Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-09-03

It is September now, and we finally got Monterey beta 6!

It is unclear when exactly iOS 15 (and siblings) and macOS 12 Montery will be released, but it might be less than a month now. How is your testing and feedback going?


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News and Opinion

I moved the last post up to the news section, because I think it is very relevant for MacAdmins. The Mac App Store is still fundamentally broken for macOS developers and vendors, but also for MacAdmins. Managed deployment and updates through VPP (sorry, “Apps and Books”) is still fundamentally unreliable. There may be improvement in sight with the new declarative MDM, but it is still uncertain when that may roll out to all kinds of deployments and include App Store deployment.

Even when the actual deployment eventually becomes reliable, there are so many applications, like Fission, that are not available in the Mac App Store because of the restrictions, rules, and their seemingly arbitrary enforcement by Apple review. Other applications might be in the Mac App Store, but VPP (sigh… “Apps and Books”) cannot be used to purchase, manage, and deploy in-App-Purchases or App Store subscriptions.

There is certainly some “Catch 22” situation here. Since deployment through VPP (grrr… “Apps and Books) is so horrible, no-one is using it, so there is likely little feedback, and hence no resources are put towards it by Apple. But VP… “Apps and Books” is the only method to deploy apps to iOS, and there you cannot manage in-App-Purchases or subscriptions either.

Until these problems are fixed on the developer and the deployment side, the Mac App Store is not a valid tool for MacAdmin purposes.

The new features, fixes, and updates for macOS Monterey are encouraging that Apple is listening to the issues that MacAdmins have with Apple’s vision of deployment. But not everything is good yet, there is still a lot of improvements to be made.

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Thomas Reed: “We’re starting to see the inevitable angry customer support tickets from people wanting to know why “Malwarebytes” is blocking their legitimate software. (For those unaware, some old apps are causing this due to macOS no longer trusting an old certificate authority.)”
  • mikeymikey: “Important call out in beta 6 on Monterey for macadmins” (Installation of PAMs now require user authorization or PPPC-approval)

Security and Privacy

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