iOS 9: What It Means For Businesses

Robert Cordray

IOS_9_Logo2-267x200The buzz surrounding an update from Apple can be immense, with experts all over the world waiting to hear what the tech giant has planned.

This was certainly the scene when Apple unleashed iOS 9 to an eager public. Now that Apple devices have been updated with the new operating system for a few weeks now, we can get a better idea of how its new features are working and how users and businesses are getting the most out of it. A fully realized evaluation of an operating system will take a number of months or even years to compile, but at the moment, it’s clear that iOS 9 is already making an impact on businesses across the globe. As more companies experiment with the operating system, even more potential is likely to be unlocked.

It’s no easy task to break down the merits of a new operating system. iOS 9 comes with numerous new features that users have been clamoring for, so summing up all of its capabilities in just a few words probably isn’t the right move to make. But if there’s one principle that best defines what Apple engineers were going for with the iOS 9 with respect to businesses, it’s improved productivity. Many of the updates that come from iOS 9 are improvements to the graphical user interface, such as updates to productivity apps like Notes and Mail. Multitasking is given particular emphasis, ensuring users can get more work done in the same space.

This focus on increasing productivity also takes the form of a new iCloud Drive app, which is included with iOS 9. iCloud is Apple’s cloud storage component, and with the inclusion of the app, users now have quick access to the storage found on their laptops, iPhones, iPads, and other devices. This means work done on mobile devices can easily transfer to other equipment, saving workers the tedium of having to do those tasks manually.

The promise of this feature is certainly not going unnoticed by other companies as well. Dropbox has moved to update its own iPhone app to be able to work with iOS 9, simplifying work on the cloud by granting quicker access to needed files. This improves collaboration among employees working on different devices, thus increasing productivity. With all this focus on what is cloud computing, it’s clear that Apple understands the future lies in the cloud.

Productivity also stands to improve as businesses take advantage of another element of iOS 9, which is easy enterprise mobility management (EMM). In a world where bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is a common policy, this helps organizations install apps on user devices, even if there isn’t an Apple ID involved. Managing these applications becomes a breeze for companies, especially when they want to ensure all workers have the tools they need to get their jobs done quickly. iOS 9 also helps organizations take apps that are already installed on devices and convert them into apps that are managed by the company. This can be done without losing the data on the device, which is an important step in making sure no work is lost.

Apple has also placed a lot of emphasis on improving security for its primary operating system. For years, users would have to enter in a 4-digit passcode to use their devices, but with iOS 9, that passcode has grown to six digits. Longer passcodes are harder for cyber attackers to crack, and combined with User Datagram Protocol support for Virtual Private Networks, it’s clear that Apple wants their users to be more secure as well as more productive. By trying to improve the security of mobile devices, employees can be more confident that their hard work and sensitive data won’t fall into the wrong hands.

The updates Apple has made for iOS 9 show a dedication not just to individual users, but for businesses as well. The aim is to help companies become more productive and versatile, with further emphasis placed on the cloud, all while managing more secure devices. Many of these features are subtle, and the majority of users probably won’t even notice most of them. Still, Apple has made strides to provide business with a much improved experience, and it appears they have accomplished that.

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