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Early Bird Gets the Worm: Testing iOS 18 & macOS 15 (Beta) Devices with Intune

Apple has unleashed its latest developer darlings: the iOS 18 and macOS 15 betas! For the tech-savvy and curious, these pre-release versions offer a glimpse into the future of Apple's software. This is where Microsoft Intune swoops in. As a powerful mobile device management (MDM) tool, Intune can

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Early Bird Gets the Worm: Testing iOS 18 & macOS 15 (Beta) Devices with Intune

Apple has unleashed its latest developer darlings: the iOS 18 and macOS 15 betas! For the tech-savvy and curious, these pre-release versions offer a glimpse into the future of Apple's software.

This is where Microsoft Intune swoops in. As a powerful mobile device management (MDM) tool, Intune can streamline the enrolment process for your iOS 18 and macOS 15 beta devices. 

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At the time of writing this post, Microsoft Intune does not support iOS 18 & macOS 15.

Don't worry, early birds! This post will guide you through the process of enrolling your devices with Intune, so you can be among the first to explore the exciting new features of iOS 18 and macOS 15.

Before We Begin: A Disclaimer

Beta software is inherently unstable and can contain bugs, glitches, and unexpected behavior. It's best to avoid installing it on your primary devices. Make sure you have a dedicated test environment and back up your data before proceeding.

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These operating systems are currently in Beta, and any issues encountered with enrollment, profiles, setup, apps, etc., are not yet supported. If you encounter any problems, you can open a support ticket with Microsoft to notify them. The details will be forwarded to the engineering team to help improve the product.

Enrolment Essentials: What You'll Need

Enroll in Apple's Beta Program

Enrolling in Apple's Beta Software Program allows you to test the latest operating systems before their official release. Here’s a step-by-step guide to enroll your devices in the beta program:

Step 1: Sign Up for Apple’s Beta Software Program

Step 2: Installing and using Apple beta software

Before installing the beta software, ensure that you have a recent backup of your device. You can back up your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes/Finder.

Be sure to read the release notes for the version of software that you plan to install. Release notes provide details on API changes, known issues, fixes, workarounds, and deprecations for recent software releases.

Note: Your iPhone must be signed in with the Apple ID you use to sign into to the Apple Developer website in order to access the beta software.


The method is absolutely same for macOS devices also.

For devices running macOS 13.4 Ventura or later

Note: Your Mac must be signed in with the Apple ID you use to sign into to the Apple Developer website in order to access the beta software.


Testing macOS 15 Beta with Microsoft Intune

We're taking our "Early Bird Gets the Worm" experiment a step further! As you may recall, we explored upgrading our device to the brand new macOS 15 beta. But what if your device was already supervised and enrolled with Intune before the beta update? Here’s how to handle that scenario.

Changes in System Settings in macOS 15

Before we delve into enrolment & the new Platform Single Sign-On (SSO) experience, let’s take a quick look at some of the notable changes in the system settings of macOS 15. Apple has made several adjustments to enhance usability and streamline configuration processes.

Device Management is moved to General in System Setting
New Password App

The Passwords app will store logins and passwords for websites, Wi-Fi network passwords, and Passkeys—a feature that uses Face ID or Touch ID for logging into websites instead of a traditional password. Data from the app can be automatically inserted into websites and apps when a user logs in. Similar to the existing Passwords section in Settings, this dedicated Passwords app will be built on iCloud Keychain, Apple's feature that syncs login and password details across all Apple devices.

These are just a few highlights, marking the beginning of what's to come. Most of the features announced at WWDC will be available with the first beta of macOS 15.

A Quick Check Before We Re-Enrol the Device
Enrolment Experience

The enrollment experience for a Mac running macOS 15 was smooth and straightforward, mirroring the process for previous versions. The steps involving the setup assistant, remote management profile, FileVault, and configuring the local account remain unchanged. However, there are noticeable changes in the overall look and feel of the operating system, particularly in the system settings where some options have been re-arranged.

Now, let's move on to my favourite part – Platform Single Sign-On (SSO).


New UI Experience for Platform Single Sign-On (SSO)

As we transition from macOS Sonoma to macOS 15, one of the significant improvements can be seen in the UI for Platform Single Sign-On (SSO). Here’s a comparison of the old and new UI to highlight the enhancements for both Password Authentication, Secure Enclave methods & Smart Card Authentication.

Password Authentication

In macOS Sonoma, the SSO registration process is straightforward but somewhat basic. The user is prompted to enter their Mac local password followed by the Entra (Azure AD) password. While functional, the interface is minimalistic and lacks detailed guidance.

Minimalistic design with simple text fields

With macOS 15, Apple has introduced a more polished and user-friendly interface for SSO registration. The new UI provides clearer instructions and a more detailed explanation of the process, making it easier for users to understand each step. The improved design not only enhances the visual appeal but also improves usability.

Detailed instructions and explanations provided on the registration screen, guiding users through the process with more clarity.
Enhanced visual design with icons and structured layout, making it more visually appealing and easier to follow.
Enhanced visual design with icons and structured layout

Secure Enclave Authentication with PSSO
Minimalistic design with simple text fields

Smart Card Authentication with PSSO

Conclusion

The overhaul of the SSO registration UI in macOS 15 is a significant improvement over macOS Sonoma. It offers a more intuitive and informative experience for end users, making the SSO process smoother and more transparent. The integration of the Secure Enclave & Smart Card authentication methods further enhances security by utilising hardware-based authentication. This is just one of the many enhancements in macOS 15 aimed at improving user experience and functionality. Happy exploring!

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