Apple has a new tool for those who manage a herd of iPads or iPhones for schools or small businesses, a free Mac app aimed at making life easier for iOS-focused IT staff. Called Configurator, it allows admins to “mass configure and deploy iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch,” 30 devices at a time.
According to Apple’s description of the application, IT staff can create and restore from a backup of preconfigured settings and app data, as well as create and install configuration profiles, among a number of other setup options. Admins can also supervise devices and organize those into custom groups, restrict which computers they can sync with, and add common configurations automatically. Admins can even apply custom text, wallpaper, or pictures to the iOS devices’ lock screens (keep an eye on your snarky IT staff if your work-issued iPhone’s lock screen image mysteriously changes to Nyancat).
The new Configurator tool replaces Apple’s previous iPhone Configuration Utility, which was originally released in 2008 and largely meant for the same general purpose, but with many more limitations. The new tool appears to be seeing a fairly good reception on Twitter so far, with some describing it as a “blessing for churches with iOS devices” and others saying it “rocks balls.” TechRecess has posted a quick first look with the app if you want to see more, but we’re interested in hearing the reactions from IT staffers who read Ars. How do you see yourself using this tool for your organization?