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Apple Releases Apple Configurator 2.3 Beta

Apple Configurator 2

Apple has released Apple Configurator 2.3 Beta to developers, with a full released expected this Fall along side iOS 10.

Apple Configurator 2 is an app for OS X 10.11.5 or later that makes it easy to set up and deploy groups of similarly or identically configured iOS devices. Apple Configurator can be used to quickly perform discrete tasks like updating to latest iOS or installing apps or configuration profiles as well as create and execute custom workflows which configure many devices with one click.

Developers can download it from the Apple Developer Downloads.

What’s New in Apple Configurator 2.3

Saved Searches in iCloud
Keep saved searches consistent across Configurator stations signed into the same iCloud account

Improved Prepare
Set the current time zone while Preparing devices

Skip the iMessage & FaceTime Setup Assistant pane

Blueprint Fixes
Install the latest App Store app version while applying blueprints

Support for new configuration profile settings in iOS 10
Choose default app for audio calls for Contacts, Exchange, Google, and LDAP accounts Set Bluetooth

Modification restriction on supervised devices

Restrict Cisco fast lane quality of service marking or disable captive network detection for Wi-Fi networks

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The Apple Pencil Just Works

The media, and non-Apple users, are always mystified by the zeal of the corporate giant’s ability to turn out huge numbers on seemingly small upgrades. When you think about it, how silly is it that Apple is selling a pencil for £80, and they’re sold out everywhere. Not mention, the demand is causing auction website eBay to see the new device sell for over £400.

Crazy, right?

That is, until you use it. Then you get it..or you wish you had it.

Using Apple Pencil with iPad Pro  Using Apple Pencil with iPad Pro

The Apple Pencil is a stylus in word only, and built to work with the new iPad Pro. Unfortunately, it won’t work with any other iOS or desktop devices.

What Apple has done is recreate one of man’s longest used writing implements, and brought it to the 21st century. There is a reason it’s sold out. “It Just Works”.

If you’ve used a pencil before, it feels just as natural. The weight, the abilities…everything. Apply more pressure for deeper strokes in a drawing app. Tilt the pencil to shade as you would on paper. There is even just a little bit of feedback so it feels like you’re writing on a piece of paper.

While these may seem gimmicky, businesses and students have been looking for a working stylus since the advent of tablet computers from Windows. Most styluses are clunky, slow to respond and rarely produce the same results of writing with a real pen and paper.

Apple Pencil Charging Time

With the Apple Pencil, I was able to sign my name on a contract, and it looked (and felt) like my signature. The one catch is that the device has a battery life of 12 hours. However, a small adapter allows you to charge the Pencil for 15 seconds in the iPad Pro Lightning Port, and get 30 minutes of battery life.

That’s just enough to sign that next purchase order, or finish your lecture notes.

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How long does Apple Watch take to charge?

How long and how much power does it take to charge Apple Watch using a Chargebus 1650 multi charger?

It took around 3 hours to fully charge the 42mm Apple Watch from a completely drained state to a fully charged state. With the power current peaking at 0.36 Amps. This is a third of the power that the iPhone uses to charge.

However, Apple watch continued to charge at a low 0.1 Amps even after being fully charged. This is why Apple watch can still feel warm to the touch after an overnight charge.

Apple Watch charging power over time.
Apple Watch charging power over time.
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iOS7 for Schools and Businesses | Official Blog of Onefruit

Unless you have had your head in the sand for the last few months, you might of noticed that Apple has released they latest iOS operating. iOS 7 is the latest software update from Apple compatible with all current iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini and iPod Touch 5th generation devices, as well as any iPhone 4 or later.

Looking beyond the new colourful UI; iOS 7 is a major upgrade for MDM (mobile device management) education and corporate customers.

Many companies and education institutes, rely on MDM’s to secure and push apps to iPhones and iPads. With iOS 7, Apple is offering MDM customers more control over devices and app ownership then ever before.

A number of MDM’s have already announced day-one support for iOS 7, including Maas360, AirWatch and JAMF’s Casper.

It’s quite incredible how far Apple has come in the enterprise market that was once ruled by BlackBerry. BlackBerry is now just a shadow of its former self, being sold off for $4.7 billion or about what Apple made on iPhone 5c/5s sales in the first weekend.

Apple Store Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) in iOS 7

Even with the launch of the Volume Purchasing Program 2 years ago, buying and assigning apps has still been a pain.

Deploying apps in the layered ownership model meant users would not have the ability to update apps without the corporate Apple ID password or re-syncing with Apple Configurator. If you went down the Personal model. You would have needed to ‘gift’ the apps to the user. If the student or employee left, the app and its cost left with them.

Under iOS 7, MDM’s can now assign VPP licenses to users. When a user leaves, the school or business can revoke the licence and resign it to another user. This works by placing the app in the user’s personal purchase history, allowing them to download updates without needing the corporate Apple ID password. When an app is revoked, the user is given 30 days to purchase the app themselves before the app stops opening. This also works for iBook books.

Per-App VPN in iOS 7

Now IT administrators can configure which apps go down your VPN. This means, only the apps that need access to your corporate network will use the VPN. No longer will your VPN be full of users trying to upload Instagram photos of their lunch.

Free iWork

All new devices now come with Apple’s iWork and iLife suite for free. This includes Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie and iPhoto apps. That’s a saving of over £27 per device!

Caching Server 2 supports iOS 7

In the upcoming release of OS X Mavericks Server, Caching Server 2 supports iOS 7. Caching Server 2 works by caching) purchased content from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Stores on OS X Mavericks Server. This means your users get faster downloads of all their content, including software updates without taking up all your internet bandwidth. Instead of downloading an iOS update for every user (which could be as big as 1GB), the Caching Server only downloads the data once and distributes that to users over the local network.

Apple TV MDM

The Apple TV has become very popular outside of the living room. They offer a convenient method for users to display content from their iPad to a TV or projector screen wirelessly. For anyone who has every been tasked with setup up multiple Apple TVs, you will share in my pain. Entering those WiFi codes with that little remote! Luckily Apple is streamlining this process with iOS 7 by letting you enrol your Apple TVs into your MDM.

 Bulk mutiple device deployment for events

Managed ‘Open in’

No longer can you accidental tweet your companies latest sales figures! When you open a file on a iOS device, you are presented a screen called the “Share Sheet”. This lists all the apps that can accept that file type, e.g Open document in Pages or Share image to Facebook. IT administrators now have control over which apps can process corporate data. This works for both apps and email accounts which means the users personal apps and email, work as normal. So don’t worry, you can still share those photos from the company party!

Open in screen, multiple media partners

Moovweb have created a great parody of Apple’s latest iOS and iPhone event.

Onefruit offer a wide range of USB charge and sync stations to help IT administrators upgrade multiple iPads to iOS 7. Learn more about our iPad charging stations.