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Сonnect iOS devices to a VMware Workstation

Editorial Team Editorial Team Aug 2, 2023
VMware iOS

The ability to safely and easily connect your iPhone or another iOS device to a VMware guest OS is an essential component of any modern mobile-first cloud-oriented work environment. From this article, you will learn about the most popular methods of Vmware mobile device management.

Connect iPhone to VMware with Workspace ONE

VMware Workspace ONE is a remote device management platform powered by VMware AirWatch MDM technology. With its help, you can automate routine IT administrative tasks, enroll new devices to your corporate network, apply advanced data protection measures like AI-powered security posture evaluation, remotely wipe and lock lost devices, and more.

Step 1. Install software components for VMware MDM

For this solution to work, you will need to install several software components on all of your devices. Here is the list of the most essential ones:

  • Workspace ONE Access (formerly VMware Identity Manager) - an SSO and access management service for the SaaS app store. Use it to define app installation permissions based on Active Directory group, endpoint device type, and even network range: Use Workspace ONE Access to add new access policy rules for your iOS devices
  • Workspace ONE UEM (formerly AirWatch) - mobile device management platform with many tools you can use to protect your corporate data, manage native mobile apps on all the enrolled mobile devices, and perform scheduled check-ups to ensure corporate security standards compliance for every device. Workspace ONE UEM console has three tabs: Data loss prevention, Assigned Groups, and Authentification
  • VMware Unified Access Gateway - a platform that enables your remote employees to safely access corporate resources located in your internal network.

Step 2. Activate AirWatch MDM Getting Started Wizard

The easiest way to perform the initial platform setup is via Getting Started Wizard. Here is what you do if the Wizad won’t start automatically:

  1. For any non-top-level Organization Group, go to Groups & Settings > Groups > Organization Groups > Organization Group Details.
  2. Change your group to a customer-level one if needed.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Go to Groups & Settings > All Settings > System > Getting Started.
  5. Enable Getting Started Device Status, Getting Started Content Status, and Getting Started Application Status settings.
  6. Click Save.

Step 3. Generate APNs Certificates

Valid Apple Push Notification Service (APNs) certificates are essential for secure communication between an MDM product and iOS devices.

Here is how to generate an APNs certificate:

  1. Go to Groups & Settings > All Settings > Devices & Users > Apple > APNs for MDM.
  2. Click the Go To Apple button to open a new browser tab with the Apple Push Certificates Portal.
  3. Submit the AirWatch Certificate Request file in the PLIST format.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Enter your Apple ID and upload the PEM file of your AirWatch MDM certificate.
  6. Select Save.

After this, you can start using the platform by following the Environment URL in your browser and entering your login credentials.

Connect iPhone to VMware with USB Network Gate

USB Network Gate is a handy software for USB sharing over Network that uses advanced port redirection technology for forwarding USB devices to virtual machines. It works perfectly well with VMWare, VirtualBox, Hyper-V, and many other virtualization apps. With this software, you can connect your iPhone, iPad, or any other USB device to a guest OS with nothing more than a few mouse clicks.

USB Network Gate - an easy way to access an iPhone in a virtual environment!

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Here’s what you should do if you want to connect your iPhone to a VMware guest operating system:

  1. Install USB Network Gate on the host machine to which your iPhone is attached physically.

  2. Launch the software and open the “Local USB devices” tab. Find the iPhone in the device list and click “Share” next to it.

  3. Then, install the app on the guest VMware OS and start it. Go to the “Remote USB devices” tab. Find the iPhone that you’ve just shared on the host and click the “Connect” button displayed next to the device name.

A detailed video guide on how to enable VMware iOS device passthrough with the help of USB Network Gate:

This is it! Now your device will appear in the VMware guest OS like it was connected to that virtual machine directly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Mobile Device Management refers to software tools that allow the organization’s IT team to remotely configure employees’ devices in compliance with corporate guidelines. As a result, they will automatically have a ready-set secure workstation with all the certificates, software, and access privileges required to successfully perform their work responsibilities.
The correct answer is User ID. With the enabled User ID feature, every user receives a unique ID. From that point on, their data will be associated with that ID across all the sessions and devices, so no important info will be lost.
If a VMware Fusion USB device is not recognized and you have a problem connecting your iPhone to a virtual machine, as an alternative to the native method, you can redirect the device to VMware with the help of USB Network Gate.
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