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Mr G Online
Feb 13

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Got an email from someone trying to use Configurator at another school today looking for help.

Had another failure today with configurator due to the macbook not having the right apple id for some of the apps – leftover from a previous user and I was not sufficiently aware….

So… i need to have apps in my itunes that have been bought/ downloaded by the apple id i will use for configurator…. right?

If the app is free, do I have to re-download it?

If I bought the app previously, do I need to apply one of my vpp codes to it? If so, do I delete it and then download again and ‘pay’ by redemption? Or will configurator just be happy it’s paid for?

If I bought licenses and codes with vpp, but have not yet got the app actually in my itunes, do I have to redeem a code, or buy it to get it into itunes?

I hope if I have already paid it counts as one license… else that money is wasted, now I move to configurator….

In the failed process, one app each time has ‘used up’ all the codes, shows 0 and all codes ticked in the spreadsheet, even though there were failures… any clues?

Hope you can assist when you get a chance, I know you must be busy as a one armed fan dancer….

cheers

My Response

This has been my experience with what you describe.

The Volume Purchasing Program ID is supposed to be different from your iTunes ID. This shouldn’t make a difference with Configurator as it only communicates with the VPP app codes.
As long as you have any FREE app, regardless of which account downloaded it, Configurator will install it on iPads.

All you have to do is click on the + icon under Apps in Prepare or Supervise Mode, navigate to the iTunes Library on your Mac, find the Mobile Applications folder in the Music Folder (iTunes folder hierarchy is complicated!) and add the free apps to Configurator’s App list. In terms of adding Paid apps that are already in iTunes, for me it has worked the same way. The only difference is that, despite being listed in Configurator, paid apps can’t be installed until VPP codes have been applied to them.

There is one annoyance with this setup. I’ve ended up with apps in iTunes under two accounts – the old school iTunes account, which we bought all our apps with pre-Configurator and the newer account I set up when I thought I had to for Configurator. What this means is that when I update apps in iTunes ( you have to update in ITunes – Configurator doesn’t update itself) I have to login in under the two separate accounts to complete the updates. It is a pain of my own doing but it saved me from downloading the same apps I already had.

When I have had to buy a new app to use VPP codes with, I have actually bought it through an iPad’s App Store using the Redeem Code option and used one VPP code to download to one iPad. Then on iTunes on my Mac I have downloaded it through the Purchased section and then added it to Configurator as explained above. That way the code has been used to install an app on one iPad already. When I update the others with VPP codes, it doesn’t rewrite over the app that is already installed.

This sounds complicated and if I was starting from scratch knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have to go through most of these hassles. But it has all worked for me this year. With a plan and prior knowledge, I actually think Configurator would be quite easy for me to manage without the need for most of these messy workarounds.

As far as your failure and lost codes, did you do it under Supervised or Unsupervised iPads? If the iPads are supervised, you should be able to connect them to Configurator, unselect the apps and update, thus uninstalling them and returning the codes to Configurator again. I have done this several times successfully as I have reconfigured older iPads for different grades who didn’t need apps I had installed with VPP and Configurator.

If you used the VPP codes on Unsupervised iPads, as far as I can work out you cannot return the codes back to Configurator. I’ve made this mistake once and lost a code when I uninstalled an app. If that is not the case, I don’t know what has happened. You might want to post this on some Apple forums to get others to suggest solutions. That’s helped me a few times.

I think I’ve addressed all your questions but I don’t know if that has helped. Let me know if you have more questions or want clarifications. I can still type with one hand while dancing on fans!

If anyone reading this has any better solutions, I would love to hear from you so I can pass on the advice to my beleaguered new ‘friend’.

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5 Responses to “Another plea for help with Apple Configurator – from a reader.”

  1. Jamie Hall Says:

    Mark you are right on with your response. It is a pain in the rear using two accounts in configurator. I’ve had two accounts that had apps downloaded into iTunes. However, I deleted all the apps and downloaded all the apps into iTunes under one account. Made my life a bit easier.

    For the VPP apps we used a different method. I downloaded the VPP spreadsheet, then used the first redemption code and downloaded the app into iTunes. After the download was complete I trashed the VPP spreadsheet, then I went back into my VPP account and redownloaded the spreadsheet. By doing this I got my first redemption code back. I then imported the app into configurator and uploaded the spreadsheet and it showed the correct amount for the apps I purchased. Since I supervised the iPads I can get all the codes back when I need to. I read about this on one of Apple’s Configurator support pages. Has worked very well for me.

    Jamie

  2. mgleeson Says:

    Thanks for response Jamie. I have transitioned all free apps over to the one account for easier updating in iTunes but haven’t done it with the paid ones yet. I’d seen that article about VPP codes but lost track of it. Now I have that workflow recorded though your comment to use eventually. thanks.

  3. Ben Smither Says:

    Thanks for all your posts on Configurator. Been quite helpful in trying to get this frustrating program to work for me. Still hoping for an update to nab photos/videos off of supervised ipads. One can dream.

    Quick question: do you know if there’s any compatibility issues with iCloud and Configurator? Do you use any “find my device” type app at your school?

  4. Stacey Says:

    Does anyone have any advice on using Apple Configurator outside of the US?

    • mgleeson Says:

      Stacey, I am using it from outside US. I am from Melbourne, Australia. Anything specifically you are looking for?

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