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Get to know iOS 8: Why business users (and IT departments) will be happy

Joel Mathis | Sept. 19, 2014
It's an old story now, but still worth remembering: When the iPhone debuted way back in 2007, it wasn't much thought of as a device for business users. It had email, yes, but not many of the security features favored by IT departments--and besides, the BlackBerry dominated the business market anyway.

Among iOS 8's other new data-management tools, it enables IT departments to control:

  • Which apps can open documents downloaded from enterprise domains on Safari.
  • Which apps can open documents from the iCloud Drive.
  • The name of the device.
  • The ability of users to add restrictions.
  • The ability of users to erase a device.

Additionally, iBooks, ePub, and PDF documents can be pushed straight to a user's device so he or she always has precisely the materials needed. Similarly, when the PDF of that quarterly report is no longer needed on a user's device, a remote IT professional can pluck it off and return it to a secure location inside the company firewall.

Productivity

Finally, iOS 8 will in fact let worker bees get more done.

Mail: Now users can designate individual mail threads as VIP, to keep track of important conversations. (A custom mailbox groups VIP threads together.) And Exchange users can set automatic reply messages to be sent to emails — such as when you're away from work, for example.

Calendars: The latest version of iOS makes it easier to schedule meetings with other iPhone users: the app lets users see colleagues' availability so that the right time can easily be found. Apple says it's also easier to create custom repeating events, and the Calendars even lets users email other meeting attendees directly from the app to let them know when they're running late.

Document access: We already told you that IT departments could decide which apps can open enterprise documents. This process is made smoother from the user's perspective, too, allowing them to start up the app and open an enterprise document in it.

File transfers: AirDrop support between iOS and OS X lets users transfer files to and from Macs, even when there's no Internet connection available.

 

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