Powerful Management Options
November 04, 2020
Powerful Management Options
Score 7 out of 10
Overall Satisfaction with iOS
We deploy iOS devices by the hundred[s] across dozens of schools, mostly for student use, but occasionally for instructor use. We also use a few devices internally, not only for testing, but for their myriad other uses: from using a scanner app to archive contracts, to network scanning tools to help diagnose connectivity issues.
- iOS is easy for users to get started with, and many people are already familiar with it.
- iOS is easily managed when purchased through Apple and managed via School/Business Manager.
- iOS is a relatively secure platform with many options for protecting personal and organizational data.
- Some of the security features can get in the way of organizational management, requiring careful consideration of the configuration.
- There are a lot of design choices that are consumer-first that you have to work around with institutionally-owned devices.
- There are some hard limitations, like apps not having direct access to network interfaces for WiFi scans.
- The greatest benefit is for standard deployments - turning on iPads and connecting them to WiFi will get them 90% of the way to ready for users' hands.
- The 80/20 rule definitely applies, and if there are any problems or unusual setups, they will definitely take inordinately longer to get going.
- iOS devices generally have fewer ways/parts for students/users to break.
iOS is way beyond Android in terms of centralized management. It is way more fleshed out in terms of features, and Android management has all but been abandoned at this point. iOS is still behind Chrome OS, particularly in an educational setting, but there are genuine tradeoffs that might make it a better fit for a given organization, and in fact, we do regularly deploy both iOS and Chrome OS devices.
In all likelihood, common users will either already have experience with iOS on their iPhones, or will pick it up quickly. The UI is generally simple and mostly visual. Power users, on the other hand, may feel constrained by the inherent limitations built-in. Root access, terminal commands, and deep customization are not really to be found here.
If you have a common problem, support is great. Apple Support is responsive, and Apple Care is easy to work with. There's also a big community of iOS users with solutions for common problems posted online. If you run into a rare issue, though, be prepared for the long-haul or disappointment. I was never able to find a solution for some vanished e-book licenses despite weeks of working with Apple.
Do you think iOS delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with iOS's feature set?
Did iOS live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of iOS go as expected?
Would you buy iOS again?
iOS works well when you want solid control over institutionally-owned devices. This generally works best when you play by Apple's rules and buy through them and use Apple School/Business Manager - so if you're going for a BYOD model, this probably isn't the way to do [it]. There is a wide variety of management tools, but bear the costs of each in mind.