Schools report Apple's iOS 7 breaks iPad supervision profiles

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
It was reported on Thursday that schools around the U.S. are finding the supervision profiles installed on deployed iPads wiped clean after upgrading to iOS 7, leaving students unsupervised and unprotected from unsavory Web content.

iPad Education


As reported by AllThingsD, a number of schools that have incorporated Apple's iPad into their curriculum are reporting the latest iOS 7 upgrade strips the tablets of installed supervision profiles and filters, which are in place to monitor and protect students who use the device while off campus.

The publication cites a memo sent to parents in the Manitou Springs School District 14 in Colorado:
Apple did not realize that installing iOS 7 would remove our (and thousands of organizations across the country) safety protection measure, which now makes the iPad devices unfiltered when accessing the Internet away from school. In the short term, the district will be collecting iPad devices at the end of each day until the safety protection measure is reinstalled.
All told, Manitou's District 14 had to collect "hundreds" of iPads, wipe and restore them, and reinstall a fresh version of iOS 7 along with any apps and content saved by the student. To avoid the hassle, other schools have resorted to blocking over-the-air iOS 7 downloads altogether by adjusting campus Wi-Fi settings.

One of the issues appears to lie with Apple's Configurator tool, which was updated to version 1.4 alongside the launch of iOS 7 in September. Threads on Apple's Support Communities webpage point to multiple failures and bugs like the disappearance of volume app codes when the tool is used with iPads running iOS 7.

"IT staff can't lockout iOS updates, but can lockout App updates," writes forum member schoolofluck. "This renders Configurator 1.3 and 1.21 dead. Configurator v1.21 and 1.3 do not support iOS7, and most schools have had iOS7 installed because it arrives at the whim of any one student or ipad [sic] user."

Apple is aware of the issue and is working to remedy the situation, though it is unclear exactly how long that will take.

?Some business and education users have reported that their supervised devices have reverted to un-supervised when they upgrade to iOS 7,? Apple spokesperson Trudy Muller told AllThingsD. ?We are aware of this issue and will have a fix this month.?

Thursday's news comes on the heels of a separate issue reported by the Los Angeles Unified School District, which began deploying iPads this fall after signing a $30 million contract to purchase the devices from Apple. Last week, students discovered a workaround to school-imposed security restrictions, allowing them to browse restricted websites like Facebook and YouTube. The "hack" prompted LAUSD officials to repossess iPads from students in at least two schools.

The trouble with iOS 7 comes at a bad time for Apple, which is pushing hard for schools to get behind its iPad in Education initiative. Earlier this year, for example, the company revised its iTunes Store terms and conditions to allow children under the age of 13 to manage their own accounts as long as the Apple ID was requested by an "approved educational institution."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 83
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    So much for anyone who bashed IT teams right?
  • Reply 2 of 83
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    One would expect from Apple they would thoroughly test these kind of setups and configs. I understand the magnitude of such an upgrade, but still...
  • Reply 3 of 83
    Another day , another major IOS 7 snafu

    For me there were issues with FIND FRIENDS, then iMessage
    Now schools are affected by this?

    Did no one on the IOS7 QA team check it wouldn't break high profile apps/services?
  • Reply 4 of 83

    Apple now understands [Microsoft] that maintaining and making an enterprise software is not easy task and maintainability is really tough.  :\ ;)

    But, Apple should do it better way. 

     

    Tim Cook : Write an apology letter Craig, for this.  I dont want kids watching junk on my iPad.

    Craig Fred: Nope. Scott Forstall did not write any.

     

    Tim Cook: I fired him. So, you are also fired. Craig, you are fired.

    Craig: Say what?

     

    Tim Cook: Haaa!  Just joking! We are friends.  Scott is not.

    Craig: I know. I know. Dont scare me again. 

     

    Tim Cook: Chill! Call Jony. Lets have drink.

     

    Jony: [under the table] I have been listening to you guyzzzzz! :) 

     

     

    :err: 

  • Reply 5 of 83
    Agreed. This was a major slip up on Apple's part. I'm an admitted fan, but between this and the last few security issues, I'm thinking Apole needs to take a good hard look at their QC procedures. Too much, too fast = preventable errors.
  • Reply 6 of 83
    j1h15233j1h15233 Posts: 274member
    It was dumb of them to upgrade their devices before they knew whether or not it would mess anything up. When you're dealing with something this important and this widespread, you look before you leap. You can do all the testing in the world, but no one releases major new software like this without having problems.
  • Reply 7 of 83
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    j1h15233 wrote: »
    It was dumb of them to upgrade their devices before they knew whether or not it would mess anything up. When you're dealing with something this important and this widespread, you look before you leap. You can do all the testing in the world, but no one releases major new software like this without having problems.

    Exactly.

    Apple is at fault here, but so are the school districts. You NEVER implement a major upgrade without testing it in your own system and with your own particular setup.
  • Reply 8 of 83
    Good, maybe this'll be the wake up call to Cook to getting back to QCing their products. Maybe I'm just disgruntled that my hoard of Apple products continually fail me on a weekly basis in one way or another, or I'm just overestimating technology. Still better than Android or Windows, but it's been a while since Apple's "it just works" mentality.
  • Reply 9 of 83
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    So much for anyone who bashed IT teams right?

