Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-12-03

News is still a bit slow this week, but we did get a new round of betas for macOS Monterey 12.1, iOS 15.2 and siblings.


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This is the fourth beta round for this update release. The release is likely before the holidays, possibly next week. If you haven’t been testing, head to AppleSeed for IT and start now!

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News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • mikeymikey: “I don’t know when the last time you tried to search for an Apple support KB article was – but have you tried … -not- using Google? Search has actually gotten pretty darned fast and extensive.” (Thread)
  • Mr. Macintosh: “Apple released: iOS 15.2 Beta 4 (19C5050b), iPadOS 15.2 Beta 4 (19C5050b), watchOS 8.3 Beta 4 (19S5050c), tvOS 15.2 Beta 4 (19K5050a), HomePodOS 15.2 Beta 4 (19K5050a), Monterey 12.1 Beta 4 Full Installer & IPSW, Big Sur 11.6.2 Beta 4 Full Installer”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-11-26

Happy day after US Thanksgiving, everyone!


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Even though many in the US have a few days off, we still have plenty of news to report. My post on ‘JavaScript for Automation’ from last week is generating a lot of great responses, Apple is suing NSO Group, people are figuring out the cause of some of the memory leaks in Monterey, and we get a refresh on the ‘Awesome MacAdmin Tools List.’

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📰News and Opinion

🐟macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Victor (groob): “macOS 12.1 brings EACS = all I ever wanted. Thanks to the Apple folks who listened to this request. EraseDevice now loops into AutoAdvanceSetup via MDM.”
  • Jeremy Reichman: “When the installer says, “about a second remaining” for a minute or more, is it safe to assume it finished “first remaining” already and then went on to longer and more involved “second remaining,” perhaps with an option for more remainings, should additional ones seem necessary?”

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🔨Support and HowTos

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♻️Updates and Releases

📺To Watch

🎧To Listen

📚Support

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-11-19

Even though it is mid-November and the US Thanksgiving week is looming next week, we got a lot of great posts and articles in the news summary.


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We are finding out about some interesting Monterey features and bugs, Apple announced self service repair, new security threats, lots of automation, and MacAdmins are (re-)discovering JavaScript for Automation (including myself).

If that wasn’t enough to try to keep up with, Jamf dropped all the JNUC 2021 session on to YouTube! Many of these sessions are very informative, even when you don’t use a Jamf product. If you want to catch up on different conferences, or schedule your conference participation for 2022, I have updated my conferences page with all the known dates and links to each conference’s session archive.

macOS 12.1 and iOS 15.2 went into the third round of betas. We also got iOS 15.1.1 (and siblings).

To all US American readers: Happy Thanksgiving!

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News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • cdros: “ICYMI Mac Evaluation Utility 4: Now available for IT teams on AppleSeed for IT
  • Tom Bridge: “This kind of software is infuriating. it’s unethical as an IT Admin to install on your users machines. If you get asked to install it, you should quit instead.” (Link)
  • Kyle Crawford: “I mean more generally I’d like a batteries-included scripting language built-in like python or ruby. I didn’t expect it would be JavaScript.”
  • Jason Anthony Guy: “Apple developers… did you know that Feedback Assistant is available on non-beta systems? Hidden, but accessible. Read the “Installing the App” section on the Apple Bug Reporting page to learn how to get to it. Bonus! Access it via applefeedback://
  • Daniel Jalkut: “I have been using zsh and scp for a long time, but my mind was moderately blown this evening when I realized I could tab-complete REMOTE filenames. Try it: scp whoever@wherever:<tab> (Have to have a ssh key relationship with the server, obviously)”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

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Scripting OS X — Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-11-12

This week’s newsletter has many links to great posts by MacAdmins. (Thanks to all!) But we also got the surprising announcement that Apple is (re-)entering* the MDM market with “Apple Business Essentials.”


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First of all, Apple Business Essentials (I am going to risk the scorn of Apple Marketing and abbreviate it as “ABE”) will be in beta until “Spring 2022.” The beta and presumably the release is US only and limited to businesses with less than 500 users, though each user can have up to three Apple devices. The subscription includes extended iCloud storage for the managed Apple IDs (50GB to 2TB) and, after release, can include “prioritized AppleCare support” with onsite repairs. (Prices including the AppleCare support are not known yet.)

