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iOS 7.1, Apple Devices, and Apple Programs

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Wondering about the current status of iOS 7.1, Apple Devices, and Apple Programs here at UMD? Look no further.

ITSS and other departmental IT Professionals recently attended a meeting presented by Apple on some key technology challenges faced by many here at UMD. The hot topic of the day was the release of iOS 7.1 and how improvements made will provide new ways to configure and deploy devices across the institution. Also discussed were potential new service offerings that ITSS will be looking at closely over the coming months to determine if a need exists at UMD and how this new technology can be leveraged to meet customer need.

Logo: Apple TV

Apple TV

Apple TV is a device many people on campus have been wanting to use in the classroom since its second generation release in 2010. Early adopters of this technology at many enterprise class institutions immediately ran into network issues on how utilize AirPlay to stream content from an iOS device (iPod, iPad, iPhone) to the AppleTV. Due to the networking challenges involved, the UMD network infrastructure was not able to support AppleTVs in the classroom, until now. ITSS has been testing an AppleTV for the past 2 weeks and have found that with very little initial configuration these devices are able to be utilized on UMD's current network infrastructure.

However, ITSS does not plan to fund or support a wide scale classroom deployment here at UMD. While this is a wonderful device with many implementation possibilities, AppleTV remains specific to the iOS platform. Research has indicated that there are third party Android apps that claim to work with AppleTV. However, we have not and do not plan to do any testing with these apps as Apple has indicated that third party Android apps are not officially supported by Apple.

While ITSS does not plan to centrally support these devices, we will provide some support to make the devices work on the network and will be happy to work with colleges and departments to test and deploy as their current funding and support options allow.

Volume Purchase Program (VPP), Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Device Enrollment Program (DEP)

New options allow for the central purchasing and management of Apps and iOS devices across an institution. Gone are the days of managing multiple Apple IDs, or trying to reimburse faculty and staff for purchases made under personal Apple IDs and the accounting and tax headaches that created. Users can now enroll their personal Apple IDs and devices without needing to provide personal Apple ID information to the department. Apps that are centrally purchased and managed by the department can be pushed to these devices over the air. When that faculty or staff member leaves, the apps can be un-installed and that device dis-enrolled from the program. Additionally, the VPP also supports the purchase of AppStore apps and even text books. These apps can be revoked at any time and reassigned to other students, faculty or staff.

This will be a centrally supported service by ITSS. Discussions are already underway as to how these services will be rolled out to the campus, and how these and other technologies can be leveraged to make these services as seamless as possible to the end user. However, discussions are in their infancy. We have heard from many of you already asking how to utilize these features within individual departments. Please be aware that Apple has designed these features around additional enterprise software that allow all of these programs to work together, seamlessly. We appreciate your patience as we work toward offering these exciting new services to UMD.

Additional details on how iOS 7 and its features related to Education can be found on the Apple - iOS7 - Education Web site.

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