by Zack Blum, Jesse Endahl, and Kenneth Kouot
Support for iOS and tvOS devices is now available with Fleetsmith. That means you can use Fleetsmith to manage every Apple device in your fleet—from Macs to iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs.
This fulfills a dream we had when we started Fleetsmith—the entire fleet, managed in one place. This was something we thought was sorely needed when we were IT admins. It's only become more necessary since.
Securing your entire fleet
In a modern company the fleet includes much more than the employees’ work computers. It’s also the iPhones they use to check email and Slack messages. It’s the iPads that are used to sign visitors in at the front desk. It’s the trinity of devices that now manage nearly every modern company’s conference room: a Mac Mini running video conferencing software, an Apple TV for displaying video and sharing screens, and an iPad to control everything and display the upcoming meeting calendar.
Sophisticated attacks often start by targeting something other than an employee’s primary work computer, because attackers realize these other devices are often not as well-protected. Modern IT can’t afford to have blind spots. Yet that kind of universal coverage isn’t as common as it should be.
Many companies have no real-time device intelligence or management automation. That means that many IT teams find their time consumed by highly manual tasks, making it difficult for them to find the capacity to do everything that needs doing. Often they’ll focus their limited resources on the core Mac devices, leaving other devices unprotected.
In other cases, companies manage to get intelligence and management on all their devices by cobbling together several solutions that don’t integrate perfectly with each other. In some cases, they even go to the effort to code their own. That leads to subtle, but significant, problem—an ongoing productivity drain due to increased points of failure, incomplete data sharing between systems and the cost of code switching between different interfaces and environments.
The answer to both these problems is a device intelligence and management solution that’s easy to apply to the whole fleet, that provides the core functionality necessary to ensure security and compliance, and which automates away busywork so the IT team has the capacity to apply best practices on every device, not just the core Mac fleet. In other words, the answer is Fleetsmith.
iOS and tvOS in Fleetsmith
iOS and tvOS devices are completely free to manage during the public beta, and include support for Apple's Device Enrollment Program at no extra charge. So new devices can be fully managed right out of the box and configured to sync G Suite data like email, contacts, calendar, and notes on first boot.
Once your iOS and tvOS devices are managed, you get access to the same rich device health and security data that Fleetsmith already provides for Macs, simplifying inventory and compliance by putting all of the information about the device fleet in one place. You also get access to the most critical management features for security and compliance.
Here's what's available at launch:
- Inventory & compliance data: the assigned user, device serial number, phone number, MAC address, custom asset tags, OS version, activation lock enforcement, and more.
- iOS version enforcement: Enforce the latest version of iOS across the fleet (including major, minor, and patches) and schedule updates for whenever they work best for you and your employees. OS updates and version enforcement for tvOS will be supported in tvOS 12.
- tvOS conference room mode: Lock your Apple TVs into AirPlay-only mode, creating secure, low-hassle conference room displays.
- Remote wipe for lost or stolen devices: Wipe lost or stolen devices to ensure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
- Configuration of settings: WiFi, VPN, email, and more.
As of today, Fleetsmith is the easiest, most cost-effective way to secure your iOS and tvOS devices and bring them to the same level of visibility and compliance as your Mac fleet.
In the coming months, we’ll be adding features to make Fleetsmith even more powerful—Lost Mode for protecting and locating missing devices, support for Single App Mode for iOS, the ability to deploy apps purchased through Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP), and much more.
We’re really excited for you to try iOS and tvOS management in Fleetsmith, and we can’t wait to hear what you think of it. During the public beta, we’ll be iterating quickly based on feedback to create the best product possible for you. If you have a question, a concern, or an idea for something that would make your life better, we want to hear it! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s talk.