iOS 10: The Evolution of a Complete Enterprise Platform

iOS 10 showcases Apple’s commitment to improving every aspect of the device and app experience for enterprise customers. Beyond just the feature updates, Apple has continued to expand its partner ecosystem so customers can access a broader pool of industry-leading apps and quickly deploy them on any iOS device. Apple has also added more usability features that creates a seamless experience between all types of Apple devices – from iOS to macOS, watchOS and TVOS.

A Complete Enterprise Platform

Apple’s recent integration with Cisco is a great example of how Apple’s partnerships help enterprises change the way they do business by making mobile management faster, smarter, and easier for developers, IT admins, and end users. iOS has rapidly evolved into a full-featured, mature computing platform for the enterprise. As a result, Apple is shifting its efforts towards strengthening its broad partner ecosystem to help customers seamlessly deploy leading apps and services across their entire iOS fleet. With iOS 10, Apple is aligning with market-leading partners to deliver a broad range of fully vetted and integrated apps so customers can focus more on meeting business needs and less on backend management.

With its commitment to Mobility Partner Program (MPP), which includes fully integrated apps from many leading vendors including MobileIron, Apple has made it easy for enterprise customers to simply choose the app they want without having to go through the trouble of seeing if that app meets their business requirements. All that work is done upfront, so the customers can focus on their business workflows. Apple has also continued to emphasize the AppConfig Community, which provides tools and best practices for mobile app developers to make it easier to develop, configure, and secure mobile apps for the enterprise.

Enhanced Interoperability Across Devices

iOS 10 enables Apple devices to work together more seamlessly than ever before. New features allow users to easily download apps and share data across all of their devices, which may include iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac laptops, and more. Key features include:

Universal Clipboard: iOS 10 extends Continuity by making it easier to move content back and forth between Mac and iOS devices without the need for AirDrop or other solutions. The process is virtually seamless. For instance, if a user copies text, photos, or videos onto a device clipboard, that content is automatically uploaded to iCloud so it can be pasted onto another device. To avoid unintended data loss, MobileIron supports stricter copy/paste controls for existing customers that need additional protection.

Auto Unlock: macOS Sierra includes the Auto Unlock feature that allows a user to securely and automatically unlock a Mac computer with Apple Watch without having to type in a password. Once the user unlocks the device with Apple Watch, it needs to stay in contact with the user’s skin to stay unlocked — if the user takes it off, it locks back down. This can help improve the user experience for users.

New Developer Features

Apple has also added new features that will help developers create more integration with the platform. Highlights include:

CallKit API with Cisco Spark: The developer toolkit for iOS 10 will include CallKit, a framework that lets VoIP app developers build apps that allow iOS devices to take calls from communication apps such as Cisco Spark. For example, an incoming Spark call will ring on the iPhone lock screen just like a cellular call. The user can also select a contact in the address book or ask Siri to call the contact over Spark.

App Transport Security (ATS) requirement: At WWDC, Apple announced that by Jan. 1, 2017, all apps submitted to the App Store must include ATS to ensure web connections are encrypted and less vulnerable to hijacking. This will significantly improve the security of apps over the network.

Integration with Messages app: Messages now has its own Messages App Store, so developers can create apps to be used in iMessages. These apps add a broad range of capabilities that includes everything from sending stickers and GIFs to paying bills and making group dinner reservations.

Want to find out more about what in iOS 10 and the recommendations for Enterprises? Check out the free white paper, What iOS 10 Means for the Enterprise.

Muthu Somasundaram