Wednesday, October 19, 2011

iPad Deployment Journal Part 3: Naming iPads and updating to iOS5

The iPad deployment adventure continues. I was very excited when I managed to get the network settings to each iPad through the iPhone Configuration Tool (see my last post).

Next it was on to naming each iPad in the cart. It was getting a bit frustrating to see 20 iPads named ipad show up on iTunes. So, I figured I would unplug all and add them one at a time. When an iPad shows up in iTunes, the following screen appears:

Clicking Register Later prompted the following Screen:

I chose set up as new iPad and then Continue, prompting...

Here, I unchecked the Automatically sync songs and automatically sync apps checkboxes, leaving all three unchecked and I named the iPad based on our naming convention. Right now we only have 1 cart, so I will consider this cart 1, but wanted to leave room in our naming for the future when we have more carts so that there will be no questions regarding how to name those.

After clicking done, the following up:

Being that the iPads did not have iOS5, this screen prompted us to Update. It seemed as though any iPads that had already been changed in any way since we received them wanted to be backed up, while the others just updated.

The process took some time as I had to do them one at a time. Each time one was finished, I would plug in the next one so that it would show up with the name ipad and once completed join the crowd of newly updated iPads with the spiffy iOS5 and the nifty new name.

Next up ... Volume purchasing of apps and using the iPhone Configuration tool to get the apps to all of the iPads in the cart.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

iPad Deployment Journal...Part 2

So, I did my research on preparing a cart of 20 iPads for deployment in our school. One thing that I definitely realized is that noone seems to be doing it the exact same way. I believe my story is no exception.

I have not started to actually install apps on the iPads, but I have begun the readying process and have made some strides. The process is certainly time consuming, and I still wish there were an easier way. Perhaps my experience will help others as they embark upon this arduous process.

I was able to create a configuration file using the iPhone Configuration tool. One of my first concerns was to get our incredibly long WEP key entered on each iPad so they can access our network. Fortunately, the iPhone Configuration tool has a configuration option for wifi. It was suggested (and for now I agree) to create separate configuration profiles for different actions, one being the wifi. In theory, you can set up a number of configurations in one profile and send them all to the iPads, but in this case, I stayed with just seeing the network settings through rather than getting overly ambitious.

This process was not as bad as I feared... Simply click on Configuration Profiles in the Configuration Tool and name the profile in the Identify Section of the General tab. Then click on wifi and enter the settings for your Network. Once the configuration profile is created you need to install it on each iPad. The list of iPads shows up on the left. I was hoping I could install it on all with one click, but I couldn't figure that one out. Has anyone?
The image below shows the wifi screen for this profile:

In my next post, I will share the process of naming each iPad using iTunes. Preparation for deployment continues...

Working through the less than intuitive iPad deployment process...

We just got a cart with 20 iPads (woo hoo!). The cart is great in that it charges all the ipads and allows us to connect to all of them via USB. So, I understand (and feel free to correct any gaps in my understanding) that we can deploy apps to all of the devices using the iPhone Configuration Utility on a PC or Mac connected to our cart. We can purchase apps using the Apple Volume Purchasing Program. Once purchased, we should receive a spreadsheet with all the codes. This is where I get a little vague. From my research, it seems as though we can either deploy the apps to all of the ipads from the iPhone configuration tool OR have each iPad click on a link created from the volume purchase in order to install it on each iPad. I far prefer the idea of sending it through the config tool. I have heard that it can work and essentially, you are installing the app with the same code to all devices, but since you have purchased a license for each device, you have that info on the spreadsheet for verification purposes.

  1. A few questions...
    Do I use the iPhone configuration tool independently of iTunes, or do I use iTunes as well?

  2. Can I update all of the devices to iOS5 from the config tool or in some manner without updating each one individually?

  3. Should I name each iPad through the iPad itself or through the configuration tool?

  4. Is there a way to change the network settings through the configuration tool (in other words, I have a very long WEP key to enter in each one. Do I have to do it manually to first get each one on the network?

That's the bulk of my questions for the moment. I will post this and other reflections on the process in my blog ( Thanks in advance for any support.