Apple TV just became an enterprise hub for connected things

Jamf introduces zero-day support for Apple TV

Apple, iOS, Mac, Apple TV, IoT, HomeKit, Jamf, iOS 10.3
Credit: Apple

Hotels, colleges, enterprises and educators now have a really simple way to deploy Apple TVs across their business: new iOS management software from Jamf, which will introduce zero-day support for Apple’s upcoming iOS 10.3, macOS 10.12.4 and tvOS 10.2 releases.

Why this should interest you

The move means that businesses can mass deploy, configure and manage app distribution on multiple Apple TVs, rather than needing to manually install and update each one.

That matters because so many enterprises already use Apple TV, and because in future the Apple product will become the hub for every connected business or home (on which more below).

It’s the thin end of a wider wedge.

“Having the ability to automatically deploy custom applications for Apple TV opens an abundant of transformational use cases in classrooms, hotel rooms, hospital rooms, board rooms and lobbies.

"The Apple TV can be plug-and-play digital signage, a kiosk, collaboration tool or entertainment system. Teachers can display historic pictures or maps with the command of their voice,” Jamf CEO, Dean Hager told me.

It is interesting that the winner of the 2016 European Hospitality Award for ‘Best Use of Technology’, Staybridge Suites, won through its support for Apple’s solutions, including Apple TV.

Connected everything

Tools that enable enterprises of every stripe to quickly and easily deploy Apple kit are going to become ever more popular, particularly as the IoT ecosystem evolves.

“For the first time, businesses and schools can set up and manage Apple TV just like they do iPhone or iPad, which means they can not only mass deploy Apple TV with ease, but create a seamless and interconnected experience between Apple devices,” said Jamf’s VP product management and marketing, Dave Alampi.

There are wide implications in other industries. Think, for example, of the hotel industry, where analysts believe Apple and Amazon are battling to dominate voice control.

The Jamf solution makes it possible to easily deploy and remotely manage an Apple TV in every guest room, which you just can’t do with Amazon Alexa gadgets.

A touch in classs

Apple still maintains a strong position in education markets, and there may be implications to this.

“We imagined teachers being able to display any ... educational content on a classroom display with the simple command of their voice," Blair Anderson, tech manager, Shawnee Heights School District said via Jamf PR.

"That's why we deployed fourth generation Apple TV devices to every classroom and conference room in the district.... [It] lets us transform, yet supervise, the total learning experience for students and help improve teacher effectiveness."

Think different

It is important to understand that these tools aren’t defined solely by what you see them used for today, but also how they can enable tomorrow’s tech rollouts.

When it comes to the connected home, Apple has chosen to use Apple TV as a HomeKit hub, and in future as more HomeKit-compatible solutions appear it’s reasonable to expect the Apple TV in your hotel room will become your hub from which to turn down the lights, change the room temperature, call room service and control your television.

“Hotel guests can use the Apple TV as their personal concierge. Apple TV deployments may start as an information source for users, but eventually can become automation for all in-room connected things,” Hager told me.

“I look forward to the automation we can help organizations achieve by supporting future Apple innovations the day they become available.”

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