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WWDC: IOS 12 — AN ENTERPRISE PERSPECTIVE (UPDATED)

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You could be forgiven for thinking Apple’s iOS 12 is all about fun consumer features, but when iPhones account for a healthy chunk of mobile enterprise deployments, you need to look a little deeper than that.

Intel(ligence) inside

The operating system is packed with robust feature enhancements, security improvements, and powerful machine intelligence. This is, after all, the platform that can figure out blood loss in the operating room with a single photograph while also playing virtual games with Lego. Hundreds of millions of users employ their devices in millions of unique ways. That’s what Apple’s platform supports. What follows are some of the iOS and feature enhancements likely to be of most use to enterprise.

The latest release (available now in beta and set to ship in the fall) is being developed with stability and performance in mind. This means existing devices should enjoy a nice performance boost. What makes this really good news for cash-strapped CIOs managing digital deployments is that iOS 12 will run on all the devices iOS 11 supports, all the way back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air. Such broad device support makes iOS 12 a must-have upgrade for hundreds of millions of users, and it means enterprise users can hope to maximize the usable life of the devices already in deployment.

Augmented reality (AR) for the enterprise
ARKit 2 isn’t just for playing games. Apple has expanded its AR support to introduce multi-person support and the capacity to send AR objects inside Messages and Mail. A new AR app called Measure also opens up opportunities for enterprise developers. Improved face tracking, 3D object detection, and even better rendering makes AR more compelling than before. Retailers can create shareable product sheets, and homeware sellers can think about accurate renditions of how their products will look in people’s homes.

Apple’s decision (supported by Adobe) to work with Pixar to develop a new AR format called USDZ makes it possible for enterprises to make all-new solutions with AR inside. This has relevance beyond retail: education and training guides, operational procedure testing and review, field guides, even emergency situations will benefit from these improvements.

 

Grouped notifications

A long time coming, perhaps, but grouped notifications means busy knowledge workers will be able to keep a much better track of incoming messages, tasks, and app-related reminders. This support also lets us assign levels of urgency to notifications in the form of what Apple calls “Critical Alerts.”

Another communication feature enterprises users will enjoy is called Downtime, which limits the device to only make and receive phone calls and use certain user-defined apps while enabled. You’ll switch this on when you want to get things done.

[ Take this mobile device management course from PluralSight and learn how to secure devices in your company without degrading the user experience. ]
Apple’s new digital wellness tool (Screentime) will empower all of us to identify apps that suck up our time and let us take control of that use. Apple wants its devices to be addictive in a good way. There’s a danger: Now that the tool exists, will enterprises seek to harvest such data to track employee time? And what might that do the autonomy that drives the evolution of the digital enterprise?

ios12 face time multi 06042018AppleGroup FaceTime, which supports 32 participants, will be a useful collaboration tool for Apple-using enterprise professionals.

Group FaceTime

With up to 32 active participants, Group FaceTime is a powerful illustration of just how much can be achieved on a cohesive computing platform. While it’s limited to iOS and Macs, Apple has figured out how to support 32 video streams within one app over incredibly low bandwidth. To achieve this, it does clever things at the server level, where all these chats are combined into one slim feed — the system is also smart enough to identify who is talking and bring their image to the front. The fact that FaceTime is highly secure by design means this will be a useful collaboration tool for Apple-using enterprise pros.

Siri gets much smarter

I plan to get into more depth around Siri improvements in iOS 12. Here, though, I’ll simply note that Siri Shortcuts should help enterprise users just as much as they do consumers. Siri’s new-found ability to automate your work and personal routines and useful machine intelligence that lets the assistant identify if you are running late and suggest what to do about it is also pretty helpful.

There’s more to machine intelligence than Siri, and Apple is pretty focused on making sure its systems are the best solutions to use when building new AI models. Core ML 2 and CreateML help both empower agile AI development and help foster future coding talent, another great reason for enterprises to use Swift. A very brief assessment: Siri got much, much smarter in iOS 12.

Privacy and security enhancements

Apple’s a poster child for responsible technology platform development. The company’s decision to block tracking code in comment threads or via social media “like” buttons means devious hackers won’t be able to abuse these tools to identify, monitor, or hack high-value enterprise targets. That’s a big step toward tight security in an era in which criminals will use a raft of different tools to break into enterprise systems.

Apple’s decision to make it harder to hack into devices over USB also helps protect knowledge worker secrets from prying eyes, while much improved support for third-party password managers gives mixed-platform enterprises an even break.

 

MINGIS ON TECH

Mingis on Tech: WWDC recap
Two-factor authentication
Apple has reduced the friction of copying and pasting codes required for two-factor authentication. In iOS 12, when you receive a passcode via SMS, the system will automatically submit them as an AutoFill suggestion. This basically makes your device smart enough to automate yet another task, and it will hopefully boost the use of two-factor authentication on Apple’s platforms.

 

App portability

Voice Memos, Stocks, News, and Home all made their first appearance on the Mac at WWDC. Apple was at pains to say (again) that it has no intention of combining Mac and iOS platforms, but the company did reveal its intention to make it possible for app developers to create Mac versions of iOS apps in 2019. With enterprises moving to adopt Macs once they spend time with iPhones, this has to be an opportunity for bespoke business application development on the Mac. Those internal enterprise iOS apps are prime candidates for such moves.