    You mean the IT teams that rolled out an upgrade without testing it?
  • Reply 10 of 83
    I love Apple and what they are all about. This is one example of where they have lost their way of excellence. There are a number of things both in iOS7 and also in the desktop OS that make you question who is watching some of the details.

    The bar is set high by them and they need to step up to stay there.
  • Reply 11 of 83
    lightknightlightknight Posts: 2,312member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post





    You mean the IT teams that rolled out an upgrade without testing it?

     

    On that, I can only agree ^^'

  • Reply 12 of 83
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post



    I love Apple and what they are all about. This is one example of where they have lost their way of excellence. There are a number of things both in iOS7 and also in the desktop OS that make you question who is watching some of the details.



    The bar is set high by them and they need to step up to stay there.

     

    Nonsense. Only someone who doesn't write software would think that way.  It is mathematically impossible not to have bugs. And as a system gets more capability, it will get more bugs. That's the nature of the beast. All you can hope for minimizing them.

     

    There isn't any "lost their way of excellence." The fact that there are so FEW bugs shows that they have a high degree of QA.  No offense, but you're no tech prodigy.

  • Reply 13 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    jragosta wrote: »
    You mean the IT teams that rolled out an upgrade without testing it?

    It was more the students that updated to iOS7 when it was offered. Apple automatically downloaded the update to those students' iPads. It wasn't that the schools actively chose to update the devices from what I'm reading. I think you've misunderstood exactly what's happened and how it got there as it doesn't appear the schools have much fault in this. Even some long-time users here were surprised by the automatic download to their iDevices claiming it can't happen. FWIW support comments indicate those auto downloads are generally to iPads.

    At least one and probably several of the districts caught wind of the problem, reconfiguring their DNS settings to block Apple from auto downloading any further updates to student-issued iPads.
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5379636?tstart=0
  • Reply 14 of 83
    eideardeideard Posts: 386member
    Learn how to deploy upgrades via wifi. Or use a vendor like Airwatch to build your supervisory profiles.

    After seeing this article I asked an IT director at my local bank if they experienced the same problem with their iPads - and the answer was a simple "No". They use Airwatch.
  • Reply 15 of 83
    IT teams can easily block iOS updates even if devices are used off-campus. I'm very surprised they didn't think this was a good idea and a priority prior to launch?

    Surely they're providing iPads for a specific function to work with specific apps etc. How did they know that an iOS update wouldn't prevent the required apps working? They didn't, so they should have prevented iOS updates. Do they allow students to upgrade the versions of windows on the school PCs?

    They should just use the Global HTTP Proxy option to pass all HTTP requests through an external proxy and therein limit any addresses.

    To be honest I'd expect all schools to do something like this anyway to filter out undesirable web destinations?
  • Reply 16 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    aderutter wrote: »
    IT teams can easily block iOS updates even if devices are used off-campus. I'm very surprised they didn't think this was a good idea and a priority prior to launch?

    Surely they're providing iPads for a specific function to work with specific apps etc. How did they know that an iOS update wouldn't prevent the required apps working? They didn't, so they should have prevented iOS updates. Do they allow students to upgrade the versions of windows on the school PCs?

    They should just use the Global HTTP Proxy option to pass all HTTP requests through an external proxy and therein limit any addresses.

    To be honest I'd expect all schools to do something like this anyway to filter out undesirable web destinations?

    I imagine they will now. Honest question, has Apple always automatically downloaded iOS updates without user intervention? I realize it's up to the user to approve the install but I thought there was mention of a setting to disable over-the-air updates in previous versions? According to the linked Apple support thread there is not now if there ever was one.
  • Reply 17 of 83
    It does seem no one at Apple tested how an upgrade would effect security profiles. Unless the school districts profiles were unique in some strange way, Apple should have caught it.

    Then we have the beta testers. What were they doing?

    Then, the school districts. Certainly, it would have been an easy task, and in fact should be standard practice, to install upgrades on test devices before upgrading all devices. I even do that for the handful of devices I own. It's routine, and no competent IT person would do otherwise. Says a lot about the quality of school district personnel.
  • Reply 18 of 83
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    This makes for good click bait (and thanks AI now it for sure will be all over the net) but I think we need more information before declaring Apple f'd up. One would assume any companies or schools using iPads for business/educational use would have an IT department testing new software. I know where I work I can't just go download Windows 8 on my machine. It just seems these days everyone is quick to blame Apple and assume Apple screwed up.
  • Reply 19 of 83
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,451member
    rogifan wrote: »
    This makes for good click bait (and thanks AI now it for sure will be all over the net) but I think we need more information before declaring Apple f'd up. One would assume any companies or schools using iPads for business/educational use would have an IT department testing new software. I know where I work I can't just go download Windows 8 on my machine. It just seems these days everyone is quick to blame Apple and assume Apple screwed up.

    If you read the support thread you'll find the schools involved in the discussion didn't choose to update to iOS7 nor download it in the first place. With that said they didn't actively block Apple from sending the update to student-issued iPads either.
    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5379636?tstart=0
  • Reply 20 of 83
    Apple's one massive flaw, they are consumer driven in their mentality so they don't thoroughly vet the corporate features. Hey Apple, it's about time you created a true business division like all other tech companies have!
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