Monday, April 4, 2011

Tips & Tricks 4 Managing Multiple IOS devices...(part 1)

Part 1: Hardware

Did you know that iTunes can sync up to 20 IOS devices at one time? You just have to make sure that you've got the right hardware. You have some options when it comes to hardware for syncing your devices. Here are two examples that I have used that have worked nicely for me.

The Bretford syncing cart - @ $2,000 or so, this is an expensive, but very convenient option. The cart holds 2 trays of 20 iPod touch devices each. There is one USB for each tray so syncing is somewhat easy. They also make a cart that charges iPads as well.

The powered USB hub - This Tripp-Lite 10 port powered USB hub runs about $40.
This will charge and sync up to 10 devices at once. The hub must be plugged into power as well as connected to the computer in order to charge the devices. It does have one drawback. The hub needs to be plugged into the computer and then connect the devices one by one to the hub. If the devices are all plugged into the hub before it is connected to the computer, occasionally an error will come up stating that "charging is not
supported on this device."

(I have not yet tried connecting two of these to the macbook at the same time to sync up to 20 at once.)

Since the powered USB hub doesn't come with a cart, you will want to have a way to store/carry all your devices at once. We purchased this Vaultz cart below. Office depot sells them for $69.99. A foam insert can be purchased and cut to protect the devices while in transport.

A Parent Device: Whether you have iPods or iPads, these devices need to have a "Parent Device." A parent device is a PC or Mac that has iTunes installed. On my campuses we have a macbook dedicated for this job. A PC could be used, but I have had less problems managing these devices with a mac.

Do you have a system that works for you? Please let me know.

Stay tuned for info on setting up and syncing these devices using the hardware above.