Apple’s “Hey Siri, Give us a Hint” event on Sept. 9 gave us plenty of ideas about how businesses can use the new lineup of Apple devices. Updated models of the iPad Pro and Apple TV have powerful new features, and iOS 9 Management is a marked improvement for organizations that want control over their devices.
Plenty of news came out of Apple’s event, but here are six products or features that businesses and organizations need to keep on their radar.
The central piece of Apple’s signature event was the iPad Pro. Expected to launch in November, the larger, more powerful tablet promises better performance and more space for productivity. The iPad Pro can be used as a standalone tablet and it doesn’t require any peripherals to achieve full functionality.
But there’s more: Apple released an iPad-compatible keyboard to fully extend this tablet’s capabilities into that of a laptop. Also announced was the Apple Pencil, an input device that lets users write, doodle, and chart on the iPad with an unprecedented degree of accuracy. Apple Pencil could be an asset to creative departments and employees that depend on notetaking, such as hospital employees. Regardless of the accessories, the new iPad Pro will be a welcome addition to companies and agencies that need a faster and larger iPad.
iOS 9 Management
iOS 9 was released last week, and this iteration comes with a lot of improvements, including enhanced battery handling, improved reliability, and split screen and multitasking for newer iPad models. A number of features, such as the new ability to add attachments to an email from the mail application, were long-awaited and certainly improve the user experience.
For businesses, however, the gold lies in new mobile device management (MDM) improvements. In iOS 9, administrators can push applications directly to devices without an Apple ID. This is great news for any organization ready to conduct a large iOS deployment. Additionally, Apple is streamlining other details of device management, such as blocking the ability to change the background image, which is great for publicly available and branded devices. Some of these management capabilities will not be immediately available since MDM providers need to update their offerings first, but it’s worth being aware of them. We’ll be publishing an in-depth look at iOS 9’s Apple IDless management capabilities soon.
The Apple Watch isn’t new, but most users haven’t yet experienced its full potential. The new watchOS 2 allows developers to create applications that run natively within Apple Watch, giving them full access to the watch’s sensors and capabilities. That means enterprises can install or develop watchOS applications that enable employees to send and receive important information.
Apple didn’t spend a lot of time talking about the new iPad Mini during the event, possibly because there were so many other new things to introduce, but the small portable device received a marked improvement from its previous model. Not only is the new iPad Mini lighter and thinner than its previous version, but the internal specs have been improved too. This new model boasts an M8 64-bit processor capable of handling multitasking and simultaneous split-screen functionality. Like all other iPad models, the Mini is capable of running Microsoft’s powerful productivity suite, but only the Air 2, Pro, and Mini 4 can do so in split-screen view. This powerful functionality, in addition to an improved camera, a less reflective display, and Touch ID, makes it an ideal device for field work, where small but powerful devices are an asset.
3D Touch is a new iteration of the technology introduced with the new Macbook and the Apple Watch (Force Touch), but applied to the iPhone. In simple terms, devices with 3D Touch can “sense” the difference in pressure applied to their input mechanisms, which makes it possible to add new levels of interaction as well as save users time. Tap an icon to start an application, but press harder and a list of actions pops up from the application’s icon, saving users the time and trouble of having to open the app itself. Force pressing an email or message will generate a preview. If another level of pressure is applied, the message or email will pop into place, which is much easier than digging through thread after thread to find a single email.
Apple TV has proven its worth mainly as a wireless receptor for AirWatch-capable devices, but this new Apple TV model introduces a device capable of running universal applications. Now, we’ll see how developers and organizations take advantage of this new space, and what applications they use and create. This new capability for the Apple TV reminds us of when Apple opened up the app store to third-party developers for the iPhone.
If you are interested in learning more about any of these announcements, contact your SHI representative.