iPhone Configuration Utility
- Creating, editing and installing configuration profiles
- Installing provisioning profiles
- Installing unpacked .app bundles (without IPA container)
- Viewing syslog of the connected device
Configuration profile is a set of restrictions and/or settings that allow the device to work with corporate infrastructure and conform to the established IT policy. It can include email and Exchange accounts, Wi-Fi settings, digital certificates, passcode lock and password complexity requirements, etc.
For normal folks a feature of interest might be the ability to set custom APN (if their carrier bundle doesn't allow it to be changed in Settings) and configure proxy for cellular data. This may be necessary to get internet access on certain carriers without data plan.
Historically, configuration profiles were used by sites such as help.benm.at to enable tethering on carriers which did not support it officially.
On first launch iPCU creates a self-signed certificate in the Mac OS X keychain or Windows certificate store (run certmgr.msc and navigate to "ipcu" to view it). This certificate is then silently installed onto any iDevice that is connected to iPCU, and cannot be removed. Configuration profiles that are subsequently installed are signed with this certificate, which allows iDevices to validate profile authenticity.