The News from WWDC20: Notes from Addigy’s Head of Product

Ashley Jarosch
July 7, 2020

In the past couple of weeks, Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC20) only contributed one part of the news in the Apple device management world, but it’s important not to lose sight of what the changes Apple shared at the conference.

The news from WWDC has major implications for everyone in the Apple ecosystem, and Addigy is working hard to ensure that our platform continues to keep stride with their next phase of product evolution.

In a webinar last week, our head of product John Sutcliffe talked through what key announcements will mean for the future of managing Apple devices, how Addigy plans to support new releases, and shared a few resources in case you’re just catching up on conference sessions you missed.

Watch the full webinar online or dig into his insights below.

What Apple Silicon Means for Your IT Team

The announcement of Apple Silicon is perhaps the biggest and most widely anticipated change. This means that new Apple devices will run entirely on Apple hardware, and we may not have to wait much longer to see these new chips enter our environments.

At WWDC20, Apple said they’d have devices on Apple Silicon out by the end of the year, but there’s no reason to assume that means December 31, 2020. To prepare your ecosystem for the arrival of these devices, plan ahead. We may see these in offices as early as this fall. Although here will be a two-year transition period for Apple Silicon to appear in all new hardware, you’ll want to stay out ahead of these changes.

For the team here at Addigy and for IT admins, this means we all have work to do. We’re aiming to demo these new products and check self-service on these chips as soon as possible to ensure that workflows are not interrupted for end users.

With new hardware and a new OS to go on top of that, there’s lots of testing underway in our office, and it’s time to ramp up yours as well. The good news is that for Addigy customers, Big Sur and iOS 14 are already enrolling successfully. You can begin testing those today.

Privacy and Security Updates from WWDC20

Privacy and security are two of the most important things to Apple, and they bake these principles into the design of every piece of hardware and software they produce.

In the WWDC20 session called “Build trust through better privacy,” Apple highlighted four areas where we can expect to see these value props in action:

  • On-device processing. They’ll be boosting capacity on individual machines to incorporate more machine learning to support new translation capabilities (along with other functions, to be sure).
  • Data minimization. As part of their ongoing efforts, Apple highlighted their intention to keep personal data as close to the user as possible to minimize security risks for iCloud users.
  • Security protections. Always a big part of Apple device management, you can expect updates to FileVault and access controls.
  • Transparency and control. We expect to see finer grain controls here, especially in iOS devices. For example, rather than granting an application access to all photos, users will have the ability to give permission for applications to access one photo at a time.

As you take these lessons back to your home team, remember that part of your task is to bring your renewed understanding of how Apple device management supports end user privacy. When your whole team understands what steps are being taken to protect their data, the whole ecosystem is better positioned for security and compliance.

Apple Device Management Upgrades and Deprecations of Note

There were many announcements that will impact device management, as always, and it’s tough to winnow down that list to the essentials. We’re particularly interested in hearing more about these five changes:

  1. User Approved MDM (UAMDM) is now supervised. At first glance, this looks like a nice simplification of what’s going on in your devices. Pre-Big Sur, there were different ways devices could be controlled using an MDM solution and different capabilities coming with that. Now, you’ll lose one of those extra paths, reducing those options that you have to worry about. We’ll see what that means for older devices and OS.
  2. Changes to Bootstrap tokens. They’ve always had interesting complexities. Once you have a machine FileVault’d, wanting to add users to that machine. Apple’s Bootstrap tokens will simplify that. What will that mean for developer cycles? We’ll start to enroll machines and play with bootstrap tokens to understand how they’ll look and behave in advance of the new OS release at the end of the summer. We’ll release this beta.
  3. Per app and account VPN (on iOS devices) will allow BYOD users to better segregate application use for work activity and private activity. For example, you might want to separate your Facebook surfing from your Salesforce activity for work. This will become a more secure option.
  4. Standard User vs. Admin User distinctions are coming to macOS. On Big Sur, standard users will no longer be able to opt in or out of screen recording, which may present challenges when it comes to screen sharing. We’ll do a deeper dive to understand what this means.
  5. Managed software updates. Apple made it clear that they want end users to be on the latest OS as soon as possible so that everyone has the latest security and patch updates. To this end, they’ve made changes to improve the fine grain controls around updates, deferrals, and time zones.

There are also a few features that are being deprecated that IT teams must prepare for, as these changes are imminent:

  • Custom profiles are going away. We’ll help our customers prepare for this, but you should stop using these as soon as possible and transition over to profiles on your MDM solutions as soon as possible.
  • Third-party kernel extension loading (kext) is ending. For Addigy users, you can identify any apps that still rely on third-party extensions using a custom fact shared in the Addigy forum. Take a look at that and start leaning on any vendors that still haven’t gotten this done.
  • The Volume Purchasing Program (VPP) has a hard drop date. December 1 is the cutoff to be in Business or School Manager if you’re doing automated device enrollment, or you will have a disruption in your service.

How to Stay Productive on New Releases: Resources to Get You Started

While the product release date is still to be announced, there are a few steps you can take today to start preparing your team for their arrival.

If you haven’t yet started to explore the new Apple betas, sign up for AppleSeed and be sure to send the folks at Apple your feedback through Feedback Assistant (Radars). They’re excellent, they listen, and they value user feedback highly. This makes a difference in everyone’s product experience in the short and long term.

If this summary left you hungry for more updates from WWDC session, we recommend these sessions, which you can watch online anytime:

And if you already have Addigy, email our product team to enroll in Beta software today.

If these exciting releases stirred up any questions about how these changes will impact how your team supports your customers, especially if you’re in an MSP environment, tune into our webinars this week where we engage directly with Apple, Addigy, and current members of the Apple Consultants Network about how to best meet your customers’ technology needs. Sign up for our webinars for EMEIA or US and Canada today.

 

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