How Apple plans to tweak device management this year

The changes coming to desktop and mobile device management this year could best be described as incremental. They're useful, and build on what Apple has done in the past, but they don't represent a radical departure from the current IT toolbox.

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Though it didn't make the WWDC keynote, Apple did unveil some changes to the device management features used by business and schools for iPhones, iPads, Macs, and even Apple TVs. Those tweaks and updates were discussed at a developer session that took place earlier this month, and they highlight areas IT admins should be focusing on now before the arrival of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave this fall.

Apple Business Manager arrives

One fairly new option that's already available in this area is the Apple Business Manager, which was unveiled in the spring and went live to U.S. customers earlier this month. (It is now available in 34 countries, with more expected to be added this summer.)

Apple Business Manager builds on Apple's existing systems for mass activation, configuration and deployment of Apple devices. The solution makes it possible - even easy - to enroll and configure Macs, iOS devices and Apple TVs automatically without IT departments ever needing to touch the devices. The two existing systems that underlie Apple Business Manager are Apple's Device Enrollment Program (DEP) and its Volume Purchase Program (VPP), including the Managed Distribution options for app deployment.

Two things Apple Business Manager doesn't do

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