How to Manage Apps on macOS Devices

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    The growing popularity of Mac is undoubted. In the third quarter of the year 2020, 5.51 million macOS computers were sold worldwide¹. macOS devices, known for their sleek, minimalist design and powerful operations are preferred coupled with other devices belonging to the Apple ecosystem- be it the iPhone, the iPad, the Airpods or the Apple Watch. The ability to seamlessly connect all the devices, data and configurations across multiple devices is something that sets Apple apart, something which other OSs have failed to replicate with the sophistication same as Apple’s.

    macOS Application Management

    With this upsurge in the use of macOS devices, making them business-ready is the need of the hour. And one of the key components that make any ordinary device into an enterprise-friendly device is the range of corporate apps that are lined-up on the devices.

    Scalefusion MDM has been successfully supporting macOS management for both corporate-owned as well as BYO devices. To add to the array of policy configurations that IT admins can leverage using Scalefusion, it also supports application management on macOS devices. IT admins can achieve application management on managed macOS devices encompassing application distribution, silent installation and regular app updates.

    In this article, let us discuss how to manage macOS applications using Scalefusion MDM:

    Application management with Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP)

    To seamlessly install work apps on managed macOS devices, the IT admins can make use of Apple Business Manager feature Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP). IT admins can make a bulk purchase of application licenses using VPP and distribute them on the supervised devices. This process enables enterprise IT teams to push macOS applications available on the public domain onto the managed macOS devices.

    Read More: A Beginner's Guide to Apple Business Manager

    Publishing private applications on macOS devices

    Using the Apple MDM protocols, enterprise IT admins can deploy and install private applications developed for in-house enterprise needs on managed macOS devices. This enables organizations to effortlessly install private enterprise applications on their macOS device fleet, update and uninstall them remotely. This can be done in the following way:

    Installing PKG files

    These are installer files that are generated, signed and compressed by the app developer using the product build command or any other third-party packaging tools. Being the standard format for enterprise app installation, these file types are supported inherently by Apple MDM protocol and are the most popular choice of distribution for enterprise apps.

    To get started with publishing PKG files on your managed macOS devices, navigate to the Scalefusion dashboard. Ensure that you have your bases covered with the prerequisites that include a Scalefusion managed macOS device, a master/additional macOS device to extract App Info (One time step) and a signed PKG file.

    Unsigned PKG files cannot be distributed via Scalefusion. You can read the details for the same here. Along with the signed PKG file, you need to have access to the app information such as Bundle Id and Version to distribute it via Scalefusion and obtain status reports of its installation on the managed macOS devices. If your application was developed in-house, this information is available with the app developer. If it is a third-party application, you can obtain the information by installing the app manually once on the master macOS device. Once installed, you can obtain the app information from the terminal window and keep it handy for actual app distribution on managed macOS devices.

    Step 1:

    Navigate to the Enterprise Apps section on the Scalefusion dashboard. Click on the Upload New App dropdown and select the Upload macOS App option from the list.

    Step 2:

    Upload a local PKG file from your system or add a link to the external downloadable PKG file which is hosted in cloud storage. Click next to upload and parse the file for validity. Here for example, we are using the PKG file for Zoom Rooms.

    Step 3:

    Once uploaded, you can confirm the app details. You can cross-check these with the app information that you have obtained from the master macOS device and make amendments if needed. If the information does not match, the app installation will be successful but the status report of the same will not be accessible on the Scalefusion dashboard.

    Step 4:

    Select and install the application on the select macOS devices or device profiles. You can install or uninstall the said macOS application anytime and obtain a detailed status report of the same.

    Scalefusion supports the distribution of PKG files from the enterprise application management section. If the application of your choice is of the DMG format, it is not supported natively. However, you can convert a DMG file into a PKG file and then distribute it via the Scalefusion macOS application management.

    Closing lines…

    Explore the macOS application management enabled by Scalefusion MDM. Refer to our exhaustive help documentation to explore the step-by-step process for leveraging macOS application management via Scalefusion.


    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane
    Renuka Shahane is an avid reader who loves writing about technology. She is an engineering graduate with 10+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for web-based startups.

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