iOS 7’s a coming – what do we need to think about?

September 10th 2013 – “This should brighten everyone’s day”

New iPhones, new iPads? New laptops? A watch? What about the iMac? It’s been a while since all of these had received some love from Apple looking back at changes made in the last year or so. Oh, and the iPod as well, what does it’s future hold.

Going by the tagline, we should be expecting changes to all of these. If not, the schoolkid who has an old iPod shuffle and wants to have something for Christmas might be disappointed.

But, hardware aside, what’s going to brighten a Sysadmin’s day?

Apple have promised lots in the iOS 7 pages. New features are always good to have “Institutions … can use their MDM solution to assign apps to students and faculty and staff members over the air” sounds brilliant.

What’s needed for all this to work though?

  • A robust wireless network
  • A network configured to allow push notifications to traverse it
  • An MDM solution, correctly deployed to allow communication to Apple
  • A copy of Mavericks server to cache apps locally (how many times will Garageband be downloaded before the internet pipe is swamped)

And how about those VPP codes you have at the moment, deployed through Apple Configurator – how do they fit into this new world?

There’s a pretty hefty list of catch-up work to do if these aren’t in place yet. In the Southern hemisphere the academic year is on our side. We’ll get a few months before the new school year starts in January 2014 to work through these processes.

(oh, and don’t forget about proxy servers – an authenticated proxy server is great for tracking students and being able to have accountability, but for devices like iPads which want to access the internet at will, better think of a strategy to make these easy for people to use.)