Amid all the hubbub about the new iPad, Apple has released a new OS X app that's made for IT administrators to easily manage and deploy iOS devices. It's called Apple Configurator, and with it up to 30 iPads, iPhones, and iPod touch devices at once can be updated, configured, and more. From the program's description in the App Store, administrators will have the ability to backup and restore devices, apply custom settings, and install new apps onto devices. One feature of particular note is that users will be able to have their personal settings restored when checking out a device and have it all removed again when they check the device back in.

We already knew that Apple saw the iPad as more than just a personal tablet — the company held an entire event earlier this year dedicated to the iPad's applications in education, with a focus on new, multi-touch textbooks. The iPad is also marketed as a business machine, so it certainly makes sense for the company to offer a way for IT departments to better mangage the devices. Student iPads may still seem out-of-reach for schools, but Apple said during its keynote today that it thinks the newly discounted iPad 2 is perfectly affordable at $399. If you want to give the app a try, Apple Configurator is available now as a free download from the Mac App Store — iPads not included.

Thanks, Dukes!