One of the smaller announcements from yesterdays Apple announcement was the introduction of Configurator. This Mac App essentially allows IT professionals within your hospital, library or other institution to remotely manage and configure a large collection of devices. It is perfect for the hospital or education environment where devices need to be quickly refreshed and kept up to date with the correct settings, approved policies, apps and data. This has huge medical implications as it provides a way for central IT staff to easily roll out iPhone/iPad based mobile technology whilst retaining full control over the content. 

Libraries have a similar potential to integrate Apple devices into their regular workflow. Configurator will allow librarians to set up   logins for each user who can then ‘log in’ to any device and immediately access a previous backup from the last time they used it. This app can be used in conjunction with Apple’s Volume Licensing program to make initial setup and management of an iPad based curriculum in medical school easy and straightforward. Paid apps can be remotely loaded onto each device and documents can be synced and stored.

This app is based on the original iPhone Configuration Utility which allowed IT departments to remotely update and manage groups of iPhones. This was a flawed app and was not widely accepted due to its extensive limitations. These limitations have been largely removed leading to a host of possibilities for hospitals and other institutions. Unfortunately this is a Mac only app and there is no sign of a Windows version anytime soon. The full list of Configurator’s abilities are shown below:

Prepare devices
• Configure up to 30 devices at a time
• Update devices to the latest version of iOS
• Create and restore a backup of settings and app data from one device to other devices
• Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to new devices*
• Use the built-in editor to create and install iOS configuration profiles
• Enroll devices with your Mobile Device Management solution for remote management

Supervise devices
• Organize supervised devices into custom groups
• Automatically apply common configurations to supervised devices
• Quickly reapply a configuration to a supervised device and remove the previous user’s data
• Import apps into Apple Configurator and sync them to supervised devices*
• Define and apply common or sequential names to all devices
• Restrict supervised devices from syncing with other computers

Assign devices
•Add users and groups manually or autopopulate via Open Directory or Active Directory
• Check out a device to a user and restore the user’s settings and data on that device
•Check in a device from a user and and back up the data for later use, possibly on a different device
• Apply custom text, wallpaper, or the user’s picture to a device’s Lock screen
• Import and export documents between your Mac and Apple Configurator
• Sync documents between assigned devices and Apple Configurator


Available for free on the Mac App Store: