Has Apple started to increase its embrace of enterprise device users? That seemed to be the sort of hidden takeaway from the big announcements at this week's Apple developers conference, where initial reports centered around new OSes and new devices, like AirBooks with longer battery life.
A day of digging deeper into the announcements found some enterprise-centric changes to the forthcoming iOS 7, which were nicely outlined by Jonny Evans in his Apple Holic blog over at Computerworld. Among the iOS 7 enhancements Evans found are some that seem designed to appeal directly to IT administrators, including an enterprise single sign-on feature, volume app store purchases and per-app VPN capability. As Evans notes, "These improvements will be of great value to CIOs and CEOs attempting to integrate iOS devices within their existing mobile infrastructure, giving the already secure system yet another advantage against its leaky Android competition."
On the productivity app side Apple announced iWork for iCloud, which Computerworld'sGreg Keizer rightly pins as "a second attempt by Apple to move its Pages word processor, Numbers spreadsheet and Keynote presentation maker into the Internet age." What may make Apple's efforts more successful this time around is the continued resistance of Microsoft in developing native Office apps for devices like iPads. Will users turn to the Apple apps given the lack of a native Office app? Or is the iWork for iCloud a strategic move to force Microsoft's hand? Whatever the reason, Apple at least has appeared to listen to users who want more productivity apps for tablets. Let's see now if Apple, once the enterprise interloper, becomes the chosen one.
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