Pushing out paid apps with Meraki – Revisited

Since I revisited the process of installing free apps, I thought I’d revisit the process of pushing out purchased apps. The process has not changed, but I will go into a little more detail. This may sound complicated, but once your VPP account is setup to work with Meraki assigning apps it is pretty easy.

You should use Meraki to assign purchased apps to iTunes accounts. Technically we don’t actually push the paid apps to iPads. Rather we assign licenses for purchased apps to specific iTunes accounts. If the iPad has the automatic downloads feature turned on, once you assign the license the iTunes account, the app will automatically download on any device using that iTunes account.

To get started purchasing and deploying apps, you first need a VPP (Volume Purchase Program) account. I create the VPP accounts so if you don’t have one let me know.

Once your VPP account is created or you already have a VPP account, I have to associate that account with your school’s Meraki network. I need one thing from you.

  • Log into your VPP account at https://vpp.itunes.apple.com
  • In the top right corner of the screen, click on the grey button that contains your VVP account name
  • Click Account Summary
  • Click Download Token on the right side of the screen
  • Email the token to me.

I will then upload the token to Meraki. Once I’ve done this, any app you have purchased or will purchase with the VPP account will show up in the VPP section in Meraki. The token is valid for 1 year at which point you will need to download a new token and I will have to upload it. I plan to have all schools download a new token in May so that the expiration dates are more consistent throughout the district and we don’t have any that expire during the summer.

Paid apps can be assigned to any iTunes account, including a teacher’s personal account.

Once your VPP account has been added to Meraki, follow the directions below to add a paid app to an iPad

  1. Open dashboard.meraki.com. If you don’t have a Meraki account contact your district tech.
  2. Log on
  3. On the left side, click MDM > VPP
  4. Make sure your VPP account is correct. Most users will only see one.
  5. You should now see a list of your paid apps. If not, let me know.
  6. Click on the user management tab

You need to create an association between your VPP account and any iTunes account you want to push paid apps to.

  1. Click Add User
  2. Enter the name of the iTunes account you want to associate and its iTunes account email address
  3. Click the “Send invitations automatically box” Note: If you forget this step and click Save, you can send the invitation by clicking the check box next to the users account and click Invite
  4. The user status should now show as Invited and an email was sent to the user
  5. The user now need to open their email ON AN iOS DEVICE (you can use webmail) and accept the invite.
  6. After that, the user Status should change to Associated. If this doesn’t happen after a few minutes, Click Reload cached data and Force sync now

Now you need to choose the apps you want to assign to the user’s iTunes account.

  1. Click on the Licensed applications tab
  2. Click the green app name link next to the app you want to install
  3. Click the check box next to the user you want to give the app to.
  4. Click Grant license to user

At this point, one of 2 things will happen on the user’s device

  1. If the user has “Automatically down load apps purchased on other devices” turned on in Settings > iTunes & App Store then the app will automatically download to the user’s device(s)
  2. If the setting for automatically download setting is turned off, then the app will show up in the purchased list in the App store and the user can manually download it for free. The user should not have to enter a password to install the app. If the user is prompted to enter a password you probably have one of these settings enabled in your security profile in Meraki:
  • “Force user to enter iTunes Store password for all purchases”
  • The content rating for Apps has been changed from “Allow All Apps”. This seems like a good idea, but in my experience it has caused password prompts.

If you have any questions let me know.

dave.carty@fayette.kyschools.us

  1. #1 by Craig on February 24, 2016 - 4:34 am

    Thanks so much
    “The user now need to open their email ON AN iOS DEVICE”
    That had me stumped for far too long,
    its good to find clear concise advice on this subject.

    Liked by 1 person

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