Intro to preparing devices in Apple Configurator
Preparing devices is the first step in any Apple deployment for business or education. You need to prepare devices, either automatically or manually, before you distribute them to users. To accomplish this task, you use the Prepare Assistant in Apple Configurator.
Prepare iPhone and iPad devices using automated enrollment
When you point devices to a mobile device management (MDM) solution, it configures them automatically, in some cases even without user interaction.
When devices are delivered to users, the users simply open the box, power on the device, connect to the network defined in the Wi-Fi configuration profile, and (optionally) enter their directory user name and password. All settings have been configured and apps have been assigned to the device.
To achieve this level of automated deployment, you use Apple Configurator and two services:
Apple School Manager, Apple Business Manager, or Apple Business Essentials, which automates device enrollment into your organization’s MDM solution
An MDM solution, which lets you securely enroll iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices in your organization, wirelessly configure and update settings, monitor policy compliance, deploy apps, and remotely wipe or lock them if they’re managed
Several MDM solutions are available. Each solution offers its own management console, features, and pricing.
For more information about automated deployment, see Apple Platform Deployment.
Prepare iPhone and iPad devices manually
When you prepare iPhone and iPad devices manually, you can locally manage every aspect of device configuration.
Supervise devices as part of the preparation
You can configure a supervised device as part of the preparation process. Supervision is an ideal option for education environments, such as sharing devices among students in a classroom or a lab. In enterprise environments, it’s useful when loaning devices to customers (for example, in hotels, restaurants, or hospitals), or deploying devices for dedicated tasks. Certain options, such as Single App Mode, are only available to supervised devices. See Supervise devices.
Apply a Blueprint that prepares devices
You can also prepare a Blueprint instead of actual devices. When devices are connected, a Blueprint and all actions recorded by the Blueprint are performed on the devices. See Use Blueprints.