Health records

Apple’s decision to open its Health Records API to developers unlocks a whole new business opportunity within healthcare tech. The motivation is to help nurture an ecosystem of apps that use this data. The Health Records feature allows patients from over 500 hospitals and clinics to access medical information on their iPhone. This is really significant; not only does it enable patients to share and read their own apps, but it also unlocks new opportunities to make better use of patient data in personalised digital healthcare. This should also have implications on enterprise health insurance provision, as better care plus better health may mean lower premiums.

 

Update: Apple Business Manager

Apple at WWDC also announced Apple Business Manager. Available now in the U.S., Apple’s MDM suite will be available in 65 nations by the end of summer 18. It’s a web-based portal IT administrators can use to manage people, applications and devices and is designed to make set-up much easier.

“Apple School Manager and Apple Business Manager make it easier than ever for organizations to put Apple devices in the hands of students, teachers, employees and guests,” said Michael Devins, Product manager, Jamf. “These deployment programs are a major platform differentiator for Apple, allowing organizations to deploy Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple TV with ease and at scale.”

 

Apple has more information on this here.

Another enhancement introduced at WWDC: Apple introduced new Quality of Service controls designed to prioritise network traffic for business-critical tasks.

There’s a great deal more enterprise benefits to be unlocked inside of iOS 12 than these, so I’m signing off for today to head to the WWDC show floor to find out more.

 

 

 

Source: Computer World

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Hardwares

BEST IPHONE 2018: WHICH IS THE BEST APPLE PHONE?

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Best iPhone 2018: Which Apple phone should you buy?

Now isn’t the best time to buy an iPhone. Apple has just launched its latest flagship phones with the iPhone XRiPhone XS  and iPhone XS Max so the market’s about to get a massive shake up.

The soon to appear iOS 12 will further change the iPhone landscape when it appears later this year. The focus for the company with regards to the update has been performance, aiming to make phones as far back as the iPhone 5S feel faster in operation.

It is making the keyboard faster to open, camera faster to shoot and general performance better. There are new features, too, which include an option for grouping notifications together, an updated Stocks app and a brand-new Books experience.

Arguably, the most important feature is Screen Time, which will enable you to gauge how much time you spend on your phone each day. This data will be broken down into screen-on time, the specific time you spend in each app and so on, allowing you to set limits for certain apps. These limits can even be applied to your family members. If you feel you use your phone too much, this could prove a great addition.

Finally, Apple has updated its Do Not Disturb mode. You can now set it so you won’t receive any notifications at night, and its far more granular with its settings.

The soon to appear iOS 12 will further change the iPhone landscape when it appears later this year. The focus for the company with regards to the update has been performance, aiming to make phones as far back as the iPhone 5S feel faster in operation.

It is making the keyboard faster to open, camera faster to shoot and general performance better. There are new features, too, which include an option for grouping notifications together, an updated Stocks app and a brand-new Books experience.

Arguably, the most important feature is Screen Time, which will enable you to gauge how much time you spend on your phone each day. This data will be broken down into screen-on time, the specific time you spend in each app and so on, allowing you to set limits for certain apps. These limits can even be applied to your family members. If you feel you use your phone too much, this could prove a great addition.

Finally, Apple has updated its Do Not Disturb mode. You can now set it so you won’t receive any notifications at night, and its far more granular with its settings.

Source: https://www.trustedreviews.com/best/best-iphone-3501342

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Mobile Phones

THE APPLE WATCH STOLE THE SHOW FROM THIS YEAR’S NEW IPHONES

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The most exciting announcement from Apple’s annual iPhone event on Tuesday was not a set of three new smartphones, but a smartwatch. The Apple Watch Series 4 — with its rounded corners, larger display, and built-in EKG scanner — became undoubtedly the most sought-after gadget in the aftermath of Apple’s fall hardware refresh. While many people have bemoaned having to choose between the iPhone XS and XR, or are simply forgoing a mobile upgrade entirely, the Series 4 stood out for how simple of a purchase it is for those who’ve been sitting on the sidelines of the wearable market.

For those like me who’ve had an older Apple Watch Series 0 or 1, it’s a no-brainer, and it was what I was most excited about when I decided to stay up on Thursday night to claim a midnight order. The disparity is best illustrated by the fact that, after less than half a day of orders, every single tier of iPhone XS available right now has a September 28th to October 5th shipping window. Nearly every model of the Apple Watch Series 4, on the other hand, won’t ship until October 12th to October 19th.

There’s a number of reasons why the Apple Watch is outshining the iPhone these days. The first and most obvious is that the iPhone has become boring, trapped by the diminishing returns Apple can wring out of the device year after year. It would seem, 11 years after the introduction of the first iPhone, that Apple’s marquee product has simply lost a majority of its luster. There are only so many upgrades and standout features you can add to a mobile product before its incremental changes are overshadowed by how much it costs.

