Apple Configurator is a new tool to mass configure iOS devices. Please note it is for enterprise solutions and I hear it is most useful for 20 or more devices. Because it is designed to work with numerous iOS devices it only works with Apps that have been purchased via the Apple Volume Purchase Program (AVPP).
Here are some important support resources for the Apple Configurator:
iPhone Configuration Utility 3.5
Most of the information on this site comes from this very useful In-edu OS X and iOS Technical discussion list including the quote below:
You may have heard that Apple released a fantastic new tool for deploying and managing iOS Devices. That App is called Apple Configurator and is a free App from the Mac App Store. It requires Mac OS X Lion to run and there is no Windows version.
It includes the profile editing and deployment functions of iPhone Configuration Utility and the deployment capabilities of iTunes for deploying iOS and paid and free apps to iOS Devices.
It also includes three new ways to manage devices:
Prepare: set up any number of new devices by installing iOS, apps and profiles, even restoring from a dedicated backup image.
Supervise: control and configure devices on an ongoing basis. Each time you reconnect a supervised device to Apple Configurator you can restore it to its original configuration.
Assign: check out devices to specific users, putting their data and documents on the device. When you check a device back in, the user's new data is saved in Apple Configurator so that it can be restored to the next device they check out-- even if it's a different device. More detailed info here:
One thing I wanted to point out is the way it installs paid apps. To install paid apps REQUIRES the Volume Purchase Program. In addition, unlike iTunes, it requires you to feed it the redemption codes you get from the VPP. For example, if you want to deploy a paid app to 30 devices, you need to feed the Configurator 30 Volume Purchase Program Redemption Codes. During the installation of the apps, it will actually redeem all 30 codes. This is very different behavior than the past. I urge you to read the help files carefully as well as look at this kbase article:
In particular, make note of this paragraph:
"The database in which Apple Configurator records the use of redemption codes is your only record of the valid use of those codes. Be sure to maintain a backup of the Mac on which you use Apple Configurator. If you lose the Apple Configurator database, your users will retain rights to use the apps already installed on devices, and you can reimport any spreadsheets to install additional apps on devices using unredeemed codes. But if an app is deleted from a device after you lose the database, Apple Configurator will be unable to determine the device’s rights to that app, and you will need to redeem another code in order to reinstall the app."
Below are some additional articles/videos/websites about Apple Configurator. Note that none of the articles below are any sort of official documentation, but they are an interesting read/view and could be very helpful for some of you.
Updated on 10-24-12:
Apple updated Apple Configurator, Mac OS X 10.8 2, MDM, Apple TV and iOS6.
What does that mean with regards to management and an education environment?
1) iPads can be filtered, no matter what network they are on.
This is great for take home deployments. They will still have filtered internet at home, or wherever they go.
2) You can now lock iPads into a specific app. This can be done at the device, or over the air with MDM.
This can be used for testing, kiosk mode, or even for testing.
3) You can enable or disable iMessage
4) You can enable or disable the iBooks Store, or set a rating limit on what content can be viewed
5) Wireless for Apple TV can now be configured using Apple Configurator. (even 802.1x) and includes proxy setup.
There are a lot of other details and new features.
For more information, please visit:
Apple Configurator update:
Profile Manager / MDM Update:
Apple TV: Configuring Wifi with a Profile: