Much has been said about the new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 7, from a design standpoint. Now, there is an entirely new paradigm in U/I and U/X design for native iPhone apps. While designers the world over may be rejoicing in the clean simplicity and innate usability of the new OS, questions regarding what it means for your business might abound. So, we’ll be tackling the new features of iOS7 and what they mean for your business in a two-part blog post.
Apple has finally embraced true multitasking. Instead of simply keeping apps in the dock on double clicking, Apple is supporting full multi-app functionality. Now when you double click the home button, you can see exactly what’s going on the app as you left it.
This will allow for better productivity being that you don’t have to relaunch any apps if you move into another one. Furthermore, it allows app creators more flexibility in their apps, which can only help the enterprise end user. On an individual note, it should allow individual employees to develop better and more efficient iOS workflows.
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AirDrop is a point-to-point file sharing system. It will allow users to share files directly from their device to the devices near them via Wi-Fi (even if there is not Wi-Fi network available). This is great for employees and their ability to share files between their phones, tablets, and if you’re a mac shop, desktop devices. This streamlines the process of collaborating and sharing documents between individuals.
From an enterprise standpoint, though, this raises potential security concerns. Unlike email or other file sharing protocols, you can’t track what your employees send to others via AirDrop. As such, this is something your IT department will probably have to tackle via training.
AirDrop could also lead to data sprawl if it becomes widely used in corporate environments. Because you can’t track where people are sending files, this also means you can run into versioning problems if employees working in groups use this instead of some other, more trackable sharing service. I do not yet know if IT departments will be able to disable or restrict this feature. In the meantime, you need to be thinking about this new functionality and how it can potentially affect your security and/or information management protocols.
I would posit that this is the most important new feature for enterprise clientele, especially if they have consumer facing apps in the marketplace. One of the biggest concerns in launching new apps is how they will scale—will users actually update the app when they’re prompted with that badge? You’ve incorporated expanded features in the new app release, but will consumers remember to actually download the new version?
That no longer matters. Apple will give users the ability to turn on Auto Updates so these apps will update themselves in the background. This is great news for consumer facing app producers because you can assure your apps are scaling along with your app improvement and update efforts.
In part II, we’ll cover activation lock, “open in” management, per app VPN, and enterprise single sign on. Stay tuned!