Simply take a look back at the last four years of iPhones. In 2014, Apple introduced the Plus version of the iPhone when it released the iPhone 6, which helped cement the trend of ever-larger displays that Samsung and other Asian manufacturers had first promoted. In 2015, the phone was paired with the Apple Watch for the first time, giving diehard fans a better reason to incorporate more Apple hardware and software into their lives. The year after, the company removed the headphone jack and released the AirPods, kicking off a debate about how and when to force consumers and the industry toward a wireless vision for the future. Last year, we got the iPhone X. With its signature notch, bezel-less display, and FaceID, it became an industry trendsetter and facilitated a more interesting debate about smartphone design than we’ve enjoyed in years.

This year, which is admittedly an S upgrade year and so understandably less exciting, it doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of room for the iPhone to grow. That leads to the second most obvious reason why it’s become harder to care about the iPhone: price. As the iPhone has stagnated in terms of new features, Apple has increased the average cost of its flagship device by more than $300, from around $775 to $1,100.

The company figured out last year with the iPhone X that customers would be willing to pay not for meaningful new features, but for design and aesthetic improvements. So it began using higher-quality materials, like OLED displays and glass back plates, and increasing the available storage tiers. This year, you can get an iPhone XS Max with 512GB of storage for $1,449, making it the most expensive iPhone ever made, just like the X was before it.

working out supply chain and manufacturing kinks.) There is an argument to make that the XR is the more interesting, mass market-friendly, and potentially successful phone of the three, but we won’t know that until later this year.

As it stands today, Apple’s flagship phone is the least exciting device it’s put out in a long time, and it’s easy to see why it’s being outshined by the Apple Watch. What started as an underdog product arriving late to the wearable scene, the Apple Watch has since become not only the world’s best-selling wearable, but the world’s best-selling watch, period.

Apple has achieved that by consistently improving its hardware and software with each new annual iteration. Just like the early days of the iPhone, each new Apple Watch adds something exciting and legitimately impressive, from the water-resistance of the Series 2 to the cellular connectivity of the Series 3. Now, with the Series 4, Apple has added a built-in EKG scanner and the first hardware design overhaul the watch has had since its inception.

There will be a time when the Apple Watch, like the iPhone, becomes a stagnant product that simply becomes more exorbitant and expensive. Ironically, Apple’s very first Apple Watch contained a line of now-discontinued models as expensive as $17,000. So there’s quite a lot of room for the company to grow its smartwatch brand and expand it back into the luxury market. But until then, we can expect quite a few more years of novel innovations and design overhauls.

Perhaps Apple overcomes engineering and design hurdles to create a round-shaped Apple Watch. Maybe the company figures out how to extend the battery life by more than 24 hours. There’s myriad ways the Apple Watch can improve and reach a more mass-market audience. But one thing is for sure right now: with the Series 4 out in the wild, it’s probably a more invigorating time to be developing the next Apple Watch than the next iPhone, and customers seem to be responding visibly to that shift.

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Mobile Phones

APPLE’S AIRPOWER WIRELESS CHARGING MAT REPORTEDLY PLAGUED BY OVERHEATING ISSUES

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Overheating, communication, and interference issues are still plaguing the development of Apple’s AirPower wireless charging pad, according to a pair of reports citing multiple sources close to the matter. The issues contributed to the AirPower’s absence at last week’s iPhone announcement.

AirPower was first teased over a year ago at the same event that Apple used to announce the iPhone X, the company’s first handset to support wireless charging. AirPower was to be the firm’s debut wireless charger, capable of charging your AirPods (with compatible case), Apple Watch, and iPhone simultaneously. The consensus seems to be that Apple has bitten off much more than it can chew with the ambitious device.

Writing on Daring Fireball, John Gruber points the blame squarely at the AirPower mat’s multi-coil design, which is allegedly causing the device to overheat. These overheating rumors have been around since June, and it seems Apple is still struggling to find a solution.

Sonny Dickson corroborates these rumors and offers further details on the scale of the issues. As well as getting too hot to effectively charge the devices, the AirPower mat is also allegedly struggling to communicate with them, meaning it doesn’t know the charge levels of the devices that it’s filling with power.

Finally, attempting to charge multiple devices simultaneously has also lead to interference issues cropping up between them, according to Dickson.

Neither Gruber nor Dickson commit to saying whether the device has been delayed or cancelled entirely, but both agree that the situation isn’t great for Apple. “Well and truly fucked,” is how Gruber puts it, while “doomed to failure” is how Dickson describes the broad feeling at the company.

What’s certain is that with all mention of the ill-fated device now scrubbed from Apple’s website we probably shouldn’t expect AirPower to return any time soon (at least not in this form, Dickson suggests we might see the name re-applied to an all-new product at a later date).

AirPower has always been an ambitious piece of engineering. While normal wireless chargers contain just a single coil designed to charge a single device at a time, Apple’s first foray into the area reportedly contains between 16 and 24 overlapping coils of different sizes designed to charge multiple devices simultaneously. All of which adds up to a very ‘Apple’ device, wherein the company takes a pre-existing technology and gives it enough usability improvements to leapfrog the competition.

At least it would have been, had a working AirPower mat shipped on time.

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