Can I remotely administer an Ipad?
July 17, 2011 11:46 AM   Subscribe

How best to remotely administer an ipad?

My sis got my dad an ipad for his birthday. But it arrived the day before he left so we really didn't have a chance to set it up. All we did was enter his email settings so he can started using the mail app right away but everything else is still at the standard factory settings.

Dad also has a relatively new imac (2010) that I got him last year. I've asked him to just plug it into his imac so he can pair it with his computer and we'd take it from there.

Some issues:

I don't think he can figure out how to navigate the itunes store. I also worry that he would link his credit card/bank account with a weak password (most of his passwords are variations of our names or names of his grandkids) and get caught in a phishing scam. He will also be outside the US till early next year. I bought him a copy of 1password but he doesn't like using it.

Ideally I want to create a new account for him and just give him the username/password over the phone. Then I can go ahead and buy him apps that he asks for (e.g. "I need an app to do x") and gift it to his account. Would that just appear on his itunes when he launches?

I also worry that when he pairs his ipad with his imac, it will wipe out his mail settings. Is there any way I can remotely reset that back for him?
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Gifted apps show up as emails. The users gets them and it tells them what to do. The rest I can't help you with.
posted by chairface at 1:12 PM on July 17, 2011

1. Mail settings are only overridden during sync if you check off the overwrite mail settings box in the itunes sync setting for that ipad

2. If your ipad is jailbroken ( do NOT upgrade to 4.3.4 that cam out this week if you want to jailbreak) then you can use Veency to VNC into that ipad. I use it to remotely control my ipod. Using a VNC server like Veency opens up a host of other security holes because it sounds like your Dad will not be able to understand how to turn it off (or unwilling to do so) when you both are not using it so you will likely be trading one problem for another.

I also love to share techie things with other people but some people just aren't built for absorbing that kind of thing :( . You might just have to accept that about your Dad. If your dad insists on using weak passwords and/or going to shady sites and/or answering phishing emails- things like that - well there's not a lot you are going to do to be able to stop that. You tell him over and over and it's going to be up to him after that.

So basically you can VNC into an iPad using Veency. Doing that creates some security issues if your Dad would be unwilling to turn VNC off afterwards.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 1:57 PM on July 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I have no intention of jail breaking because troubleshooting anything is a real pain from afar. All I want him to do from time to time is just plug it into his computer.

dad is already paranoid about online banking (which he does not use which is great) so in some ways his bad passwords can't do too much damage. But he does use yahoo mail and is a member on far too many listservs (old work colleagues) and I fear that one of them will send him some phishing scam and he would just click on it.

chairface: I imagine clicking on the gift link will go to the browser, then redirect to itunes, right?
I guess that is a good compromise because I can pay for an app while on the phone with him and make him click his email link and install right away.
posted by babby╩╝); Drop table users; -- at 2:43 PM on July 17, 2011

You could install Teamviewer on your Mac / PC and then point him to and click join a session - you can talk him through this on the phone. Once you have control of is Mac via teamviewer, just get him to connect the iPad and you can do whatever's necessary.
posted by dirm at 3:34 PM on July 17, 2011

I haven't received an email gift app in quite a while but I don't think there's a browser or iTunes involved if he reads the email on the iPad. He just has to click the link then enter his password. No docking required.
posted by chairface at 3:45 PM on July 17, 2011

Logmein Ignition.
posted by Rubbstone at 5:30 PM on July 17, 2011

Best answer: I've set up a simple Web site for my father's iPad. His Safari home screen is set to this page. If there's an app, I think he needs to download, I'll put the link on his Web site, so he'll see it when he logs in, and knows to download it. He's alright with using his password for this, and I've set him up with an iTunes gift card, so he's got credit on there, and no credit card is used.

You might have better luck doing Skype screen sharing with him on the Mac (while his ipad is connected), or connecting to the mac remotely to handle the administration of the iPad. Just make sure he plugs it in at a specific time that you've worked out in advance.

My dad isn't too computer savvy (the iPad is his first "computer", actually), but he hasn't managed to screw anything up yet. He knows how to update his apps, and how to navigate his mail and things like that. I got him "iPad for Seniors For Dummies" and he seemed to like that
posted by backwards guitar at 5:40 PM on July 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

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