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What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business 253

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the step-one-is-downloading-it dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman investigates what businesses can expect from Apple's new iOS 4. Multitasking, the biggest new capability, is for now simply a promise, as apps will need to be retrofitted to make use of the capability. The other big new capability for IT, a set of APIs that allow BlackBerry-like management of the iPhone, such as auditing of policies and apps, over-the-air provisioning of apps without iTunes, and over-the-air configuration and policy management, also remains in the realm of promise, as the various mobile management tools that have been reworked to take advantage of the new iOS 4 capabilities won't be available until July or later. And despite the fact that email works more as it does on the desktop, iOS 4 still fails to deliver several email capabilities key to business users, including zipped attachment management, junk mail filtering, message rules, and message flagging."
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What iOS 4 Does (and Doesn't Do) For Business

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  • by MojoRilla (591502) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:12PM (#32654416)
    And a huge fail, at least for many business folks, is the lack of being able to dial phone numbers that are sent in the location field of meetings. According to Apple support, the world is supposed to all start sending conference bridge numbers in the body of meetings. Good luck with that, Apple.
  • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:26PM (#32654594) Homepage

    A missing detail is a "huge fail"? Uh oh, someone's lost their sense of scale meter!

    I dunno. Seems to me that a smartphone should let you dial pretty much anything that looks like a phone number from pretty much anywhere. It's just text, right? Add some ability to select it and automatically copy/paste the digits into the dialing interface. Doesn't seem that hard to me.

    The alternative is to make people manually copy & paste those digits into the dialing interface, or write them out and dial them in manually - both of which seem more awkward than they should be.

    Especially when it is the location field of a meeting. I'll frequently schedule conference calls on my calendar, and put the phone number in the location field.

  • by nine-times (778537) <> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:27PM (#32654604) Homepage

    If you're the user and your server isn't doing a good enough job filtering junk mail, then you'll want junk filtering in the client. And regardless of that, you may want support for configuring your junk mail options in the client, such as marking messages as junk for bayesian analysis. Same basic idea for the rest of this stuff.

    Part of the problem is that email itself isn't very well designed for how most of us currently use email. It's simple, which is nice, but it's not built to address complex filtering/tagging workflows.

  • by nine-times (778537) <> on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:35PM (#32654716) Homepage

    Can my app be performing tasks in the background while I'm using another application?

    Yes. Apple has made it so that your entire application won't continue to run in the background, but that you can still have your application "performing tasks" (so long as it fits within the supported background "tasks").

    From what I understand, Android does something similar. It's not crazy. It actually makes a whole hell of a lot of sense. If I'm reading an ebook, for example, I don't need to have my iPhone's system resources taken up trying to display a particular page that won't be displayed anyway because it's in the background. On a device with limited resources, it's better to suspend that whole application to free up resources.

    So similarly with a browser, you don't need your browser actually trying to display web pages that aren't being displayed. All you need to do is enable background downloading. Downloading is pretty much the only thing that you actually want a browser to do in the background. Pretty much the only thing you want Skype to do in the background is receive calls. Pretty much the only thing you want Pandora to do in the background is download streaming audio and output it to the headphones-- you don't need Pandora to try to render album art that won't be displayed.

  • by bds1986 (1268378) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:39PM (#32654758)

    I'm kind of surprised the article didn't make any mention of iOS 4's improved data protection methods: []

    In short, the previously flawed encryption method of the 3GS is improved by encrypting the hardware encryption keys with your passcode. Additionally, passcodes can now be alphanumeric and longer than 4 characters.

    If you're using a 3GS and have upgraded to 4.0, you'll need to wipe and restore the phone to take advantage of this (data protection, not the passcode), the link above has details.

  • by shawnce (146129) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:40PM (#32654770) Homepage

    If your app plays audio (for whatever reason) it WILL run in the background. (audio background mode)

    If your VoIP app needs to maintain a network connection with a backend system so it can be told of incoming calls it WILL run in the background but only when network traffic is incoming or at a time you designate so you can keep your network connection alive. (voip background mode)

    If your app needs to track your location it WILL run in the background with the level of location accuracy you designate. (location background mode)

    (you can combine any combination of the above modes)

    If your app needs to finish an active task, one that is not easily paused, it WILL run in the background.

    If your application needs to do things at predetermined time you can schedule it and your app WILL run in the background. []

  • Re:So what (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:53PM (#32654972)

    I'm so sick of this stupid argument. All you have to do it flash it back with the original firmware, which is simple, if something goes wrong with it and you need to take it back to the store. If something is so wrong with it that it won't boot up, then it won't matter anyway if you had it jailbroken. OF COURSE it voids the warranty - think about it. You get a Camaro and the engine has more potential, so you put in a mod chip - guess what - voided warranty. Or you have a TV that is 60Hz but you try to upgrade it yourself to get 120Hz cuz you know it probably can do it. . . voided warranty. It's just a troll argument from people who can't afford the iPhone so they don't like it that so many people have and enjoy them thoroughly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:58PM (#32655012)

    Please give me the name of the company you work for, as well as the address of the location you're at. I want to make sure I never deal with them.

    He probably has four separate phones because he has four separate phone numbers, and needs to be able to at least accept voicemail messages if more than one of his major clients call at the same time.

    As a mere IT peon, you probably don't understand how sales work, or how salespeople perform their jobs. It's not unusual to see talented salespeople talking to two or three separate people at once, while organizing particularly large or complex sales. They actually do need to use several separate phones while they work. Your idiotic "4 accounts 1 phone" idea fails completely.

  • Re:So what (Score:3, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @12:59PM (#32655018)

    This is not true. The warranty on the camaro for anything GM could not prove the chip did stays in place. This is a law that needs to apply to more than just cars.
    I say this as someone who voided the warranty on his droid by flashing it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @01:22PM (#32655294)

    The iPhone does not have client filters, client spam management, or client-based flagging. Of those three, the only one that actually makes sense on the client is flagging.

    Filtering at the client level only makes sense if you only have one client, are using POP3, and are storing the messages on the client. That's really not a good idea with a phone - you'll have synchronization collisions, you'll find that some mail is missing on your phone that was present on your laptop/desktop, etc. If you're using a phone and a desktop/laptop as mail clients, you want to use IMAP (on *all* your clients) and do all the rules and filtering and spam management on the server, use the iPhone client as a window into your mail account's various folders, and use a desktop or laptop for archiving.

    Flagging, on the other hand, makes sense - if it's manual flagging (I'm referring to what in IMAP is called IMAP keywords or labels; the term 'flag' in IMAP actually refers to the message state - read, draft, etc.). The workaround for an iPhone is to create a "flagged" folder (in IMAP) and move emails to that folder to represent flagged emails (if you are using a rule to flag things, do that on the server; if you are flagging manually, use the iPhone to move the email). However, I'd love to see flagging and tagging (i.e., IMAP keywords) that can be pushed back to the IMAP server on an iPhone.

  • Bluetooth Audio? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Meneguzzi (935620) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @02:08PM (#32656026) Homepage Journal
    I am reluctant to adopt this upgrade on day zero and the only thing that would make me do the upgrade is improved support for BT audio, which pretty much sucks in my iPod touch 2g. I also use the same BT headphones in my Android phone and it works brilliantly, so I wonder, has anybody done this upgrade and tested it with BT headphones like these ones? (
  • by Brannon (221550) on Tuesday June 22, 2010 @02:33PM (#32656366)

    You've been able to develop and push your own custom enterprise apps without apple store restrictions for years.

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