The Configurator

Written by aidan on May 23rd, 2014


Work this week at Tapadoo consisted of a few tricky bug fixes, and playing around with a tool called “Apple Configurator“. Configurator is used to mass configure devices for use in schools or businesses. It allows you to create restricted profiles to disable users from accessing certain features. For example, a school could disable the app store from their iPads to prevent the students from installing games, or snap-chatting themselves during classes.

Configurator can also be used to pre-install certain apps on multiple devices. This is also useful if your company has it’s own app that all employees should be using. The devices can be plugged into a Mac, and can get an identical setup to each other.

Myself and Kevin’s goal with this tool, was to try and lock the device down as much as possible. We managed to restrict most apps like AirDrop, App Store, Siri, YouTube etc. but we couldn’t find a way to disable the settings. The settings themselves, however are restricted, but we couldn’t find a way to completely disable them.

Another cool feature of Configurator is that the device cannot be plugged into a non authorised computer. Well it can, but the disk won’t mount so the files won’t be accessible. This again would be useful for schools which might have copyrighted material on the iPads and don’t want the students to copy and redistribute the files.

With a configured device, you can also start “Guided Access Mode” or “Kiosk” mode. This mode locks the user into a certain app, and does not allow them to use multi-tasking or return to the home screen. Interestingly, this mode also disables an app from opening another app using custom URL schemes, for example the user can’t click a phone number in an app to dial it.

Overall, Configurator is quite a powerful tool that allows you to easily sync configuration settings across multiple devices, but I randomly came across a few errors which didn’t give me much information as to what went wrong which was quite frustrating!

Last week I also had my round 2 of the “Great Tapadoo Bake-Off” where I made some basic brownies (after my failed first attempt a few weeks ago!). I thought the brownies were awful, but arguably better than my first attempt! Improvement, it’s all about improvement!

That’s pretty much it from me this week, until next time!

I’ll be back

…sorry couldn’t resist!

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