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How does a Supervised iOS device differ from an Unsupervised iOS device?

This article will help you understand the basic differences between supervised and unsupervised devices and their features.

Supervising a device unlocks extra management capabilities, mainly intended for corporate-owned iOS devices. It enhances the security of the business resources on the device and makes it suitable for corporate use.

iOS devices can be supervised using Apple Configurator or Device Enrollment Program (DEP). Without supervision, administrators will have much lesser control over the devices. This can make way to fatal accidents such as end-user overrides, MDM exit, erasing corporate policies, and more. Though it sounds drastic, non-supervised devices can handle basic MDM commands and security configurations suitable for a BYOD scenario. However, to utilize high-end UEM configurations for granular device management, you will have to enable supervision during device enrollment.

Given below are the list of features that differentiate a supervised device from an unsupervised iOS device:

iOS Remote Actions

The availability of Hexnode’s one-time remote actions on iOS devices might vary based on its supervision status.

Listed below are the remote actions available for iOS devices in Hexnode UEM.

Feature Supervised Devices enrolled via User Enrollment Others
Scan Device
Scan Device Location
Lock Device
Clear Password
Change Owner
Edit Device Attributes
Wipe Device
Change Ownership
Enable Lost Mode

(iOS 9.3 or later)

Disable Lost Mode

(iOS 9.3 or later)

Rename Device

(iOS 5.0 or later)

Remote Ring

(iOS 10.3 or later)

Clear Activation Lock

(iOS 7.1 or later)

Disenroll Device
Install Application
Uninstall Application
Broadcast Message
Power off Device

(iOS 10.3 or later)

Restart Device

(iOS 10.3 or later)

Update OS

Note: On devices with versions prior to iOS 10.3, DEP-enrollment and supervision are mandatory to execute this action. Update OS can be executed on supervised iOS devices running later versions even if they were not enrolled via DEP.

Enable Personal Hotspot
Disable Personal Hotspot
Associate Policy
Add Devices To Group
Set Friendly Name
Delete Device

(Pre-approved devices only)

(Pre-approved devices only)

(Pre-approved devices only)

iOS Configurations

Feature Supervised Devices enrolled via User Enrollment Others
Mandatory Apps Installs silently Installs on user confirmation Installs on user confirmation
Application Blacklisting/Whitelisting
(iOS 9.3+)
App is hidden if the user blacklists an already installed app. Device is marked as non-compliant if a blacklisted app is installed on the device. Device is marked as non-compliant if a blacklisted app is installed on the device.
App Catalog
Web Clips
App Notifications
VPN (Except Always On VPN)
Always On VPN
Global HTTP Proxy
Web Content Filtering
Unmarked Email Domains (Managed Domains)
Managed Web Domains (Managed Domains)
Managed Web Domains for Password Autofills on Safari (Managed Domains)
Business Container
Exchange ActiveSync
Google Accounts
Network Usage Rules
Lock Screen Message
Home Screen Layout
App Configuration
Kiosk Mode
Location Tracking
A specific policy is applied when the device is within the geofence, the device will also be non-compliant when it crosses the geofenced region

iOS Restrictions

Advanced Restrictions
Feature Supervised Devices enrolled via User Enrollment Others
(iOS 7.0+)
Apps can modify cellular data usage
(iOS 7.0+)
Add or remove TouchID
(iOS 6.0+)
Game Center
(iOS 6.0+)
Multiplayer gaming
Pair with iTunes
(iOS 7.0+)
Install configuration profile
(iOS 6.0+)
Definition lookup
(iOS 8.1.3+)
Predictive keyboard
(iOS 8.1.3+)
Auto-correct words
Suggest words on misspellings
Keyboard shortcuts
(iOS 9.0+)
Pair with Apple Watch
(iOS 9.0+)
Modify diagnostic data submission settings
(iOS 9.3.2+)
Modify Bluetooth settings
(iOS 10.0+)
Use voice to type
(iOS 10.3+)
Connect to MDM-configured Wi-Fi networks only
(iOS 10.3+)
Users can modify Personal Hotspot settings
(iOS 12.2+)
Create VPN configuration<\/b>
(iOS 11.0+)
(iOS 11.0+)
Connect with iBeacon
(iOS 11.0+)
Store AirPrint credentials in Keychain
(iOS 11.0+)
Use trusted certificates for secured printing
(iOS 11.0+)
Install app from App Store
(iOS 9.0+)
Remove apps
Remove system apps
(iOS 11.0+)
iBooks Store
(iOS 6.0+)
Apple Music
(iOS 9.3+)
iTunes Radio
(iOS 9.3+)
(iOS 9.0+)
(iOS 8.0+)
Download all purchased apps automatically
(iOS 9.0+)
Activation Lock
(iOS 7.0+)
Modify an account
Erase content and settings
Siri can access user-generated content
(iOS 7.0+)
Modify Find My Friends
(iOS 7.0+)
Use profanity filter
Show web results using Spotlight Search
Modify Restrictions/ Screen Time
(iOS 8.0+)
Modify passcode
(iOS 9.0+)
Modify device name
(iOS 9.0+)
Modify wallpaper
(iOS 9.0+)
Users can turn notifications on/off
(iOS 9.3+)
Force Automatic Date and Time
(iOS 12.0+)
Autofill Passwords
(iOS 12.0+)
Request passwords from nearby devices
(iOS 12.0+)
Share passwords via AirDrop Passwords feature
(iOS 12.0+)

Basic Restrictions
Feature Supervised Devices enrolled via User Enrollment Others
Screen Capture
Touch ID
Allow Siri while device is locked
Voice dialing
Automatic sync while roaming
Show App Store on the device
iTunes Store
Force user to enter iTunes store password for each purchase
In-app purchases
Trust enterprise app
Users can modify enterprise app trust
Backup enterprise-deployed iBooks
Sync managed app data with iCloud
(below iOS 6)
Fraud warning
Block pop-ups
Accept cookies
Access Passbook when the device is locked
Add friends in Game Center
Backup files to iCloud
Sync documents
Photo Stream
(disallowing might cause data loss)
Share photo streams
iCloud photo library
Sync enterprise book metadata across devices
Lock screen notifications
Today View on lock screen
Control Center on lock screen
Over the air PKI updates
Limit ad tracking
Send diagnostic data to Apple
Accept untrusted TLS certificate
Force encrypted backup
Show notification on Apple Watch if worn
Explicit music, podcasts and iTunes U services
iBooks store erotica
Rating region
Content rating
(region-based rating)
TV shows
(region-based rating)
App ratings

  • Managing iOS Devices