Taking Advantage of iOS 6 in Business and Education
by Scott Morabito
With Apple’s release of iOS 6 on 9/19/12, a number of new features have become available to help business and education institution manage their devices. At each iOS iteration, the team at TechTonic modifies our standard deployment workflow so that our clients are able to immediately take advantage of the new features. Some features work with MDMs and others with Apple’s Configurator tool. Our iOS Deployment Training and Integration Program can help you filter through the weeds of each and every option.
Lets take a look at what our clients will immediately start utilizing with iOS 6:
1) Single App Mode
Also known as Guided Access, this feature is great for kiosk or single use environment and essentially disables the home button on the device. For over 2 years, anyone planning to setup iPads on a store floor or in a museum space needed to buy a special case specifically to physically cover the home button. Teachers of young students have fought to keep the attention span of children anxious to exit their learning app. This feature is very powerful: you can limit the touch ability to only part of the screen or disable it completely. We expect to see adoption of this feature in many specific use cases.
2) Profile expiration
In a semi-secure or secure environment you may choose to allow contractors or temporary users access to you infrastructure (such as wireless) through a profile because you don’t want to hand a the password. One complaint with this workflow is that it requires an additional step from IT to disable that device and profile. What happens if the IT department forgets or looses the support ticket? With profile expiration, settings are removed automatically. We expect to see a lot adoption of expiring profiles for this and other reasons. With BYOD environments, IT may choose to deploy expiring profiles as way to “check in” with BYOD devices regularly (perhaps to ensure they’re not jailbroken).
3) Background/screen-saver management
This feature is one that has been low on Apple’s list but high on most managed environments. For the enterprise, standardizing company owned devices is a high priority and they want their brand displayed prominently. For education institution that share iPads, students waste time customizing the device only to hand it off to another student. Since images for background and wallpaper can be set to any image from the internet – problems can occur as you can imagine.
4) Security and other bells/whistles
There are quite a few less sexy features that are rolling out with iOS 6. IT polices will continue to make inroads to iPad and iPhones satisfying managers and mobile device nay-sayers. Users that have had to use special apps to circumvent the lack of some iOS controls may now be more free .
The original iPad (iPad 1) cannot run iOS 6. With the prevalence of new apps, faster hardware, and high resolution displays, the legacy hardware simply can’t keep up with the fast pace of change. 28 months is now the new “legacy” hardware.
TechTonic helps organizations build apps, integrate mobile devices, and deploy iPads. Through a process of strategic consulting, IT proficiency, and industry experience, the TechTonic teams assist Boston and New England based businesses and schools with their mobile initiative.