The Problem with Managed Apple IDs and iTunes U

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

And I’ve discovered a showstopper drawback with Controlled Apple IDs and iTunes U.

Please undergo with me as the rationale can be quite complicated nevertheless it is very important to grasp its affect in case you are rolling out Controlled Apple ID and depend on iTunes U.


In short, a Controlled Apple ID is an Apple ID this is created via the varsity for pupils. They are able to even be created for academics and directors. A Controlled Apple ID lets in get admission to to iCloud and iTunes U however to not industrial services and products just like the App Retailer and iBookstore. A Controlled Apple ID is actually disbarred from any industrial transaction with Apple.

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

In our deployment, as in lots of others, academics use their very own private Apple IDs at the iPads they use at school. That is clearly true – there has simplest ever been one more or less Apple ID and each and every trainer the use of an iPad should be the use of a ‘shopper’ Apple ID.

Since iTunes U 3.0 got here out, academics had been the use of those private Apple IDs to create iTunes U lessons for our pupils. The explanation they have 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” segment of iOS Settings because the Apple ID for the instructor. There is not any solution to have a separate Apple ID simply logged into iTunes U. Take into account that reality; it is going to develop into necessary afterward on this tale.

Controlled Apple ID

After we have been migrated to Apple College Supervisor, the very first thing I examined was once:

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

Right away I hit an issue. An error message said:

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

I used to be puzzled via this as a result of my lessons are from my establishment. Our faculty has an iTunes U web site and all my lessons are set to be from “Cedars College of Excellence”. There’s a menu in Direction Settings the place an teacher can make a choice which establishment their route is related to.

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

Scholars with Controlled Apple IDs from a specific college’s Apple College Supervisor area can simplest enrol in lessons which are owned via an Apple ID that also is from that very same Apple College Supervisor area.

I verified this via growing a brand new Controlled Apple ID for myself, sharing a replica of my route to that Apple ID after which enrolling my faux scholar Apple ID in that route. This labored completely.


So, on account of this choice to just permit iTunes U interplay between Controlled Apple IDs in the similar ASM area, which means that academics successfully need to be the use of a school-issued Controlled Apple ID to run their iTunes U lessons.

That is high-quality – in an excessively limited set of cases that do not follow to any current college iOS deployment any place.

At first, each and every these days practising iOS trainer can be the use of a client Apple ID. Very most likely it is going to be their private Apple ID. It is 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 private Apple ID and the varsity or industry makes use of VPP Controlled Distribution to assign apps to that Apple ID.

Secondly, as a result of iTunes U does no longer have its personal Apple ID login gadget however as an alternative makes use of the iTunes and App Retailer environment at the machine, there’s no chance of the use of a separate Controlled Apple ID “only for iTunes U”. Signing right into a Controlled Apple ID on an iPad to make iTunes U glad will imply that academics have to change 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 pace bump within the trainer’s iPad enjoy. Worse, although, there are quite a lot of vaguely-documented tripwires within the App Retailer that may lock a tool into a selected Apple ID for 90 days:

“Computer systems and gadgets may also be related to a distinct Apple ID as soon as each and every 90 days.”

View and take away related gadgets in iTunes, Apple

It isn’t in any respect transparent whether or not Controlled Apple IDs also are topic to those restrictions. Those tripwires are set server-side and it’s a ways from positive that it is advisable rely on their standards to not alternate all 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 academics are anticipated to turn between two Apple IDs on their iPad – which they are going to most certainly be doing every day, if no longer hourly – what occurs if (when?) the iPad will get caught for 90 days on one or different Apple ID? Both the instructor 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 Song subscriber, however some academics someplace indubitably are, and I am informed that Apple Song will get bizarre while you transfer Apple IDs.


In this day and age, I don’t have any enough workaround for this. I can’t conceivably be expecting academics to change to the use of a Controlled Apple ID completely, forsaking all their previous purchases and content material. In a similar way, the speculation of switching between two Apple IDs throughout doing all your process is exasperating at perfect and doubtlessly disastrous when you unintentionally cause an App Retailer tripwire.

The one workaround that I will be able to reside with at the moment is to simply no longer use Controlled Apple IDs for college students. Thankfully, lots of the pupils transferring as much as our secondary division have already got a device-generic Apple ID that I will be able to convert into their very own Apple ID. It is simply the brand new pupils that I’ve to fret about.

In this day and age, Apple is checking whether or not the Apple IDs of each trainer and scholar are in the similar Apple College Supervisor area. To me, that is the improper standards. The take a look at will have to be: is the coed’s Apple ID from the similar establishment because the route’s Establishment?

It will have to no longer topic whether or not the instructor’s Apple ID is institutional or private – if the instructor 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 College Supervisor database and the iTunes U route database are merely no longer built-in. Whichever a part of the gadget this is appearing this take a look at does not know that the “Cedars College” in our iTunes U lessons is identical “Cedars College” as in our Apple College Supervisor area.

I have no idea the precise technical and criminal the reason why this choice was once made. All I do know is this new gadget of Controlled Apple IDs is these days undeployable for any current iOS web site. The issue isn’t in reality a scholar drawback; it is a drawback for the instructor’s person enjoy.