The Problem with Managed Apple IDs and iTunes U

As I write this, we’re five days clear of lecturers coming again to college and eight days from pupils coming again.

And I’ve discovered a showstopper downside with Managed Apple IDs and iTunes U.

Please endure with me as the rationale shall be reasonably advanced however it is very important to grasp its have an effect on if you’re rolling out Managed Apple ID and depend on iTunes U.


In brief, a Managed Apple ID is an Apple ID this is created by way of the college for pupils. They may be able to even be created for lecturers and directors. A Managed Apple ID lets in get admission to to iCloud and iTunes U however to not business services and products just like the App Retailer and iBookstore. A Managed Apple ID is actually disbarred from any business transaction with Apple.

Distinction that with a ‘client’ Apple ID – the type that each iOS person creates both via iTunes or via on-device setup after they purchase an iPhone. Those Apple IDs don’t have any restrictions.

In our deployment, as in lots of others, lecturers use their very own private Apple IDs at the iPads they use in class. That is clearly true – there has most effective ever been one roughly Apple ID and each instructor the use of an iPad will have to be the use of a ‘client’ Apple ID.

Since iTunes U 3.0 got here out, lecturers were the use of those private Apple IDs to create iTunes U lessons for our pupils. The reason why they had been the use of private Apple IDs is that the iTunes U app on iOS makes use of the Apple ID this is logged into the “iTunes and App Retailer” phase of iOS Settings because the Apple ID for the trainer. There is not any solution to have a separate Apple ID simply logged into iTunes U. Needless to say reality; it is going to grow to be necessary afterward on this tale.

Managed Apple ID

When we had been migrated to Apple Faculty Supervisor, the very first thing I examined was once:

  • Create a Managed Apple ID for a pretend scholar
  • Arrange an iPad with that Managed Apple ID
  • Take a look at enrolling in an iTunes U route that I created ultimate 12 months

In an instant I hit an issue. An error message said:

“Your Apple ID can most effective enrol in lessons out of your establishment.”

I used to be perplexed by way of this as a result of my lessons are from my establishment. Our faculty has an iTunes U website and all my lessons are set to be from “Cedars Faculty of Excellence”. There’s a menu in Route Settings the place an teacher can select which establishment their route is related with.

After some extra messing round, I realised that what this mistake message in fact way is that this:

Scholars with Managed Apple IDs from a selected faculty’s Apple Faculty Supervisor area can most effective enrol in lessons which can be owned by way of an Apple ID that also is from that very same Apple Faculty Supervisor area.

I verified this by way of developing a brand new Managed Apple ID for myself, sharing a duplicate of my route to that Apple ID and then enrolling my pretend scholar Apple ID in that route. This labored completely.


So, because of this resolution to just permit iTunes U interplay between Managed Apple IDs in the similar ASM area, which means that lecturers successfully should be the use of a school-issued Managed Apple ID to run their iTunes U lessons.

That is advantageous – in an overly limited set of instances that do not observe to any current faculty iOS deployment any place.

At the beginning, each recently practising iOS instructor shall be the use of a client Apple ID. Very most likely it is going to be their private Apple ID. It’s because this was once precisely the deployment state of affairs that Apple has inspired us to make use of since iOS 7: customers carry a non-public Apple ID and the college or industry makes use of VPP Managed Distribution to assign apps to that Apple ID.

Secondly, as a result of iTunes U does now not have its personal Apple ID login gadget however as an alternative makes use of the iTunes and App Retailer environment at the gadget, there is not any risk of the use of a separate Managed Apple ID “only for iTunes U”. Signing right into a Managed Apple ID on an iPad to make iTunes U glad will imply that lecturers have to modify Apple IDs to shop for any app, purchase an In-App Acquire or obtain any previous content material acquire in iTunes, iBooks or the App Retailer.

That is clearly an enormous velocity bump within the instructor’s iPad enjoy. Worse, even though, there are quite a lot of vaguely-documented tripwires within the App Retailer that may lock a tool into a particular Apple ID for 90 days:

“Computer systems and gadgets will also be related with a unique Apple ID as soon as each 90 days.”

View and take away related gadgets in iTunes ^(, Apple

It’s not in any respect transparent whether or not Managed Apple IDs also are topic to those restrictions. Those tripwires are set server-side and it’s a ways from sure that you want to rely on their standards to not trade right through the process a deployment. I imply, what does it seem like when the App Retailer sees the similar iPad signing into and out of Apple IDs every day?

If lecturers are anticipated to turn between two Apple IDs on their iPad – which they’ll almost certainly be doing every day, if now not hourly – what occurs if (when?) the iPad will get caught for 90 days on one or different Apple ID? Both the trainer is locked out in their lessons for 90 days or they may be able to’t purchase or obtain any apps for 90 days. I am not an Apple Tune subscriber, however some lecturers someplace for sure are, and I am advised that Apple Tune will get bizarre whilst you transfer Apple IDs.


This present day, I don’t have any enough workaround for this. I will not conceivably be expecting lecturers to modify to the use of a Managed Apple ID completely, leaving behind all their previous purchases and content material. In a similar way, the theory of switching between two Apple IDs throughout doing all of your task is exasperating at easiest and probably disastrous when you unintentionally cause an App Retailer tripwire.

The most effective workaround that I will are living with at this time is to only now not use Managed Apple IDs for college students. Thankfully, lots of the pupils shifting as much as our secondary division have already got a device-generic Apple ID that I will convert into their very own Apple ID. It is simply the brand new pupils that I’ve to fret about.

This present day, Apple is checking whether or not the Apple IDs of each instructor and scholar are in the similar Apple Faculty Supervisor area. To me, that is the improper standards. The test will have to be: is the coed’s Apple ID from the similar establishment because the route’s Establishment?

It will have to now not subject whether or not the trainer’s Apple ID is institutional or private – if the trainer has the proper to make lessons for that establishment, they will have to be capable of enrol that establishment’s scholars in that route.

I speculate that the Apple Faculty Supervisor database and the iTunes U route database are merely now not built-in. Whichever a part of the gadget this is appearing this test does not know that the “Cedars Faculty” in our iTunes U lessons is similar “Cedars Faculty” as in our Apple Faculty Supervisor area.

I do not know the precise technical and prison the explanation why this resolution was once made. All I do know is this new gadget of Managed Apple IDs is recently undeployable for any current iOS website. The downside isn’t in fact a scholar downside; it is a downside for the trainer’s person enjoy.