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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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Mobile Phones

HUAWEI CFO FREED ON $7.5 MILLION USD BAIL, TRUMP MAY INTERVENE

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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, whose arrest in Canada two Saturdays ago increased tensions between the U.S. and China, has been freed on bail. The amount of the bail agreed to by the judge was $10 million Canadian Dollars,  the equivalent of $7.5 million U.S. Dollars. According to Bloomberg and CNBC, the bail was met by her husband and four former colleagues who together pledged cash and home equity. Meng was jailed based on a U.S. warrant for her arrest after an investigation allegedly found that she had defrauded banks to help Huawei do business with Iran. That action would be in violation of U.S. sanctions against the country. The U.S. charges that Huawei used a small Hong Kong based tech firm called Skycom to do business with Iran.
The U.S. had requested no bail for the executive, who still faces extradition to the states. As part of the bail agreement, Meng will surrender her passport, wear a GPS tracking device, and will have a security team beside her whenever she goes out (paid for by Meng). Police will also make unannounced visits to her residence. Her family does own homes in Vancouver, where she was arrested.
UPDATE: President Donald Trump told Reuters today that he would intervene in Meng’s case with the U.S. Justice Department if it helps the U.S. close a trade deal with China, or if it serves national security interests.
The arrest threatened talks between the U.S. and China to end a trade war between the two countries. In addition, the U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, was chewed out this past weekend by China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng. Le also threatened Canada by warning of “grave consequences” if Ming wasn’t released.
Ming is the daughter of Huawei’s founder. Despite being called a national security threat by the U.S. government, the company is the leading provider of networking equipment and is the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world after Samsung.

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APPLE EXPANDING HAPTIC TOUCH FEATURE IN IPHONE XR WITH IOS 12.1.1 UPDATE: REPORT

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Apple’s new iPhone XR comes with Haptic Touch as a replacement for the 3D Touch sensor. This allows consumers to launch the camera app or turn on the flashlight by using a long-press gesture, though it is not as functional or as quick in terms of response as 3D Touch, which has been part of the iPhones since the iPhone 6s.

Right now Haptic Touch capabilities are limited on the iPhone XR, but Apple could be expanding this with future iOS 12 updates. A report by 9to5Mac says they have spotted new features in the iOS 12.1.1 beta 2, which will increase the capabilities of Haptic Touch on iPhone XR and allow users to expand notifications by long pressing them.

On the iPhone XS, thanks to the 3D Touch display, long pressing on a notification opens up a pop-up menu and action buttons. With the iPhone XR, the rich content will soon be visible thanks to a long press and users will be able to reply, market an email as done, etc depending on the type of notification. Currently users have to swipe left to view the message to take any action, which is tedious on the iPhone XR.

However, the Peek and Pop feature on 3D Touch displays which is used by many apps will not be possible on the iPhone XR. This shows a rich menu when a user long-presses on the icon of particular app. Once again the reason for this is that Apple iPhone XR does not have pressure sensitive display like the other two new iPhones.

 

Given the iOS 12.1.1 beta has the feature, Apple should add the capability to the iPhone XR when the next iOS update is formally rolled out.  The iOS 12.1.1 update will likely start rolling out to the public by the end of this year, though Apple has not confirmed when it will be officially released. The company just released iOS 12.1 which added the Group FaceTime feature, new Emojis, as well as the dual-SIM feature to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR

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SAMSUNG SAYS IT’S WORKING ON FOLDABLE LAPTOP DISPLAYS

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Samsung is expected to unveil its foldable smartphone concept next month, but the company is also working towards bigger devices with foldable displays. “Like foldable smartphones, Samsung is collaborating with display makers to develop laptops with foldable displays that will not just simply fold in and out but create new value and user experience, amid the changing market trends for laptops,” said Lee Min-cheol, vice president at marketing for PCs at Samsung, during a laptop event in South Korea earlier this week.

Foldable displays in laptops could transform the market for 2-in-1 devices. Existing convertible laptops attempt to flip and twist into tablet and media modes, but a foldable display would certainly help create new designs. Samsung hasn’t revealed which companies it’s working with, or any expected date for a prototype or retail device. Still, laptops like HP’s new Spectre Folio would be an ideal candidate for a flexible and foldable display, or even potential devices like Microsoft’s “pocketable” Surface.

The Korea Herald reports that Lee also revealed that Samsung sells around 3.2 million PCs each year, and that they “play a centric role among IT products in increasing connectivity with other mobile devices.” Samsung also recently revealed an ARM-powered Surface-like 2-in-1 recently, complete with LTE connectivity and the promise of up to 20 hours battery life.

 

 

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