It’s Thanksgiving here in the USA, and I have nothing to do, so I’m going to spend some time this morning writing a rambling blog post about iPads.
I have a company-owned iPad, that I got back in 2016. It was originally supposed to be for testing a project that we thought would be accessed on iPads. That project kinda fizzled out. Or at least the iPad idea did. I think they decided to just use Surface laptops for it. Either way, I kept the iPad.
I’ve used it for different stuff over the years. At this point, I’m using it as a quick way to access company email and MS Teams at home, when my laptop is turned off. Teams has kinda turned into a work phone replacement for us now too. Nobody ever uses our internal phone system anymore, since we’re all on hybrid schedules. Everyone just uses Teams audio to call. So it’s convenient for that.
Of course, it’s not really necessary; I can always access email and Teams on my laptop. But I can’t leave my laptop on and connected to VPN 24/7, and it takes so long to boot it up and go through all the connection stuff that I would never check my email or Teams in my off-hours if I had to do it that way. So the iPad is kinda necessary, if I want to be accessible outside my normal work schedule. And it’s really useful for picking up a Teams call even during work hours.
But it’s from 2016, and is too old to be upgraded to iPadOS 16. And that should be fine, since iPadOS 15 is fine, and Apple is still releasing security updates for it. But my company uses Microsoft Intune to manage mobile devices, and I started getting emails recently telling me that I had to update it to 16.1.1. Initially, it looked like they had backed off on that and would support 15.7.1. But then I started getting the email notices from Intune again, and support confirmed that they would only allow iPadOS 16. (As a side note, I suspect that they could probably support both, but just don’t want to…)
So my initial plan here was just to trade in the old iPad for a new company-owned one. My boss approved that, but the mobile support guy told me that the company does not issue iPads, only iPhones. I could have gone down a rabbit hole here, arguing my case, or trying to find a way to get one through our internal Apple sales team. (We resell a lot of Apple devices, so I could have probably wrangled a slightly damaged customer return or something like that.) But I decided that would be an uphill battle, and it would just be easier to buy one myself.
My initial plan was to buy myself a new iPad for personal use, then repurpose my current personal iPad as a work iPad. That seemed like a good idea, but, looking at new iPads, I saw that I’d have to spend around $600 on an iPad that was equivalent or better than the one I have now, and I didn’t really want to do that. I eventually settled on buying a “scratch and dent” 2019 iPad from Woot for $200.
So now I have a 2019 7th gen iPad for work, and a 2019 iPad Air for personal use. Hopefully, both of them will keep working for awhile.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time setting up the new work iPad yesterday. The “easy” setup method, where you put the old iPad next to the new iPad, and the setup process tries to copy stuff over via Bluetooth (or whatever) got stuck. I gave it a few hours, and it didn’t time out or give me any errors, but it clearly wasn’t working. I eventually gave up and set it up as a new iPad, and then updated it to iPadOS 16.
I then had to go through the bureaucracy necessary to get it enrolled in Intune. That wasn’t too bad, though I did have to open a support ticket, since it didn’t work the first time I tried. And they haven’t removed the old iPad from Intune, so I’m still getting stern warning emails about updating it to iPadOS 16.
I’m wondering what I should do with the old iPad now, since they told me that they don’t want it back. It’s still in perfect working order, except for not being upgradeable to iPadOS 16. I guess I should just hand it in to Apple for recycling, but maybe I can find someone who wants a free iPad.
Messing with this stuff has also got me thinking again about the semi-permeable membrane between personal stuff and work stuff. It’s funny how that distinction has gotten blurred over the years, with BYOD programs and WFH, but how it’s now getting more distinct, with all the security measures we’ve been putting in place lately. Intune enforces a bunch of requirements now, such that I would never want to enroll my personal-use iPad or iPhone in the company MDM program. I use a separate iCloud account for the company iPad, and I’m really leery about doing anything with a personal account on a company device or vice versa nowadays.
So I guess I’ve succeeded in writing a long and rambling blog post on iPads, and can now get up and go out for a walk. It was a little below freezing when I started writing this, and is now a little above freezing, so I guess it’s warm enough for a walk now.