The introductory video and page are nice. But there is a lot more information in the Apple Business Essentials User Guide. (You can also find a PDF with some information for the ABE beta program in the AppleSeed for IT downloads.)

Overall, this looks like an interesting new offering from Apple, as long as your business matches the target audience. It looks as if ABE uses MDM commands only, with no local agent other than a “Apple Business Essetials” self-service app. This is standard for iOS and iPadOS, but will make the management options for Macs very limited. For many MacAdmins this will disqualify ABE for “serious” Mac management.

Keep the target audience in mind, though. For many organizations managing iPhones and iPads in business will be the main benefit of ABE and enforcing some management settings on the Macs will be a nice bonus. After all, even the little management possible with MDM commands will be better than no management at all.

From the user guide we can glean a few more interesting facts: the Apple Business Essentials web interface will replace Apple Business Manager for managing business Apple IDs, volume purchase of Apps & Books and assigning devices to MDMs, including MDMs other than Apple Business Manager. It is unclear if all ABM users will get the new interface. I imagine the iCloud storage options for Managed Apple IDs will be available to all ABM accounts, maybe even the business AppleCare subscriptions. In that case, ABE could replace ABM for everyone, even when you use a third party MDM, but the ABE management features will only be unlocked when you get the ABE subscription? We will have to wait and see.

Apple is targeting the “low-end” for device management. They are competing less with Jamf Pro and Workspace One, and more with Jamf Now, SimpleMDM, Mosyle Business, Kandji and Addigy. But when you look at the feature set, Apple’s cannot really compete with any of these, but they provide a minimal or, well, “essential” step up from “no management.” It’ll be up to the vendors to provide features and value above this new, essential, base line.

Overall, I think this is an exciting and promising announcement. There is also the hope, that since Apple is now building and selling their own management system*, this will result in improvements to the MDM protocol and Apple platform management for all. The Spring release of Monterey and iOS 15 should be very interesting.

*Apple has been and still is selling Profile Manager as part of the macOS Server app. Nevertheless, MacAdmins consider this a “reference implementation” at best and Profile Manager is not recommended for use in production at any scale.

Oh yes, we also got new beta2 for macOS 12.1 and iOS 15.2 (and siblings).

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Apple Business Essentials

📰News and Opinion

🐟macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

⚙️macOS and iOS Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Mr. Macintosh: “Apple has released a new Intel T2 BridgeOS Update (19.16.10549) The previous version for 11.6.1 and 2021-007 is 19.16.10548. I do not see an associated OS update that goes along with it. Could this BridgeOS update fix the bricking problems for some T2 Macs?”

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🔨Support and HowTos

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♻️Updates and Releases

📺To Watch

🎧To Listen

🎈Just for Fun

📚Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-11-05

The week after a major macOS release, and we got a whole bunch of interesting posts by MacAdmins, clarifying or explaining features and aspects of the the upgrade.

Once again, many thanks to all who write and share their knowledge!


(Sponsor: Mosyle)

Mosyle Fuse logo

The Fusion of Apple MDM, Identity, Patching & Security.

Mosyle Fuse is the first and only product to bring a perfect blend of an Enterprise-grade MDM, an innovative solution for macOS Identity Management, automated application installation and patching, and purpose-built multi-layer endpoint security, all specially designed for Apple devices used at work at a price point that’s almost unexplainable.

Click here to learn more!


If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

macOS and iOS Updates

  • Mr. Macintosh: “Heads up! Big Sur 11.6.1 & Catalina 2021-007 Security Updates are having problems with the 19.16.10548 T2 BridgeOS Update This affects a small number of Macs (<5%) The BridgeOS update fails = Mac stuck on a black screen” (Thread)

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Craig Cohen (LinkedIn): Apple: Mac Evaluation Utility 4.0 available in AppleSeed Go to AppleSeed for IT Use your Apple Business Manager or Apple School Manager Managed Apple ID. Head to the downloads tab. Wonderful update Apple.
  • Tim Perfitt: “I saw on Monty that fn-q brings up a new note. So what other shortcuts use the fn key? fn-a: activates item in dock so you can arrow around and space to launch app, fn-n: open sidebar, fn-c: open control center, fn-h: show desktop, fn-q: new note”

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-29

The macOS Monterey release is finally here. We also got iOS 15.1 (and siblings) and the security updates for macOS Big Sur (11.6.1) and iOS 14.8.1. And the new round of betas for macOS 12.1 and iOS 15.2 started.


