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Rotten Apples #3: Repeated failures of managed iPad update process

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Published on Jan 24, 2013

THIS VIDEO IS VERY LONG AND BORING -- See the description below for a list of times and events. Click on the times to skip forward.

This video demonstrates me trying to update and restore two iPads out of 30 that failed to update and restore automatically unattended, and shows a difficult problem with Apple's management software for shared iPads, used in business and educational settings.

0:01 Introduction
2:16 -- What? #24 suddenly succeeds because it was on when I clicked Refresh?
5:07 -- So #28 and #29 were off when I clicked Refresh, and now are being FULLY restored now, now including an iOS reload, too, after being at 99% done moments ago?
7:45 -- Both still stay installing iOS .. why? Because they were turned off when I clicked Refresh?
10:35 -- If just a few iPads fail to restore like this, it's helpful to pull them out and try re-updating them separately so students can use the other ones that were updated and restored properly, due to power-on intervention to prevent restore failure
12:30 -- They both say "Supervising Device"
13:15 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
14:44 -- Still Installing apps
17:39 -- Still Installing apps
18:54 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
20:49 -- Mac went to screen saver, but still installing apps, progress pie graph at 99% -- if the screen saver activates, how will I know when to intervene if the iPads are about to turn themselves off and fail?
24:23 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
27:16 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
29:07 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
30:59 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
33:18 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
35:59 -- Mac again goes to sleep, need to enter password.. Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
41:09 -- Installing apps, progress pie graph at 99%
46:12 -- Now finally they say RESTORING BACKUP -- but this occurs without notification, no noise from the Mac, no warning. Here we are, possibly about to fail this process after 45 minutes, and the only way to know is to just sit and watch the Mac screen, and wait. But, for the purposes of the demonstration, lets just observe what the iPads are doing, and see if they can manage to do this re-restore attempt successfully without intervention
47:10 -- Uh oh, they have turned themselves off again, and aren't waking up! Oh dear.
47:40 -- So it's going to fail. We as educators simply don't have time for this, but I will let it fail for this video, because this NEEDS TO BE DOCUMENTED, so more people know about this problem.
50:34 -- Apple Configurator now says "Please reconnect the device to complete the update"
51:37 -- WHAT?? It now says "Installing iOS -- AGAIN" Arrrgggghghhhh
52:30 -- In summary, Apple Configurator and the iPads failed to update successfully without intervention, and it's starting over yet again, completely, a THIRD time now.
56:56 -- Says verifying iOS,
58:35 -- Now says installing apps, so yes, it is doing a full redo a third time now
58:54 -- So we basically wasted the whole last 45 minutes due to not intervening. Thanks Apple, real nice iPad management system you've got here, failing over and over and over by itself.
1:03:04 -- I need to go get something else done. Will I be able to return in time to save the iPads from failing to turn on?
1:04:00 -- Guess what happens when I walk away here and leave #28 adn #29 to try re-updating themselves unattended a third time.
1:04:17 -- Closing discussion:

WHO HAS TIME TO SIT THROUGH ALL THIS, and keep watching and waiting, for the precise moment to leap in and stop the iPad update process from failing??

This needs to be fixed, NOW, we have waited long enough, Apple!

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The iPad management system is supposed to be extremely easy and simple, but Apple messed something up several months ago that now can cause the update process to suddenly and randomly fail.

There is no warning when the failure is about to occur, and the people who manage these supervised iPads are forced to sit there and closely watch the update/restore process, to step in when the process fails, and turn on the iPads so the process can complete.

Other educators and business people have been complaining in the Apple forums about this for months, but there is no sign of if or when Apple will get around to fixing this problem.

By making these videos I hope to make the problem more public and easy to understand. Perhaps Apple will realize this is bad public relations for its relationship with schools, and hurry up and fix this.

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