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Apple iOS 8's 12 best business features

Al Sacco | June 4, 2014
Apple spent only a minute or so of its two-hour WWDC keynote discussing the enterprise features in its upcoming iOS 8 mobile OS.

Apple spent only a minute or so of its two-hour WWDC keynote discussing the enterprise features in its upcoming iOS 8 mobile OS, which is set for release this fall. The response from the crowd after the business announcements was notably tame compared to the roars that followed many of the other announcements. The fact is, iOS 8 actually packs a set of valuable new features that demonstrate Apple's strengthening relationship with the enterprise and with business users.

Though Apple dedicated a short amount of time to the enterprise, some of the most exciting consumer features will also be valuable to business users. Here's a look at 12 of the most notable new iOS 8 features for enterprises and corporate users.

New IT Security Features in iOS 8

1) iOS 8 and Message-Specific Encryption

The new version of iOS lets users encrypt individual email messages when they want the added protection, using S/MIME. If youre sending sensitive information in an email and you want the peace of mind that your content is safe, you can encrypted those messages without having to encrypt all of your less sensitive correspondence. To enable encryption, you just check an option on the Compose Message screen.

[Related: Coming in iOS 8: Apple Knows You So Well it Can Finish Your Sentences]

2) iOS 8 and Passcode Lock for More Apps

In iOS 8, mail, third-party apps, calendar, contacts, reminders, notes, messages and all user credentials are password-locked after a reboot. You cant access the data or see related notifications until you unlock the device. This provides an additional layer of data protection for iOS devices following reboots.

3) iOS 8 and New MDM Tools

Apple's iOS 8 will support a number of new IT policies to give administrators additional tools for deploying, managing and removing books, PDFs and other documents. IT also gets new control over files downloaded from corporate domains using the iOS Safari browser and documents stored in iCloud, and admins will be able to restrict the applications that can be used to open those files.

IT can also remotely set device names, stop users from enabling their own restrictions and block the device wipe feature. A new backup-monitoring feature gives IT insight into the last time users backed up their data.

Corporate iOS 8 users also get a new setting that lets them see some of the specific IT policies that have been applied to their devices, so they can understand restrictions and the associated limitations.

iOS 8 and Wireless Service Fees

4) iOS 8 and Wi-Fi Calling

Apple very quietly announced support for Wi-Fi calling in iOS 8, but the feature could be truly valuable to enterprises looking to reduce, or in some cases eliminate, wireless calling fees. Anywhere a business user has access to Wi-Fi, he could potentially place a phone call without incurring charges. That means no more calling fees while in offices with Wi-Fi. The feature is particularly valuable for frequent international travelers, who may incur large fees for roaming or occasionally find themselves with poor or nonexistent network coverage. (Wi-Fi calling is not new, nor is it unique to iOS 8, but Apple devices have never supported it.)


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