If you’re finding it hard to keep up with the buzz surrounding iOS 6 and iPhone 5, here’s a quick rundown to get you up to speed.
iOS 6 features thoughtful IT management tools
iOS 6 features a number of new IT management capabilities including:
- iMessage blocking – Network admins can create a policy preventing Apple users from texting each other using iMessage, the free WiFi texting service between iPhone, iPad, iPod touch or Macs running Mountain Lion. In addition to texting, the service allows users to share photos, videos, locations and contacts. The feature allows admins to keep tabs on what employees are doing with sensitive data.
- Photo Stream blocking – As with iMessage blocking, network admins can create a policy that blocks the Photo Stream feature of iCloud that automatically sends photos users take with one iOS device to all of their other iOS devices, plus their PCs over a WiFi or Ethernet connection. That’s another useful feature for companies looking to tighten controls on data loss.
- Global corporate proxy server – For added security, iOS 6 features a policy that lets network admins route all Internet traffic through a single Internet proxy server, making it possible to filter all communications (business and personal) coming into and going out of the corporate network.
- Time-limited profiles – IT can still create certificate-based profiles to restrict what users are able to do on iOS devices, but now these profiles can be set to expire and uninstall automatically at a specific date and time, even without an Internet connection. This lets IT off the hook if they forget to remove permissions after someone has left the company – great for organizations that employ a lot of contractors or temporary workers that use iOS devices on-site.
Note: One downside of iOS 6 is that it’s not compatible with the first generation iPad.
Apple Maps doesn’t work (applies to iOS 6 and iPhone 5)
- This is an issue not only with the new iPhone 5 but any Apple device upgraded to iOS 6 as well. Apple dumped Google Maps in favor of its own in-house version, Apple Maps, which was not quite ready to be released, apparently. Users are reporting it gives incorrect directions, and in some cases, they’re finding cities are missing altogether or located in the ocean.
- The other problem is that the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad 2 aren’t compatible with Apple Maps’ voice-navigation. Instead, users have to thumb through screens to follow the directions, not something drivers ought to be doing.
- One workaround for iOS 6 devices is to use Google Maps via Safari or another mobile browser; the only caveat is you must be connected to the Internet. Here are directions for how to get the web app.
- Another alternative that’s been suggested is Navigon, an app from Garmin that basically turns your phone into a navigation device and doesn’t require an Internet connection.
iPhone 5 has its cons for business users
- Adapters and adapter cables for 8-pin connector sold separately – To make the iPhone 5 thinner and lighter, Apple had to replace the 30-pin connector with the 8-pin “Lightning connector” as they call it. That means for the time being, to connect the new iPhone 5 to peripheral devices like docking stations, you have to purchase a $29 adapter separately.
- 8-pin connector does not support video-out – If you or your users give a lot of presentations with an iPhone, you might find this to be an issue. Because the Lightning connector does not support video-out, it’s impossible to deliver presentations on a projector or TV monitor using a VGA or HDMI cable. In the meantime, you’ll have to use an iPad.
- Not all apps are compatible with the new screen size yet – The screen size of the iPhone 5 is a little bigger than previous versions. This means there will be a border around apps where the old screen used to be, which may prove annoying until app developers are able to update their apps.
- LTE network could mean data plan overages and more internal network traffic – The iPhone 5′s LTE connectivity means lightning-fast data connections – maybe too fast, though. Users may blow by their data plan limits quickly – users with 4G LTE smartphones tend to use more than twice as much data than 3G users. Plus, 4G LTE plans are more expensive. However, companies that have negotiated flat data rates with their wireless carriers won’t face the same risk as organizations that are covering the cost of all or a portion of users’ individual plans. IT will also have to keep an eye on internal network traffic to see how it’s affecting bandwidth.
- Can’t swap out SIMs to use iPhone 5 in other countries – And finally, international business travelers beware: If you swap out your SIM card when visiting a foreign country to hop on another carrier’s wireless network, you’re out of luck. The iPhone 5 uses a new, smaller type of SIM card, a Nano SIM, which isn’t available from carriers yet.