Distributing volume app purchases


My school has a Bring Your Own Device program where students bring in personal iPads for school use. Since these are family-owned we do not wish to install any school profiles or enrol them in our Apple School Manager or Meraki MDM.

Prior to ASM we would purchase a small number of paid apps in the Volume Purchase program web store using the education discount. This let us download CSV files of App Store redeemable codes which we could distribute to students who then "owned" the app and were responsible for install, updates, etc. This worked very well and went very smoothly and quickly.

The transition to ASM has removed the option to use redeemable codes. We can only "gift" or assign apps to users or devices that are enrolled in ASM or Meraki, something we do not want to do with BYOD iPads.

Our workaround is to visit classrooms and physically plug student iPads into a machine running Apple Configurator. Configurator lets us distribute volume apps directly to student devices bypassing any MDM enrolment or registration. As you can imagine this is time-consuming and requires students to unlock their device and tap "Trust" when plugging into our Configurator machine.

Does anyone have a workflow that can:

  1. Purchase apps for students. We prefer to use our school account to enable the 20+ volume discounts and to ensure the proper app version is purchased. Apple Business Manager can generate redeemable codes but does not have the education volume discount.
  2. Gift this app to the student so they are responsible for install and maintenance. We do not wish to have anything to do with ownership of the app or have any desire to retract it or redistribute. Distribution of App Store gift cards seems cumbersome and does not guarantee purchase and install of the required apps.
  3. Maintain a no-touch relationship so the student device does not interact with any school database or MDM. I have not tried Managed AppleIDs but this process seems overkill for our purposes.

Posted on September 07, 2022 in response to mrmahsome

Hi mrmahsome

I think you need User Enrollment

 User Enrollment is designed for devices owned by the user and is integrated with Managed Apple IDs to establish a user identity on the device. Managed Apple IDs are part of the User Enrollment profile, and the user must successfully authenticate in order for enrollment to be completed. Managed Apple IDs can be used alongside a personal Apple ID that the user has already signed in with. Managed apps and accounts use a Managed Apple ID, and personal apps and accounts use a personal Apple ID.

Posted on September 13, 2022 in response to karim

Good take, karim.

This article has more information on User Enrollment. It is certainly a "lighter touch" to management and may be a good solution for you, mrmahsome.

Posted on September 21, 2022 in response to KevinF-AppleEDU

Thanks for the suggestion on user enrollment. It does seem like a good approach to BYOD management, though I'm not sure if it's a good fit for our primary grades right now.

Question: Distributing volume app purchases

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