FREE – Mobile Device Management (MDM)

MDM1MDM or Mobile Device Management has become increasingly popular over the last few years. I was surprised to find, that when we implemented it in the company I work for we discovered that there actually was a few users without a pin or password on their mobile device (to be expected out of a few thousand users I guess, but still – NO PIN on your phone, REALLY!!!)!?

Anyhow, there are several reasons to dive into this area – AND the good news is that (depending on the size of your setup) you can actually do much for ZERO $ (Free).

Create Policies;

  • Require that users (or family) have a PIN
  • Deploy APPS to phones or tablets
  • Keep track of installed APPS
  • Create geo-fencing – be warned if the device leave a defined area (sadly this does not work well in Denmark as the matching of IP’s to addresses is very limited due to privacy legislation)

You can even choose to implement it in your household to keep track of what apps etc are installed be the kids etc.

So are there great skills required? no not really, perhaps a little in setting it up initially – and there are some minor challenges, especially with the certificate part (which need to maintained/updated yearly), but in general – if you have experience with IT operations it’s more or less a breeze.

To get started here are a few links.

Several free or cheap services exist, to name a few;

The first one “Meraki” I actually tried and is still using (free for up to 100 devices as I recall)
https://account.meraki.com/login/new_account
You can even get a free cloud managed WiFi Access Point if you attend one of their online seminars.
Additionally you can install Windows Clients on Windows PC’s and thus now also have free inventory of your Windows PC’s.
You can see a demo of a related Meraki mobile management pack, it’s not quite the same as the free MDM solution – but it can give you some idea of what is possible.
https://youtu.be/fa95GJZQ0fQ

Another one is Spiceworks, I have not tried their MDM solution – but the “Spiceworks framework” (free IT operations software) in general is quite good and capable.
https://www.spiceworks.com/free-mobile-device-management-mdm-software/

 

Autotransfer calls to VOIP on your Cell Phone

We all know IP Telephony (voip), there is a bunch of apps out there for both PC and mobile devices that does this (like Skype eg.), well the drawback is that in order to use it the person you wish to call also need to have the same app and have it running to accept your call.

Well Viber is a new twist to this situation..

What you do is to install this Viber – http://www.viber.com  app onto your phone, and you ask your friends to do the same, now whenever you call a person that has Viber installed the call is automatically routed to VOIP instead of a regular call.

 

Viber1

Pros;

  • It’s free
  • You may save money on your calls (especially if calling people abroad)

Cons;

  • Well if we both need to have this installed why not just use Skype? Well this function 100% in the background, you just call people as you normally would – hence no need to start-up skype and dial your contact – it’s convenient most of all
  • Data – VOIP uses data and some places data may be more expensive than calling people, also it’s unknown/untested how this perform in poorly connected regions/areas, but you can always fallback to regular calls I guess

Available here for most platforms;

http://www.viber.com/

Is your Apple device ID UDID among the leaked ID’s

You may have heard about the case where a bunch of UDID’s were leaked on the net, supposedly these was “stolen/hacked” from a FBI agents laptop.

Anyhow, here is how to check if your device was on the list;
http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/09/04/heres-check-apple-device-udid-compromised-antisec-leak/

Get/find your UDID;
http://whatsmyudid.com/

What is a UDID;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universally_unique_identifier
http://theiphonewiki.com/wiki/index.php?title=UDID

iPhone ringtones, save money by making them yourself

An annoying thing with the iPhone is it’s strange attitude towards message tones and ringtones, it has gotten a LOT better in iOS 5 but still – it’s clear that they want you to buy your ringtones rather than just using your .mp3 like on any other phone..

Well it is easy to get around this 😀 so sit back, watch and learn in 10 min you will know how to save a bunch of money by creating your own ring and sms tones..

There is nothing to it but to do it..

iPhone Configuration Utility – easy configuration of iPhones/iPads

You may be an IT administrator or just the person in charge of helping your users (or friends for that matter) configuring iPhones.  Now setting up an iPhone is not hard once you have tried it once or twice, but it is still time consuming and lets face it not very fun, well imagine that you had a piece of software in which you could prepare the configuration and then just sms the configuration to anyone?  Well it is almost as easy as that 🙂  and best of all, I will show you how 😀

What you need is the “iPhone configuration utility” from Apple, you will find it here;
http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/enterprise/

Now you install this and are set to go, with this software you can create configurations for the iPhone (or iPad) and by connecting the device to your machine you can transfer the settings directly, this is easy enough but as mentioned you can do even better – you can send the configuration over the internet – the latter however require a web-server and maybe a little more skill that the average home user.

