14 Replies Latest reply: Sep 5, 2012 10:50 AM by Benjamin Kimelman
AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
We currently are looking at rolling out over 1000 iPhones (and iPads) in the next few months and we were wondering what is the best (and most legal) way we can install a bunch of free iTunes Apps on these devices as part of thier configuration before we hand them to the end users. We were currently thinking of creating a generic iTunes account and installing the Apps using this account on all the devices and then "logging off" this iTunes account from the device so the end users can use thier own when they get the device.

Is there anything wrong (or illegal) about this approach or is there a better way to do this?

iPhone
  • Ian Parkinson Level 6 Level 6 (10,425 points)
    The best thing to do is read some of the documents Apple have provided on integrating iPhones into an enterprise, they are here:

    http://www.apple.com/iphone/business/integration/

    Scroll down to the section about Flexible Deployment.
  • AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for your reply.

    I have read through the documents you have referred to but I cant find any mention of how I can easily roll out iTunes Apps to all the handsets with a single iTunes account. I might have missed it so if you can point me to where exactly I should read I would appreciate it.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Ian Parkinson Level 6 Level 6 (10,425 points)
    You can't deploy to 1000 devices with one iTunes account.
    That is why you need to use the enterprise solutions that Apple provide.
  • AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    You see thats exactly what my problem is. My company is looking at using MobileIron as the MDM solution to manage an enterprise fleet of IOS devices. Problem is that in order to manage them I need to install a free App (the MobileIron client) from iTunes. Once the App is on the phone everything else is handled remotely by the server but until i get the App on there I cant do anything remotely with the phone.

    So my question remains, how do I install a free App from the iTunes store onto 1000 devices without making Apple upset?
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (28,835 points)
    If you actually read the page you were directed to it tells you how to deploy apps to the phone wirelessly without using iTunes.
  • AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thats talking about in-house apps. I am talking about deploying iTunes Apps from the iTunes store which require an iTunes account.
  • tasasaki Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't recommend using a generic iTunes account though I don't know that is legal or not.
    Sooner or later almost all iOS users must have their own iTunes account,
    it's a good way to let users get their own account before deploying the devices.
    Users can install Mobileiron Client software with their iTunes account while registering process.
    You can send a "recommend application list" with a Mobileiron server(VSP server) after users' registration.
    You may have to make a detailed instruction manual for users
    but it's much less work compared to the way you set up 1000 devices on your own.
  • AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Problem is that we are required to have the handsets all setup and ready for use before we hand them over to our users ie the same as we would usually do with BlackBerry handsets. Our users are the most un-tech savvy people out there and the last thing they need is to follow a docco illustrating how they should install the MobileIron client and configure it. There simply has to be a way to do this. I am dumbfounded as to how complex this is getting. If its this hard for 1000 users then god help any IT Admin who has to configure 10000 of them.
  • Andrea Rimicci Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    If numbers are that large, try contact Apple for a furniture of preconfigured iPhones.
  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (28,835 points)
    Surely MobileIron has a way to solve this. If they don't they are not the right solution to your needs.
  • AliAloosh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I didnt even know Apple would pre configure phones for you. Might have to explore that option.

    And he he try telling the users that you will not be getting iPhones anymore after management have been promising them for the last few months.
  • Paul B. Adams Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Yes, this is very much the chicken-and-egg problem of Mobile Device Management for iOS devices. Let's hope it gets easier in the future.

    One approach to deploying the app is self-service using Web Clips.

    Use iPhone Configuration Utility or MobileIron to create a Config Profile containing a Web Clip labeled "Install Me!" that points at the App Store URL for the app you need installing.

    The user taps "Install Me!" and iOS Safari will redirect to the App Store app, where the app for downloading is displayed. The user installs it manually.

    Not pretty, but a little easier than following a written long script. And not very scalable as you need 1 web clip per App Store URL.

    Alternatives are, use the web clip to direct the user to an intranet web page with a list of App Store URLs for all the apps you need them to install, or use the MobileIron's "Suggested Apps" feature as previously mentioned.

    Deploying paid apps is particularly tricky for large deployments. However, there are some tricks: like using the App Store "Gift This App" feature to purchase the app and "gift" it to an end users. Alternatively, purchase iTunes gift cards from apple to value of the Apps you need them to install, and let them manage the purchase and installation themselves.

    Again, I hope this gets streamlined in the future, but for now, it's the best we can do.

    Regards,
    Paul Adams
  • joshapple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    We are trying to figure out how to handle this exact same problem with deploying 75 phones.  The problem with having the end user install the app store app is not that big of a deal.  The real problem is the configuration.  For example we are using a credit card processing application.  To configure you must have account information including admin user ID and password.  It would make no sense to expect any business to give this info to the end user.  Has anyone heard of a way to purchase apps on a larger scale so that you can basically treat it as an in-house app.  I have talked with support for the app Payware Mobile and they thought I was crazy asking for the actual app files so that it could be deployed using the iPhone configuration utility.  There must be some sort of work around that allows a business to easily deploy apps purchased from the iTunes store.  Please help!  Someone out there must have a work around.

     

    Thanks

    Josh Ward

  • Benjamin Kimelman Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am also somewhat in the same predicament. I am trying to manage roughly 1000+ iPads across the country and am trying to figure out the most efficient way to do this. Each iPad has several apps that need to be installed, a configuration profile and a unique static IP address. I am currently using MobileIron to track all the units and push webclips to them, but I am wondering if anyone has found a more efficient method. I am also using Apple configurator to install the iOS and configuration profiles as well. Ideally it would be great to find a to script this or make it more automated.