downloads, do all the invitation stuff, etc.

The second option seems more annoying, but I think it has to be the one. If you use a shared apple ID, then it's technically only using 1 license code that's shared between all the devices, which violates the TOS with apple.

mradams
Contributor

The method of creating an AppleID for each device does work but is not supported nor recommended by Apple. We have toyed with the same idea of creating accounts for each iPad but that would add more work on the management side as there would be over 1000 accounts to create, and each iPad would have to be configured and logged in by a Site Engineer. Currently we will be deploying VPP apps to staff and student 1:1 devices with MDM. iPads in carts are still managed by Apple Configurator.

msnowdon
Contributor

Hi Chris,

If I understand you, the second option is going back to the old way of doing it using the codes, correct? I remember using one code to download an app and then using iTunes to push out that app to 30 cart iPads. Like you say, you are using only one code on 30 machines.

I noticed in the JSS that Apps under Mobile Devices you can import a speadsheet of the codes. Would that method allow me to push out the apps and keep track of how many were pushed out (like Apple Configurator) or is for inventory purposes only.

Thanks

Mark

msnowdon
Contributor

Hi Mike,

Yeah, now that you mention it, I think an Apple ID can be used on a maximum of 5 devices so that would rule out having 1 Apple Id per cart (which wouldn't have been too much work to create).

tadholyfamily
New Contributor

The relevant bit of Apple's TOS is a conditional, basically schools and enterprises need an ID for every device (because multiple people share it) or an ID for each user (because he uses multiple personal devices). If you go with ID per device and that device is Supervised and has automatic app downloads setting active, I believe the app push happens without prompting the user to log in. It seems to be working that way here, but it's hard to tell when we have a mix of VPP and managed app distribution.
The old way with license codes permanently grants the Apple ID that uses it the app. VPP Assignment temporarily grants it to an Apple ID. Apple Configurator, which only works by plugging iPads into a particular Apple desktop/laptop, temporarily grants an app to a particular Supervised iPad. This creates an oddity where the user cannot update the app themselves, because they do not know the username and password of the Apple ID that owns their apps.

Simmo
Contributor II
Contributor II

In my environment we only have 1 cart of 18 iPads (all others are 1:1), all cart iPads are signed in to a single Apple ID with automatic app downloads enabled, we are able to push VPP apps with no end user input.

Obviously if this could be done without violating Apple TOS it would be more ideal, and it would not work in a larger environment but being that Apple really doesn't offer a better solution it's what we are doing.

msnowdon
Contributor

Thanks for the replies. So it sounds like I can make an Apple ID for each cart (which we already have because we were using the old method of syncing the cart to a MacBook through iTunes). Do I then push the app to the Apple ID or do I make a group of cart machines? Sorry but Ive been using Casper with OS X devices for the past year. I'm new to using it with IOS devices. If it were a BYOD setup, then I would go with the individual Apple IDs but its not. I want to push different apps to different carts and manage all updates with out any user intervention like I can with the OS X devices.

So if I upload the spreadsheet of codes to Casper, Casper can push out the apps? Do I have to remove the VPP token from Casper if I am not going that route? Do you know if I have to change anything on Apple's VPP site?

Thanks

Mark

tadholyfamily
New Contributor

I never used the feature where you upload a spreadsheet of codes, but I imagine that will require a sign-in and permanently use the code. That feature was IIRC present before the introduction of VPP managed distribution.

VPP managed distribution assignments (from the users tab) and MDM app distribution (from the devices tab) can co-exist, so you don't need to remove your VPP token from Casper if you decide not to use it. The only set-up you'll need on the Apple VPP site is generating and downloading your token, which it sounds like you've already done.