In Depth: iOS 7: what's different, and how's it better for work?

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As Apple prepares to its iOS 7 launch this month, lots of small and mid-sized companies (SMBs) are thinking about a step or upgrade.

The upgraded operating system is stated to be the greatest development of the maker’s software yet and, in concept, it’s ideal for SMBs.

Features such as mobile gadget management provide companies with the long-awaited facility to manage and partition gadgets. Meanwhile, additional central control makes iOS 7 a good suitable for a bring your own device (BYOD) environment.

Apple’s concentrate on company takes objective at troubling BlackBerry, which is losing ground in the SMB market as less expensive and easier-to-manage options become available.

Android is already capitalising on this: its open interface is easy to overlay with functions such as mobile gadget management. Yet issues remain over its protection.

BYOD

So do iOS 7’s enterprise features cut it in the SMB market? Most professionals think so.

With an expanding number of SMBs utilizing iPhones, specifically as part of a BYOD method, among the most useful attributes is the per app VPN. This allows apps to be configured to automatically connect to a VPN when launched, and handled by a central control panel. It offers higher control to IT, and allows personal information to be kept different.

Also, if you are using iOS currently, you won’t have to re-add your existing apps, you can merely adjust your central tools.

‘One of the most significant interested in BYOD is the protection of corporate data. This version of iOS addresses that issue,’ states Sanchit Vir Gogia, Chief Analyst and CEO of Greyhound Research. ‘The per app VPN guarantees enterprise apps are configured to automatically connect to VPN when they’re introduced, giving the company control over official information.’

Another attribute for extra control is ‘open in management’ – the capability to handle which apps you can open files in. While it was previously possible to restrict which apps appeared, you can now do this from a main network.

With iOS 7, you likewise have the capacity to open PDF documents in the default mail application that comes with the gadget. Previously, this was just possible making use of third-party applications.

Apple’s newest iOS likewise enables SMBs to conserve money on licensing. Formerly, you can bulk-buy licences from the App Shop and assign these to staff members, but the license would stay tied to the member of staff. Handily for cash-strapped SMBs, iOS 7’s App Shop licence management offers the capacity to revoke and reassign access, taking away the demand for extra licences.

Security

Historically, protection on several Apple gadgets has been a complicated job, because iOS was limited by a sandbox-type environment – causing troubles sharing data.

iOS 7

But employee authorization is much easier in iOS 7. Apple’s business single sign-on facilitates user credentials being made use of throughout apps, consisting of those purchased from the App Store.

‘Apple understands it needs to make sure that companies don’t switch to its rivals,’ states Isa Ranjha, Apple Developer. ‘The capability to have one username and password, and to be able to use that across business apps, and even apps in the Apple App Shop, reduces an intermediary credential manager. This improves protection and removes the have to keep in mind multiple passwords.’

And iOS 7’s data protection credentials also have actually also improved. The third-party information defense function in iOS 7 sees information security built into all third-party apps from the App Store, with information gathered making use of a passcode.

Consequently, if the phone gets lost or taken the data can’t be accessed without the passcode. Applications are secured too, and it’s all automatic. It was formerly possible to secure information, however you always had to choose in.

Mobile device management

With competitors raining in from all sides, Apple has actually likewise understood the should accommodate effective mobile gadget management (MDM). New attributes imply company gadgets can be automatically registered. On the other hand, upgraded setup choices make it much easier to handle third-party MDM options, with the capability to wirelessly establish handled apps and configure accessibility choices.

The convenience of setup brought about by the new MDM settings is a huge advantage, reckons Gogia, due to the fact that it indicates devices can be instantly set up into a device management scheme.

Other modifications to Apple’s OS are subtler, but nonetheless make working more seamless. For example, multitasking updates will see iPhones becoming more smart and discovering your habits. If you utilize a company app such as Workplace at a certain time of day, the app will update before you enter, so there’s no lag time waiting for the info to come up.

Despite all this, Apple’s most current iOS is barely a company transformation, many of the brand-new functions have actually currently been done by its competitors and can be quickly mimicked on Android gadgets.

But compared with Blackberry, which is less flexible and better fit to larger ventures, iOS 7 represents a clear-cut option. And as Apple provides more control to IT, companies who currently make use of iOS should think twice prior to switching.