Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Automatic download for "cart iPads"

I feel like a slacker for taking so long to get a new post up. Time is flying by before spring break around here. I wanted to give some information that will really help with the installation of a few apps on a lot of iPads. We have several deployments in CPS of multiple "cart" iPads. This means that all the ipads carry the same image of apps, websites, and restrictions. To save yourself a lot of time, you should set up your iPads to install apps automatically. Here's what you need to do.

First, you have to set up your ipads to sync up with iCloud. You can access this through the settings tab under iCloud. I like to turn off all the extra syncing through iCloud, like the email, calendar, photo sync, and notes. Those will just bog down your cart. You should also think about disabling documents and data. That will share documents across all the iPads like your Keynote and Pages documents. Unfortunately, you will have to manually enter the iCloud information unless you installed the image from iCloud backup. See my earlier post about imaging.

Once you have the iCloud set up, scroll down in settings to access the "store" options. You will need to turn on the automatic download for "App". You could also turn on music and books if you'd like, but that's not something we've used yet. I've made it a habit to move out and return to the store screen to make sure the app download stays on. I've seen it turn itself off several times, so double check that one.

Finally, on your iTunes preferences on your desktop, you need to make sure that one box is not checked. Under iTunes preferences, you will need to visit the tab for "devices". There is an option that reads "prevent iPods, iPhones, and iPads from syncing automatically". Make sure that is NOT CHECKED. It will prevent the automatic download from occurring.

Now you are ready to go. I would always perform a test download to make sure thing are working properly. If you haven't already, you'll want to develop a procedure for teachers to request apps. It's no big deal to install a few at a time, but mass installs take a lot of work. So protect your time by setting up a procedure that supports teachers and keeps you working efficiently.

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