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For Apple IT admins who manage thousands of remote Macs, providing support to end users isn't always easy . There may be many variables that you will have to identify when problems arise. I've often thought that Apple should add a simple menu bar app that could quickly allow users to copy and paste key data into a support ticket. Luckily, one company continues to provide a solution: the Root3 support app has recently released version 2.5.
About Apple @ Work:Bradley Chambers managed the corporate IT network from 2009 to 2021. With experience deploying and managing firewalls, switches, MDM, enterprise-grade Wi-Fi, hundreds of Macs, and hundreds of iPads, Bradley will share how Apple IT managers deploy Apple devices, build networks to support them, train users, tell stories from the trenches of IT management and ways Apple can improve its products for IT departments.
As you can see in the photo above, the Support App offers end users and IT professionals a lot of quick information that can help determine what the problem might be in macOS. It offers a number of customization options, which I'll detail below, but the purpose of the app is to highlight key information that can affect macOS performance, as well as provide quick links to company resources – again, all of this can be customized.
The top four buttons will display four elements and IT teams will be able to choose from multiple options that best suit their team's needs. You can select the computer name, macOS version (clicking opens the software update screen), last reboot (can be set to display ! if it exceeds the maximum time recommended by your company), storage used, IP address with Wi-Fi indicator, or Ethernet (useful for troubleshooting VPN, guest network, hotel connections, etc.) and indicates when the global password for a user account will expire.
Buttons in the third and fourth rows act as shortcuts for applications or links. Both rows can display two or three buttons. These labels may include the company help portal, company portal, support phone number, etc.
What's new in the 2.5 support app?
The Root3 team recently released a fantastic new update to the support app that adds a number of great features to the app.
- Update your macOS software and add additional organization policy text using Markdown.
- Remote images using URL and SF character support for branding. This means you no longer need to package images.
- Support for alerts on app extensions that cause alerts to appear in the extension and menu bar icon. For teams working on a security project, this is a must-have enhancement.
- Support for Rapid Security Response – I think this is a key feature of this release as this feature has been a hot topic among Apple IT folks.
- macOS 14 support
Another key feature is support for built-in variables to retrieve device information. The following variables are available:
- $LocalComputerName: Current computer name/hostname
- $LocalModelName: Model name, for example MacBook Air (M2, 2022). Apple Silicon only.
- $LocalModelShortName: Short model name, such as MacBook or iMac.
- $LocalFullName: Full name of the local macOS user account.
- $ LocalUserName: The username of your local macOS account.
- $LocalMacosVersion: The macOS version, such as 13.4.1.
- $LocalMacosVersionName: The marketing name for the macOS version, such as Ventura or Sonoma.
- $LocalSerialNumber: device serial number.
- $LocalIpAddress: current IP address.
- $LocalUpdatesAvailable: number of available updates.
The support app is completely free and can be easily deployed through Device Manager.
Apple @ Work is brought to you by Mosyle, Apple's only unified platform. Mosyle is the only solution that fully integrates 5 different applications onto a single Apple platform, allowing businesses to easily and automatically deploy, manage and secure all their Apple devices. More than 38,000 organizations use Mosyle solutions to automate the deployment, management and security of millions of Apple devices every day. Request a FREE account today and find out how you can put your Apple fleet on autopilot whenever you want. a price that is hard to believe.