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Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the professional tool of choice for workers, and IT administrators are finding themselves paying closer attention to mobile operating system (OS) updates. Few are more anxiously anticipated than those of Apple’s iOS.
Only months after its last update, Apple’s iOS 8 presents a host of new features that will once again redefine how consumers and enterprises use iOS devices. Based on our initial hands-on experience, we believe this is the most fundamental update to iOS for enterprises and developers to date. Organizations will need a clear strategy to get the most out of the changes.
The shift to iOS 8 will be less immediately felt by end users, but the update represents a much more significant development. We believe there are three aspects organizations should consider:
Openness—The update introduces more than 4,000 APIs that expand how apps work and what they can do. Some of these have the potential to be disruptive to whole industries
Security—Many new features make iOS 8 more enterprise-ready, and a new development language will make desktop and mobile development more straightforward.
Execution—Getting the most out of iOS 8 will require organizations to think through the apps that currently exist, as well as how to build for new demand.
The launch of iOS 8 will introduce a range of updates that are likely to be welcomed by enterprises using applications to connect with staff and customers.
For example, new mobile device management (MDM) tools allow administrators to monitor iCloud backups for individual devices and prevent users from adding restrictions or erasing services. Touch ID authentication enables administrators to establish new levels of granular personal security with biometric fingerprinting.
The new Swift programming language will reduce the cost of development and make the platform more attractive to developers. TestFlight integration allows developers to more easily distribute beta apps to employees via the cloud for crowd testing. The update has also made virtual private network (VPN) connections more practical.
The cumulative impact of these changes is to make the platform easier to develop on, easier to secure and more ready to support enterprise deployments.
We suggest six steps when modifying apps for Apple’s new OS:
Examine each new feature in the iOS 8 update and identify those that could make life easier for your developers, employees and customers.
Train your development team to account for the new features and languages, or engage a development team with the requisite skills.
Embark on a planning and design phase to harness new features and identify fixes found during regression testing.
Review the functionality, codes and features of current applications to determine whether the iOS 8 updates present any obstacles to use. Also run regression tests to ensure your existing apps continue to work on relevant devices and systems after upgrading.
Execute an interactive cycle of building and testing new applications to adapt to the changes and ensure the best user experience possible for new features.
Release your updated applications to the market and promote the benefits of the upgrade to allow users to get more out of your app and your organization.
August 8, 2014
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