During Apple's WWDC presentation, Craig Federighi unveiled new improvements in the upcoming iOS 8
, giving enterprise clients more tools and reasons to stick to Apple hardware. Numbers from the presentation put the iPhone and iPad in the hands of 98 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500. New features will include expanded messaging options, device support and iCloud expansion.
Messaging in iOS 8 will undergo some important changes for enterprise, including a per-message S/MIME. S/MIME at the message or email level will give users a better encryption standard than having to issue a single key for decryption of all messages. Having these keys will also make messages harder for malicious parties to crack, depending how they are used. Specific details on the types of identification or the depth the S/MIME will extend weren't addressed. Messages will also have the capability to be considered a "VIP" thread, meaning updates will come from only that thread.
One perk to the system comes from companies that participate in the device-enrollment program. Rather than requiring departments to rip devices out of their packaging and spend hours configuring them, devices in the program will configure themselves when turned on. This includes downloading apps and configuring systems to make a device business-ready.
Smaller improvements for businesses include the ability to see availability of other workers for scheduling, and setting up out of office responses. Passcode protection will be enabled for major data types and third-party apps. Management of devices will also go down to the level of documents and books on devices.
Further integration into enterprise will see more connectivity with iCloud and third-party data suppliers, which will be available to not only iOS, but for OS X and Windows devices as well. By spreading the connectivity of iCloud, Apple is opening a number of options for users and giving iOS and OS X a more even ground to stand on against competing systems.