iOS 7: An MSP Guide
Apple will release iOS 7 to the public in the autumn of 2013. This release will mark the most significant cosmetic change to the mobile operating system since the release of the very first iPhone.
iOS 7 is sure to divide opinion, as major operating system upgrades always do, but users have been crying out for a cosmetic overhaul to iOS, and feedback has been largely positive amongst beta testers.
As an MSP, you obviously need to worry about a little more than the fact that everyone’s iPhones and iPads are suddenly going to look a bit different. In this article, we discuss the new features that have most relevance to those providing technical support and suggest a few tips to help you get ready for the release of iOS 7.
AirDrop has been around on Macs for some time now, but with iOS7, it’s coming to iPhones and iPads (and, indeed, the iPod Touch). AirDrop allows users to wirelessly share files between devices. If you’re a cynical IT professional, you’re probably already thinking “security risk,” which is exactly why you need to be aware of this feature!
Activation lock is going to frustrate plenty of thieves by essentially “bricking” a stolen iPhone; preventing anyone reactivating it without the correct Apple account details. This, arguably, makes the iPhone more attractive as a corporate device.
With iOS7, it will become possible to make audio calls using FaceTime. If you have a team of people using iPhones on unlimited data plans, you could save your customers’ money (or at least cellphone minutes) by advising them to use FaceTime for calls to other members of staff.
The iCloud Keychain is a feature that’s also coming to Macs with the release of OS X Mavericks. This gives users the ability to store usernames and passwords within iCloud, but you may need to review how this fits in with client’s IT security policies.
While iOS 7 has many more new features, the four listed above are the most significant to anyone managing iOS devices.
So, if you have clients with iOS devices, what should your MSP business do to get ready?
- Ensure your team is familiar with the new features, has plans in place to mitigate any new risks, and tracks the release date, so as to be ready for the inevitable queries around the launch window.
- Consider signing up to Apple’s iOS Developer Program to access a beta of iOS 7 and begin internal testing.
- Ensure that any mobile device management software you use is ready for the change ahead.
- Adapt your clients’ BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies to take account of the new features.
As with any new release, preparation is key. By being aware of the above points, you put your business in a position to profit from the release of iOS 7.