There are two ways that you can sync multiple tablets:
- Plug each tablet into the computer individually
- Get a device which allows you to plug in multiple tablets
As you can probably guess, the former takes an awfully long time. Say you have 15 tablets which all need to be synced with the same data, doing each one individually is a long, laborious task. However, there is a way around this. In order to successfully sync multiple tablets at once, there are two things you need (other than the tablets themselves and a host computer that is): hardware and software.
Let’s start with the software side of things. If the tablets in question are iPads, things are a lot easier as there is one piece of software which is readily available and commonly used. This is Apple Configurator which runs on Macs. If you do not have a Mac, then don’t worry, you can still manage your iPads through a piece of software called iPhone Configuration Utility (iPCU). I know the name implies it only works with iPhones, but it does work with iPads and iPod Touches as well. iPCU is essentially a reduced version of the Apple Configurator. Although you can install configuration profiles and apps on the iPads, you can not supervise them or back them up. Unlike Apple Configurator, iPCU does not let you synchronously apply settings to multiple iPads. Furthermore, iPCU has not been updated in over a year for Macs and more like 2 years for Windows. Therefore, I’d probably advise biting the bullet and getting a Mac so that you can use Apple Configurator.
Apple Configurator vs. iPhone Configuration Utility
Can create iOS configuration profiles
Can automatically update iOS and configuration profiles
Can backup devices
Can apply configuration profiles and apps to multiple iPads at once
Can run on Windows
Configuration profiles can be password protected to prevent removal
Can Supervise iPads
Range of configuration profile options available
If you’re using a tablet which runs on Android, things start to get a bit more complicated. Unlike with Apple, there is not one singular piece of software that is the only one which can be used. Having scoured the internet, there is no piece of software which really jumps out as the obvious choice. If you’re using apps from Google Play, if you go into My Apps page, select the app, click on the button that says “Install” or “Installed” and then select the device which you want to install it on. If it’s files that need to be synced across multiple devices, you can just copy them across as you would on a memory stick. If you know of a good piece of software which allows you to sync multiple tablets, please let us know and we’ll try and test it.
As you’ve probably realized, there aren’t that many USB ports in the average laptop/computer. The most I’ve ever had is four. So if you have say 15 tablets which all need to be plugged in, that can cause a slight problem. That’s where we come in! We offer a range of products from hand-held iQ 16 Sync Charge Boxes to complete all-in-one charging stations and carts/trolleys. In addition, a fair few of them are “future-proof”. We’ve manage this through having firmware which is updateable. Every now and then, as new devices come about, we’ll release a new version of the firmware. This way, when new technology comes out, you don’t have to worry about upgrading your hardware as well as upgrading your tablets.
Sync and Charge solutions:
- Carrier 30 Sync Charge Cart – our most versatile line of Carts, the Carrier line, can accommodate several device types, and easily sync up to 30 or 40 devices depending on which version you select. Baskets are included in each cart and make device deployment quick and easy. Because of baskets, you can easily purchase a fewer number of syncing carts, and move devices from a charging cart to a syncing cart when syncing is required.
- iQ 10 Sync Charge Station – secure syncing and charging station that is compatible with iPads and other USB tablets that have syncing software. The iQ 10 Sync Charge Station is also equipped with two small Baskets by LocknCharge to help with device distribution – particularly beneficial in classroom and training settings.
- iQ 30 Cart – secure syncing and charging cart that is compatible with iPads and other USB tablets that have syncing software. The iQ 30 Cart is also equipped with small Baskets by LocknCharge to help with device distribution – particularly beneficial in classroom and training settings.
- iQ 16 Sync Charge Box – hand-held 16 port USB Hub. It provides full rate charging at all ports. This is beneficial for setting where syncing is used less – i.e. the person in charge of syncing might carry this unit to where charged devices are stored and need to be synced. E.g. devices stored inside a Carrier 10 Charging Station which need to be synced.
- EVO 40 Sync Charge Cart – a tablet specific cart, with built in syncing capability for up to 40 devices has a unique design with doors that open to the side and includes baskets.
Source: Cambrionix (by Kirsten Thompson)