SWY's technical notes

Relevant mostly to OS X admins

Application restrictions via Meraki MDM

I’ve recently been experimenting with the free Mobile Device Management service from Meraki, starting by enrolling my iPhone 5, and the family iPad.  Sometime (but not immediately) after enrolling the iOS devices, I found myself frustrated that apps that had been working on the devices were then absent, and attempts to reinstall them via the device would lead to unclickable buttons, with no explanation as to why the action couldn’t be taken.-1

Just as frustrating, I could ask iTunes to push the app to the device, where I’d watch it go through the steps of the icon appearing, with the progress bar of Waiting, Installing, ect, only to watch the app disappear as soon as the install was complete.

I eventually realized that the unavailable apps, including Chrome, Netflix, and Alien Blue all had non-minimum age ratings. After auditing my Meraki MDM configuration, I saw the profile I’d deployed had minimum Content Rating Age setting too high- therefore forbidding these apps that were rated for higher ages.

Screen Shot 2013-02-17 at 7.27.12 PM

The Allowed content ratings are found in Mobile: Settings: Restrictions: iOS specific restrictions.

Unfortunately, when such a profile is deployed, iOS doesn’t give any useful “I can’t do that because $profile forbids it” feedback, it just greys out buttons without an explanation. Nor do I see any log in the MDM such as “attempt to install $app blocked because of $profile”. This type of feedback or logging would have been useful.

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