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iOS 10: What IT Professionals Need to Know

iOS 10: What IT Professionals Need to Know

Your whole team is anxious to roll out Apple's latest update to iPhones and iPads, but you can't just go willy-nilly letting them upgrade their devices. At least not without knowing what's new. So here's a breakdown of some of the new features.

Editor's Note: Version 10.3 was released on March 27, 2017. It brings some new business-friendly features. Such as Apple File System, iCloud storage, new iPad keyboards, higher frame rates, Verizon support for iCloud calls and more Siri support. More on all of these below. 

Apple touts its security as top notch, thanks to its secure boot process, regular software updates and safeguards that ensure apps access data in authorized ways only. With the introduction of iOS 10 it bring with it app trust security and the ability to initiate software updates via mobile device management software. iOS 10 also lets you restrict users from modifying Bluetooth settings, including enabling or disabling Bluetooth support or devices, but you must be in Supervised mode.

MORE: Apple Certification Guide: Overview and Career Paths

iOS eliminates containers and dual workforces, thanks to the operating system's native management framework that manages data flow between apps. Adding to the mobile device management platform, IT admins now also get the ability to manage AirDrop and screen recordings. iOS 10 also supports VPN IKEv2 EAP-only mode for more secure VPN connectivity.

For corporate-owned devices, you can now optimize each device at the time of enrollment in the company's third-party mobile device management software. Plus, Apple's Volume Purchase Program makes it easy to find, buy and distribute apps. With iOS 10, administrators can now assign apps directly to devices without an Apple ID, in any country where the app is available.

Apple added better integration with popular systems that make management simpler, including Cisco QoS integration for the company's Fast Lane functionality in managed Wi-Fi configurations. This manages what apps get what bandwidth, so you can give priority to business-specific apps.

Apple wants to make sure you're prepared for iOS 10, and thus has put together this downloadable checklist. Generally speaking the big steps are educating yourself about the changes, validating your apps and planning how to administrate new features, testing systems, and planning your rollout.

Other new features of iOS 10 that businesses in general will love include a new an improved lock screen that has more information displayed and a better alarm clock. You can now instantly view whatever you're browsing on your Mac from your iPhone, but this may give some IT professionals pause when it comes to possible data leaks. Raise to wake sounds cool, but the new and improved notifications could result in this feature being a security risk.

The list of new features goes on. Your iPhone will automatically remember where you parked. The iMessages app gets GIF search (beware: some NSFW). It's easier to clear all your notifications. But perhaps my favorite, Apple now lets you delete default apps from Apple that you don't need and that just take up excess space.

IT departments still don't have access to administering Apple Watch, but that's got to be coming sooner rather than later. The same is true of the promised App Transport Security. It ensures that all traffic between an app and remote secures is secure during transmission, so that network requests will be made over HTTPS instead of HTTP.

The Apple File System (APFS) replaces Apple's HFS and HFS+ systems. It includes a heavy focus on encryption and better security. Plus, you get more iCloud storage. In the Settings you can now see what kinds of files are being stored and which devices are using most of that space. 

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