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    What is Device Profile for iOS? Everything You Need To Know

    According to recent statistics, there are over 1.46 billion active iPhone users globally[1]. With the growing popularity of iOS mobile phones, businesses are increasingly providing iOS devices to their employees for work. Additionally, the rise of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend has led many employees to use their personal iOS devices for official purposes.

    iOS mdm profile
    iOS Device Management Profile

    Companies must manage both company-owned supervised iOS devices and unsupervised BYO devices. Unlike macOS, iOS devices cannot support multiple users or Apple IDs, making it essential to utilize a Device Profile for its effective management. A device profile provides granular control to enterprises over their devices, enhancing security. 

    This blog will explain the concept of device profiles for iOS and the capabilities of device profiles that Scalefusion’s Apple MDM provides for iOS.  

    What is Device Profile for iOS?

    Device Profile for iOS, also called ‘configuration profile’ by Apple, is an XML file that can be manually installed or deployed through an MDM solution on an iOS device. This file provides an easy way to configure settings and restrictions for iOS devices. 

    In an MDM context, device policy is also called device profile. A device profile is a set of policies/rules that enable IT admins to apply restrictions and device settings to multiple iOS devices and user groups at once. 

    Device profiles allow organizations to remotely access and control a large number of iOS devices without connecting to each one individually, streamlining device configuration. Moreover, VPN configurations can be included in device profiles, allowing secure remote access to organizational networks. This is vital for maintaining security for remote workers. 

    IT administrators usually implement device profiles on iOS devices in an enterprise setting such as a corporate, educational institution, or government agency. 

    Some of the salient features of the iOS device profile:

    • Offers the ability to enforce more granular restrictions to supervised devices,  as they are specifically limited to organizational use. 
    • Profiles for an unsupervised device have fewer restrictions and are generally used for BYOD scenarios.
    •  IT admins can create multiple device profiles with different configurations as needed. 

    Configuring iOS Device Profiles with Scalefusion Apple MDM Solution 

    Deploying iOS device profiles manually is a tedious task. It reduces the productivity of the IT team and consumes time. Scalefusion Apple MDM solution offers remote deployment of Profiles to iOS devices and device groups from a single dashboard. 

    Scalefusion offers you the following iOS device management capabilities: 

    1. Single and Autonomous Single App Mode 

    Single App Mode (SAM) allows you to set one application to run always, which is important for supervised iOS devices deployed for kiosk usage. With Autonomous Single App Mode (ASAM) you can choose a subset of allowed applications to set themselves in single-app mode whenever they want.

    ASAM is useful for scenarios when time-bound assessments, surveys, or gathering information on demand might require the applications to run in SAM for a specific duration and, once done, can be exited from that mode. 

    2. Content Filtering 

    Content Filtering allows IT admins to configure end-user access to websites. This allows you to limit access to inappropriate websites and allow access to pre-selected URLs. You can also add Web Clips to the home screen based on the visibility of allowed URLs. 

    3. Browser Control

    Device profiles give you the flexibility to allow only certain websites to be accessible on employee iOS devices. This prevents the employees from distracting and boosts their focus. With Scalefusion’s ProSurf, you can turn your iOS devices into a specific kiosk browser to limit access to inappropriate websites. 

    4. Application Management

    For a corporate-owned device, it is quite important to control the set of applications that the users have access to on the iOS devices. In device profiles, you can allow or block a set of applications and control app visibility on supervised iOS devices. In the case of unsupervised/BYOD devices, enterprises can only publish the required application on employee devices. 

    5. Passcode Policy 

    Passcode policy allows you to create and enforce passcode settings for device profiles and devices. This ensures employees are forced to set a passcode on the device, thereby preventing accidental data loss. 

    6. Certificate Management 

    Through certificate management, enterprises can streamline the process of deploying digital certificates to iOS devices by automatically provisioning digital identities onto them without end-user intervention and enabling authentication on managed iOS devices.

    7. OS updates 

    IT admins can configure the rollout of iOS software updates by deferring them on supervised devices by 30 to 90 days. This setting is only available for devices with iOS 12.0 and above. 

    8. Network Settings 

    Network settings enable IT administrators to configure Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, hotspot, voice and data roaming, and eSIM on supervised devices. This feature is supported on iPhones with iOS 14 and above. 

    9. Email and Exchange

    With email and exchange settings, you can configure your organization’s exchange policy and then push it to Scalefusion-managed iOS devices. Scalefusion supports exchange settings for Microsoft Exchange and POP/IMAP-based email servers. 

    10. Custom Settings 

    Custom payload lets you build your own policy using the Apple MDM protocol and add settings that are not built in Scalefusion. This feature allows IT admins to select a conflict resolution method in case the custom payload and device profile have the same settings. 

    11. Work Data Settings 

    Work data settings allow you to configure communication between managed and unmanaged apps and accounts. You can also enforce backups, manage external configuration profiles, and install UI configuration profiles. 

    12. Branding 

    Branding enables you to push branding elements such as your organization logo on home and/or Lock screen wallpaper and set a lock screen message on devices in your organization. 

    13. Managing Devices in a Profile

    Once a device profile is created, you can add iOS devices to it and apply specific policies to those devices. Additionally, devices can be removed from the profile if they need to be reassigned to a different profile.

    14. Other Restrictions 

    Scalefusion allows IT admins and organizations to configure other restrictions on Safari, iCloud, Siri, lock screen, app settings, and general settings that can be applied to multiple iOS devices instantly.  

    Leverage Granular Control with Scalefusion’s iOS Device Profile 

    Managing iOS devices is critical for security and efficiency. With device profiles for iOS, you gain comprehensive control over your iOS devices seamlessly. 

    Scalefusion’s Apple MDM solution simplifies the deployment and management of iOS device profiles, ensuring your organization’s iOS devices are secure and optimized for business use. Features like single-app mode, content filtering, and application management enhance operational efficiency and security. 

    Contact our experts to take the next step in securing your iOS devices. Get a 14-day free trial by signing up.

    References

    1. Demand Sage 

    Tanishq Mohite
    Tanishq Mohite
    Tanishq is a Trainee Content Writer at Scalefusion. He is a core bibliophile and a literature and movie enthusiast. If not working you'll find him reading a book along with a hot coffee.

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