*This post originally appeared on the MobileIron blog prior to the acquisition in December 2020, when MobileIron became part of Ivanti.

What is a Shared iPad?

A Shared iPad allows you to deliver personalized experiences on an iPad shared by multiple users. Apple introduced its shared iPad for education capability in iOS9.3 and supported it on Apple School Manager.

This enables school authorities to wirelessly configure settings and restrictions according to the school’s requirements and then easily assign the devices to a concerned group (Shared devices) or individual. A student uses his or her Managed Apple ID to sign in to the iPad, which is then populated by that student’s relevant data, apps and resources. The data is all stored in iCloud and downloaded when required.

What is new with Shared iPad?

The same shared iPad capability available for education is now extended to business and supported on Apple Business Manager with iOS 13.4. Shared iPad enables businesses to share devices between multiple employees, while still providing a personalized experience. Employees can sign in with a Managed Apple ID to begin loading their data, including their Mail accounts, files, iCloud Photo Library, app data, and more. The data is stored in iCloud, so employees can sign in to any Shared iPad that belongs to the organization.

Why Do Businesses need Shared iPad?

Companies are moving forward with enabling their employees with the right technologies and tools. They are digitally empowering their firstline/frontline workforce while considering the user experience and not compromising on the security of the organization and user data. Shared iPad for Business can be used in healthcare, retail, and industrial applications. For example, a doctor and nurses can share one device, as they can each securely access the user profile uniquely designed for them. In retail stores, firstline/frontline workers can be empowered with access to product information, resources, expertise to delight the customers and provide better shopping experiences.

What is a temporary session?

Shared iPad for Business supports temporary sessions, which allows users to sign in without an account and then erases their data when they sign out. Apple has provided a restriction for admins to allow temporary sessions on SharedDevice. This can be leveraged by School iPad for Schools too, without requiring an Apple ID to login. So when a student logs out, his or her data is removed, and the iPad is ready for the next student.

How does Shared iPad for Business work?

It starts with devices added to Apple Business Manager, where iPads are enrolled using an automated enrollment profile with shared mode on. Employees simply sign in with a company-provided Managed Apple ID and password. Apple Business Manager admins can manually create these accounts or federate to an identity provider like Azure Active Directory. Following is the list of requirements to be considered before you can start using Shared iPads:

  1. Shared iPad requires a mobile device management (MDM) solution.
  2. Shared iPad requires Managed Apple ID. Admins can manually create these accounts or federate to an identity provider like Azure Active Directory.
  3. Devices must have at least 32GB of storage and be supervised.


This is an exciting feature for businesses! Shared iPad delivers personalized experiences on an iPad shared by multiple users along with cost effectiveness. Apple not only equips users with the best products and software, but also the best user experience. It will be interesting to see how the support for multi-users will shift the gears in businesses. MobileIron is gearing up to support this exciting feature from Apple. Please stay tuned for more information and updates!