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Frequently Asked Questions

General

Does TabPilot support Macbooks?

TabPilot will be adding OS X support in 2016.  Look for information on our OS X beta program in January and final release by summer 2016.

Can teachers use Control Tower from a Mac or Chromebook?

Control Tower, the web-based management console for TabPilot, can be accessed by teachers and administrators from any type of computer with a standard web browser.  So yes, Chromebook and Mac computers are fine for this.

Is TabPilot available for Chromebooks or Surface tablets?
At this time, TabPilot is only available for Android and iOS. We will soon support Mac OS X too.
Our WiFi is not great. Can TabPilot still work?

TabPilot can still work, even in environments where the wifi system is not great, however, keep in mind that many apps themselves need Internet access. Features like viewing of student screens from Control Tower will not work well without a solid Internet connection.  However, the devices will remain locked down with the latest profile, even when there is no wifi available.  In fact, some schools send tablets home with students to use downloaded content, such as e-books, even when students do not have any access to the Internet from home.

Do you have extensive training and certification classes for TabPilot?

No way!  If our MDM was so complex and complicated that we had such thing as “certification” or extensive classes, then we did a terrible job making it intuitive and easy-to-use for the school environment.  Very few school districts have staff dedicated to nothing but mobile device management who can learn a complex system that requires such training.

Do I have to buy licenses in certain blocks, or can I buy just a few at a time?

You can buy TabPilot licenses in any quantity you choose.  We do not make you roll up to the next “block” as some vendors do.  If you add licenses mid-year, we’ll simply prorate the subscription so that all licenses renew together on the same date.

Can I restrict teachers to just a few class control features and hide everything else?

Yes, our flexible permissions area allows you to choose which roles have access to the various features in TabPilot.  If you disable a feature for teachers, it will not even be visible in Control Tower, making for a simple, clean, easy-to-use environment for teachers.  If you want to limit them to nothing but Screen Lock, App Lock, and Web Lock, for example, you can do that.

Is there any extra cost for your teacher tools?

Nope!  We’re designed for schools, so we consider the teacher tools to be a core function of our MDM, not an after-the fact add-on or set of restrictions as you’ll see with other MDMs.

Are discounts available for my school or charity?

TabPilot is designed for schools.  Because of this, we’ve already priced TabPilot for the school market.  Our standard pricing provides discounts based on tiers for quantity purchase for those with hundreds or thousands of devices.

Android

iOS

What is TabPilot Enhanced Mode?

TabPilot will run in TabPilot Enhanced Mode on select tablets to provide features that are not generally available when used on other devices.  The three key features for Enhanced Mode are:

1. Screen monitoring: live view of student screens.  In standard mode, only its name and icon of the running app will show to the teacher, but in Enhanced Mode, the actual screen image will be shown.

2. Silent app installation: both Standard and Enhanced modes allow apps to be pushed to devices.  In Standard Mode, the installation will need to be completed by confirming installation from the notification area of the device.  In Enhanced Mode, tablets will install the apps silently in the background, with no user interaction.

3. TabPilot automatic update: in standard mode, TabPilot updates may be installed by exiting to the console on each device and selecting the “upgrade” button.  In Enhanced mode, the updates install automatically.

Please check with your sales representative to find out which tablets support Enhanced Mode.

Which tablets support TabPilot Enhanced Mode
There are a variety of tablets that support TabPilot Enhanced Mode, including:

Samsung tablets running Android 4.2 or above such as the Galaxy Tab 4 Education

The Asus Transformer TF103C

Certain tablets based on the Intel Education tablet specifications

Also, it may be possible to make some changes on other types of tablets to allow enhanced mode to run.

Does TabPilot work with Google Play for Education?

Yes!  TabPilot makes a great companion to Google Play for Education bringing classroom management features to the basic device management and app distribution provided by Google.

Perhaps the best benefit of Google Play for Education is access to the Google Play for Education version of the Google Play app store.  GPFE is a curated set of resources, such as apps, that are teacher-reviewed and arranged by subject matter, grade level, and even standards.  Further GPFE allows for volume licensing of apps.  Once an app is purchased with the appropriate volume licensing through GPFE it can then be distributed to your devices through the Google Apps Admin Console (if you use GPFE-compatible tablets) or through TabPilot (for any type of tablet).

