Feature Limitations due to iOS7 (MAC Address elimination)

Per announcement from Apple, iOS 7 will eliminate MAC address information as a tracking option for applications.  All iOS 7 devices will return a common fixed MAC address.

Splashtop Enterprise currently uses the client’s MAC address as a unique device identification in enabling client device-related manageability.  As a result of the changes in iOS 7, three management features for use by IT Administrators in Splashtop Center will be impacted.   They are :

  • MAC Address Filtering
  • Device Activation
  • Client Device Status

Splashtop Enterprise iOS client v2.3.5.4, and earlier versions, will all be affected.

MAC Address Filtering

The MAC Address filtering feature (Sections 4.7.1.1 and 4.7.1.1.2 of the Splashtop Center Admin Guide v1.7) behaves as a “whitelist,” allowing only the listed devices to establish a remote-login session in Splashtop Enterprise.

Edit-MAC-Address-Filtering-dialog-box-_cutout-for-Zendesk-FAQ_.png

 

Impact :

The IT Administrator will no longer be able to use the MAC address filtering capability provided by Splashtop Center to restrict access of iOS 7 devices.

Workaround :

None.  It will be regarded as a limitation for iOS devices.

Device Activation

The device activation process defines which client devices can gain access to Splashtop Center (Section 4.8.1.1 of the Splashtop Center Admin Guide v1.7).  The Enable Device Activation option in the General tab of Settings requires all client devices to be activated.  Only the activated devices can connect with Splashtop Center.

User-Edit-dialog-box-with-sample-data-_cutout-for-Zendesk-FAQ_.png

 

Impact :

The MAC address is used to generate a unique client device identifier to achieve per-device manageability provided by Splashtop Center.  Given that all iOS 7 devices are returning the same MAC address, the records for iOS devices that were previously registered with Splashtop Center via device activation no longer match.  As a result, the users and their iOS client devices will be prompted with an error message requesting a new activation.  Once they have reached this point, users will not be able to log in from their iOS client device for any Splashtop remote connection activity.  IT administrators will need to issue new activation codes for all iOS device users.  Once the account is activated with one device, the same account is able to log in to another device directly without need of another activation.

 

Workaround : 

The Splashtop product team is currently working toward a solution, which we hope to have ready as a patch release before the end of September.  

In the meantime, if maintaining user continuity with remote connection takes higher precedence, we highly suggest one of the 2 temporary workarounds below :

(Option A)  Disable device activation by unchecking the Enable Device Activation option in the General tab of Settings.  Please note that by doing so, device activation of the other client platforms will also be disabled.

(Option B)  Defer users’ upgrade plan to iOS 7 on the client device until our iOS client patch is released.  

If users have already updated to iOS 7, the IT Administrator may need to issue new activation codes for all the affected iOS device users. 

 Client Device Status

 The Clients tab in Splashtop Center displays the current mobile client device’s Last Updated time, Client Name, IP Address, Client MAC Address, User ID (Email), Platform, and Version of the Splashtop Enterprise app installed on that mobile device (Section 4.3.2 of the Splashtop Center Admin Guide v1.7). 

Devices-Clients-tab-with-Deactivate-button.png

 

Impact :

The Splashtop Center console displays a list of client devices that are logged in to Splashtop Center under each user account.   With all iOS 7 devices returning a common MAC address, Splashtop Center will no longer be able to draw a distinction between iOS 7 devices under each user account.  This drawback leads to several device management deficiencies:

  • Splashtop Center will treat all the iOS 7 devices as unregistered devices.  They will appear as new client devices after upgrading to iOS 7.  There is a chance of duplication in the client list, if the same client device had already been previously registered before it was upgraded to iOS 7.
  • Splashtop Center will mistakenly treat all iOS 7 devices as they are one device given there is only one unique MAC address found.
  • Since Splashtop Center will be treating all iOS 7 devices as one, then if the IT Administrator de-activates one iOS 7 device, all iOS 7 devices under the same user login would be de-activated.  Likewise, if one iOS 7 device is activated, all iOS 7 devices under the same account would incorrectly be activated as well.
  • Since Splashtop Center would be treating all iOS 7 devices as one, therefore, there will only be a single iOS entry shown in the client device list for one user account under the Clients tab.  The client content will reflect the status of whichever iOS client most recently handshakes with Splashtop Center.

 

Workaround : 

The Splashtop product team is currently working toward a solution, which we hope to have ready as a patch release before the end of September.

In the meantime, if maintaining user continuity with remote connection takes higher precedence, we highly suggest one of the 2 temporary workarounds below :

(Option A)  Disable device activation by unchecking the Enable Device Activation option in the General tab of Settings.  Please note that by doing so, device activation of other client platforms will also be disabled.  Unfortunately, picking option A does not address the issue where Splashtop Center mistakenly treats all iOS 7 devices as one device (mentioned above).

(Option B)  Defer users’ upgrade plan to iOS 7 on the client device until our iOS client patch is released.

If users have already updated to iOS 7, the IT Administrator may need to issue new activation codes for all the affected iOS device users.

 

 

 

 

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