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I have around 200 iOS devices that I have to keep track of in an internal network (they never leave the network) and there are several things I need to do on them.

  1. Completely disable certain apps/features in iOS (like iCloud and Maps)
  2. Be able to send push notifications by device (make something appear on the screen/make a noise)
  3. Install internal apps over the air

I am currently using OSX Server's Profile Manager, but I cannot lock down the devices enough with profiles, it also doesn't have the ability to "ping" them. It seems like there is a way to install internal apps over the air but I have not tried it yet.

Ideally my solution would be using free/open source software.

Any suggestions would be great. (all devices are running iOS 6.1.2 as of writing this post)

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You cannot disable Apple Maps. iOS does not provide a method to do this.

The best free MDM tool I know of is Meraki (aside from Profile Manager itself). However, I'm not 100% convinced it will do everything you need. Also Meraki was recently purchased by Cisco and I am a bit concerned about its future. You will also receive sales calls from their staff trying to sell you on additional features.

To accomplish your objectives on the cheap, I recommend looking at AirWatch. We use this in our enterprise to manage several hundred iOS devices and it works quite well. There are other tools that can do this as well. A great full-featured guide to MDM differences is EnterpriseiOS.com.

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Profile Manager is Apple's own Mobile Device Management solution. The best solution for your problem is MDM plus device supervision. By putting an iOS device in supervised mode, you can disable many apps that could not be disabled in normal cases. I would recommend Hexnode MDM, because it is a simple and efficient solution for device management. Everything that you need to do like pushing notifications, installing apps over the air, locking devices remotely and much more can be done in a very few clicks than it takes in other MDMs.

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