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Mar 07, 2011

Can you "push" an App to an iPhone or iPad?

There has been quite a bit of chatter regarding the ability to "push" in-house apps to an IOS devices without user intervention. Some MDM vendors have claimed that they can "push" apps. However, this is false. There is no way to install an app onto an iOS device without at least one "prompt" requiring user agreement. The Apple specification for "Wireless Enterprise App Distribution" allows a developer to host a manifest file in XML format, and from this point a user to an IPA file for download of an app. (There are other requirements as well, such as description data and an icon file). When a user clicks on the link, IOS will prompt with: Single App Install At this point, the user can choose to proceed. With systems such as EASE (Enterprise App Services Environment) from Apperian, there is the added capability to install multiple apps - i.e., 2 or more - simultaneously. In this case the user sees a prompt such as: Single App Install In addition, if an app is installed for the first time against an enterprise cert there is an additional prompt asking for permission based on the signer of the cert. That only occurs once - and thereafter, any app built with a profile using that cert will not require any additional confirmation other than the standard download prompt.


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