Apple @ Work: The AppleSeed for IT program is essential for success with major versions of macOS

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[email protected] is brought to you by Kandji, the MDM solution designed exclusively for organizations that run on Apple. Kandji is a modern, cloud-based platform to centrally manage and secure your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices, saving IT teams countless hours of manual labor with features like one-click compliance templates and 150+ pre-built automations, apps, and workflows. Request access.

The months of 2022 continue to move forward. It’s like waking up on 01/01/22, but we’re almost there, with Q1. If you’re in the same community, these are the “quiet months” before entering the period when speculation about Apple’s summer software announcements intensifies, followed by fall releases. If you’re in the IT world, you may have just deployed macOS 12 to your fleet, so the concepts of another software release can be overwhelming. Actually, it is, but it comes whether you like it or not. However, there are things you can do today to prepare for macOS 13 in your organization.

About [email protected]: Bradley Chambers managed a corporate IT network from 2009 to 2021. With his experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, mobile device management system, Wi- Fi company, hundreds of Macs and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will highlight the ways in which Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, stories trenches of IT management and ways Apple could improve its products for IT departments.

Planning for macOS 13 may seem like Halloween planning in March, but your plan kicks off in the summer when betas are released. If you build a good plan today, you’ll be ready for October.

You can avoid early betas

The first betas of macOS 13 are likely to be rough in terms of bugs. Your testing during this time may be futile, as early bugs that may seem related to compatibility issues may just be early bugs. If you want to download it to a test device to start tinkering with, I might wait for beta three before I start putting it in your workflows.

Join the AppleSeed for Computing Program

You may not know that Apple offers a testing program specifically for IT professionals. AppleSeed for Computing is designed for businesses and educational institutions to test new versions of Apple software in their organizations. This program allows IT professionals to provide feedback directly to Apple’s engineering teams through a dedicated bug submission process, participate in detailed test plans, and join a dedicated discussion forum with other participants.

Test key applications

When you have access to a final version of macOS or iOS, you should test the workflows and applications for each service. For example, does the marketing team rely heavily on OneDrive? OneDrive sharing should be thoroughly tested to determine if there are any compatibility issues with a new version. Additionally, apps like OneDrive and Dropbox have struggled with Apple’s software upgrades to macOS in recent years, so they should be given special attention.

Do you use a tool like CrowdStrike for security? It should be strongly tested with each new major release of macOS before allowing your fleet to upgrade.

Most mobile device management vendors will have day one support for major upgrades from Apple. However, it’s still worth testing the process of onboarding a Mac from a fresh install of macOS 13 to find out any UI quirks or bugs to report.

Document workflow changes in Apple’s default apps

Each new version of macOS brings changes to Apple’s default applications such as Safari, Mail, Calendar, etc. Depending on the year, these changes can be minor or significant. For example, macOS 12 sought to make several changes to Safari, but users pushed back against Apple during the beta period, and many changes were rolled back. If macOS 13 makes revisions to Mail or Calendar, document those changes and get ahead of them in user training and documentation. You’ll want to share what’s new with your users before offering them the upgrade.

Wrap

Your walk points from this article should be to enroll in the AppleSeed for IT program. Start getting involved in the Apple community by joining MacAdmins Slack. There is safety in numbers, especially in Apple IT.

[email protected] is brought to you by Kandji, the MDM solution designed exclusively for organizations that run on Apple. Kandji is a modern, cloud-based platform to centrally manage and secure your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV devices, saving IT teams countless hours of manual labor with features like one-click compliance templates and 150+ pre-built automations, apps, and workflows. Request access.

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