WWDC: What’s new in Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager

The Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is a yearly event that is organised by Apple. This year on June 2022, new software and technologies in the macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS families were presented along with the showcase and announcement of other Apple software. It was an inspiring week of technology where tech enthusiasts explored the newest tools and tips, and connected with Apple experts in labs and digital lounges. In this blog, we will explore the latest updates and developments on Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager that were announced in the WWDC 2022. 

Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager are simple, web-based portal for IT administrators that works with third-party mobile device management (MDM) solution so that it is easy for Mac managers to take advantage of zero-touch deployments, buy apps and books in volume, and create Managed Apple IDs for your users. Here are some fresh changes that were announced in WWDC 2022: 

New User Interface: 

The Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager were updated with a new look and feel- across users, devices and preferences. Right now, the information at a glance is cleaner and easier to see. There are some additional new features, such as the amount of iCloud storage associated with Managed Apple ID and a new users groups section that lets you create smart groups of users. 

Integration with Google Workspace: 

WWDC 2022 announced that Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager added federation authentication to Google Workspace as the Identity Provider. This is alongside the existing Microsoft Azure AD support. It is now easier for IT teams to use federated authentication to allow users to sign in with their Google or Microsoft Azure AD user name and password, making it easy for users to access Apple services. 

Here are the steps that can help you navigate this integration: 

1. Firstly, with a federation setup, a user logs in with their Managed Apple ID. 

2. The domain is automatically recognised as being federated and the user is asked to continue. 

3. A standard Google Workspace sign-in window is presented to the user and they can then log in with the same password they use for other Google Workspace services. 

The above steps remain the same even when Azure Active Directory is used. 

Sign in with Apple: 

Sign in with Apple introduced a few years ago allows users to quickly and privately sign-in to third-party apps and websites using personal Apple IDs. Now with the release of iOS and iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, Sign in with Apple will now work with Managed Apple IDs as well. This way, IT teams will be able control which apps can use with Sign in with Apple. Here are some of the latest updates 

1. One of the latest updates is the “Access Management” which is present in the sidebar. This lets the IT admins manage Sign in with Apple access. IT teams can choose between “Allow all apps” or “Allow only certain apps” to let users use this feature. 

2. If a user tries to log in to an app that is not on list, they will be notified via an error message. This functionality is the same for both Apple School Manager as well as Apple Business Manager. 

3. For schools, Sign in with Apple also uses the Roster API, which allows third-party education apps to sync user and class data from Apple School Manager. This helps admins save time from the manual task of creating student and class records within a third-party app or service. The Roster API allows third-party apps to fully automate this process by retrieving users and class information. 

4. Like Sign in with Apple, IT teams can choose which apps have access to the Roster API with Organisational Data Sharing within Apple School Manager. 

Updates on Apple Configurator 

Apple Configurator is a way to prepare devices and add them to Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager. Till last year, Apple Configurator for iPhone app had the ability to assign a Mac to your organisation regardless of where the Mac was purchased, making zero-touch deployment possible. This works with all Mac computers with a T2 security chip or later. 

With iOS and iPadOS 16, Apple Configurator for iPhone can now also add iPhone and iPad devices to your organisation. This works just like adding a Mac. Hold your iPhone running Configurator over the animation. The device will then connect to the internet and add itself to your organisation. Now it is no longer required to connect each device via USB to the Mac running Configurator. 

In summary, all the updates on Apple Business Manager and Apple School Manager will help make the day-to-day functionalities of managing devices much easier. Comment down below and tell us more about which of the changes will be the most impactful.

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