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October 9, 2013

Top 7 iOS 7 features for business

Having been generally well received since its launch in September, we've picked out some of the handiest features iOS 7 provides for business. Check out our 7 on 7.

By Duncan Macrae

The dust has settled since Apple released its much-anticipated iOS 7 on September 18.

Jonathan Dale, director of marketing at Fiberlink, comments: "iOS 7 was the most anticipated iOS release for enterprises since iOS 4 debuted mobile device management (MDM) support."

So how has it been received so far and exactly what does it offer that can benefit businesses?

One of Apple’s main goals with this launch was to separate work and personal data more efficiently. They have done this with a few different features, including restricting company apps from talking to personal apps, as well as offering a per-app VPN which can selectively route only enterprise traffic.

Dale says: "An additional iOS 7 feature is the ability to retain control over the licenses for iOS apps that are purchased. These can be assigned to users, and later redistributed to other users as necessary. Previously, a license could only be assigned once to a given user.

"In my opinion, Apple appears to have significantly improved the controls which help separate work and personal information. Users and companies should feel more secure that their data will not go to unintended places."

"It’s pretty clear to me that Apple has put a considerable amount of time and effort into solving some of the challenges IT managers face while trying to balance to the protection of corporate data and personal use."

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The Top iOS 7 features for business

1. MDM Support. iOS 7 makes it easier for IT managers to implement MDM on devices through managed apps, whitelisting and more. Corporate-owned devices can also be automatically enrolled in MDM during activation. This increased functionality makes it easier for IT to secure and manage devices.

2. Enhanced Containeridation. "Open In" management helps to protect corporate data by separating it from personal, making sure that only specified apps are able to open corporate content and keeping personal documents out of the picture.

3. Improved VPN. Per-app VPN allows IT to choose which apps will automatically connect to the corporate network when opened, ensuring that sensitive company data is only transferred over the most secure channel.

4. Extensive Controls. App Store license management allows companies to retain full ownership of purchased iOS apps. This means apps can be redistributed to others if the original user leaves the company, giving business more leeway.

5. New Protection. All third-party apps are now passcode protected thanks to automatically enabled data protection. This makes life easier both for employees and IT.

6. Streamlined Processes. Enterprise single sign on allows employees to cut down time by automatically verifying credentials for corporate apps, meaning users only have to sign in once and will remain securely logged in to all enterprise apps.

7. Better Email. Smart mailboxes, PDF support and ramped up search make this iteration of email the most business-friendly yet.

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