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iOS 11: What IT Pros Need to Know

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

iOS 11 is available to iPhones and iPads. Here’s what your IT department needs to know.

Credit: AppleCredit: AppleIf MDM is part of your IT department's role, the iOS 11 is probably on your mind. The new mobile OS is launching today (Sept. 19), and these are the most notable features for IT pros. 

Automatic setup

Apple glossed over the Automatic Setup feature of iOS 11, so it may not sound familiar, but it's probably the best and worst new feature for IT professionals (depending on where you work). If a user holds their new iPad or iPhone next to an iOS or Mac device that they already use, all their personal settings, preferences and iCloud Keychain passwords will be imported. Obviously, this is a great feature for onboarding users, but if your organization requires a high level of security compliance, you'll have to find a workaround. Knowing Apple, there will be a setting to turn off the Automatic Setup feature; just be aware that you'll have to find it.


Augmented reality may or may not be on the horizon at your workplace, but either way, it's good to know that iOS 11 will have AR capabilities on devices with A9 and A10 processors. Apple says its new ARKit will be the largest AR platform in the world (based on its built-in user base), and it's available in beta for developers now. The ARKit will support SceneKit, Unity and Unreal Engine. If you want more info on how the framework for the ARKit is built, check out Apple's comprehensive documentation.

Redesigns for App Store and Control Center

The App Store will look different on iOS 11, as will the Control Center. All the same functionality is still there (along with a few new extras), but you may want to give users a heads-up about the new layout.

The Control Center will be transformed to a single screen with switches and sliders and new little icons. Users will also be able to customize the Control Center to their liking, which could be a good or bad thing for MDM, depending on whether your organization shares devices between users. More of the controls will be accessible via 3D Touch as well.

The App Store redesign isn't a huge deal in terms of usability, but it might take people aback if they're unaware a change is coming. The reinvention is intended to make it easier for users to discover new apps, so the home screen will feature a tab titled Today and will showcase freshly launched apps that it explains through illustrated content, video and exposition. Most of the other upgrades to the App Store are aimed at app developers and won't have a big impact on general IT.

iOS 11 will also sport a redesigned dock that your users will either love, hate or fail to notice, as well as a useful-looking new Files App, instant note-taking capabilities (just tap the home screen and start writing), and drag-and-drop functionality across mobile devices. Unless you're working toward an immediate AR application for your organization, the iOS 11 update shouldn't require much additional preparation or management for IT.