The announcement of the new iPad has certainly gained the focus of many over the last few days, but among the latest news from the Cupertino-based company is also the release of a new OS X app that is sure to please IT administrators. It’s called Apple Configurator, and it's aimed squarely at anyone that would benefit from a more simplified way of deploying and managing up to 30 iPads, iPhones or iPod Touch devices.
"Apple Configurator can be used by larger organizations and businesses to set up new devices, install enterprise apps, and enroll each device with a Mobile Device Management solution for remote management by an IT administrator," the app page states.
Administrators will be able to use the app to backup and restore devices, update iOS software, apply custom settings and install new apps to each registered device. It will also be possible to store each user’s personal settings, making it possible to check out a device to a user with their settings, and then remove them once it has been returned.
When used in a corporate environment, it would enable IT administrators to pre-configure network settings for VPN and Wi-Fi services as well as other settings, without having to configure each individual device manually.
Apple says "it is perfect for the classroom or student lab where devices need to be quickly refreshed and kept up to date with the correct settings, approved policies, apps and data. Apple Configurator can also be used to personalize devices with data and documents for specific users."
It appears similar to their iPhone Configuration Utility, currently at version 3.5, but is said to be easier to use. It also offers support for more devices, although the 30 device limit might be a problem for larger organizations.
Apple Configurator is available as a 15.8 MB download for free from the Apple App Store, and requires OS X 10.7.2 or later.