The iPhone and iPad are already great devices for small business owners. Now, Apple smartphones and tablets are getting a boost in the enterprise space thanks to the release of iOS 8, a new version of Apple's mobile operating system. That comes in addition to a slew of consumer upgrades including a revamped notification center and better messaging and email apps. Here's a quick breakdown of what's new for enterprise users.
The iOS 8 update includes some notable security improvements. For starters, the refreshed OS offers better data security thanks to password protection for individual apps, including email, calendars, contacts, reminders and messages, as well as third-party apps.
Messaging also received a security boost, since users can now opt to encrypt individual email messages. And there are other small tweaks, like the option to have external email addresses marked in red, and the ability for Exchange users to set automatic reply messages directly from their iOS devices, which could come in handy when users are out of town or on vacation.
Companies can now opt to have Apple devices pre-programmed to meet company requirements before they're shipped. That means the smartphones and tablets you order for your employees can be ready for synchronization with your company's email and calendar systems before you even remove the shrink wrap on the box; the device will auto-configure when you connect to the company network. Devices can also come with the particular enterprise apps your company already uses pre-installed. That cuts out setup time and helps new employees get up and running quickly.
New tools on the iOS 8 update let IT managers see and do more with the iPhones and iPads they manage. For example, IT administrators can now see the last time a device was backed up to iCloudso they know if it's safe to perform certain tasks. The update also makes it easier for IT departments to control which aps can open documents downloaded from enterprise domains, to prevent unsecured apps from compromising company data.