Anyhow, if you are an IT administrator etc. and need to setup a log of iPhones, then this is interesting for you..  You create a configuration with “iPhone configuration utility” and upload this to a web-server, eg. as http://www.webserver.com/iphonesettings.mobileconfig and now you can just sms the link to this page/file to new employees or BOD “bring your own device” users.  Now one word of caution though, if you publish your config this way you MUST omit ANY sensitive information like email, domain name, username and passwords, this however is not a problem – any information not entered will just be prompted – so if you omit the username and password the user will just be prompted for this when installing the configuration (information like this is likely known by the user, or could be included in the sms).  That some outside user may be able to read what mailserver you use is not really a problem, this information is already public knowledge via eg. NSLOOKUP – so there is really no security issue with this unless you include passwords etc. which you should avoid as mentioned.

The settings set this way are entered into the phone as a “Profile”, you can configure that this “Profile” can be removed “Anytime”, “Via Password” or “Never” (never mean that you need to reset the device to remove), if you remove the “Profile” it will also remove all data related to the profile (eg. if email settings was part of a profile, it will also remove the emails as part of the removal – but if you setup additional email’s manually these will be left alone).

What can you configure;
Almost anything, just to mention a few things; Email, VPN, WiFi, Policies (you can enforce password etc. etc.).

See my walktrough here for more details etc;

 

Ps.
If you upload the configuration to a webserver, you may need to set the mime type and remember to NOT change the extention of the file (.mobileconfig).

IOS 5 recked my audiobook listening :-( – workaround available

So I recently upgraded my iPhone from 4.2 to 5.0.1 and things seemed great, that was until I started on a new audiobook (I often listen to audiobooks during my 1hour commute to work)….  I quickly discovered that as of IOS5 the autdioplayer no longer was able to remember the position (where I left off) and this is NOT very practical with audiobooks (some up to 42 hours long), now I often re-compress my audiobooks and thought that I may have made an error somehow – but after re-compressing and searching the net I quickly realized that indeed the audiobook function was truly broken and many others had the same issue.

Strange that Apple has not fixed it yet as it seem to be a well known issue since IOS 5, the only reason I can see is that Apple want’s to FORCE you even deeper into using iTunes (as I will move to explain with the workaround). 

Workaround
So how to work around this problem, well yes you need that dreaded iTunes 🙁  (horrible horrible program).  I used to start iTunes and just drag my .m4b files straight to my iPhone and viola everything worked like a charm, well with IOS5+ you need to make a short detour, you need to drag your audiobook to the iTunes library and THEN to the device (from the library) – why? well because Steve Jobs say so, no I don’t know – but it seem that this will circumvent the bug in IOS5 and allow resume on the files transferred in this manner – if you just drag them straight to the device resume will not work (it may to some extend, but if you launch any other sound file or restart your phone etc. it will restart your audiobook).

Others say that installing the “Audible” app can also help (you can use it without being a member), but I have not had the time to fully confirm this – it is plausible never the less.

Diagram below;

Only thing left to say is; Apple !”#%&!”%¤#& god da.. fix this

Source; https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3378886?start=15&tstart=0

Jailbreak iPhone IOS 5.0.1

I have waited a LONG time for an untethered jailbreak for IOS 5, and it seem this was released in December 2011.

Sadly I need to jailbreak my iPhone in order to run certain programs not approved by Apple, it is sad that people do not get to choose what they want to install on my iPhone but have to rely on what the Steve Jobs mob think is good for them.

Well anyhow, now you can jailbreak it and choose yourself 🙂  I’ll have to get around to doing this sometime soon, but as mine is already jailbroken it seem there is some work in this, but with a version of 4.2 (as I recall) it is about time 🙂  hope it will speed the thing up a bit also, it seem to have become a bit sluggish over time :-/

Read more here (and get what you need);
http://www.iclarified.com/entry/index.php?enid=18989 

Windows 8 – everything is different

So it looks like bad news for those of us still struggling with coming to terms with the new UI in Windows 7 / 2008R2, basically I still think that the Windows 2000 interface was among the better once – all the new magic wizard and color stuff really does not impress me that much. But never the less it looks like Windows 8 might evolve into an over sized mobile os 🙁 Although this may be fine for some home users I don’t see the practicality for the business side, and furthermore Windows 7 and Server 2008R2 are the same – aaaaaaaaargh imagine a server with a Windows 8 interface 😀

Anyway, have a look at this preview of Windows 8.