The Apple iOS 7 mobile operating system offers a whole new look and feel for iPhone and iPad users, with plenty of new bells and whistles that cater to enterprise business users. Roll out of iOS7 as a free upgrade begins on September 18.
Apple engineered iOS 7 to take full advantage of the advanced 64-bit technologies in the iPhone 5s, including the native 64-bit kernel, libraries and drivers. All the built-in apps have been re-engineered for 64-bit processing and can run both 32-bit and 64-bit apps.
"iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it's like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Why Enterprises Will Like iOS 7
We asked Michael Disabato, managing vice president of Network and Telecom at Gartner, how he expects the new mobile operating system to resonate with enterprise users. He told us IT managers, in particular, will appreciate iOS 7 because it offers better control over apps.
"Apple is providing increased security for applications you deploy for enterprise use and putting in better data loss protection around e-mail and attachments," Disabato said. "You can configure the applications to use the VPN [virtual private network] or not use the VPN. The VPN can be set to split tunnel, which means when you start browsing or use your banking app, that traffic doesn't go through the VPN -- and when you use a corporate application it does. Companies actually don't want to know what you are doing with your device."
Enterprises will also appreciate the fact that Apple can configure devices to tie to particular MDM [mobile device management] servers. That means if an employee decides to take the device after he leaves the company, do a hard reset and try to use it, the device will try to log into the MDM server and lock itself -- then only the company can unlock it.
"This whole business of BYOD [meaning when you Bring Your Own Device to work] and isolating the company info from the personal info just got a lot easier," Disabato said. "Instead of it being in a container where you log in and can't see anything on the outside, you are now in an environment where you can see your applications and the company's applications. Single sign on just got a whole bunch easier. This jumps ahead a little bit of where Android is."
Improved Multitasking and More
Here's a quick look at some other features business users may appreciate:
Control Center gives you access to the controls you want in one place with a swipe from the bottom of your screen.
Notification Center is now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with one swipe.
Today gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events.
AirDrop is a new way to share content with people nearby and could be especially useful for sales and service.
Full-screen browsing is available with Safari's new redesigned user interface.
Improved multitasking lets you switch between apps in a more visual and intuitive way. The operating system pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background.
Additional new iOS 7 features include a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data, or re-activate a device after it's been remotely erased. Also new is FaceTime audio for high quality calls over a data network, plus the addition of new ringtones, alarms, alerts and system sounds.