Apple brings many features to Education with iOS 9.3

Apple School Manager

Apple School Manager is a new education–only web service you can use to buy content, create Managed Apple IDs, and set up iTunes U courses. Apple School manager also automates device enrollment into your organization’s MDM solution from the time the device is first activated so that it will always be managed according to your settings. Apple School Manager is designed for technology managers and IT administrators.


Managed Apple ID (education only)

Like any Apple ID, Managed Apple IDs are used to access Apple services like iCloud Drive, to enroll in iTunes U courses, and more.  Managed Apple IDs are created with Apple School Manager and are owned and controlled by your school or district. When you deploy Managed Apple IDs, you can reset device passwords, limit purchasing and communications (for example, prohibit use of services like FaceTime), and establish role–based account administration.


Student Information System (SIS) integration

Apple School Manager securely integrates with specific Student Information Systems (SIS), which lets you automatically import accounts and create a Managed Apple ID for everyone in your organization, including instructors, staff, and students.



Classroom, a new app for iPad, enables educators to take full advantage of iPad in the classroom and to teach without having to manage devices. It provides ways to keep students on task and tools for managing common classroom workflows. Classroom works seamlessly with Managed Apple IDs and your MDM solution, so setup is simple and works in both shared and one–to–one environments.


Shared iPad

Shared iPad is a new way to use iPad in shared learning environments, enabling multiple students to use the same iPad. To use the iPad, a student signs in with their Managed Apple ID. While working, apps that support cloud storage solutions are pushing the student’s data to the cloud. When the student is done working and signs out, the iPad is ready for the next student.


Per App VPN

Per App VPN can now be configured to work with the built–in VPN client on iOS and supports both the IPSec (IKEv1) and IKEv2 VPN clients.


Exchange Active Sync (EAS)

Support for EASv16, which includes improved reliability for meeting invitations, detached occurrence from recurring meetings, and all–day events. Additional features include Calendar attachments and structured location support.


Caching Server iCloud support

Caching Server can accelerate the download of personal data stored in iCloud, including photos documents and data. Enabling iCloud Acceleration reduces the amount of iCloud data that needs to be uploaded or downloaded when users have multiple devices on the same network. User data on the Caching Server is stored in encrypted format, for which only the client devices have the key to decrypt.


Software updates via mobile device management

Administrators can now initiate both the download and installation of software updates for devices in Apple School Manager and Apple Deployment Programs.


New payloads

  • Home screen layout: You can manage how apps and folders are arranged on the Home screens of supervised devices.
  • Notifications: You can manage notifications, such as app badges, sounds, banners, and alerts on a per–app basis on supervised devices.
  • Safari domain additions: You can restrict the saving of website passwords to only those in an approved list.
  • Google accounts: You can add a Google account payload with Apple Configurator 2 or your MDM solution to preload account information.
  • Lock screen message: Supervised devices in Shared iPad can show both an “If lost, return to” message and, if applicable, asset tag information. Both of these are visible on the login window and Lock screen.
  • User–specific configurations: With Shared iPad, you can specify Home screen layout, notifications, restrictions, and Safari AutoFill per user.
  • Network usage rules: You can specify how managed apps use cellular networks by restricting the app’s ability to connect over cellular when roaming on other networks.
  • OS X Server accounts: Share points on OS X Server can allow iOS apps, like Pages, to edit files on those share points. The user name and password can be entered prior to the connection so that minimal user interaction is required to see the share point.
  • App configuration: You can preconfigure settings for an app so when it’s installed, the settings for the app are complete. You must know the unique bundle ID of the app and have a custom plist file containing the settings.

New iOS device commands and queries

  • Set maximum cached user accounts: This MDM setting for Shared iPad allows you to control the number of accounts that are cached.
  • Enable Activation Lock (Requires the device be in Apple School Manager)
  • Enable diagnostics and usage reporting (Shared iPad only)
  • Disable diagnostics and usage reporting (Shared iPad only)
  • List of users (Shared iPad only)
  • Delete user (Shared iPad only)
  • Log out user (Shared iPad only)
  • Enable Lost Mode
  • Disable Lost Mode
  • Fetch device location
  • Device information:
    • Is Lost Mode enabled
    • View maximum cached users (Shared iPad only)


New restrictions

  • Screen shot restriction now also prevents screen recordings
  • Allow screen observation by Classroom
  • Use AirDrop from a managed app
  • Trust new enterprise app developer
  • Use iCloud Photo Library


New iOS restrictions for supervised devices

  • Allow Apple Music
  • Allow Radio
  • Screen observation by Classroom
  • Changes to Notifications settings
  • Show or hide specific apps on the Home screen
  • Install apps using App Store
  • Automatic app downloads
  • Keyboard shortcuts
  • Allow Define
  • Modify the device name
  • Modify the Wallpaper
  • Hide the News app
  • Pair with Apple Watch


Automatic enrollment updates

  • Enrollment optimization: Mobile device management (MDM) can keep the device in Setup Assistant while configuration takes place so you can ensure the device is fully configured before users start interacting with it.
  • Move from Android: This option, shown during the Setup Assistant, can be skipped.


App management updates

  • Unmanaged app transition: Unmanaged apps can now be managed after installation, without reinstalling the app or losing any user data.
  • App installation: App Store apps can be installed via MDM even if the App Store is disabled. This includes newly assigned apps and app updates.
  • Software updates: Software updates can be installed via MDM even if the App Store is disabled.


App assignment updates

  • Device–based app assignment: You can assign and distribute apps to devices instead of to a user’s Apple ID. This includes installing apps on iOS devices and Mac computers without first configuring an Apple ID or sending an invitation to a user.
  • Multinational support: Apps purchased and distributed through the Volume Purchase Program (VPP) can be assigned to users or devices in any country where the app is available. Developers make their apps available in multiple countries through the standard App Store publishing process in iTunes Connect.

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