How to install iOS apps silently?
As mobile devices are exponentially becoming a primary part of the workforce, apps have fast become the foundation of such mobile workforces. Organizations are utilizing both Store and enterprise apps as a part of their workforce. In the case of Store apps, you need to have the Apple ID present on the device whereas enterprise apps are in-house apps that are not available for public download. The former becomes an issue in the case of corporate devices/shared devices whereby you wouldn't want the employee's (personal) Apple ID to be used, which can also enable Activation Lock. With such constraints, you would ideally want the apps to be installed without the Apple ID or user dependency of any sort.
MDM can be integrated with Apple Business Manager which facilitates business organizations to silently install apps and in the case of educational institutions, the same can be achieved by integrating MDM with Apple School Manager (ASM)
Note :It is recommended to use Wi-Fi while distributing apps of size>200 MB. Incase of using cellular data, you have to enable setting (Settings > App Store > Mobile/ Cellular data > App Downloads > Always Allow) manually on the device before distributing the app.
- Devices must be running iOS 9.0 or later
- Devices must be Supervised
To silently install App Store apps:
To silently install App Store apps, ABM apps must be integrated with MDM. Follow the steps given in this document to know more.
To install Enterprise Apps:
Note: Devices must be supervised for the enterprise apps to silently install. ABM is not required for enterprise apps.
- On the MDM Server, click on Device Mgmt and select App Repository on the left pane.
- Click on Add App and select Apple Enterprise App.
- Provide the Source File(.ipa) and specify the relevant details wherever needed.
- Click on Save, to add the app to the App Repository.
Distributing and installing apps silently
- On the MDM server, click on Device Mgmt and select Groups and Devices.
- Select the devices or groups to which the app(s) need to be distributed.
- Click on Action and select Distribute Apps from the dropdown.
- After selecting the apps, ensure the Installation Type is set to Silent Installation.
The apps get installed on Apple devices like iPhones and iPads without any user intervention.
Migrating non-ABM apps to ABM apps
If you want to have apps previously added to the App Repository to be installed silently, follow the steps below:
- Assume the app has already been distributed to 5 devices, purchasing 5 licenses lets you migrate the apps from Non-ABM to ABM. If you want to distribute the app to more devices, you can do so by purchasing additional app licenses.
- Now go to the MDM server, click on Device Mgmt and select App Repository from the left pane.
- Click on Sync Apps and select the option Sync ABM apps from the dropdown.
These apps can now be installed without using Apple ID as they've been migrated from non-ABM apps to ABM apps.
This section explains what happens when different apps are distributed by enabling the option Install Automatically.
- When an app is distributed to devices without integrating with ABM: The user will be prompted to enter his Apple ID and then shown a prompt before the installation is initiated, even if the device is supervised.
- When an ABM app is distributed to unsupervised devices: The user will be prompted that the organization is distributing apps to the device and they can choose to allow the installation. immediately or manually perform it later from the app catalog. They will not be asked to enter their Apple ID to initiate the app installation.
- When an ABM app is distributed to supervised devices: The app will be installed in the devices without the Apple ID or app installation prompts.