Apple MDM Solutions: What is it & How to manage iPad/iPhone remotely

Apple MDM is a device management solution that enables IT admins to remotely deploy devices in bulk, enforce security configurations, distribute applications and content on corporate and personally-owned Apple devices. While some solutions serve only as an iOS MDM (iOS/iPhone device manager), other Apple device manager enable businesses or educational institutions to remotely manage iPads (iPadOS), iPhones (iOS) and Macs (macOS).

Why is Apple MDM software important?

Inherent security of Apple devices and the varied functions they serve are the main reasons for the exponential adoption of iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS devices in organizations. To make the most of the benefits offered, organizations must deploy Apple MDM solutions ( or iPad/iOS MDM solutions) for Apple device management including iPad remote management and iOS device management. They provide the organizations the means to ensure that corporate or personally-owned can remotely be configured with the required security policies and enterprise-approved app and content.

iPad device management software

iPad device management software is a solution that is dedicated to the iPad remote management. It enables IT admins to seamlessly deploy iPads, configure security policies and provision the iPadOS devices with the required apps and and content, over-the-air. 

Apple MDM solutions for Apple device management

Most mobile device management solutions usually double up as an Apple MDM solution and handle iPad remote management and iOS device management along with managing Android, Windows and Chrome devices. ManageEngine's Mobile Device Manager Plus is one such iOS/iPad management software that lets you manage all Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple TVs and even Apple iPods. Let us look at the varied features provided by MDM for Apple device management:

Features of Apple iOS MDM Software

Every Apple MDM (iPhone/iOS MDM) or Apple device manager must support the following features to provide effective Apple device management on iPhones (iOS), iPads (iPadOS) and Mac (masOS) devices.

Apple Device Enrollment

Watch our videos on how to enroll iPad and iPhone into our Apple MDM with Apple Configurator and Apple DEP. Also, learn how to enroll Apple TV into ABM using Apple Configurator.

Apple Profile Management

  • Create and associate profiles for apple device management in bulk to Groups and devices.
  • Containerize work apps and personal apps by applying restrictions on devices.
  • Restrict the use of non-productive applications including camera, YouTube, AirDrop, iCloud photo library, Safari browser, etc.
  • Create profiles to configure passcodes, restrictions, AirDrop, Touch ID, Wi-Fi, VPN, App Lock, and Global HTTP Proxy. 

Apple App management

  • Silently distribute both in-house and App Store applications without Apple ID and user intervention.
  • Ensure that only managed apps are installed on the devices by restricting user from installing unauthorised apps. 
  • Manage licenses for Apple apps on iOS devices, using Apple Business Manager.
  • Control app updates. Sanction fixes and upgrades through MDM, without disturbing the users. 
  • Publish apps on the App Catalog to allow users to conveniently install applications themselves. 
  • Blacklist user installed, MDM installed and system apps on iOS devices.

Apple Asset management

  • Receive insights on device summary, network usage, configuration details, and installed apps.
  • Track granular information on feature status, such as Activation Lock or location services.
  • Gain complete visibility on your devices with out-of-the-box reports.

Apple Security management

  • Set stringent passcodes with maximum number of failed attempts.
  • Automate security updates on iOS devices with Automated OS updates.
  • Remotely lock the device to prevent unauthorised third party access.
  • Automatically remove Jailbroken devices when detected in your network.
  • Enable Lost Mode when devices are lost or stolen and perform a complete or corporate wipe to protect corporate data. Refer this document to learn how to secure corporate devices using Apple MDM solutions.

Audit and reports

  • Perform assertive monitoring by generating detailed reports of iOS devices.
  • Generate reports to monitor the status of apps installed in the device.
  • Customize reports based on applied criteria such as apps by devices, devices by model, and more.

How to manage iPad/iPhone with iOS MDM software?

Follow the steps given below to manage iPads/iPhones using an iPadOS/iOS MDM software:

Step 1: Add APNs certificate

One of the pre-requisites for iPad/iOS remote device management using an iPad/iOS device manager is creating an APNs certificate. This certificate is required to secure the communication between the MDM for iPads/iPhones and Apple Push Notification service for device management of Apple devices. Learn how to create an APNs certificate and add it to ManageEngine's Apple MDM solution, Mobile Device Manager Plus.

Step 2: Enroll the devices

The iPads/iOS devices can be enrolled into Apple MDM solutions such as Mobile Device Manager Plus or any other Apple (iOS) device manager using Apple Business Manager(ABM) or Apple School Manager (if you're an educational institution). Enrolling iOS, iPadOS and macOS devices using ABM/ASM allows organizations to completely automate the remote device management for iOS/iPadOS with the added advantage of mandatory management of devices.

Step 3: Create and associate profiles

Create Groups based on departments and automate the distribution of security policies, apps and documents. With the Apple MDM solution, organizations can also:

Benefits of Apple device management solutions

Apple MDM solutions offer organizations the following benefits:

  • Bulk deployment of Apple devices: Using an Apple MDM solution, organizations can deploy the devices out-of-the-box to all their employees in bulk with minimal admin intervention.
  • Customizable dashboard: Apple MDM solutions or MDM solutions serve as a one stop shop for managing their devices. It provides a dashboard for viewing updated inventory details such as hardware & software details, information on the associated configurations and certificates, installed app etc.
  • Seamless app distribution: Apple MDM solutions allow organizations to manage Store and enterprise apps through their entire lifecycle. It restricts users from installing malicious apps and also allows organizations to run only specific set of apps on devices.
  • Extensive support for configurations and restrictions: Apple MDM solutions provide organizations a vast array of policies that allow organizations to configure devices to their needs and also ensure corporate data security

In addition to the iPad/iPhone device management capabilities, ManageEngine's Apple MDM, Mobile Device Manager Plus also supports extensive features for managing devices running macOS. Learn more about Mobile Device Manager Plus' Mac management capabilities.