(Sponsor: Mosyle)

The Fusion of Apple MDM, Identity, Patching & Security.

Mosyle Fuse logo

Mosyle Fuse is the first and only product to bring a perfect blend of an Enterprise-grade MDM, an innovative solution for macOS Identity Management, automated application installation and patching, and purpose-built multi-layer endpoint security, all specially designed for Apple devices used at work at a price point that’s almost unexplainable.

Click here to learn more!


While some features shown at WWDC are still missing, this should keep everyone busy for a while. Many MacAdmins were already busy and published posts on how to work with and manage the new systems.

Settle in, because this is a big summary!

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macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15.1

macOS Monterey 12.0.1

Deployment

iOS 15.1 and siblings

Security Updates

Apple Support

Reactions

MacAdmins

New Apple Silicon MacBooks Pro

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Eric Holtam: “Live Text works to capture the horribly tiny and shiny Serial Numbers from the bottom of Macs. Never question if it’s a Q or 0 again!”

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

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News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-22

We finally got those Apple Silicon based MacBooks Pro this week. And they do look very nice! You have probably already read all about them. To prepare for the new M1 Pro and Max goodness, we will also get macOS 12 Monterey (and iOS 15.1 and siblings) on next Monday, October 25. Do you feel ready?

I have decided to call the 16″ a “MacBook Pro Max,” just to sow confusion.


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In preparation for the OS releases next week, we got not just one, but two realease candidates. Unfortunately, it does not look like there will be a full installer of either RC, so no final deployment testing workflows. (There is an IPSW for Apple Configurator, so you can test those.)

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News and Opinion

New MacBooks Pro with M1 Pro and Max

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

macOS and iOS Updates

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Rich Trouton: “If you want an Intel processor in your new Mac, here are your options: 21.5 inch iMac, 27 inch iMac, Mac Pro. All other Mac models are now Apple Silicon Macs.” (Mac mini added in a later tweet)
  • Brian Stucki: “FYI: There was one small addition in the macOS SLA for Monterey. (highlighted in the image) It’s especially helpful for those who run virtual machines on their Mac. Thanks!” (Highlighted passage: “run up to two (2) additional copies of the Apple Software, or any prior macOS or OS X operation system software or subsequent release of the Apple Software”)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Apple Support

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-15

Apple has announced the next live event for Monday (Oct 18). The expectation is they will show new Apple Silicon Macs and announce the publishing date for macOS Monterey.


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We also got a new series of betas for macOS 12 Monterey (beta 10) and iOS 15.1 (beta 4) and siblings.

MacSysAdmin concluded last week, but the sessions are still online. I still have some catching up to do. On top of that, Objective-by-the-Sea have posted their sessions on YouTube, as well!

Watch those sessions quickly, because next week is Jamf Nation User Conference, which will bring even more sessions to feel guilty because you have not watched them yet. You can still register for free. I will be in a Panel on Patch Managemet with Ryan Ball and Ben Toms, and I have a presentation on Installomator.

We also learned some dates for some of the conferences next year. I have updated my conference page, which also has links to session archives (where available).

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News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Patrick Wardle: “Really seems that malware (adware) authors have no problem getting their malicious creations notarized by Apple…unless this is really a legitimate/required Flash Player update!?”
  • Patrick Wardle: “~1 hr later (on a Saturday no less), Apple has revoked the notarization/certificate!”
  • William Smith: “Attention MacAdmins: Today’s release of Microsoft Office for Mac 16.54 is the last version to support macOS Mojave 10.14.x. November’s release of 16.55 will require a minimum of macOS Catalina 10.15.”
  • Edward Marczak: “Instead of blocking the Next Major OS: – Prep, test, and be ready to roll it out day 1 – Communicate your upgrade policy If there is some breaking change, communicate this to your user base, and people that upgrade just earn themselves a trip to the re-imaging station.” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Just for Fun

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

Weekly News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-08

MacAdmins are waiting for Apple to announce another Keynote event where we expect new Macs and the release date for macOS 12 Monterey. Not this week though. Instead, Apple had a beautiful video paying tribute to Steve Jobs.