By adding TabPilot to your GPFE setup, you’ll be adding many features not available through the Google console alone including:

  • A locked-down app launcher (i.e. home screens) that can dynamically be changed by teachers on a class-by class basis to show only selected apps and web links
  • Management of non-GPFE certified tablets
  • Student  screen monitoring
  • Student screen freeze (i.e. “heads up!”)
  • Distribution of local files to devices
  • Management of web links

 

Where do we get apps? Does TabPilot Provide them?

TabPilot does not provide apps.  Instead, apps are downloaded from the Google Play store.  If your school has Google Play for Education, then you can also download from the school-specific area of Google Play, including volume licensing.  Other sources can be used for apps such as the Amazon App Store or even direct purchases from app developers.  Regardless of the source you use for downloading your apps, you can use TabPilot to distribute the app to all of your other devices once an appropriate license is purchased.

Does every tablet require a Google Play account?

No.  One of the benefits of TabPilot is that it can be used to manage devices and distribute apps based on the device, rather than a configured Google Play account.  This saves a lot of management time in particular for those with carts or other shared-use environments where a single device is not registered to a single student.

Some apps, however, do require a Google Play account on the device.  In particular, apps that initially download only the main app, then later download the additional portion or content.  So if you choose not to put Google Play accounts on the devices, you may have to find alternate apps in some cases.

Does TabPilot work with Apple's Volume Purchase Program (VPP)?

Yes, TabPilot fully supports Apple VPP

Can I remotely view an iPad screen?

You cannot view an iPad screen directly in TabPilot Control Tower.  You can, however, view an iPad screen with software products that install to your computer and function as an Apple TV receiver.  Apps like Mirroring 360 and Reflector will show up on your network as an Apple TV would. From an iPad, the user can start AirPlay and select your computer as the source.  This might be good for viewing a teacher iPad on the computer (perhaps to project to the class with a classroom projector) however, you might not want to leave this open for students.

For student use, a better solution is to use the AirPlay capability in Control Tower to let the teacher choose a student iPad from View & Control and start the AirPlay broadcast by selecting the pre-configured Apple TV from the list.  This allows the passwords to remain private and students cannot start the mirroring session.

Do I have to configure an Apple ID on every iPad?

Up until iOS 9, it was necessary to configure an Apple ID on every iPad so that apps could install on the devices. However, iOS 9 introduced device-based app assignment, meaning you can install a VPP app directly to a device, rather than just to a user.  This is particularly useful for shared-use (i.e. carts) deployments.  For 1:1, however, you’ll almost certainly want the student to have an Apple ID on their device.

Are there any disadvantages of assigning apps to devices instead of users?

Yes, there is a small disadvantage to device-based app distribution.  Apps installed through device-based assignment (available in iOS 9 and above) save their documents and settings locally and they are not included in a backup, therefore, they would not be included in a restore.  The app itself would also not be included in a backup/restore, but it would be installed again by TabPilot if the device were to be reset.

The iPad user should store their documents to their iCloud account for safe keeping.

 

See https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205199 for Apple’s description.

Do you support app distribution to devices with no Apple ID on the iPad?

Yes, this feature was introduced in iOS 9 and TabPilot supported this feature immediately after iOS 9 was released.

Can I restrict teachers to only a few of the class control features?

Yes, our flexible permissions area allows you to choose which roles have access to the various features in TabPilot.  If you disable a feature for teachers, it will not even be visible in Control Tower, making for a simple, clean, easy-to-use environment for teachers.  If you want to limit them to nothing but Screen Lock, App Lock, and Web Lock, for example, you can do that.

Can TabPilot be used for an iPhone or iPod Touch?

TabPilot has added support for the iPod 6th generation (2015) device.  We may consider adding support for the iPhone if there is demand, but since we’re a school-focused MDM, we have not had the need for this yet.  Let us know if you have a need.