Apple has updated Apple Remote Desktop (ARD) to version 1.2, the company announced last night.

ARD is administrative software for remotely managing macs across a network or the Internet. New features include Remote-Software Installation and Remote Network Startup Disk. Client Macs can also be updated automatically over the network.

The application's security features have also been improved with the introduction of encrypted control and KeyChain support to protect passwords and data.

It's a solution that's seeing increasing use in educational mac set-ups. US school district Winnetka Public Schools network manager Eric Hackl said: "With two full time staff we support 2,200 users and manage a combination of approximately 600 wired and wireless Macs located across five buildings with Apple remote Desktop.

"We install software on our Macs across town without leaving our office, and network-wide installs that used to take days or weeks are now done in minutes, saving us time and our district money."

The ten-client edition of Apple Remote Desktop costs £229, while the unlimited-client version costs £399. Prices include VAT according to the Apple Store.