Celebrating Steve – October 5 – Apple (YouTube)


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uberAgent: web app monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We did get new betas for macOS 12 Monterey, iOS 15.1 and a release candidate for the macOS 11.6.1 update. Also firmware updates for AirPods Pro and Max.

This week also featured MacSysAdmin Online. Every day a few videos from great presenters in the MacAdmin space were released. You can find them all here, along with links to the slides and/or resource pages. Access is free, and today is the last day you can purchase a T-shirt to support the online conference.

Many, many thanks to Patrik Jerneheim and everyone involved in making this happen. Huge kudos to all the speakers, I will have re-watch every one of the sessions to be able to process all the information and wisdom there-in. I am so proud to be a part of this. I am crossing my fingers to see you all in Göteborg next year!

If you think your company or product is a good fit to sponsor this newsletter, please contact me!

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

News and Opinion

macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

MacAdmins on Twitter

  • William Smith: “Advice to my past self… Don’t learn a device management system. Learn how to manage devices. Likewise, don’t learn an MDM. Learn MDM. Don’t learn how to support an operating system. Learn how to support your users. The rest will follow.”
  • Rands: “Ok. We’re in a meeting together. Rad. Here’s the mental checklist of what I’m doing in the first couple of minutes.” (Thread)

Security and Privacy

Support and HowTos

Scripting and Automation

Updates and Releases

To Watch

To Listen

Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!

News Summary for Admins — 2021-10-01

We got some really nice updates for the Pages, Keynote, and Numbers apps this week, across all platforms. A new beta for macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15.1 (and siblings).


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uberAgent: application usage monitoring

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uberAgent is an innovative user experience monitoring product for macOS and Windows. uberAgent’s highlights include detailed information about application performance, network reliability drill-downs, application usage metering, browser performance, and web app metrics. Try for yourself and get your free 100 user community license at uberagent.com.


We are all looking with some envy towards Hawaii where the Objective-by-the-Sea conference is happening.

Next week Tuesday is the start of MacSysAdmin Online!. It is, yet again, painful that we cannot meet in person. The sessions will be available for free every day according to the program. You can still support the conference by purchasing a T-shirt. When you do so you will get a small surprise from Scripting OS X, as well.

And then we have JNUC later this month. This conference is also free to participate, but requires registration. It is not too late!

More links at my overview of the most important MacAdmin conferences.

If you would rather get the weekly newsletter by email, you can subscribe to the Scripting OS X Weekly Newsletter here!! (Same content, delivered to your Inbox once a week.)

📰News and Opinion

🐟macOS 12 Monterey and iOS 15

⚙️macOS and iOS Updates

🐦MacAdmins on Twitter

  • Nathaniel Strauss: “iPadOS15 does not respect allowEraseContentAndSettings. Anyone can go into Settings > General > Transfer or Reset and erase the device. The option isn’t grayed out. Please file cases and feel free to reference my own case number 101500664636″
  • Rich Trouton: “TIL that Apple’s profile settings for Time Zone (timeZone) requires an underscore if something is two words: Right: America/New_York Wrong: America/New York If set incorrectly, the time zone defaults to using UTC.”
  • Andrew Laurence: “OH: “Managing macOS Software Update is like building a house with cooked spaghetti.” “

🔐Security and Privacy

🔨Support and HowTos

🤖Scripting and Automation

🍏Apple Support

♻️Updates and Releases

🎧To Listen

📚Support

If you are enjoying what you are reading here, please spread the word and recommend it to another Mac Admin!

If you want to support me and this website even further, then consider buying one (or all) of my books. It’s like a subscription fee, but you also get a useful book or two extra!